Highgate publisher releases LGBTQI anthology in memory of trans daughter

Sarah and Kate Beal who run Muswell Press. It is launching a competition

Sarah and Kate Beal who run Muswell Press which has published Queer Life Queer Love in memory of Sarah's trans daughter Lucy - Credit: Archant

An anthology of international LGBTQ+ stories, poems and essays has been put together in memory of publisher Sarah Beal's trans daughter.

Queer Life, Queer Love is dedicated to Lucy Reynolds, who took her own life on Hampstead Heath aged 20.

Editors Golnoosh Nour and Matt Bates say it not only honours a "young, lost, queer life," but also creates "more space to encourage and salute the diversity of queer writing, and celebrate the richness of queer life experience."

Independent publisher Muswell Press which is run by Highgate-based Beal and sister Kate, asked writers to submit work in honour of the former UCS student, who was a talented musician and advocate of LGBTQ rights.

Sarah Beal with her trans daughter Lucy-Jack Reynolds.

Sarah Beal with her trans daughter Lucy Reynolds. Muswell Press publishes Queer Life Queer Love to honour Lucy life - Credit: Archant

Poet and lecturer Nour said submissions came from "all over the world" including Africa, America, New Zealand and Jamaica, from lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, non-binary people, trans men and trans women.

"Tragically, a week before the publication of my book The Ministry of Guidance in March 2020, Sarah Beal’s trans daughter, Lucy Reynolds, took her own life," she said. "So I was tearful when I was about to thank my publisher Sarah at my launch. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Lucy, but I’ve been keeping her in my heart since. Our anthology was a brave project that Sarah came up with to honour the memory of Lucy. Matthew and I had a difficult but rewarding job selecting pieces for publication and we did our best for the anthology to be as representative of LGBTQ+ people as possible, but also for the quality of the writing to be as sublime as possible.

"What all these poems, stories, and essays have in common is they are extremely well-written and powerful. I feel honoured to be a part of this beautiful and essential work."

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Launching the anthology last year, Beal said Lucy would be “proud and thrilled” at the thought of the book, which features work by both new and emerging writers, and previously unpublished pieces by established writers.

Queer Life Queer Love is out now priced £9.99.

Queer Life Queer Love (£9.99) was published to mark Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance. (November 20) - Credit: Muswell Press