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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. 
Kickstarters We Are Stoked To Have Supported

Julius poses with Sam Orchard's (of Rooster Tails) first three issues of Family Portraits. His mothers are now both busy reading them.
Congratulations, Sam! 
Have a fantastic U.S. tour. (click HERE for dates)

Kickstarters We Are Stoked To Have Supported

Julius poses with Sam Orchard's (of Rooster Tails) first three issues of Family Portraits. His mothers are now both busy reading them.

Congratulations, Sam!

Have a fantastic U.S. tour. (click HERE for dates)

TEDxTalks We Recommend

Ash Beckham on Closets and Grenades

"And I had a choice in that moment, as all grenade throwers do. I could go back to my girlfriend and my gay-loving table and mock their responses, chastise their unworldliness, and their inability to jump through the politically correct gay hoops I had brought with me, or, I could empathize with them and realize that maybe that was one of the hardest things they have ever done. That starting and having that conversation was them coming out of their closets. Sure, it would have been easy to point out where they fell short; it’s a lot harder to meet them where they are to acknowledge that they were trying. What else can you ask someone to do, but try?" — Ash Beckham

Bullying Political Cartoons
“Life is a fight, but not everyone’s a fighter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species.” ― Andrew Vachss, Terminal
“It gets better. It seems hard, you know, I think being different is always gonna be a tough climb. There’s always gonna be people that are scared of it. But at the end of the day you give those bullies, those people, that are so ignorant, if you give them the power to affect you, you’re letting them win. And they don’t deserve that. What you’re doing by being yourself is you’re keeping it real, and you’re being really brave.” ― Adam Lambert
“You should be nicer to him,’ a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. ‘He has no friends.’ This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
“When people see you’re happy doing what you’re doing, it sort of takes the power away from them to tease you about it.” ― Wendy Mass, Every Soul A Star
“With ignorance comes fear- from fear comes bigotry. Education is the key to acceptance.” ― Kathleen Patel, The Bullying Epidemic-the guide to arm you for the fight
“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.” ― Chris Colfer stated on Twitter. Also noted from the film The Fighting Temptations (thanks DieVampireDie)

Bullying Political Cartoons

“Life is a fight, but not everyone’s a fighter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species.” 
― Andrew VachssTerminal

“It gets better. It seems hard, you know, I think being different is always gonna be a tough climb. There’s always gonna be people that are scared of it. But at the end of the day you give those bullies, those people, that are so ignorant, if you give them the power to affect you, you’re letting them win. And they don’t deserve that. What you’re doing by being yourself is you’re keeping it real, and you’re being really brave.” 
― Adam Lambert

“You should be nicer to him,’ a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. ‘He has no friends.’ This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.” 
― Christopher HitchensHitch-22: A Memoir

“When people see you’re happy doing what you’re doing, it sort of takes the power away from them to tease you about it.” 
― Wendy MassEvery Soul A Star

“With ignorance comes fear- from fear comes bigotry. Education is the key to acceptance.” 
― Kathleen PatelThe Bullying Epidemic-the guide to arm you for the fight

“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper. They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.” 
― Chris Colfer stated on Twitter. Also noted from the film The Fighting Temptations (thanks DieVampireDie)

LGBTQ* Did You Know Art History
Did you know? BATMAN is (not) Gay!
In 2005, DC comics sent a “cease and desist” letter to both Mark Chamberlain (the artist of the above image) and Kathleen Cullen Fine Art’s studio telling them to pull all artwork depicting the DC characters.
Due to copyright infringement (DC owns Batman’s image), DC and Chamberlain eventually settled on displaying the images but not selling them.
 
(Picture Web Source Unknown)

LGBTQ* Did You Know Art History

Did you know? BATMAN is (not) Gay!

In 2005, DC comics sent a “cease and desist” letter to both Mark Chamberlain (the artist of the above image) and Kathleen Cullen Fine Art’s studio telling them to pull all artwork depicting the DC characters.

Due to copyright infringement (DC owns Batman’s image), DC and Chamberlain eventually settled on displaying the images but not selling them.

 

(Picture Web Source Unknown)

LGBTQ* Reading List: Butch/Femme 101


Evolving in the 1940s, Butch and Femme are words with a lot of weight and power in queer culture. Ever wonder why some LGBTQ*-identified people get upset if straight women claim “Femme” as part of their identity? Want to join the (years-long) debate about whether a Butch/Femme relationship conforms to or subverts heteronormative gender roles? Not sure what the words really mean or where they came from in the first place? Brush up on your reading with these texts—and if they whet your appetite for knowledge, don’t forget to keep digging over at the Lesbrary or the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

<3 Ruth Elizabeth

1. Butch is a Noun, by S. Bear Bergman.

2. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg.

