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Quintessential Movies from the Trans Film Canon You Should Know

*Please note: All language is taken from press releases/movie information/film write ups. Some language may seem problematic. The films have presented to a mass audience with the descriptions below (coming from covers, sales sites, or verbiage on websites). 
  1. Ma Vie En Rose (My Life in Pink) — story of a young MAAB child and her expression 
  2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch — Transexual punk rocker Hedwig leads us through her life, Eastern Europe, mega-stardom, and love in this rock opera
  3. Boys Don’t Cry — biopic about Brandon Teena and the final days of his life
  4. Beautiful Boxer — biopic story of Nong Thoom (born  Parinya Kiatbusaba), a famous kathoey, Muay Thai fighter, actress and model. 
  5. Soldier’s Girl — biopic about Barry Winchell, his relationship with Calpernia Addams, and the events of his fellow soldiers
  6. Breakfast on Pluto — follows the life of Patrick “Kitten” Braden in the fictional Irish town of  Tyrellin in the 1940s
  7. Orlando — based on V. Woolf’s novel of the same name, this film follow the forever young Orlando through life (an all it’s incarnations)
  8. Transamerica — follows Bree as she travels cross-country with her son 
  9. The Adventures of Sebastian Cole — Sebastian returns to the US to reunite with his father after his sexual reassignment surgery 
  10.  20 centímetros (20 Centimeters)— Spanish film following a woman as she works towards surgery to fix her “20 centimeters of problems”

Quintessential Movies from the Gay (male) Film Canon You Should Know

  1. The Broken Hearts Club — West Hollywood gay softball team learns how to love, the power of friendship and coping with loss (actors include Zach Braff, Andrew Keegan and Dean Cain)
  2. Get Real — gay teen comes out (and being a gay teen means drama will follow)
  3. A Single Man — based on the Isherwood novel, this film follows what it means to be gay in the 1960s and what we do to keep on after tragedy
  4. Latter Days — A promiscuous gay man from California meets a private Mormon and their encounters rearrange both of their lives
  5. Looking for Langston — split film crossing back and forth between 1920s Harlem and 1980s England, this film invites you to explore the ways people express themselves and the places they find comfort
  6. Brokeback Mountain — the life story of two men who meet while sheep ranching 
  7. Milk — biopic about the life of Harvey Milk, S.F. first openly gay elected city official
  8. Shelter — a young man returns home to care for his family, finding companionship in a place least expected
  9. Brother to Brother — taking place during days of the Harlem Renaissance, this film follows a young artist and aging poet 
  10.  Walk on Water —  following the suicide of his wife, an Israeli intelligence agent is assigned to befriend the grandchildren of a Nazi war criminal

 Quintessential Movies from the Lesbian Film Canon You Should Know

  1. But I’m A Cheerleader — camp, gender and sexuality! — this film was the 2000s cult lesbian classic
  2. Better Than Chocolate — 90s film (bit dated) that put camp, lesbianism, indie bookshops, living in your van, and indie women’s soundtracks on the map
  3. Fire — banned in India, focusing on religion, gender roles, family, and the power of communication, this film lit up theatres and television screens with a world view many have never seen before
  4. D.E.B.S. — Angela Robinson’s(writer/director on L Word series, Herbie: Fully Loaded) quirky spy-mock film. FIRST lesbian film to receive a PG-13 rating
  5. Desert Hearts — 1985 film and one of the most famous kisses shared between two women on screen 
  6. I Can’t Think Straight — Jumping between England and Jordan, Muslim and Christian, engagements and family, this comedy serves plenty of drama while still making you smile from ear to ear.
  7. Saving Face — Heartwarming Chinese-American comedy about family traditions and taking time for your own journeys
  8. If These Walls Could Talk 2 — this  HBO film, made up of three episodes (1960s, 1970s, 2000), focuses on three pairs of lesbian relationships. Pull out your tissues for the first, gender and sexual expression for the second, and fall madly in love with Ellen and Sharon in the third.
  9. Bound — tough women, get rich plots, cocky, sexy, and very 90s, Bound is the movie you don’t watch with your parents but do invite all your friends over for
  10. Imagine Me & You — 2005’s ultimate romantic comedy. Luce and Rachel will steal your heart and leave you quoting the movie for days

