LGBTQ* Gender Bending and Presentation (You May Not Know)
Upon arriving at the University of Nebraska, Willa Cather walked in dressed as William Cather. Willa Cather claimed William was Willa’s long-lost brother.
Cather, whose works are staples in American fiction, is one of America’s leading lesbian historical authors. Cather presented as a fairly “butch”/”tomboy” lesbian, wrote constantly, studied and lived in Nebraska (think about that), and dated women throughout her life. Cather openly spent a portion of her time with her companion, Edith Lewis. And by portion, we mean 40 years.
“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”
― Willa Cather
Illinois will become the 15th state that recognizes LGBTQ* marriages in 2014. (…we are assuming no one will spend the time or money required to deny people rights and lock this law up in court)
LGBTQ* Slang History (You May Not Know)
THE GAME OF FLATS
Texts from the 1700s refer to sexual acts between two women as “the game of flats,” or “flats.” The phrase came from the perception that sexual acts were primarily tribadistic (simulated heterosexual behavior). It is believed that the phrase was slang in Turkish culture and then recorded in London for the first time.
Photo Source: Created at Join the Realm
Information Source: Baker, Michelle, and Stephen Tropiano. Queer Facts: The Greatest Gay & Lesbian Trivia Book Ever. London: Arcane, 2004.
Moments of Activism in LGBTQ* History You May Have Missed:
Activist group the Lesbian Avengers honor iconic couple Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein in a now-famous Valentine’s Day stunt, proclaiming it would help
"…make visible the fact of lesbian existence, and lesbian love in all its forms and expressions — including romantic love, cruising, one-night stands, singles, couples, threesomes, butches, femmes, and those of us who no one has bothered to categorize, the writers, the teachers, the secretaries, the housekeepers, the nurses and the truck drivers, and to make visible the love we have for ourselves and each other when we organize and take direct action together on our own behalf."
(Photo found in The Lesbian Almanac)
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* Comics and Authors You Might Like
Alison Bechdel “Dykes to Watch Out For”
LGBTQ* Posters and Propaganda You May Have Missed
1988 National Coming Out Day Poster
* (Left to Right, Top)James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Errol Flynn, Michelangelo, Edna St. Vincent Millay
* (Left to Right, Bottom) Cole Porter, Elanor Roosevelt, Bessie Smith, Walt Witman, Virginia Woolf
KNOWhomo's Posts Worth Repeating:
LGBTQ* Insight, Education and Ally Conversations
From Oregon State
— Roommate Questions/Answers
(You may want to pass this on to RAs in conversation)
Questions for Roomates
In the residence halls
In a residence hall environment, we interact daily with a wide variety of people. Statistics have shown that at least 10% of the general population consider themselves to be lesbian or gay, and many more consider themselves to be bisexual. It is very likely that you will meet individuals who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) during your time at OSU. This page was developed to hopefully answer some of the questions you may have. Remember, you may ask these questions of your Residence Life staff as well.
Why do they flaunt their sexuality?
“What people do in their own bedrooms is their own business, but I saw two guys walking across campus holding hands.”
One of the worst forms of oppression for a human being is to be denied emotional expression. Curiously, it is called “expressing love” when heterosexuals hold hands, but “flaunting” when LGBT people express their love. How would heterosexuals react if they could not hold hands, kiss, dance together, go to romantic dinners, or be married? LGBT people who are open with their affections are not trying to shock others, but are just doing what is natural to them and others.
What should I do if a friend tells me that he or she is gay? What does that say about me?
Most LGBT people who “come out” would like the same sincere acceptance and encouragement you might want when you tell a friend something special about yourself. Because of many people’s “homophobic” attitude (fear and derision of same sex relationships), many gays are afraid of rejection from their friends. You might first honestly ask yourself how you feel about this news and then discuss it as a caring friend.
Some people who find out a close friend is LGBT wonder “What does that mean about me?” This is a natural reaction. What it probably means is that your friend trusts you very much. However, liking someone gay does not make you gay any more than liking someone smart makes you smart.
If my roommate “comes out” to me, does that mean that he or she thinks that I’m gay too?
There is a big difference between “coming out” and “coming on.” As discussed above, most gay people who come out want to be accepted, not hassled. Sometimes a gay person might “come on” to you, tell you they are attracted to you, or want an intimate relationship with you. You can handle it in the same manner that you would handle a heterosexual approach. Gay love is as serious and legitimate as heterosexual love. Again, you should discuss it with your friend.
If I accept my LGBT roommate, will he or she bring in lots of LGBT friends and push me out?
A formerly taboo subject will be out in the open. You may feel uncomfortable from a lack of experience dealing with gay people who are not “closeted.” The LGBT friends should respect non-LGBT people just as LGBT people expect to be respected. Visits by LGBT folks are a good opportunity to learn about this large and diverse segment of the population. However, be cautious about presuming that all your roommate’s friends are LGBT. His or her best friends may be straight.
Won’t my friends or parents think I’m gay if I have a gay roommate or friend or defend equal rights?
Defending equal rights for gays is often a courageous stance to take. Some people may conclude that such a person has a vested interest to do so. It is up to you whether you feel that the people you are defending are worth the risk of occasional accusations or assumptions by others. Remember that a word from heterosexual friends and allies in defense or support of gay rights can go a long way to help change people’s minds.
Now that I know my roommate is gay, I don’t feel comfortable about nudity, dressing, showering, etc.
More than likely, you have been living together long enough to trust each other. There is no reason for the trust to diminish now. Your roommate has been gay or lesbian all along! Bear in mind that gays are not always comfortable with non-gays, either. Gay people, just like straight people, are attracted to certain types of folks. Most gays and lesbians are not sexually interested in heterosexuals, just as the reverse is true.
LGBTQ* Statistics 2013
Current information from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender* Association (IGLA.org)
LGBTQ* Easter Eggs You May Have Missed
Try typing in BISEXUAL, GAY, TRANSGENDER, or LESBIAN into Google’s search engine today.
The world’s #1 search engine company honors pride (again) with rainbow search bars.
LGBTQ* Things We Wanted to Make Sure You Didn’t Miss
Read the entire book HERE (from ChaosLife!)
*Please note, this blog is not our own post. It was shared by maejes0s.
We found it through the Fabulous and Fantastic #LGBTQ Hashtag!
LGBTQ* News You Might Have Missed
(following from the Washington Post)
A French film about a girl who falls in love with an older woman won the highest honor at the Cannes Film Festival, which ended on Sunday. As the Associated Press reports, the festival jury gave the award, the coveted Palme d’Or, to director Abdellatif Kechiche and actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux for the film, called “Blue is the Warmest Color: The Life of Adele.”
Fun Fact from Ruth Elizabeth: According to Mark Harris, the film is also the first Palme D’Or winner based on a graphic novel—and its author, Julie Maroh, is not entirely pleased with the direction that was taken in the film regarding the ever-delicate imbalance that occurs when a man is responsible for filming lesbian sex scenes.
LGBTQ* “Signs” from Our Past
"Vulva Hands" — A gesture of lesbian solidarity which was popular during the 1980s. It is believed that the gesture originated at the women’s peace camps at Greenham Common (England) and then spread to the USA. It is also the American Sign Language sign for “vagina.”
Photo Above: Two forefingers, touching downward, and two thumbs, joined at the top, form a triangle. *For the sign of lesbian identity, the hands are held over the head in the air.
Photo Source: WikiMedia
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.