Couples We Ship!
Zak, one of the moderators of Art Of Transliness, and Kelly are getting married this weekend!
The team at KNOWhomo would like to share our congratulations and all of the best wishes to two of the most supportive, intelligent, and giving people we’ve had the pleasure to get to know.
Happiest of wishes to you both.
Would you like to wish this wonderful couple best wishes? Leave messages below or message Zak at ArtOfTranliness’ Fanmail section. The above photograph was taken from a Halloween post on Art of Transliness.
Gay Insurgent: A Gay Left Journal, Issue #6
Currently on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
For more information, see Daniel C. Tsang’s blog post here.
LGBTQ*-Friendly Wedding Cards
Found in Georgetown’s Paper Source.
LGBTQ* People and Artifacts in Historical Archives
Franklin Kameny’s Protest Signs (now scattered throughout the American History Museum in Washington, D.C.)
Following from the Smithsonian Institution
Frank Kameny, who died on Oct. 11, was one of those Americans of whom few may have heard but who devoted his life to furthering civil rights, most especially for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people. He instigated or participated in many of the important gay rights actions of the 20th century.
This display shows a selection of the protest posters that Kameny and the Kameny Papers Project donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2006. Three of the most resonant picket signs are now on display in Flag Hall, just off the entrance from the National Mall and near the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem, and the civil rights-eraWoolworth Lunch counter. Another poster is currently on view in The American Presidency exhibition among a number of protest signs. The Kameny collection is part of the Museum’s long-standing commitment to preserve the history of American democracy and the struggles for individual and civil rights in the United States.
Kameny Political Cartoon Pulled from QSyndicate.com
KNOWhomo Moderator Moments
The fireworks begin today. Each diploma is a lighted match. Each one of you is a fuse. ~Edward Koch
All four have graduated from Hollins University as of May 19th
Ruth Elizabeth, c/o 2013, B.A.
Riley, c/o 2013, B.A.
Rebecca, c/o 2013, M.F.A. from Hollins; c/o 2007, B.S. from NSU
Cael, c/o 2011, B.A.
LGBTQ* (USA) Politics You May Have Missed
LGBTQ* Same-Sex Couples Dropped from Immigration Reform Bill This Week
If you haven’t heard, LGBTQ*individuals were dropped from equal protections under the newest immigration bill to move through congress. It is speculated that this was done to gain favor with more conservative members of Congress.
From the Washington Post:
“Today it became clear that our so-called ‘friends’ don’t have the courage or the spine to stand up for what’s right,” Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, co-director of the social-justice organization GetEQUAL, said.
The team at KNOWhomo will do their best to continue to update our family and friends on the progression of this bill. In the mean time, remember, if you are able to vote, it also means your voice is important to your state representatives. Send a message with sincere thoughts and feelings to your local representative and express your right to share your need for equal representation.
LGBTQ* News We Are Following Right Now
Move On Petition for Damien
By Torrey Moorman (Contact)
To be delivered to: Barbara Rothweiler, Ph.D. Principal, Principal, https://www.saintpiusx.com/
St. Pius High School administration is refusing to recognize Damian’s gender identity, even though all his classmates, teachers, and family know Damian as a male. The administration says that because he has “female” marked on his birth certificate — despite the fact that he is now legally Damian and not Brandi — he still must walk in a girl’s cap and gown for graduation.
KNOWhomo Moderator Personal Post:
Cael’s First (Performance in a) Drag King Show
Something I have always wanted to do got crossed off my list not long ago: participating in a drag show. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a Warbler for a night? Being rather shy with a dislike of stages (until I get on them at least) had led me away from this particular goal, but when my best friend said, “Hey, we should do this,” I jumped at the chance. We asked another friend to help us out and spent a Sunday evening entertaining our significant others while coming up with choreography basic enough even I could get it.
After missing the Wednesday dress rehearsal, I ended up outside the venue with some of the kings as they smoked before leaving, still made up from practicing their performances. They had Tupperware containers of hair and hairspray in hand, hair still on their cheeks and chins. I sat on the steps and listened to their conversations as they talked to my friends and significant other. I heard a random snippet about being excited about a packer coming in the mail, and then the focus turned to binding. One remarked on how much it hurt, another how their nipples were so close to their armpits, one more how they were so thankful they wouldn’t have to be made up much longer and could get out of that discomfort. The conversation curved again, and I stopped paying attention until my best friend turned to me before going inside and tossed back a reminder, “Is it still cool if I borrow that binder Friday?” something we had previously agreed upon. One of the kings, someone I have met and hung out with several times walked up quickly and asked, “Could I borrow one too?”