LGBTQ* Anthems (Perfect for Fall)

Mary Lambert - “She Keeps Me Warm” 

OH MY HEART, THE FEELZ Version
Live on KEXP Seattle

She says I smell like safety and home
I named both of her eyes “Forever” and “Please don’t go”
I could be a morning sunrise all the time, all the time yeah
This could be good, this could be good

And I can’t change, even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change, even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm, she keeps me warm

What’s your middle name?
Do you hate your job?
Do you fall in love too easily?
What’s your favorite word?
You like kissing?
you make me nervous when you look at me.
Yeah, yeah

She says that people stare ‘cuz we look so good together
Yeah, yeah, yeah

And I can’t change, even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change, even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm, she keeps me warm [x2]

I’m not crying on Sundays, I’m not crying on Sundays [x2]
Love is patient, love is kind [x4]
My love, my love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm, she keeps me warm

Who Are Your Favorite Individuals (Real Life or Fictional Characters) to Ship?

We want to know.

What book, television, ga(y)me, music, political, Broadway, reality, cartoon, comic book, authors, would make the most powerful LGBTQ* couple in the world?

MacArthur Genius Grant Winners (You Should KNOW)

Alison Bechdel

(following from MacFound.org)

Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist and graphic memoirist exploring the complexities of familial relationships in multilayered works that use the interplay of word and image to weave sophisticated narratives. Bechdel’s command of sequential narrative and her aesthetic as a visual artist was established in her long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For (1983–2008), which realistically captured the lives of women in the lesbian community as they influenced and were influenced by the important cultural and political events of the day.

Garnering a devoted and diverse following, this pioneering work was a precursor to her book-length graphic memoirs. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) is a nuanced depiction of a childhood spent in an artistic family in a small Pennsylvania town and of her relationship with her father, a high school English teacher and funeral home director. An impeccable observer and record keeper, Bechdel incorporates drawings of archival materials, such as diaries, letters, photographs, and news clippings, as well as a variety of literary references in deep reflections into her own past.

Bechdel composes an intricate, recursive narrative structure that is compelling on both the visual and verbal planes in Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama (2012), a meditation on her relationship with her emotionally distant mother seen through the lens of psychoanalytic theory. As in Fun Home, the images in Are You My Mother? do not always correspond to or illustrate the words; rather, they mutually interpret or often tug against each other, creating a space between them that invites a multiplicity of interpretations. With storytelling that is striking for its conceptual depth and complexity in structure as well as for the deft use of allusion and reference, Bechdel is changing our notions of the contemporary memoir and expanding the expressive potential of the graphic form.

Alison Bechdel received a B.A. (1981) from Oberlin College. She is the editor of Best American Comics (2011), and her comic strip work has been collected in numerous volumes, most recently The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For (2008). Her work has also appeared in such publications as Slate, the New York Times Book ReviewMcSweeney’sGranta, and The New Yorker.

Additional KNOWhomo Posts on Bechdel:

Alison Bechdel

Dykes To Watch Out For

Fun Home (Graphic Novel)

Fun Home (Broadway)

Fun Home “Changing My Major” (Song from Fun Home)

 

dLGBTQ* Basics: ‘Femme’ Lesbian and Bisexual Women of Color

(Following from Femme on a Mission)

In a way, the women showcased below are members of a triple minority based on gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, making their successes all the more impressive and inspiring.

1. Jessica Clark

A successful model, out lesbian Jessica Clark has appeared in advertisements for Alexander McQueen and runway shows for Hermes and Julian McDonald. She also starred in Usher’s music video “Let It Burn.”

