Sherry Shone on Queer Magic

Posted by – June 14, 2023
Categories: Interview

Sherry Shone

This year we asked NAB authors about what queer magic means to them, the Black trans experience, activism in 2023, and what it means to move beyond allyship. Read on below for a response by Sherry Shone, author of Hoodoo for Everyone.


“We need your voice, we need your song, you need your dances, you need your kiss. Join me in loving everything we are as queer folk. We are loud, we are proud, F*^# around and find out.”


Being queer can be a kind of magic. How do you define queer magic? Could you talk to the magic of queerness as it relates to joy, resilience, or other?

I’m a loud being. I have a loud laugh. When I laugh my whole body is engaged and my whole spirit changes and it’s like pastels and clouds and sunshine. It’s the best! That’s pride to me. When you can walk into a room with such confidence that it is infectious. People want to be near it. It’s that flame and spark. It’s so damn intoxicating. Being around that energy is tremendous. It gives you the strength to think that in our queer forms however we present themof course people will be curious. Of course they will be jealous. Of course they will be concerned. Like, legitimately what would happen if the world were queer a majority? Other than there would be, like, no U-Hauls available for any new lesbian coupleha ha. It would be a place of inclusion and belonging because we know what it’s like to be shunned.

Yes, it could also be messy because as a member of the queer community I can tell you that we like juicy reality shows and drama just as much as the next human being. It’s pretty dang awesome. But that’s on TV. In real life I am very low key and low risk. I’m loud with laughter but not with actions. I vote but I don’t protest. I donate to causes but I don’t volunteer. I blend really wellI look and live and reside in an area where I’m the neighbornot the gay neighbor. 

Clarity and being open and honest with complacency is just as provocative as being always in the center of things. The center of things like being in a music festival when you were a teenager or in your 20s where everything is fresh and new and hopeful. 

That magic of being amongst thousands and hundreds of thousands of people singing your favorite songs together. Rocking it out. Jamming together. All on one accord. Swaying back and forth. Hair moving and energy flowing and you are one with Spirit, the Divine, and the Goddess. There’s no us or them, there’s just a crowd. A crowd of call and response and twilight and spotlights and occasional whiffs of Mary Jane. 

I feel this is what I think about Pride. Being proud is being a ticket holder at Woodstock or Coachella or your favorite choral or dance recital. We’re all singing the same songs and experiencing the same bliss. Then another song comes on and maybe it’s a song about rioting or an uprising and you join in camaraderie there too. You feel the urgency, you want to bang drums, stomp your feet, pump your fists in anger and solidarity.

The music continues, you have your first or seventy-third kiss under the moon. The wind floats around you, you taste tart lips, and hints of beer on their breath and all of it is right. Not off putting at all you are meant to be. It’s an unusual kiss because it’s a kiss that excites you because you’ve been told you shouldn’t do it. After that kiss you become a member of the fraternity or sorority or group for the rest of your days. In that kiss you have the answer to every question imaginable and just as many questions. In that kiss you know that you have been part of us since birth. That is magical.

In your volume you raise this experience to the heavens and down to the core of the earth with every beat of drums. As we wear t-shirts, hats, makeup, thigh high boots and leather jackets. We are the nature of magic. I see it in your expressions, your identity, your knowledge of what’s now and what was in the past and your unflinching ability to not give up. For anyone to say otherwise is to falsely deny our entry into the festivities. I offer that in all of humanity we exist. From human beings to plants to animals. We exist. We are not anomalies. We are US. You belong. I belong. This is OUR band, our concert, our music festival damnit. We paid our ticket by being born and by being exactly who you are at this time. 

If no one else tells youI want you to read and allow this to resonate in your soul. 

We need your voice, we need your song, you need your dances, you need your kiss. Join me in loving everything we are as queer folk. We are loud, we are proud, F*^# around and find out. 

Happy Pride! That Hoodoo Lady

About the Author

North Atlantic Books (NAB) is an independent nonprofit publisher committed to a bold exploration of the relationships between mind, body, spirit, culture, and nature. Founded in Vermont in 1974 and operating in Berkeley since 1977, NAB has been at the forefront of publishing a diverse range of original books in bodywork and somatics, ecology and sustainability, health and healing, Indigenous cultures and anthropology, psychology and personal growth, social justice and engaged activism, and spirituality and liminality. NAB’s Blue Snake Books imprint is one of the largest sources of internal and historical martial-arts books in the world.