This whole situation struck me strangely, and still in a way I don’t quite fully understand. Listening to the kings talk about binding and how painful and uncomfortable it is when that is my everyday life was bizarre. I don’t have the luxury of not binding. It just is. It is an integral part of my life which I hate but can’t avoid. And to hear that conversation when I don’t have that same freedom brought up a bitterness in me which I don’t normally possess—or at least, acknowledge. I tend to live my life on the brink of not knowing what is going to happen and enjoying that sensation. I do not often look past the now, and I am very good at ignoring the things which break into my bubble of exploration and art and beauty and literature. I have never before in a group of cis women felt so displaced and dysphoric. My jealousy and bitterness (when I do acknowledge it) centers around cis men, specifically in any setting where they can go shirtless.
I don’t quite know how to put into words the entirety of my feelings around this conversation, but having someone I only vaguely know ask to borrow a binder from me made me even more uncomfortable. It felt like a disrespect of my identity, another almost-slap after the binding talk. Do you know how much binders cost? Do you know what it feels like in the summer to have to wear layers of compression shirts so you can move around without having your binder rub you raw? Do you know what it’s like never to be able to wear a tank top to escape the heat? Never to be able just to get out of bed in the morning and get dressed but to always be anchored to this one article of clothing simply so you can be? This one restrictive device which holds your nipples up by your armpits and constricts your ribcage so you can have the presentation of a male chest?
I just—I am not a person easily offended. I talk openly about everything regarding my own transition, my feelings, all generally trans* knowledge which people may or may not know, but in this, I am always aware of the people around me. I am always aware of dynamics and feelings and privacy. Binding is such a constant thing in my life, something I want to go away. I want to be able to take off the binder and be, but I can’t. It is necessary to complete this person, and I felt like for those few minutes my incompleteness was this flippant thing everyone could talk about while enjoying their cigarettes. I’m not a doll who gets dressed up everyday. I’m a man who needs this one thing to have the world look at me and see me as such. It’s one thing for a person I see as a sister to borrow a binder, someone who still sometimes looks at me after a long night and asks me how long I have had my binder on, a simple reminder for my own safety (my own safety, think about that). But it’s a completely different thing for someone I don’t know well, in front of a group of people, to ask the same.
LGBTQ* News We’re Paying Attention To:
(following from NOLA)
Louisiana State University students Tuesday celebrated their first-ever Lavender Graduation, honoring accomplishments of LSU’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender, queer and questioning population and their supporters. About 20 students walked across the stage in the Cotillion Ballroom at the Student Union in front of family and friends.
The ceremony, which is not a separate graduation but rather a presentation of a lavender stole, let students celebrate with peers as a member or supporter of the LGBTQ community…
The students will wear the lavender sashes when they accept their diplomas in the university’s official graduation ceremonies.
LGBTQ* Posts We Love (and Blogs We Love to Follow)
Queer Book Club’s Hogwart’s House Reading List
ALL of the following text is from the posts of QueerBookClub.tumblr.com:
[image description: a red banner reading “queer books for gryffindor” is surrounded by six book covers of the titles listed below]
This is the first of four recommended reading lists of queer and queer-ish books, organized by Hogwarts houses! ENJOY.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
This story of a young woman captured by Nazis during a spy mission in occupied France has repeatedly been called a tour de force and the best novel of last year. Though not explicitly queer, the heart of the story is the deep, loving friendship of two girls.
Diverse Energies edited by Tobias Buckell and Joe Monti.
This collection of dystopian stories starring heroes of color is perfect for the daring, strong-willed wizards of Gryffindor. A handful of the stories also feature queer protagonists or minor characters.
Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III.
What’s more exemplary of good-hearted headstrong Gryffindor spirit than taking up the cape and fighting evil? Besides starring a lesbian superhero, this volume also features an introduction by Rachel Maddow - we will just have to ignore the fact that she’s basically the nation’s Ravenclaw prefect.
When She Woke by Hillary Jordon
This re-imagining of The Scarlet Letter tells the story of Hannah, a woman who finds herself marked as a murderer after an abortion. In this future world, criminals’ skin is colored to indicate the class of their crime. Hannah’s red skin means a life of shame and cruelty - unless she can forge a new path.
Huntress by Malinda Lo
Epic quests. Hostile monsters. The fate of the world. If that’s your kind of story, look no further. Tough, down-to-earth Kaede and gentle, visionary Taisin set out to find out what caused their land to fall into endless cold.
She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jennifer Finney Boylan
Let’s not get into tropes about transgender people being so brave. I chose this book for this list because Boylan reminds me of Gryffindor in other ways - considerate but honest, amiable but not self-sacrificing, and, you know, popular. Bestselling, even!
[image description: a green banner reading “queer books for slytherin” is surrounded by six book covers of the titles listed below]
A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over the World: Writings from the Girl Zine Revolution edited by Karen Green and Tristan Taromino
While this collection of writings from zines of the early 90s riot grrl era and beyond may not be an actual blueprint for world domination, it is just as brash, smart and unapologetic as any Slytherin.
Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz
This story of an isolated teenager’s relationship with a monstrous fish-boy is supposed to be seriously grim. The darkness factor - and the fact that Pottermore tells us that the Slytherin common room windows gives students a view of the creatures the lake - is what makes it a great Slytherin pick.
The Complete Hothead Paisan: Homicidal Lesbian Terrorist by Diane DiMassa
Before some tumblr misandrists were even born, Hothead Paisan was collecting rapists’ spines. Queer Slytherins in need of some guilt-free revenge fantasy should pick this one up - though I implore you to read up on the author’s transmisogyny first.
Sula by Toni Morrison
While not explicitly queer, this story is held together by love between women. Slytherins will likely relate to Sula, a community pariah whose motivations are as incomprehensible to her friends and family as theirs are to her.
Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
Esme Rockett is probably a Gryffindor at heart (they tend to get the leading roles). But she and her friends - outsiders in their lily-white Christian community - employ all their cunning to wreck havoc for the establishment. Sex, drugs and hip-hop make this YA debut a conservative censor’s worst nightmare - or wet dream, maybe.
When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris
This contemporary master of the personal essay always manages to come off as judgmental, selfish, petty, loveable and brilliant. Tapping into our dark spots to charm us, Sedaris is an exemplary Slytherin - and skull-centric cover art doesn’t hurt, either.
[image description: a blue banner reading “queer books for ravenclaw” is surrounded by six book covers of the titles listed below]
Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
This collection of short works on identity, community and authenticity covers a lot of territory - “passing” as related to gender, race, disability, work, nationality, sexuality, and more. Pick it up if you’re itching for more complex perspectives on social justice.
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Besides being an absolute masterpiece of the comics format, Bechdel’s memoir about her cold and inscrutable father earns major Ravenclaw appeal with its highbrow literary allusions. If psychology is more your thing, try her other memoir, Are You My Mother?
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
This book tells the story of two Mexican-American teens - Ari, an angry loner, and Dante, a quirky intellectual - who form a transformative bond and ponder over poetry, philosophy and life’s many mysteries. I haven’t gotten my hands on this one yet, but I’ve been told it’s one of those rare transcendent young adult books, emotionally resonant and masterfully crafted.
Israel/Palestine and the Queer International by Sarah Schulman
This latest work from the prolific author and longtime activist chronicles her travels through Tel Aviv and the West Bank and her growing consciousness of the occupation of Palestine. Read it for a knowledgeable queer perspective on a divisive topic.
Adaptation by Malinda Lo
There’s not much on this list for science aficionados, but hopefully some science fiction will suit you. Did you know Malinda Lo did graduate work on The X-Files? This novel, the first in a forthcoming series, has flavors of the 90s TV show and should delight fans of Mulder and Scully, creepy conspiracies, and queer representation in sci-fi lit.
Transgender History by Susan Stryker
For the history buffs - this concise text on transgender people in America between the mid twentieth century and early twenty-first puts trans communities and movements in historical context and offers a compact but comprehensive chronicle of our stories.
[image description: a yellow banner reading “queer books for hufflepuff” is surrounded by six book covers of the titles listed below]
A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today by Kate Bornstein
This newest memoir is actually one of the few of Auntie Kate’s books that I haven’t read, but I couldn’t resist the Hufflepuff-yellow cover. Open, honest and compassionate, Bornstein’s books always feel like a big hug and kiss to outcasts everywhere.
Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Green might be the most famous living Puff since he proclaimed it on The Late Late Show. I’m not sure what Levithan’s sorting is, but this book - about two boys with one name, how people come together and how they drift apart - is definitely a good one for us sensitive badgers.
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
I was tempted at first to prescribe this YA book to Ravenclaws, as its heroine, Astrid, is a philosophy nerd who regularly meets with her invisible friend Socrates. She does, however, nickname him Frank and compare him to a cute dog. Moreover, her questions are more of the heart than the head: How can I be seen for who I am? Why isn’t equality easy? Where can my love be safe?
10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert and Rex Ray
Need a bright dose of hope? Pick up this beautiful children’s book about a young trans girl who finds someone who believes in her dreams and appreciates her for just who she is.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall B. Rosenberg
A great resource for shy or insecure Hufflepuffs who have trouble communicating, or badger activists who want to get their words across without invalidating anyone’s feelings and experiences. If you get too overwhelmed by conversation, I also recommend The Highly Sensitive Person.
Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block
While I strongly prefer the Dangerous Angel books that focus on Witch Baby, Weetzie’s sunny but sensitive disposition is probably more Hufflepuff appropriate. Her naïveté fits perfectly with mainstream perceptions of Puffs, while her big deep loud love for her chosen family is reminiscent of Hufflepuff as I know it.