2. Natasha Kai

American soccer forward Natasha Kai set multiple records in her college career playing for the University of Hawaii.  Now a superstar athlete, Natasha plays professionally for the Philadelphia Independence. She was also on the women’s National Team, representing the U.S. in the Women’s World Cup as well as the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Natasha is an out lesbian and was one of only two openly gay athletes on the 2008 USA Summer Olympic team.

3. Malinda Lo

Author Malinda Lo was born in China and moved to the United States as a child. She has written several young adult novels; her most successful being Ash, a lesbian retelling of Cinderella in which the title character gets the girl – not the prince. In 2006, Malinda received the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Journalism by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

4. Gloria Bigelow

Gloria Bigelow is an out lesbian comedian. As well as a variety of comedy specials, Gloria has had appearances on The Rachel Ray Show, Lifetime’s Cook Yourself Thin, and LOGO’sNewNowNext Awards. She also is one of the four stars of Cherry Bomb, a lesbian talk-show hosted on AfterEllen.

5. Dalila Ali Rajeh

Out bisexual actress Dalila Ali Rajah is a co-star of Gloria Bigelow on Cherry Bomb,  as well as the producer of the series. With an MFA in acting from the California Institute of the Arts, she has appeared on stage in The Vagina Monologues and Joleta, and was the winner of the GLAAD Media Award for “Outstanding Los Angeles Theatre 2007.”

6. Vivan Wu

Vivan Wu came to the front of the lesbian scene recently as a member of the supporting cast of The Real L Word Season 2. But she is more than just the (ex?)-girlfriend of Claire; Vivian is an up-and-coming stylist, recently featured in Vogue Italia.

7. Staceyann Chin

Staceyann is a spoken word poet and political activist. Unabashedly feminist and an out lesbian, Staceyann produces poetry that is fearless and cuts deep.

8. Tasya van Ree

Photographer and artist Tasya van Ree is making a name for herself with her compelling and sensual work, most of which is in black and white. As well as still photography, Tasya also creates short art films often featuring her muse and girlfriend, out actress Amber Heard.

9. Margaret Cho

Margaret was recently featured as a Pretty Lady…on Femme on a Mission. Funny and fearless, Margaret has been a successful comedian, actress, recording artist, and all-around badass since the early nineties. She is openly bisexual, Wikipedia says that 15-20% of her body is tattooed, and my mother hates her, so basically she is awesome.

10. Jasika Nicole

Out lesbian actress Jasika Nicole is lighting up the small screen on Fox’s Fringe, playing the part of Astrid Farnsworth. She is also an illustrator, with a new comic in the works called Closetalkers about the beginning of a lesbian relationship formed between two roommates.

Related posts: 10 ‘Femme’ Lesbians You Should Know

LBGTQ* Quotes and Quips
Comedian Lynn Lavner

LBGTQ* Quotes and Quips

Comedian Lynn Lavner

LGBTQ* Graphic Novels to Keep on Your Radar
(AKA, LGBTQ* graphic novels the KNOWhomo team is currently reading)
TRANSPOSES by Dylan Edwards
"Transposes will teach you something about what it means to have  a body and to feel desire. About what it means, in short, to be human." - Alison Bechdel From the foreword by the New York Times bestselling author of FUN HOME and ARE YOU MY MOTHER
TRANSPOSES separates gender from sexuality and illustrates six fascinating true stories of transgender men who also happen to be queer. The result is a laugh-out-loud, funny, heartbreaking, challenging, inventive, informative, and invites the reader to explore what truly makes a man a man. 
Interested? Read some of the first pages HERE.
Note from Rebecca: 
I ordered TRANSPOSES after running into it time and time again online. (I am an avid comic book and graphic novel reader.) I ordered it from NORTHWEST PRESS and had it in my hands within 2-3 days (at regular shipping price). If you are unfamiliar with NORTHWEST PRESS and enjoy queer graphic expression and fiction, I highly recommend spending some time on their site. 

