By Uma Ribeiro
In May 2020, the first-ever edition of the Rainbow Vision literary magazine was released around the time of the first Howard County Rainbow Conference which occurred on May 15th. Copies of the magazine were free of charge and mailed to the homes of any conference attendees who requested a copy.
The magazine, created by Hammond media specialist Ms. Danielle DuPuis and edited by Junior Uma Ribeiro, featured the artwork, creative writing, essays, personal narratives, song lyrics, and photography from high school students across Howard County. Submission content ranged from romance and LGBTQ+ pride to coming out experiences, family relationships, and politics. The magazine received dozens of submissions only in its first year, and submissions are now wide open again!
That’s right! Hammond students, as well as students from all other Howard County High Schools, are now able to submit their creative work to the Rainbow Vision literary magazine to be featured in the 2021 edition. All work must be submitted to the Rainbow Vision by March 1st, 2021 at the latest. However, students are encouraged to submit their work as soon as possible. There is no submission fee and most submissions are accepted. To learn more about submission guidelines click here. To access the submission form, click here.
The Rainbow Vision is a platform in which LGBTQ+ students and their allies’ voices are amplified, meant to create awareness and share resources about the community and student experience.
Past readers commented on the first edition of the magazine. “I think that the first edition of the Rainbow Vision was beautiful. What I liked most about it was all the work submitted and the photos taken,” says Hammond Junior Adom Amissah.
Sophomore Lydia Jensen added on, “The formatting was nice and the art, poetry and otherwise, was beautiful. I liked the variations of creators and content… [In the second volume], I hope to see more art from students and useful information for LGBTQ+ folk to use such as coming out tips from people who are [already] out, hotline numbers, creators to follow, [and] organizations to keep an eye out for.”
“I think the [Rainbow Vision] is important because it lets people know that there is a community of people who are accepting of you even if you don’t feel accepted in other spaces, and I think it’s incredibly important for kids to feel like they’re valued… I would say that if you want to [submit your work], just do it. There’s nothing to lose, and the good it can do for people is worth it no matter what,” comments Junior Cat Ijams.
Submissions must fit the “Rainbow” theme of the LGBTQ+ experience. Students in the LGBTQ+ community and allies are encouraged to submit. All creative work, including film and music pieces, can be submitted to the literary magazine and students can submit their work under a pen name for privacy. However, submissions with the creator name “anonymous” will not be accepted.
The Rainbow Vision is a great opportunity for Hammond students to express themselves and show off their creativity. Past authors and contributors shared about their experience and what it was like having their work showcased in the countywide magazine.
“I feel this is an important platform for HoCo students because it shows the representation of all our students…. I say you should submit to the Rainbow Vision because it lets you have a voice,” comments artist Lilith Allman, whose artwork is featured in the first edition of the magazine.
“I decided to submit to the Rainbow Vision Magazine because it allowed me to express myself freely without any fear of judgment. It was essentially a safe space for me… One can submit anything they want as a reflection of themselves. They can even be anonymous if they want and I think that it’s just a great opportunity for self expression, so to those thinking about submitting to the Rainbow Vision magazine I say go for it! If you want your work out there, feel free to share! It’s such a great opportunity to express yourself however you like. You should submit to the magazine because it allows you to be whoever you want to be,” adds Adom, who has a poem published in the first volume.
Be sure to follow @rainbowvision on Instagram and @hcpsspride on Instagram and Twitter for more information and updates on the 2nd edition of the Rainbow Vision!