3. Dagger: On Butch Women, edited by Lily Burana and Roxxie Linea Due.

4. The Persistent Desire, A Femme-Butch Reader, edited by Joan Nestle.

5. Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, edited by Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman. 

6. Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America, by Lillian Faderman

7. Brazen Femme: Queering Femininity, edited by Chloe Brushwood Rose and Anna Camilleri.

8. Femmes of Power: Exploding Queer Femininities, edited by Del Lagrace Volcano and Ulrika Dahl

LGBTQ* Theory and Print
Queer Theory, Gender Theory —- Riki Wilchins
Chapter 6: Foucault and the Disciplinary Society

LGBTQ* Theory and Print

Queer Theory, Gender Theory —- Riki Wilchins

Chapter 6: Foucault and the Disciplinary Society

LGBTQ* Poets and Paintings 
Although They Are

Although they are only breath, words which I command are immortal 
— Sappho

Painting: 
Sappho sings for Homer, 1824 
Charles Nicolas Rafael Lafond (1774–1835)
(place jpeg was pulled from - unknown)

LGBTQ* Poets and Paintings 

Although They Are

Although they are 
only breath, words 
which I command 
are immortal 

— Sappho

Painting: 

Sappho sings for Homer, 1824 

Charles Nicolas Rafael Lafond (1774–1835)

(place jpeg was pulled from - unknown)

How to Put On a Chest Binder
(All text from: www.transguys.com)

It might seem silly, but you’re probably going to need some help figuring out how to put on your new binder, particularly if you purchased one of the longer styles.
Put your binder inside out and upside down.
Step into your binder and pull the bottom of it up, ideally to your belt line. The binder should still be inside out and upside down.
Use the sleeves as handles to pull the top of the binder (the end closer to your feet) up to your shoulders.
Put your arms through the sleeve holes and adjust your chest to your needs. You may need to pull the bottom of the binder out from underneath itself if you don’t want it folded under. For others, leaving it folded under may help stop the binder from rolling up.
Don’t be disappointed if you look in the mirror and it looks like you have one big boob in the middle of your chest. You just need to adjust your chest. Reach in from the neck hole and push your chesticles down and out. You’re basically pushing your nipple toward your armpit to achieve the flattest looking chest possible.

How to Put On a Chest Binder

(All text from: www.transguys.com)

It might seem silly, but you’re probably going to need some help figuring out how to put on your new binder, particularly if you purchased one of the longer styles.

  1. Put your binder inside out and upside down.
  2. Step into your binder and pull the bottom of it up, ideally to your belt line. The binder should still be inside out and upside down.
  3. Use the sleeves as handles to pull the top of the binder (the end closer to your feet) up to your shoulders.
  4. Put your arms through the sleeve holes and adjust your chest to your needs. You may need to pull the bottom of the binder out from underneath itself if you don’t want it folded under. For others, leaving it folded under may help stop the binder from rolling up.

Don’t be disappointed if you look in the mirror and it looks like you have one big boob in the middle of your chest. You just need to adjust your chest. Reach in from the neck hole and push your chesticles down and out. You’re basically pushing your nipple toward your armpit to achieve the flattest looking chest possible.

LGBTQ* History You Should Know
(and then what happened)
Following the liberation of concentration camps, many gay survivors (the pink triangles) were placed in prison by German authorities. Since concentration camps were not considered “jail,” homosexual men were still in violation of Paragraph 175 (a law outlawing homosexuality in Germany) and were then placed in prison to serve time for breaking the law.
To this day, not one single gay survivor or family member has been given financial payments by the government in Germany. 

KNOWhomo history reblogs.
Would you like to know more? Check out:
#History You Should Know 
#Black/African American 
#Pink Triangle History 
#Flag(s) History 
#Military/Armed Forces 
#Vintage 
#Christian 
#Jewish 
#Muslim 
 

LGBTQ* History You Should Know

(and then what happened)

Following the liberation of concentration camps, many gay survivors (the pink triangles) were placed in prison by German authorities. Since concentration camps were not considered “jail,” homosexual men were still in violation of Paragraph 175 (a law outlawing homosexuality in Germany) and were then placed in prison to serve time for breaking the law.

To this day, not one single gay survivor or family member has been given financial payments by the government in Germany. 

KNOWhomo history reblogs.