LGBTQ* Graphic Novels to Keep on Your Radar

(AKA, LGBTQ* graphic novels the KNOWhomo team is currently reading)

TRANSPOSES by Dylan Edwards


"Transposes will teach you something about what it means to have  a body and to feel desire. About what it means, in short, to be human." - Alison Bechdel 
From the foreword by the New York Times bestselling author of FUN HOME and ARE YOU MY MOTHER

TRANSPOSES separates gender from sexuality and illustrates six fascinating true stories of transgender men who also happen to be queer. The result is a laugh-out-loud, funny, heartbreaking, challenging, inventive, informative, and invites the reader to explore what truly makes a man a man. 

Interested? Read some of the first pages HERE.


Note from Rebecca

I ordered TRANSPOSES after running into it time and time again online. (I am an avid comic book and graphic novel reader.) I ordered it from NORTHWEST PRESS and had it in my hands within 2-3 days (at regular shipping price). If you are unfamiliar with NORTHWEST PRESS and enjoy queer graphic expression and fiction, I highly recommend spending some time on their site. 

Break A Leg! - To all those in auditions this time of  year.
LGBTQ* Theatre, Broadway and Dramatic History You Should Know
The Captive — September 1926 - Empire Theatre
First lesbian play on Broadway, which told of the seduction of a young woman by an older woman. The older woman is referred to as a degenerate in the play.

Break A Leg! - To all those in auditions this time of  year.

LGBTQ* Theatre, Broadway and Dramatic History You Should Know

The Captive — September 1926 - Empire Theatre

First lesbian play on Broadway, which told of the seduction of a young woman by an older woman. The older woman is referred to as a degenerate in the play.

Happy Rosh Hashanah, Tumblr.


LGBTQ* AND Jewish People You May Know
(click graphic for larger image)

Happy Rosh Hashanah, Tumblr.

LGBTQ* AND Jewish People You May Know

(click graphic for larger image)

LGBTQ* Fashion History
At the turn of the twentieth century,  wearing a red neck tie was a “signal” for (and to) those in the know. Following the green carnation, but predating the pinkyring, gay men would adorn a red neck tie “outing” themselves quiety in public

LGBTQ* Fashion History

At the turn of the twentieth century,  wearing a red neck tie was a “signal” for (and to) those in the know. Following the green carnation, but predating the pinkyring, gay men would adorn a red neck tie “outing” themselves quiety in public

It’s Banned Book Week!
(Shirt from Skreened.com)
Who’s Your Favorite LGBTQ* Character?

It’s Banned Book Week!

(Shirt from Skreened.com)

Who’s Your Favorite LGBTQ* Character?


Happy Bisexual Visibility Day, Everyone!
Be True. Be You. Be Seen.

Photo from Quist App. 

Happy Bisexual Visibility Day, Everyone!

Be True. Be You. Be Seen.

Photo from Quist App. 

Happy Banned Book Week

LGBTQ* BANNED (!) or CHALLENGED (!) Books You Should Know

This week marks the 31st anniversary of the American Library Associations Banned Book Week Celebration (which celebrates and encourages you to read books which have been banned/challenged in local libraries and education, as well as educate yourself about censorship and printed media).

If you’d like more information, please check out ALA.org/bbooks

Below are TEN of the most challenged/banned LGBTQ* books. All of the information for these books is taken from the Huffington Press’ 16 Books Challenged for Their Gay Content (read more HERE). 

KNOWhomo & Keep On, Keeping On!

-Rebecca

(all text from Huffington Post)

  1. 'And Tango Makes Three'
    This 2005 children’s book, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole, tells the story of two penguins raising a baby penguin in New York’s Central Park Zoo. Sounds innocent enough… except for the fact that both penguins were male. 

