Sport 17: Spring 1996
Initially, this was to have been the ‘Queerish’ of Sport; that is to say, an issue with a substantially queer theme. As things worked out, the issue has not taken shape as a Queer Issue or even as a queerish issue—being no more or less ‘queer’ than usual (and it's worth more than a passing mention that some of the more regular contributors to Sport may themselves identify as queer, though their writing may not fit so readily into such a ‘market’ or genre). Writing as the guest editor, I'd have to admit some relief that the issue is an ‘ordinary’ one, even if the failure of a queer issue to cohere looks, logically, to be my fault. To this accusation I beg nolo contendere. I throw up my hands in mockery of despair and say, so be it. The issues and problems of constructing a queer issue of Sport are canvassed in the discussion between my sister Elizabeth and me that opens the collection. Elizabeth pried this interview out of me when I was feeling pretty abject, and the conversation wanders (as, sadly, do some of my organs).
What this issue is, as opposed to what it is not, is a more heartening topic. No theme organised the submissions and yet one appears, vague as the divine lineaments on the shroud of Turin: suggestive, ambiguous. Reconciliation might be the word for a perceptible tone (and only a tone, or the hint of one). Certainly there is some sense of reclamation or protest, an unsettled coming to terms (or bringing to account) evinced by the works edged with irony, or downright raucous in their ire. It is a bad time all round, and the cavalry is not there, just below the horizon. The waited-upon and hoped-for rescuers and outriders of civilisation and comfort are nowhere in sight. So we look to the cat, to the estranged partner, to the piano teacher, to the hills instead.
I'm glad to give a forum here to both new and established talents, and also to familiar writers writing an unfamiliar form. Perhaps at some stage in the near future a Queer Issue of Sport will eventuate. I hope—here—it is not missed.