from our collection


Over the last seven years, the It Gets Better Project has successfully leveraged the influential power of media to uplift and empower LGBTQ youth around the world. From an unprecedented social media campaign to a best-selling book to award-winning television programming, we are always seeking new ways to get our message of hope into the hearts and minds of those who need it most.

We have witnessed tremendous progress on a global scale toward greater acceptance for LGBTQ people. Yet, today, our youth are bombarded with threats to their civil liberties and, in some cases, their lives, because the communities they call home refuse to accept them. Our partnership with American Eagle Outfitters for the #WeAllCan campaign is the perfect collaboration to ensure that LGBTQ youth know they have the potential to achieve great things and to make a tangible and positive difference in the world. And, it provides an opportunity for those who love the American Eagle Outfitters brand to wear their support of a more inclusive world!

The social narrative is always changing. We know how to change that narrative, and the support of forward-thinking organizations, like American Eagle Outfitters, makes that change possible. Together, we will amplify our message of hope until every single person on this planet understands the intrinsic value we all possess as human beings. We owe it to our youth, we owe it to ourselves, and we owe it to the future of our society. Life can and will get better for LGBTQ youth — and for everyone else — when we start celebrating our differences and adopt a #WeAllCan attitude.

AEO is donating 100% of sales from our 2017 Pride Collection to It Gets Better. Because together, #WeAllCan make the world a brighter, better, more inclusive place for everyone!

Shop the Pride collection HERE

We want to know what Pride means to YOU. Share your story with #WeAllCan and you could be featured on our Pride Parade Float or Times Square billboard!


Spring into the Archives of American Art!

To celebrate the first day of spring, we’re sharing some bold blooms from our collections.

From top to bottom

Paul Bransom, sketch of pitcher plants. Paul Bransom papers.

Fairfield Porter, still life of flowers in a vase. Fairfield Porters papers.

Lillian Kiesler, postcard of an iris to Maryette Charlton. Maryette Charlton papers.

Louise Nevelson, sketch of orange and yellow flowers. Louise Nevelson papers.

Olive Rush, sketch of sweet bergamot. Olive Rush papers.

Illustrating Wikipedia

Right now, over 400 Wikipedia articles feature images uploaded by @bodleianlibs of items from our collections. Here are just four of our many favourites.

Firstly, here’s a page of Opusculum de ratione spere, an anonymous, four volume Latin compilation on astronomy, geography and astrology.

This wood engraving of Elizabeth Gurney Fry reading to prisoners in Newgate Prison, London, comes from the John Johnson collection of ephemera.

This is The Descent of the Holy Ghost from the Illuminated Armenian Gospels with Eusebian canons.

And finally, a spotted jaguar warrior-costume and shield shown in a detail of folio 20r from the Aztec Codex Mendoza.

Are you ever just dumbstruck by how emotionally unhealthy our social structures are? I’m just gonna pull a few US-centric examples here, but look at the two-party system. If we were in a family and one parent starved us, refused to take us to the doctor, told us we couldn’t use the bathroom, etc and the other parent told us is wasn’t realistic to expect much better but sometimes validated us in superficial ways, we’d say that family was toxic and should be separated from as soon as possible. Or the fact that we walk by other humans sleeping on the street and asking us for help on a daily basis and sometimes we can’t even make eye contact with them. Or the way that our phenotype can almost entirely determine the course of our lives, and our deaths. Or the fact that we call corporations people but let them behave in ways for which we’d punish an individual to the fullest extent of the law (if the law were meaningful or just). Or the fact that we think competition is a better basis for human relationships than cooperation. 

It just goes on and on. We’ve gone so far in a wrong direction that it’s almost impossible to imagine what an emotionally healthy way of living together would look like, or how to bring it about, given the deeply entrenched pathology we’re in the midst of now. But we have to imagine it, and work for it, and never lose our awareness of how wrong things have gone; we have to be guided by the people who are suffering in all this deadly dysfunction. Our healing from the collective trauma and our survival as a human race literally depends on it.


When I was in elementary school and Pokemon card collecting was at its height, I had a crush on Misty. One day during aftercare, while looking through decks with friends, some older kid approached us and said “Hey…you guys wanna see the naked Misty card?”

All of us were like, “What?? No way, you’re lying.” And he said, “Naw, it’s true. It’s banned but you can get it from Japanese packs.”

Dude, we were fricken 8 years old and our basic understanding of a titty was a circle with a dot in the middle so of course we said yes.

The kid looked all around to make sure no counselors were watching, and pulled out the card (pictured on the left) from his pocket, to our collective gasps.