    Conservative opponents, such as the Focus on the Family Action group, said the book was inaccurate and promoted a political agenda to little kids. 
  2. 'Running With Scissors'
    Augusten Burroughs’ 2002 memoir traces his adolescence, living in the dysfunctional household of his mother’s psychiatrist. A central point to the memoir is the sexual relationship between thirteen year-old Augusten and thirty-three year-old Neil Bookman. This homosexual content, along with profanity, drug use, and “moral shortcomings,” led it to be banned in some high schools
  3. 'Maurice'
    E. M. Forster’s tale of homosexual love in early 20th century England, follows Maurice Hall from youth to adulthood and details his struggles, and eventual acceptance, of his gay tendencies and his relationship with another man. 

    The book was published in 1971 after Forster’s death. The author resisted publication because of public and legal attitudes to homosexuality — a note found on the manuscript read: “Publishable, but worth it?” So, in this case, the author himself was the one challenging the book, only because he knew how the book would be received in early 20th century England. 
  4. 'Annie on my Mind'
    This 1982 novel by Nancy Garden follows the romantic relationship between two 17-year-old New York City girls, Annie and Liza. 

    Although it was a widely praised piece of young adult fiction, it also brought critics, particularly in Kansas. Because of the gay themes, copies of the book were burned and superintendent Ron Wimmer of the Olathe School District ordered the book removed from the high school library to avoid controversy. 

    Garden later commented, about the burning: “Burned! I didn’t think people burned books any more. Only Nazis burn books…” 
  5. 'Howl and Other Poems'
    When Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” was published in 1956, the iconic Beat poem was considered “obscene literature,” and U.S. Customs officials seized 520 copies of the poem. “Howl” contained references to illicit drugs and sexual practices, both heterosexual and homosexual. 

    At the obscenity trial, literary experts testified on the poem’s behalf. Supported by the ACLU, the California State Superior Court Judge Clayton Horn decided that the poem was of “redeeming social importance,” and it went on to become one of the most popular pieces of Beat literature. 

  6. "Luv Ya Bunches"
    This children’s novel about four elementary school girls was pulled from Scholastic Book Fairs in 2009. Scholastic asked author Lauren Myracle to edit out some inappropriate language — “geez,” “crap,” “sucks,” — and turn one character’s lesbian parents straight. 

    Although Myracle was fine with changing the language, she saw nothing offensive about a child having gay parents and wouldn’t replace them with a heterosexual couple, so Scholastic didn’t accept the book for fear of getting hate mail from parents. 

    Myracle commented, “Over 200,000 kids in America are raised by same-sex parents, just like Milla. It’s not an issue to clean up or hide away… In my opinion, it’s not an ‘issue’ at all. The issue, as I see it, is that kids benefit hugely from seeing themselves reflected positively in the books they read. It’s an extremely empowering and validating experience.” 
  7. 'Revolutionary Voices'
    Edited by Amy Sonnie, this anthology was created by and for radical queer youth, committed specifically to youth of color, young women, transgender and bisexual youth, (dis)abled youth and working class youth. 

    The resource for queer students was widely controversial and was even targeted by members of Glenn Beck’s 9/12 movement and on theAmerican Library Association's list of most challenged books in 2010. 
  8. 'The Color Purple'
    Alice Walker’s 1982 novel about the lives of black women in the 1930s American South is one the American Library Association’s frequently challenged classics, for reasons including “the homosexuality, rape, and incest portrayed in the book.” 
  9. 'Am I Blue?'
    Though 1994’s “Am I Blue?” — a collection of stories about being LGBT from authors like Francesca Lia Block, Bruce Coville, Nancy Garden and James Cross Giblin — was honored with awards from the ALA and the New York Public Library, it was also challenged for its content
  10. 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'
    Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 coming of age novel details introverted Charlie’s first year of high school. Among controversial issues, such as drug use and suicide, the book’s coverage of homosexuality landed it third on the American Library Association's list of the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2009.