What’s your favorite queer*/LGBTQ* book/novel/graphic novel/comic/film?
What would you recommend that I check out/read/watch this Holiday break?
LGBTQ* Opportunities for Publication You May Have Missed:
The KNOWhomo family is excited to share an opportunity with you from our friend Ryan Sallans over at Scout Publishing, LLC. Got a story you want to share? The Outrider Review is looking for writing addressing issues of gender, sexuality, and identity to fill out its inaugural issue, due out in January 2014. They’ll be accepting creative nonfiction, poetry, short stories, artwork, etc. For more information, see the link below. Good luck, and as always,
Keep On, Keeping on.
Call for submissions: All artists and writers who explore either gender, sexuality or identity The Outrider Review wants to see your work for the first volume, first issue, New Beginnings to be released January 1, 2014. To learn more visit the link! http://www.scoutpublishingllc.com/the-outrider-review/
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.
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* 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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
LGBTQ* Artists You Should Know: Robert Giard (1939-2002)
Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers
(following from the Robert Giard Foundation)
In 1985, after attending a performance of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart—one of the first dramas dealing with the impact of AIDS on gay life—Robert Giard decided to devote his energies as a photographer to some aspect of the gay and lesbian community. Thus was born his two-decade long project of photographing over 600 gay and lesbian writers—from famous playwrights to emerging novelists to unsung poets and pioneering performance artists.
Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay & Lesbian Writers is an extraordinary visual record of the flowering of queer voices in the wake of the Stonewall Rebellion and the AIDS crises, while also paying homage to many earlier 20th Century activists and writers who had urged the creation of a community identity, or otherwise gave public voice to gay and lesbian sensibilities.
(Photos, clockwise, beginning from upper left: Ann Bannon, Robert Howard, Kitty Tsui, and Adrienne Rich.)
**Note from Ruth Elizabeth:
The winner of a Lambda Literary Award in 1997, 182 of these portraits are collected in a book also titled Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, alongside excerpts of each writer’s work carefully chosen together by Giard and the writers themselves. GORGEOUS.
LGBTQ* Books You May Want To Read
LGBTQ* Children’s Books You May Have Missed:
One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentine, illustrated by Melody Sarecky
So this happened: Rebecca went to the children’s section of the library when working on our theses became a bit too much to bear, and this is what she found. Looks like the universe knew we needed something to cheer us up!
Published in 1994 from Alyson Wonderland (an imprint of Alyson Books), One Dad, Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads is a spectacular example of children’s authors who are doing it right. The book is inclusive of many kinds of diverse family structures and addresses the difficult-to-articulate complications of navigating awkward questions from strangers as a child in a family that might not fit into the cookie-cutter family structure depicted in many mainstream children’s books.
I hope you find time soon to grab a copy and snuggle up with someone you adore to celebrate the love we find in each other from all corners of the queer community.
LGBTQ* Young Audience Books (You Might Have Missed)
Lisa Jenn Bigelow’s Starting From Here
Sixteen-year-old Colby Bingham’s heart has been broken too many times. Her mother has been dead for almost two years, her truck driver father is always away, her almost girlfriend just dumped her for a guy, and now she’s failing chemistry. When a stray dog lands literally at her feet, bleeding and broken on a busy road, it seems like the Universe has it in for Colby. But the incident also knocks a chink in the walls she’s built around her heart. Against her better judgment, she decides to care for the dog. But new connections mean new opportunities for heartbreak. Terrified of another loss, Colby bolts at the first sign of trouble, managing to alienate her best friend, her father, the cute girl pursing her, and even her dog’s vet, who’s taken Colby under her wing. Colby can’t start over, but can she learn how to move on? (from GoodReads.com)
LGBTQ* Infographics You May Have Missed
Stats on LGBTQ* Young Adult books published in the
U.S through 2011 via Malinda Lo.
What’s your favorite YA (LGBTQ*) Novel?
What’s your favorite queer*/LGBTQ* book/novel/graphic novel/comic/film?
What would you recommend that I check out/read/watch this Holiday break?
BOOKS, Books Everywhere, and Finding a Queer* One for Me!
Are you going home for the Holidays? Do you finally have time to read things for pleasure again? Are you trying to come out to your friends and would like some help?
**Ok, to explain, I kept showing up to Feminist Theory (while I was in undergrad) with different Lesbian/Queer* texts until my adviser finally asked me if I needed to talk. I am the person who used book jackets to start conversations.
Back to the books!
Keep On, Keeping On!
(Some of my personal collection shown above. If you’d like any information on any of those texts, please let me know.)
What LGBTQ* Book Are You Currently Reading?
Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme edited by Ivan Coyote and Zena Sharman
In the summer of 2009, butch writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote and gender researcher and femme dynamo Zena Sharman wrote down a wish-list of their favourite queer authors; they wanted to continue and expand the butch-femme conversation. The result is Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme. The stories in these pages resist simple definitions. The people in these stories defy reductive stereotypes and inflexible categories. The pages in this book describe the lives of an incredible diversity of people whose hearts also pounded for some reason the first time they read or heard the words “butch” or “femme.” Persistence is a raucous, insightful, sexy, and sometimes dangerous look at what the words butch and femme can mean in today’s ever-shifting gender landscape, with one eye on the past and one eye on what’s yet to come.
*Lambda Literary Award finalist
*American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book
LGBTQ* Couples in History
Margaret Wise Brown & Blanche Oelrichs
Margaret Wise Brown: Author, Children’s Book Author, Editor
Blanche Oelrichs (aka Michael Strange): Poet, Actress, ex-wife of John Barrymore
About the relationship:
Despite a twenty years difference in age (or the fact that it was the mid-Twentieth Century), Margaret Wise Brown’s and Blanche Oelrichs’ relationship began in 1940. The two worked together early in Brown’s career, with Oelrichs offering advice and insight to the young writer. Over time, the two’s professional standing changed to a romantic relationship. They were together ten years and lived together in Manhattan from 1943-1950. Oelrichs died in 1950.
How do you know either of these people?
Many of us grew up on Margaret Wise Brown’s books.
Books Written by Margaret Wise Brown (and published) during their relationship:
The Runaway Bunny (Harper & Row, 1942)
Red Light Green Light(Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1944)
They All Saw It, illustrated by Ylla (Harper & Brothers, 1944)
Little Fur Family (Harper & Brothers, 1946)
The Little Island (Doubleday, 1946)
Little Lost Lamb (Doubleday, 1945)
Goodnight Moon (Harper & Brothers, 1947)
The Sleepy Little Lion, illustrated by Ylla (Harper & Brothers, 1947)
Wait till the Moon is Full (Harper & Brothers, 1948)
The Important Book (Harper & Brothers, 1949)
The Color Kittens (Little Golden Books, 1949)
My World (Harper, 1949)
LGBTQ* Resources You Might Have Overlooked
GoodReads.com's Lists of LGBTQ* Books/Discussion Groups
(photo from: BlogHer)
Just click a hashtag below to be brought to hundreds of book titles. LGBT* lists include countless additional lists. Poetry, Graphic Novels, etc are much more concise lists.
(If you are a member of Good Reads and would like to follow/discuss books with another fellow bibliophile, my profile can be found HERE)
#Gay/Queer Poetry (The first book listed is Siken’s CRUSH, which I HIGHLY recommend)
LGBTQ* BANNED (!) or CHALLENGED (!) Books You Should Know
This week marks the 30th 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
KNOWhomo & Keep On, Keeping On!
KNOWhomo Question of the Week:
Your favorite book/comic/graphic novel/short story with a LGBTQ* character?
Favorite LGBTQ* novel?