It’s embarrassing to say, but seeing that animated sideboob was probably second only to Kate Winslet in Titanic in terms of blowing my preadolescent mind. Misty was (in retrospect) my first anime waifu. Some of the kids asked if they could trade him for the card, but he was adamant in keeping it, claiming that it was super rare and ordering us to tell NO ONE about it. He returned the card to his pocket and walked off, no doubt to expose more children to the tiddy.

I think I spent all of the following summer buying Japanese blister packs in an effort to find that card. Eventually I moved on and forgot all about it. It wasn’t until the advent of the internet that I discovered the card’s name was Misty’s Tears. The card on the right is the English version they released years later.

I don’t really have a conclusion to this story other than that seeing this was probably the closest experience I’ve had to being shown the proverbial Playboy on the playground.

I’m gonna keep posting about this in case anyone hasn’t heard. When We Rise is a 4 part miniseries airing on the 27th chronicling the fight for LGBT rights in the U.S. Here’s a link to the trailer! From what I’ve seen and read they actually are including important moments from our collective history that are overlooked, like the Lavender Menace protest, the fact that some members of Act Up were opposed to the AIDS quilt, etc. Also it was created & written by Dustin Lance Black and two of the directors who worked on this project are Gus van Sant & Dee Rees (the black lesbian director of Pariah). Part 1 airs on abc, February 27th at 9pm EST.

spectralspices  asked:

So. Secret Empire. I read it and it's just a sickening mess. Everything happening is just in service of making the Big Event Happen (like civil war 2, bluh) and the only reason I'm really excited for this is so that we can just purge nazi-cap from our collective consciousness once this is over. I don't even have a question! I'm just venting about this shitty event! Fuck nick spencer, that guy is a moron with no respect for where cap CAME from. "Oh he was a nazi the whole time" eat SHIT SPENCER

poorsimon said:Do you think there is a slight possibility that we’ll get a fantastic four book in 2017 to celebrate jack kirbys centenary? Marvel is a hot mess right now with that boring fascist captain America and every series that I was enjoying is either ending in the next couple of months or crossover events are ruining them, looks like marvel is in the same place dc was during the new 52 era

Anonymous said:Thoughts on Dark Matter/Generations/Secret Empire? Specifically for secret Empire, Cap is on of my favorite heroes and I feel like this fundamentally breaks him in a really shitty way. Not to say we won’t get good stories with him in the future, but it’s sort of like Dr. Light where every time he shows up you can’t help but think of identity crisis.

There’s been a bit of a theme to my asks the last couple days.

So yeah. Spoilers ahead, obviously: in the midst of an all-out assault on the nation and world, just as it seemed everyone would make it through like always to see another day, America was betrayed by its systems and subverted from within, culminating in an overt fascist seizing of the White House. Don’t worry though, this week Marvel’s saying it isn’t political.

The cake-topper being that as it turns out via flashback, Nazi Cap (and in response to the inevitable um, actually’s: Hydra’s seminal story under Steranko showed their leader as a character created by Stan and Jack as a Nazi, pretty much all explicit Hydra-isn’t-Nazis material are retcons by Spencer for this arc, “Hail Hydra” is an obvious analogue for another fascist chant, the ‘real Hydra’ inner circle includes Nazis and Neo-Nazis, and this Cap’s vision for America includes white children hunting black children in the street. He’s a fuckin’ Nazi) isn’t a construct of the cosmic cube, but in fact the real Steve Rogers: the Axis won World War II, but the Allies used a cosmic cube to create a fake history where Rogers was on their side and they won the war - gotta ask why they didn’t deal with the Holocaust too - with the real guy now reactivated and fulfilling his true mission. Obviously, this not only delegitimizes every story of a character created by a pair of Jewish-Americans specifically to punch Hitler right in the fucking face, but does it by stating that in the natural course of things, the Master Race of course overtakes the Earth with their sheer superiority, with the very concept of the people they would annihilate having a chance at hope or justice or freedom being a lie currently in the process of getting torn down.

This is a little bit touchy.

There’s obvious franchising reasons for this: Chris Evans has made clear he isn’t sticking around for long if at all after Avengers 4, while as of that movie Anthony Mackie will still have at least 3 films in his contract, so it’s in their interests to set Sam Wilson up in the comics as Captain America to match. Problem is, they started the process before a movie about Steve Rogers, so they had to bring him back, and now have to figure out a way to get him out of the picture for a longer period than simply old age or death. And if you want to get him out of the running for the title of One True Captain America, not only making him a Nazi, and retroactively always a Nazi at that, but classifying literally every non-Nazi Captain America story essentially in-universe fanfic? That’ll get him off the board for awhile. It’s ruinously terrible, but also quick and easy, same as it was quick and easy to move Captain Marvel and once upon a time Iron Man into the spotlight in time for their movies by making them fascists. You’ll have to ask Marvel why fascism is their go-to shocking character twist, though.

