The story of two women who set out to have a baby together, and were more successful than they ever imagined.
"Last week the Empire State Pride Agenda, one of the nation's largest LGBT advocacy groups, announced its closure. This came on the same day that staff members of Freedom to Marry finished packing up their cubicles, and a few weeks after cutbacks had been announced by other gay equality groups. For decades the LGBT movement has advocated for legal equality. The new LGBT movement should recognize that equality is necessary, but it is not enough." [more inside]
Last week, the BBC radio programme Woman’s Hour ran an item on the American documentary film "Do I Sound Gay?" The film explores what’s popularly known as ‘the gay voice’, a way of speaking that identifies a man as gay (though not all gay men have it, and some men who do sound gay are actually straight). The Woman’s Hour feature ranged more widely over the subject of gay language, including a lengthy discussion of Polari (previously: 1, 2). But it was all about the boys–-until, towards the end of the item, the presenter broached the inevitable question: do lesbians also have a language of their own? Nothing comparable to Polari--but we do have some historical evidence of in-group lesbian slang.
The Internet is blowing up over this 70's "radical lesbian separatist" shirt. i-D has the story. [more inside]
Why Don't Queer Butch Women Exist in Games? Meanwhile, Julie Compton wonders Why Hollywood Can't Get with Butch Women. And Jack Halberstam asks, Is the Butch Back?
Photographer Honey Lee Cottrell died on September 21st of this year. She was a cofounder and the first staff photographer for the lesbian erotica magazine, "On Our Backs". Some of her photography may be found in the Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York. Her papers will be cared for by the Cornell University Library Human Sexuality Collection. [more inside]
Top Ten Best Lesbian Movies: 10 Queer Movies That Don’t Suck. | Top Ten Queer Girl Movies That Don’t Suck: Best Lesbian Movies Part #2 (Autostraddle). Previously: "I bind you, Hollywood, from doing harm", Maybe not the warmest color.
Six people have been stabbed at Jerusalem's Pride Parade following threats from both a Haredi man just released from prison for a similar knife attack at the 2005 Jersusalem Pride parade, and from Lehava, a right-wing Jewish supremacy organization that also held a protest away from the LGBTQ parade route. These knife attacks are unfortunately not the first time LGBTQ Jews have been killed by other Jews; there was a gun attack on the Tel Aviv LGBTQ youth center in 2009 (previously). [more inside]
Most people are familiar with the handkerchief code, which uses different colors of bandannas[NSFW: sexual language] to signal coded messages between queer people. Mostly the province of gay men in the 1970s, today femmes of all gender identities are bringing flagging back in a new movement known as "femme flagging", a way to use style to fight heteronormativity and invisibility in the queer community. While most femmes "finger flag" with nail polish, Queer Fat Femme offers a few more suggestions as well as some conversation starters in the event you see someone else femme flagging.
The borders between butch women, masculine genderqueer people, and trans men are clearer in theory than in practice. In order to find out more about how people in these categories experience gender, I spoke with individuals from across the butch/trans spectrum, from female-identified butches to formerly butch-identifying trans men, and found commonalities, as well as differences, among them.
10 Theories About How Lesbians Have Sex From Straight People In History (Carolyn Yates, AutoStraddle)
An Idaho State Senator, Paul Shepherd, has called on the state to impeach federal judges who struck down the state's anti-SSM law. One mistake, though. He forgot to renew the domain for his re-election campaign, and now a gay nerd has taken it over.
How do Mennonites handle gay people in their congregation? Depends on the church. This is the story of the Allegheny Mennonite Conference, as they debated what to do about Hyattsville Mennonite Church--let them back into the conference, remove them from it, or dissolve the conference altogether. Hyattsville had been previously disciplined for accepting gay and lesbian members, which they have been doing for decades. [more inside]
"In their youthful days, they took each other as companions for life, and... this union, no less sacred to them than the tie of marriage, has subsisted, in uninterrupted harmony, for forty years, during which they have shared each other’s occupations and pleasures and works of charity while in health, and watched over each other tenderly in sickness."
