How are life writing and queer theory at odds with what we've come to expect in autobiographical narratives? The essays in this collection intervene in the traditional project of autobiography by taking as their subject the process of queered meaning making. Our focus on "queer" and "performing" brings the following challenges to life writing: fi rst, to expand the social defi nitions of the self or "I" as the readable, recognizable subject; second, to introduce the resistant, playful, and sometimes odd or eccentric aesthetics of "queer" into life writing's language, form, and treatment of the social fabric; and third, to give special attention to the performative as a process of self-making and selfrecognition that is active, ongoing, contingent on relationships to others, and grounded in embodiment. All written by folks of color, the essays in this cluster are also liberation narratives, centrally concerned with freedom and social change larger than but including ourselves. Using queer theory, performative writing, memoir, and interview, these essays explore queer ways of knowing, while suggesting how queer bodies can teach the world by naming the unnamable, courting the illusive, and training us to see and feel differently.