I think the source point of the issues here stems from something simple I mentioned recently: I don’t think either of the Big Two necessarily believe there’s going to be a comic book industry in 20 years, or even necessarily 10, so there’s no real reason to attempt anything other than drawing as much blood from the stone as they possibly can. Clearly the creators are trying their best, middle-management I’m sure have long-term plans, and I doubt the powers-that-be want it to fail. But sales have been dropping for years, and neither of them have demonstrated any plan of substance whatsoever to reverse that trend. They both had their moments of attempting to right the ship, and both fell through – the original Marvel NOW! and its immediate follow-ups were major successes, but half their biggest writers left in the wake of Secret Wars and so they reverted to type with endless editorial interference and bullshit crossovers, while DC’s attempt at innovation with DCYou was scattershot at best, clearly born less of a philosophy of “let’s let our best talents try bold new things!” nearly so much as “let’s do weird new things that might grab headlines”. 

Viewed in that light, many of their recent decisions start to make sense; after the New 52 trying to draw in 90s fanboys and maybe a couple teenagers fell through, DC’s explicitly banking on rolling back the clock and appealing to the core fanbase with Rebirth while simultaneously betting everything on the shock value of incorporating Watchmen, while Marvel has fallen back on its regular event-and-relaunch tactics, and if the “Make Mine Marvel” rumors are true, they’ll soon be returning to a predominately white and male cast of headliners with a handful of exceptions (hence why escape hatches were built into almost all of their recent successor characters – Mjolner was prophesied to return to the Odinson before the first issue of Jane Foster’s book, Tony Stark is only in stasis, the Ultimate Universe may or may not be waiting out there for Miles and his cast to return, etc.) They don’t think there’s a new audience to be won, or at minimum they clearly haven’t given any thought to the kind of formatting, publication, narrative or marketing breakthroughs that might let them reach that wider audience (probably part of why they’re so petrified of staying in retailers’ good graces – digital of the way of the future, but they don’t believe they’re going to see that future, therefore they’re sticking to appealing to the base while they can), and so naturally they’re going to the tried-and-true methods of drawing cash out of the existing audience until it all falls apart, by which time everyone currently at the top will have new jobs or be retired.

So that Marvel in particular has been overly contemptuous of progressive elements of their fanbase isn’t shocking. I doubt their leadership of middle-aged guys have any particular sympathy for their viewpoint, and if they don’t see them as a potential pathway to saving the industry either, then it’s not a surprise they clearly see them as a gaggle of mercurial, industry-ignorant whiners, to be discarded once the half-hearted measures at winning them over aren’t enough. And if they’ve decided they don’t give a shit about progressive ideals in the slightest beyond what’s necessary to avoid mainstream attention on their fuck-ups, and they don’t seem to be trying to bring about a workable model for the industry – especially given that they’re at this point unquestionably the secondary caretakers of these characters compared to TV and movies, so these franchises can go on without them – and they’re convinced shock value stunts and events are the only way to draw in dollars while they can, then yeah. Sure. Why wouldn’t they make Captain America a Nazi? To think that’s a bad idea would require meaningfully giving a shit about their own product, or at least thinking that anyone else will in a few years.

As for the Fantastic Four, that’s probably still in Fox’s hands, but I really do hope Al Ewing gets a crack at them someday.

A decorated U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class (Ship’s Cook First Class) and his Japanese wife in a studio portrait taken in Occupied Japan, 1946.

Ironically, African American occupation soldiers, whose major mission in Japan was to democratize the defeated nation and disseminate the values of freedom and equality among the Japanese population, served in a segregated U.S. military.

Despite several assurances to the otherwise, the Japanese quickly realized that the racial equality they had been told they could expect from Americans did not extend to all U.S. citizens.

By the end of 1945, over 40,000 African American members of the U.S. military were serving on occupation duty in Japan. Many married Japanese women and had children. These veterans, like the sailor shown above, were instrumental in confronting the institutional, organizational and ideological barriers to interracial relationships that existed in Japan and the United States.

(Original portrait from our private collection.)