It's a discussion that flared up recently at the house of Jane Addams. "Let’s start with an art history mystery. In 2006, a lifetime after Jane Addams passed away, Lisa Yun Lee took up the position of Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. One day she came across a fetching painting of a brunette in the museum's back offices. But, Lee says, “As soon as I started asking ‘Who is that person in the painting,’ there were hushed tones and confusion. And people said, ‘Well, some people say that it’s Jane Addams’ partner.’ Other people say it’s her biggest business supporter. Other people said, ‘Well, of course. It’s her lesbian lover.’” "
Phranc, the self-described "All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger" has been a little quiet lately, but she's back with a new website and a new instrumental song. And if that wasn't enough, her entire solo catalog is now available on Bandcamp. [more inside]
The Lesbrary - "The humble quest to read everything lesbian: a lesbian book blog." Also see sidebar for links to other lesbian book blogs, websites, and online resources. [more inside]
Oklahoma. This was a place where Kathryn's workplace had a cussing jar, a quarter per swear, and the words written on it, “Let Go and Let God.” Here, Christianity was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and Oklahoma football was the religion — Tracy and Kathryn were believers — and people could be decent and kind and judgmental, sometimes all at once, which was why, when Tracy told some Rotary Club friends that she and Kathryn were getting married, she kept her eyes planted above their heads so she wouldn't have to look at their faces.
Snapshots of LGBT life in Midcentury America Coursey of the ONE national gay and lesbian archives at the University of southern California libraries.
With only 4 more episodes before the end of the first season, now is the perfect time to catch up on the web series Carmilla, a modern take on the 1872 Gothic novella that launched a thousand lesbian vampire ships. [more inside]
“Your head is like obsidian,” she says to you, her hand passing North and South and East and West smooth across the surface, erasing away smudges, blood stains (but not scars, no, not scars, never scars) and the exoskeletons of memories bashed against a windshield.
You recall all you learned from geology classes as she continues to stroke your head. The glass forms because something very hot turns very cold, very quickly. This explains what’s happening right now — your body cooling rapidly against hers. Her skin broils, it could turn you into a naked volcanic glass statue and you would not really be surprised. And you would not mind.Short fiction by Mónica Teresa Ortiz. (Two illustrations contain nonsexual nudity.)
Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
And so here I am. One of those fat, hairy, angry butch lesbians whom everyone seems to hate. Too “radical” for men and straight people, too “normative” for some queer people. [more inside]
"What a bizarre day. I'm sitting here watching my email fill up with message after message from people from so many different times and places of my life, all congratulating me for the astonishing good fortune of receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. Not to mention a flurry of texts and tweets, and I haven't had the energy to even look at Facebook." Cartoonist and Graphic Memoirist Alison Bechdel (previously on MetaFilter: 1, 2, 3, 4) has won the prestigious MacArthur Genuis grant, giving her the opportunity to dig into her archives for a previous comic she drew in 2004 to conclude her reaction blog post. [more inside]
30 Bisexual Women Discuss Their Long-Term Relationships With Men. Even though more people self-identify as bisexual than gay and lesbian, there is a widespread belief that those who identify as bi are either in a transitional stage or are lying to themselves or others.
Monroe County Circuit Judge, Luis Garcia, has ruled that a provision in the Florida Constitution that outlaws same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. [more inside]
Les Invisibles: Vintage Portraits of Love and Pride is a collection of found photographs by film-maker Sébastien Lifshitz showing (mostly anonymous) gay couples together in the early years of the 20th century. 'He found most of his collection in the US and western Europe, but none in the UK: “Maybe the British think such photographs have no value, or are too private to sell.”'. In 2012, Lifshitz released Les Invisibles, a related documentary exploring the lives of 11 gay and lesbian individuals over the age of 70. [more inside]
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
Deviates, Inc is a tumblr devoted to exploring the visual culture of LGBT history ranging from Gilded Age drag queens, classic Hollywood lesbians, to militant gay activism.
The original story of Kitty Genovese’s death, first promulgated by the New York Times in a front-page article 50 years ago today—young single woman brutally murdered while 38 strangers watched and did nothing—was incorrect in almost every particular.
