Writing Challenge: Masks

The Bent Q Writing Challenge is a monthly call-out, giving our community contributors a theme to inspire them. Selected contributions are published on bentq.ca throughout the following month. 

Queer folks don’t always have the luxury of being their genuine selves. Some of live our lives in the closet, some of us are only out strategically to certain people or groups, and even the most out-and-proud of us sometimes have to think twice about how we speak, behave, dress, or demonstrate affection with our partners. The reasons are many, whether its protecting ourselves or those close to us from violence all the way down to feeling insecure or not wanting to cause embarrassment. All of us at some point in our lives have worn or will wear some kind of disguise. For some of us it comes naturally, for some of us it takes a toll on our mental health. But regardless of how out we are, when, or to whom, wearing a metaphorical mask is the reality for all LGBTQ2SI+ folks at some point.

October is a month where we think about costumes and disguises, and so our September writing challenge is all about the Masks we Wear. We want to hear your thoughts on coming out, staying in, being yourself or blending into the crowd. Send us your opinion pieces, personal essays, art, music, poetry or thoughts, and the selected pieces will be published on Bent Q in October!


  • Please make your Masks submissions by September 30th.
  • Written pieces should be approximately 600-1000 words in length, but we are pretty flexible and open to publishing longer pieces.
  • We also encourage other forms of submission, be it visual art, poetry, musical playlists, or videos.
  • Submitted content should align with our values to be considered for publishing.
  • Submissions should be sent to info@bentq.ca, along with the name/alias you would like to use, a short (think two sentences) bio, and a picture we can use for your author profile (which can be a picture of you, a picture of you in a disguise, or a picture of something that represents you but is not in fact you).
  • If you have something you would like to submit that is not related to the monthly writing challenge you are absolutely and always welcome to! We continue to encourage the community to submit pieces for our blog whether or not they align with the monthly theme.

Thanks, and happy writing!

-The Bent Q team

Bent Q Media

The Bent Q Media team