Would you like to know more? Check out:

#History You Should Know 

#Black/African American 

#Pink Triangle History 

#Flag(s) History 

#Military/Armed Forces 

#Vintage 

#Christian 

#Jewish 

#Muslim 

 

Dear hypothetically gay son,

You’re gay. Obviously you already know that, because you told us at the dinner table last night. I apologize for the awkward silence afterwards, but I was chewing. It was like when we’re at a restaurant and the waiter comes up mid-bite and asks how the meal is, only in this metaphor you are the waiter, and instead of asking me about my meal, you said you were gay. I don’t know why I needed to explain that. I think I needed to find a funny way to repeat the fact that you’re gay… because that is what it sounds like in my head right now: “My son is gay. My son is gay. My son is gay.”

Let me be perfectly clear: I love you. I will always love you. Since being gay is part of who you are, I love that you’re gay. I’m just trying to wrap my head around the idea. If you sensed any sadness in my silence last night, it was because I was surprised that I was surprised. Ideally, I would have already known. Since you were an embryo, my intent has always been to really know you for who you are and not who I expect you to be. And yet, I was taken by surprise at last night’s dinner. Have I said “surprise” enough in this paragraph? One more time: Surprise!

OK. Let’s get a few things straight about how things are going to be.

Our home is a place of safety and love. The world has dealt you a difficult card. While LGBT people are becoming more accepted, it is still a difficult path to walk. You’re going to experience hate and anger and misunderstandings about who you are out in the world. That will not happen here. You need to know with every fiber of who you are that when you walk in the front door of your home, you are safe, and you are loved. Your mother is in complete agreement with me on this.
I am still, as always, your biggest defender. Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you’re any less capable of taking care of and defending yourself. That said, if you need me to stand next to you or in front of you, write letters, sign petitions, advocate, or anything else, I am here. I would go to war for you.

If you’re going to have boys over, you now need to leave your bedroom door open. Sorry, kiddo. Them’s the breaks. I couldn’t have girls in my room with the door shut, so you don’t get to have boys.

You and I are going to revisit that talk we had about safe sex. I know it’s going to be awkward for both of us, but it is important. I need to do some research first, so let’s give it a few weeks. If you have questions or concerns before then, let me know.

That’s enough for now. Feel free to view this letter as a contract. If I ever fail to meet any of the commitments made herein, pull it out and hold me to account. I’ll end with this: You are not broken. You are whole, and beautiful. You are capable and compassionate. You and your sister are the best things I have ever done with my life, and I couldn’t be prouder of the people you’ve become.

Love,
Dad

P.S. Thanks to a few key Supreme Court decisions and the Marriage Equality Act of 2020, you’re legally able to get married. When I was your age, that was just an idea. Pretty cool, huh?


(from John Kinnear)

- From Huffington’s Post’s “Dear Hypothetical Gay Son” (via knowhomo)

LGBTQ* YA Novels You May Have Missed
(and Kh moderators are currently reading)
Following from GoodReads:

If You Could Be Mine
by Sara Farizan

In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

LGBTQ* YA Novels You May Have Missed

(and Kh moderators are currently reading)

Following from GoodReads:

If You Could Be Mine

In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much-talked-about culture.

Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.

Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?
Sep 9

LGBTQ* Performance Artists in History

Barbette (Texas, b. 1904)

“Women think about love more than men; that’s because men think more about women.”—Barbette

Barbette was a female impersonator who took Paris by storm in the late 1920’s. Barbette’s performances included aerial acts, trapeze, and stunning costumes, Barbette would close the show by removing his wig and declaring himself an man to adoring fans. 

Additional History?

Julie Andrews character(s) in Victor/Victoria is (loosely) based on Barbette. Note: Victor/Victoria is based on a series of previous films (including titles: Viktor und Victoria (1933) and First a Girl (1935) ), which Barbette was the inspiration for. 

Barbette was photographed by Man Ray.

 

Information from: 

Greif, Martin. The Gay Book of Days: An Evocatively Illustrated Who’s Who of Who Is, Was, May Have Been, Probably Was, and Almost Certainly Seems to Have Been Gay during the past 5,000 Years. Secaucus, NJ: L. Stuart, 1982. 

1st Photo Source:  Male Soul Makeup

Barbette aka Vander Clyde

Female impersonator, high wire performer and trapeze artist 1920s – 1930s

2nd Photo Source:  Gorgonetta’s Tumblr

Barbette - Photography by Man Ray

 

Sep 9
LGBTQ* Infographics You May Have Missed
By the numbers.   
Imagine how strong the numbers would be if everyone participated in the Census every 10 years.
Based on 2010 Census informationfrom Andrew Lee, 2011

LGBTQ* Infographics You May Have Missed

By the numbers.


Imagine how strong the numbers would be if everyone participated in the Census every 10 years.

Based on 2010 Census information
from Andrew Lee, 2011