The Identity Project "seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality." Accompanying each portrait are words the subjects prefer to use to describe themselves -- "Boi," "Provocateur Lesbian Dandy," "Queer Femme Beefcake," "Gold Star Gay Wife," "Gay Masculine of Center," "Lezzer Queer Bossy Mama," "Inbetweener," "Legally Married." By San Francisco photographer Sarah Deragon. [more inside]
The women of Gugulethu and Khayelitsha township. The third installment of photographer Julia Gunther’s ongoing project ‘Proud Women of Africa,’ which is in many ways is an outsider's continuation of visual activist Zanele Muholi's 'Faces and Phases' series, “marking, mapping, and preserving an often invisible community for posterity.” In an interview with the New Statesman, Muholi grappled with the ethical implications of documentary photography: “It’s been done for many years. Africa has mostly been projected and documented by the outside world.” (previously)
Rory and Paris: The Real Gilmore Girls
I am going to make you want something that you may or may not have already known that you wanted. I am going to make you realize that the real love story at the heart of Gilmore Girls took place between two tightly-wound, highly-strung, overachieving rivals-turned-roommates who wore matching ties and skirts and engaged in sexually charged fencing sessions. The mutual respect, admiration, and trust that sprang up between Rory Gilmore and Paris Gellar was hard-fought and slowly earned; theirs was a friendship forged and refined slowly over the years. They grew into the shape of one another. Put aside your dreams of Jess, that human sneeze; let Logan sail away on his yacht of indifference into the sunset: Rory/Paris are endgame.Femslash Friday is a series on The Toast ... [more inside]
West Australian MP Stephen Dawson and his partner Dennis Liddelow have become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Australia. But the High Court of Australia may declare the legislation that allowed them to get married — and thus their marriage itself — invalid next week. [more inside]
A server who was stiffed on a tip but left a note condemning her homosexual lifestyle instead, receives thousands from sympathetic strangers and donates everything to Wounded Warriors Project.
In the Shadows. The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
Angel Haze, who last year described her pansexuality to the Guardian and who was previously featured on metafilter for her heart-wrenching rap that transforms Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet" from an adolescent boy's angry confessional to a young woman's crushing autobiography[ALL KINDS OF TRIGGERS], has released her version of Macklemore’s “Same Love” (Previously) (Previouslier), which just slays with its honesty and vision. [more inside]
Singing the Lesbian Blues in 1920s Harlem.
In Jazz Age speakeasies, dive bars, and private parties, blue singers had the freedom to explore alternative sexuality, and on a rare occasion, they even expressed it in song.
Before Jason Collins, there was her. "Owning The Middle: Brittney Griner wears bow ties, dates women and dunks with abandon. Call her names if you like -- she is done hiding from haters."
Since February of this year, Autostraddle ("News, Entertainment, Opinion and Girl-On-Girl Culture") has been running a very interesting series of articles about trans experience (primarily focused on trans women) called Trans*Scribe. [more inside]
The project centers on nine women in the feminist lesbian porn industry who are recorded for a 24-hour period, with 10-second blips of their everyday lives playing out in five-minute intervals. What’s revealed is an intimate portrait of a marginalized community opening up about sex, gender politics, depression, and their daily grind in a way that’s downright real.
Political Identification: communist"Dear Bloody Red Heart, Always remember that information is power, and functions as such." [more inside]
Your problem: I have recently started seeing a communist woman, and I really like her, but my problem is that I still have overwhelmingly strong feelings for the communist woman I had a thing with in the summer, and who has gone to fight the good fight in other lands. Should I tell the comrade I’m currently seeing about my divided affections? As we are not yet in full communism, I fear I may not have enough to go round… From: Bloody Red Heart"
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
How Ellen DeGeneres Helped Change The Conversation About Gays
"Ellen DeGeneres is ... almost a litmus test of where we have been as a society," [Dietram Scheufele, a communications professor at the University of Wisconsin] says. "When she first came out and really put the issue of same-sex partnerships on people's agendas, and I mean people who really wouldn't have thought about it, I think the country was still in a very different state."From her first stand-up performance on national TV in the US in 1986, the same year that the Supreme Court ruled that states have right to enforce code of sexual behavior, to 2008, when Ellen married Portia de Rossi, after California's Supreme Court ruled a previous ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional, Ellen's public life has mirrored the broader shift towards accepting homosexuality. [more inside]
Santa Fe officials are encouraging same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses, pointing out that the state doesn't need to pass a marriage equality law because New Mexico law already allows same-sex marriage.