Why I Stay Closeted In Asia (SLBF)
I denied it, as my father and sister begged me to.
I couldn't exaggerate to you how much my mother's face lit up, or how much I wanted, for a shameful second, for my lie to be true. I began to tell her a story, got into the groove, told it with what could be called pizzazz, or maybe just mercy. A monthlong fling with a Korean girl became a year ("I liked her; she had a cocaine problem"). Immediately she laughed with relief.
"I wouldn't know how to deal if you were, you know, that" she said.
The French Right Marches against Gay Marriage. Last month, France became the thirteenth nation to recognize same-sex marriage. A large religious and political movement continues to protest loudly against the Socialist government's "Mariage Pour Tous" (Marriage For All) law. [more inside]
The county where no one's gay. The 2010 Census of Franklin County Mississippi shows no same sex couples. (pdf). CNN videographer Brandon Ancil and human rights columnist John D. Sutter tried to determine if the census was wrong, and see if they could find gay men and women willing to speak about "what keeps them hidden." Video
"In this series of portraits I am using the format of traditional Catholic holy cards to represent butch, queer women and queer female-to-male transgendered individuals from history." Via Autostraddle.
"Y'ALLQUEERS BETTER BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR, I AM HERE WITH MY MOTHER AND IT'S HER FIRST TIME IN A GAY BAR SO YOU JUST STOP THAT HANKY-PANKY RIGHT THIS SECOND." [more inside]
Queer Music Heritage is a sprawling website about the history of queer music. You can listen to twelve years' worth of monthly radio shows (link goes to the first year, 2000); take a look at the Queer Music History 101 overview; check out the extensive photo galleries in the female impersonators section; or read through the blog, which features interesting tidbits from gay musical history, like this overview of the Sissy Man Blues. [more inside]
"I was wrong about Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A discharged military activist and, lately, Occupy protester, now says, "The reason I’m wrong isn’t because gay people shouldn’t join the Army. It’s because no-one should join the Army."
In the waning hours of National Coming Out Day, this 1976 pamphlet, "Growing Up Gay" [pdf] was a publication of Youth Liberation of Ann Arbor, MI (1970-1979). This collection of coming-out stories also advises young readers, in the years before the ascendancy of GSAs, on how to start "gay groups" at their schools and in their communities. [more inside]
None On Record - Stories of Queer Africa. After the brutal 2004 murder of FannyAnn Eddy, founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association, native South African Selly Thiam decided to start recording the stories of African GLBTs both on the continent and in the diaspora. The result is a growing oral document of "the hopes, struggles, challenges and joy of being a QLGBT African - in their own voices". [more inside]
Andrea Gibson, slam poet and activist, is not gentle with her truths. Her poetry focuses on gender norms, politics, and the struggles facing queer people today. Her poems include I do, Dive, Blue Blanket, and Photograph.
Unicorn Booty features gay-friendly North American businesses who buy a day to be featured with their own custom YouTube video, social media presence, and the opportunity for readers to win or obtain their products at a discount. 10% of their profits go to a different LGBTQ organisation per quarter. Past businesses featured include travel companies, cycling clothing, and grooming products dedicated to gay people.
What with all the changes lately, sometimes I'm not sure where my right to marry whomever I want to has been ensured. Can I Marry Gay? is a handy reference with state by state information, and keeps me up to date. Worried about recent state Supreme Court decisions forcing you to join teh gay? Must I Marry Gay? is for you. [via mefi projects]
"You take the gatekeeper and you confuse his mind. You threaten him and you throw him in the middle of nowhere. Then nobody knows where the gate is. As soon as you lose the whereabouts of the gate, then you have a culture going downhill. What keeps a village together is a handful of "gays and lesbians," as they call them in the modern world. In my village, lesbians are called witches, and gay men are known as the gatekeepers." The Dagara people of Burkina Faso. [more inside]
People with a History is "an online guide to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans history." Ranging from the first stirrings of civilization to the modern day, People with a History gathers together original sources and academic articles dealing with queerness throughout history. To give you a feel for the wealth of material on the site, here are a few pages that caught my interest: The Vikings and Homosexuality, Coptic Spell: Spell for a Man to Obtain a Male Lover, an acount of a gay marriage ceremony described by Michel de Montaigne, But Among Our Own Selves (an 18th Century gay ballad), a chapter from The Life of St. Theodore of Sykeon, a 7th Century Byzantine monk and bishop, which mentions adelphopoiesis, or the rite of brothermaking, Wu Tsao, 19th Century Chinese lesbian poet, and finally Polari: The Lost Language of Gay Men.
Gay? Looking for a place to Live? The Advocate has just published their first-ever list of "Best Places to Live for Gays and Lesbians.” Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Ferndale, MI; Ithaca, NY; Lexington, KY; Missoula, MT; Portland, OR; San Diego, CA; Santa Fe, NM; and Tuscon, AZ. Pack your bags!
Billy Tipton (1914-1989) was a moderately popular jazz musician who happened to have been born a girl and lived as a man. In retrospect, some see Billy as a woman pragmatically trying to make it in a male dominated field, others see Billy as clearly transexual. If you like jazz of the 30's and 40's, forget Billy's gender for a moment and take a listen to Billy's playing! For more backstory, biographer Diane Middlebrook has posted a timeline of Tipton's life. More recently, Tipton has inspired jazz ensemble The Tiptons launches sound, a novel, a few plays and butch/punk/queer director Silas Howard is working on a film. Oh, and here's WP.
Remembering Our Dead: An online memorial to honor "those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice." The list includes Marsha Johnson - a key participant in the 1969 Stonewall Riots - as well as the recently murdered Gwen Araujo (whose funeral was thoughtfully blogged by Philo at East West). November 20th was the 4th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.