KNOWHOMO’s Top 9 of May (and Blogs You Might Want To Check Out)
LGBTQ* Spoken Word You Might Be Interested In
*Warning: Lyrics NSFW*
“Am I a feminist or a womanist?
The student needs to know if I do men occasionally and primarily, am I a lesbian?
Tongue tied up in my cheek, I attempt to respond with some honesty.
Well, this business of Dykes and Dykery, I tell her, it’s often messy.
With social tensions as they are, you never quite know what you’re getting.
Girls who are only straight at night, hardcore butches be sporting dresses between 9 & 6 every day.
Sometimes she is a he, trapped by the limitations of our imaginations.
Primarily, I tell her, I am concerned about young women who are raped on college campuses, in bars, after poetry readings like this one, in bars.
Bruised lip and broken heart, you will forgive her if she does not come forward with the truth immediately, for when she does, it is she who will stand trial as damaged goods.
Everyone will say she asked for it, dressed as she was, she must have wanted it.
The words will knock about in her head: ” Harlot, slut, tease, loose woman” – some people can not handle a woman on the loose.
You know those women in pinstriped shirts and silk ties, You know those women in blood-red stiletto heels and short skirts.
These women make New York City the most interesting place.
And while we’re on the subject of diversity, Asia is not one big race, and there’s not one big country called ‘The Islands’, and no, I am not from there.
There are a hundred ways to slip between the cracks of our not so credible cultural assumptions about race and religion.
Most people are suprised that my father is Chinese.
Like there’s some kind of preconditioned look for the half-Chinese, lesbian poet who used to be Catholic, but now believes in dreams.
Let’s get real sister-boy in the double-x hooded sweatshirt.
That blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus in the Vatican ain’t right.
That motherfucker was Jewish, not white.
Christ was a middle-eastern rasta man who ate grapes in the company of prostitutes and he drank wine more than he drank water.
Born of the spirit, the disciples loved him in the flesh.
But the discourse is not on those of us who identify as gay or lesbian or even straight.
The state needs us to be either a clear left or right.
Those in the middle get caught in the cross – fire away at the other side.
If you are not for us, then you must be against us.
If you are not for us, then you must be against us.
People get scared enough, they pick a team.
Be it for Buddha or Krishna or Christ, I believe God is that place between belief and what you name it.
I believe holy is what you do when there is nothing between your actions and the truth.
The truth is I’m afraid to draw your black lines around me, I’m not always pale in the middle, I come in too many flavors for one f***ing spoon.
I am never one thing or the other.
At night I am everything I fear, tears and sorrows, black windows and muffled screams.
In the morning, I am all I ever want to be: rain and laughter, bare footprints and invisible seams, always without breath or definition.
I claim every single dawn, for yesterday is simply what I was, and tomorrow even that will be gone.”
LGBTQ* Musicians On Our Radar Right Now!
“Ryan Cassata…is a seasoned performer who has toured the country, appeared on television, written for film, and has done dozens of other amazing things as an advocate of equal rights who speaks publicly (and courageously) about transgender issues. When Ryan belts out a song, every note is infused with bravery and conviction.” - LI Pulse Magazine, June 2nd, 2011
Ryan Cassata is a transgender singer-songwriter from Long Island, NY who - all by the age of 19 - successfully cut five records, booked and went on several tours, played many of the world’s biggest gay music festivals, and appeared on National & International TV several times on shows such as the Larry King Live Show & The Tyra Banks Show. Ryan now lives in San Francisco, CA.
LGBTQ* Online Comics You May Have Missed
LGBTQ* People In History (of Great Importance)
The “Einstein of Sex”: Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld
14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935
Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was a scholar, physician, sexologist, and arguably the first outspoken gay and transgender activist in modern history.
Why he rocks?
1. Jewish gay* identified doctor, fought to end Paragraph 175 in Germany ( a law that made homosexuality punishable by law)
2. Founding member of Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee(WhK) ( English: The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee), which acted advocacy group to many underrepresented individuals (including the queer* population).
3. Led the FIRST congress for sexual reform
5. Created a way of cataloging identities, 64 of them, outside of “gay/lesbian,” including many ways to identify oneself outside of cisgender identification. Hirschfeld is one of the earliest scholars and advocates for the transgender community in Western culture.
6. Created the Institute for Sexual Research, which became a safe haven for queer* individuals in Berlin
7. Joined the Bund für Mutterschutz (League for the Protection of Mothers), fighting for women’s equality and the decriminalization of abortions
8. Lost his entire library and most of his life work to the Nazi party but was able to flee and save his life (and rumored to have saved a few others). Nazi soldiers burned the entire institution’s contents on May 6, 1933 (80 years ago this month).
Imagine what the world might be if we still had all of his notes and the stories of hundreds of queer* identified and trans* identified individuals.