Tamiko Beyer on Queer Magic

Posted by – June 14, 2023
Categories: Interview

Tamiko Beyer

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 Tamiko Beyer, co-editor and contributor to Poetry as Spellcasting


“Queer magic assures me we will not be contained.”


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 understand queerness as embracing what is most strange, messy, outrageous, and defiant about myself. This is magic; this is power.

I seek to manifest this magic when I intentionally create and recreate my queerness within all my relationships and responsibilities. It supports me to show up courageous, even when I am afraid. In this historical moment, I lean on queer magic to help gather up the resources I have access to—and you know we queers are resourceful AF—to put them behind the work of liberation for every one of us, particularly those most under attack: trans, nonbinary, and genderqueer BIPOC folks and youth.

To me, this inclusive and liberatory mandate has always been at the heart of queerness. It remains so, even as racial capitalism has sought to co-opt, exploit, and de-fang its power, even as attacks against us and our siblings mount.

Queer magic assures me we will not be contained. We will not be intimidated, we will not be disappeared. We are queer, we are magical, we are each other’s heart and harbor.

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.