Welcome to the VWC’s Weekly Bulletin, where we feature what’s new and exciting in Victuuri fanfic every week. Look here to get a glimpse at new works that have been posted in the fandom, updated WIP fics, works from our Collective authors, and what the admins have been reading this week.

New Works

Happy Easter, Yuuri! by nerdlife4evaVictor surprises Yuuri with an American style Easter egg hunt, while Yuuri… Yuuri surprises Victor in a whole other way.

The Tsesarevich lives! (WIP) by mtothedestielAn Anastasia AU. Victor is an orphan with no name, no family, and no memory of a time before he was ten years old. Could he really be the missing Nikiforov heir? An adventure across Europe with two conmen will lead him to the answer.

Hopeless Teenage Heart by kiaronnaWell-adjusted adults do not usually consider a tipsy teenage encounter in a bathroom to be the peak of their sexual experience, especially if that encounter was mostly chaste, closed mouth kisses and sighing into each others shoulders as they sat on the cool, real marble of the hotel’s sink basin. Yuuri might not be a well-adjusted adult.

Viktor and Yuuri meet in a high school debate competition, and then later as lawyers in New York. Some things change with time, but others never do.

Lawyer/debate kid AU, short one-shot.

Golden Boy by wildenessat221b: The rise of Viktor Nikiforov, the pedestals he’s been put on, the people he’s been and eventually, the person who makes it all worthwhile. It’s a crazy ride, but he gets there.

You Set My Heart on Fire by whelvenwingsEveryone has a soulmate. And everyone sees any marks on their soulmate’s skin appear on their own body; it starts with the first marks, drawn on by the midwife at birth. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a soulmate who replies, but Yuuri does, and he knows that he should feel fortunate - however, when he’s trying to make a living as a small-time painter, and his soulmate is the famous artist, Viktor Nikiforov… well, it seems slightly less than fortunate. Yuuri can’t help but feel self-conscious. So self-conscious, in fact, that he’s never even shown Viktor his face, never let Viktor hear his voice. The only way that they’ve spoken is through ink, writing message after message to each other on their skin - but that’s all about to change.

WIP Updates

the “real” victor nikiforov (WIP) by thishasbeencary: So, fine, maybe Yuuri’s a little bored and lonely when he likes a dating profile claiming to be Viktor Nikiforov. And, maybe, he’s a little pathetic when he gets excited when the account messages him almost immediately after. And, he’s definitely stupid for falling in love with someone pretending to be his idol, but he can’t help it. It’s not like it’s the real Viktor Nikiforov, anyway. He knows someone is catfishing him, but he still falls ridiculously in love.

The Return of the Little Piggy (WIP) by SASS_QUEEN: Once there was a boy named Katsuki Yuuri, who was shy, loved to make clothes, had adorable smiles and was fatter than the usual average human being. Unfortunately for him, apparently being chubby wasn’t all that accepted in the norm back then. After numerous accounts of bullying, Katsuki Yuuri disappears for good.
Now years later, there is now a man only known as Y.K. Fashion tyrant, multimillionaire, professional cold-stare giver… and is trying his ultimate best to run away from his dark past, until a certain silver haired CEO of a certain rival company who went to the same certain college he went to back then decides to flat out entangle their fates together. Do both of them have anything to say for it? Sadly, no. No they don’t. (Fashion & Couture AU)

Setting Sun (WIP) by LittleLostStarCanon-divergent AU. In which Yuuri humiliatingly loses Hot Springs on Ice, Victor goes back to Russia to train Yurio, Yuuri is trapped in Japan with a sadistic replacement, and everyone is miserable—until the night that Yuuri posts some personally relevant song lyrics on Instagram, and wakes up the next morning to find that Victor has posted lyrics which seem to be a reply. Yuuri is sure he’s just projecting his regretful wishes onto irrelevant social media posts, rather than Victor talking to him—until it happens again. And again. With the world watching their every move, Victor and Yuuri begin trading lyrics in a secret musical conversation; from playful rivalry to intense seduction, through bubblegum pop and pulse-pounding guitars, their virtual affair unfolds, hidden in plain sight. But the Grand Prix approaches, and one wrong move from Victor or Yuuri could destroy their careers. They’ll just have to pretend they’re not crazy about each other; how hard could it be?

fire on ice (WIP) by indianchai: Everyone in the world had some sort of affinity with one of the four elements; the proper term was elemental affinity– whether they were best suited with fire, water, earth, or air. All figure skaters were water users. Never in the history of the sport was there professional ice skater that didn’t have water as their elemental affinity. Katsuki Yuri had a well-guarded secret that he couldn’t have anyone find out about. aka, the one where Yuri could potentially decimate the rink every time he steps on ice, but no one can know. Especially Victor.

