As a new editorial section for GLQ, Q2 provides a forum to extend ongoing conversations in queer scholarship and organizing that directly address the many political “crises” and social conflicts reshaping contemporary social orders. Too often, especially in political life and the public square, queer and trans practices are omitted from the discussions that center these crises. Our hope is that Q2 enables an elaboration of these otherwise missed engagements or too-thin “acknowledgments” of queer and trans impact on the social matters that publics and states center when seeking to address changing social, environmental, and economic determinations. The name Q2—or Q squared—is meant to convey our commitment to amplifying queer and trans critiques in and of the public square and our belief that these critiques have an exponentializing effect.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the ways that US publics, including many radical and feminist publics, addressed and mobilized around the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson that overturned Roe v. Wade's constitutional protection of abortion and other elements of reproductive health. Many mainstream media outlets, like NPR, were quick to correct their sense of who this decision impacted by speaking of the assault on Roe's constitutional protections as jeopardizing “all pregnant people” and not just “women”—a change in gendered language norms that indexes the success of the decades-long Black-led reproductive justice movement in transforming a “prior” social consciousness formatted by liberal “reproductive rights.” Yet, Black feminist, Indigenous, queer, and trans critiques of the court's decision saw longer histories and “spaces” of struggle at stake, marking the connections between Dobbs and the state's effort to suppress the movement for prison and police abolition, to criminalize Indigenous sovereignty and organizing against ongoing settler-colonial natural resource extraction, and to refortify its defense of the gender binary as essential to legal authority and unitary state power. In other words, despite or precisely through mass media's use of more “inclusive language” in its coverage of Dobbs's assault on “pregnant people,” public discourse continues to suppress an engagement with the interconnected social and historical processes and terrains of struggle that today's BIPOC queer and trans practices reveal shape the court's actions.

For this inaugural Q2, we invited Jodi A. Byrd, Jules Gill-Peterson, Sarah Haley, Joseph M. Pierce, Andrea J. Ritchie, and Emily L. Thuma to reflect on the historical continuities, queer convergences, and emergent strategies that constitute a post-Dobbs political landscape. The dossier begins with “ ‘Criminalization Is the Antithesis of Care’: Contextualizing the Dobbs Decision with Black Queer Abolitionist Feminism,” a conversation between Haley and Ritchie, moderated by Thuma, that reflects on the diagnostic power of Black queer abolitionist feminism in making sense of the post-Roe/pre-Dobbs era. Next, in her essay “Children of the Sexual Politics of Abortion and Transition,” Gill-Peterson reflects on the enduring analogy between the right to transition and the right to abortion that only emboldens an anti-trans and anti-abortion Right in the name of a “fantasized, imperiled child.” Finally, Byrd and Pierce, in “Settler-Colonial Elimination and the Dobbs Decision: Relationality, Indigenous Kin-making, and Queer Responsibilities,” consider the convergences of Indigenous and queer studies in their discussion of the settler-colonial origins and implications of the Dobbs court. In a conversation occurring just before the US Supreme Court ruled to uphold the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Byrd and Pierce explain how settler and racial technologies of dispossession occur as a ruse of (state-enacted) care.

Q2 is our attempt to be explicit about how all queer and trans scholarship, as well as GLQ as a journal, is bound by and bound up with these social, political, and economic determinations. Each of these essays and conversations, in different ways, urge us to question and quash our attachments to the limits set by both liberal publics and the law as a site of protection. Going beyond decriminalization, these essays and transcriptions speculate on the conditions of possibility for more just and more livable worlds. We hope that Q2 will be a resource for learning how to see societal crises and emergencies as also moments of emergence for articulating genealogies of queer studies and modes of queerness itself that have remained suppressed by or underinvestigated within present accounts.