Re: Yuri Katsuki (WIP) by Ishxallxgood: A story about how Phichit and Viktor bonded over their most favorite topic; Yuri Katsuki. Phichit knows all the things.

New in #victuuriwriters

Katsuki Yuuri: Ascended Fanboy by Defiant-Dreams“And wow, that was a beautiful Viktor—I mean, a beautiful Quad Flip by Viktor.” Yuuri visibly winces and he momentarily covers his face. Morooka glances at him in concern but Yuuri shrugs it off quickly and shakes his head as he continues, “Really, others try to do it, but no one does a Quad Flip quite as well or quite as clean as Viktor—if they even manage to land it.”


AU where Yuuri goes into commentating instead but he still has a Huge Gay Crush on Viktor Nikiforov and everyone can tell.

fall even deeper with you by missmichellebelle: Right at the start of the dock is a series of signs, prohibiting diving, warning against swimming without supervision, and absolutely forbidding entering the lake at night.

chaos theory (WIP) by thishasbeencary: "Spare no expense,“ had been Yakov’s response to every phone call that Viktor made about the park, which was exactly why Viktor had worked to revive Jurassic Park into Jurassic World. The same idea, but bigger, and better. Bigger park, bigger attractions, bigger dinosaurs, better structures… So why is attendance dropping so much? Maybe the addition of a brand new genetically modified dinosaur would fix that problem.

(Meanwhile, Yuuri Katsuki has a pack of Velociraptors, and Yuri Plisetsky gets invited to bring a friend on an all expense paid trip to Viktor’s park.)

And while they’ve built everything up so that things couldn’t possibly go wrong, well… Life finds a way.

Come Fly with Me by Multiple_UniversesPhichit and Yuuri work for a charter airline, the CEO of which is Celestino. One day they have to fly legendary pilot Victor Nikiforov who saved 232 passengers by making a miraculous landing. Can Yuuri get a date from him before the plane lands? And what will it lead to?

Penicillin and Butterfly Band-Aids by doeinstinct:
 Yuuri is sure that he really isn’t that sick. Viktor and their children aren’t so sure.

Admin Picks

Aria: Stammi Vicino, Non Te Ne Andare (WIP) by exile_wrath: the tale of Yuuri Katsuki, who never ages and never dies and has lived frozen in time for centuries, and his attempts to keep his adopted son from killing the new guest.

Immortality au!! It’s so good :’)

Who Is Coach Yuri? by glitteryimagaythe aged-up au where three oblivious teenage boys are clueless when it comes to famous people in the skating world and don’t realize their coach is actually just as famous as the rink owner

Ngl, identity reveals are my favorite yoi trope and this one had me in stitches. Absolutely hilarious!

(after)life and love by thishasbeencaryAfter Yuuri died, he woke up to a bright, flickering light above him. And, well, yeah, Yuuri had heard the phrase that after you die you "see the light”, but he was almost positive that “the light” didn’t refer to an overhead lamp. Especially not the overhead lamp in Viktor Nikiforov’s bedroom. Wait, no, what? Maybe this was heaven. Except, if this was the afterlife, why was Viktor acting like he didn’t exist? And why was Yuuri’s afterlife some creepy stalker-dream of him following around Viktor Nikiforov?

This is such a cool soulmate au?? 10/10 would recommend

ivan da maria (WIP) by c0rnfl0wer: Viktor never minded when human civilization built up around him, or when other spirits began sharing the waters with him. He easily dominated every tradition that the centuries presented; that was what he minded. No one wants to be known for tragedy. No one wants to be bound to loneliness and despair forever. No one wants to drag their beloved one down. Everyone wants a happy ending, even if it isn’t in their nature.

This is a Russian/Slavic mythology AU where Victor is a rusalka who sees Yuuri in the village one day. I’d recommend this if you’re into historical/ethereal fairytales or enjoy a poetic writing style. I was enchanted by every word and I can’t wait for the next update! (And I promise that the MCD warning is not what it seems at all. Do not let that deter you from reading it!) 

centripetal force by bravetenVictor speaks seven languages.(Physics isn’t one of them.)Luckily, though, he ends up rooming with his antithesis: a shy, black-haired boy who just so happens to be a physics major.

Listen, I’m probably way behind because I just finished centripetal force this week, but it literally was so magical I can’t not recommend it! If you’re one of the rare fandom members like me who hasn’t experienced this beautiful, fun fic yet, then please read it. You won’t be disappointed at all!