“When thinking of iconic romance, ask yourself if any imagery (paintings, photographs, film-stills) comes to mind that is not showing heterosexual couples? Probably not,” says photographer Braden Summers of his photo series of everyday gay and lesbian couples from around the globe.


It Did Not Start With Stonewall: 
Black Lesbian Elders Tell Their Herstories
( Video uploaded on Jan 12, 2007 )

“Our revolution didn’t start with Stonewall. African American lesbian elders tell the tales of gay New York life in Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx before the world-altering Stonewall rebellion. In this clip they recall, raids and suffocating laws and racial discrimination faced within the gay community.” - On January 10, 2012 |  ELIXHER          


anonymous asked:

If the protagonist is queer, and the story doesn't revolve around romance, then why is the protagonist queer in the first place if it's largely irrelevant? I'm simply curious .

Because our lives are not defined by romance and sex and we deserve better and more diverse stories than that.

Anne Summers said: ‘Lesbians are regarded as being even more subversive than male homosexuals because they are not sexually or emotionally dependent on men and their sexual preference is a living defiance of the patriarchal precept that men are superior to women and indispensable to women’s survival’ (Summers, 1975: 159).

Marsha P. Johnson was not a trans woman. He was in a documentary two days before he died where he said “I’m a man”. In the 60s and 70s, he identified as a “gay transvestite”. His close friends used both male and female pronouns and he didn’t take offense to either. He didn’t even live as “Marsha” all of the time, he went back and forth between living as Malcolm and living as “Marsha”.

Sylvia Rivera wasn’t a trans woman either. In 1971 he called himself a “transvestite” and a “half-sister”. He wrote an essay titled “Transvestites: Your Half Sisters and Half Brothers of the Revolution” where he says that “Transvestites are homosexual men and women who dress in clothes of the opposite sex.” In an interview in 1995 with Randy Wicker and in a 2002 essay titled “Queens In Exile, The Forgotten Ones”, he variously calls himself a “gay man”, a “gay girl” (probably in the “gurl” sense, not the female sense), and a “drag queen.” He knew he was male…“The early 60s was not a good time for drag queens, effeminate boys or boys that wore makeup like we did. Back then we were beat up by the police, by everybody. I didn’t really come out as a drag queen until the late 60s.” He did not identify with the word transgender…“People now want to call me a lesbian because I’m with Julia [his mtf partner], and I say, “No. I’m just me. I’m not a lesbian.” I’m tired of being labeled. I don’t even like the label transgender. I’m tired of living with labels. I just want to be who I am.”

Lastly, Marsha Johnson has alleged that Sylvia Rivera lied about being at the Stonewall riots, Rivera might not have been there at all. This is backed up by Stonewall historian David Carter who says that Rivera’s claim to have been at the riot was a “fabrication” and that Rivera’s various tellings of the story were riddled with inconsistencies. The true story, backed up by Marsha’s roommate Randy Wicker and gay activist Doric Wilson, is that Rivera had fallen asleep in a public park after taking heroin and he only learned about the riots after Marsha Johnson found him, woke him up, and recounted the events. According to Carter, no credible witness has ever been found who saw Rivera at Stonewall during the riots.

Marsha P Johnson documentary

Silvia Rivera documentary

17 months in transition. :) oldest top left. Newest bottom right. Some days are much harder than others but transitioning is still by far the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.

Creo que siempre he sido bisexual. Quiero decir, es algo en lo que siempre he estado interesado. Pienso que todo el mundo nace siendo bisexual y es algo que nuestros padres y la sociedad nos meten a la cabeza que es malo. Dicen que es tabú. Yo creo que es algo muy bonito.
—  Notas de un ex
Reminder for Lesbian Women

Take care of yourselves today.  No matter what happens in office, your girlfriend will still be your girlfriend, your wife will still be your wife.  Remember that even in a crisis you need to eat and get enough sleep.

We’re always here to talk to if you’re stressed, if you’re angry, if you’re scared, if you feel like you need to cry.  Even if it seems like the rest of the world is against you, you always have a place among your fellow gay women.  We’ll keep you safe.

Queer Baiting

Okay, I’ve got like 7 asks about whether or not a scenario is queer baiting, so here is a post on queer baiting.

What is Queer Baiting?

Queer Baiting is a term used to describe a situation in fiction in which the writers try to draw in lgbt+ viewers without alienating the homophobic audience. Here are the traits of Queer Baiting (not all traits have to be met to be Queer Baiting):

Characters of the same gender (often two males) are subject to (obvious) homoerotic subtext, homoerotic situations, and jokes that suggest they are not heterosexual as a way to draw in the gay community.

This does not apply to works written in a time when or a place where having openly gay characters was not safe or accepted. Subtext was the most people could do to see themselves in fiction. This is still true in some places or among some writers.

Sexual tension between two characters of the same gender is not Queer Baiting. It has to exist with other traits. Two characters flirting or a part of sexual tension is called ship teasing. This is when the writers imply or foreshadow that something sexual or romantic might come up between two characters, but it doesn’t have to happen. It’s not Queer Baiting if one or both characters involved are confirmed as lgbt+ or will be confirmed as lgbt+.

If they do not use sexual tension between characters (as described in the first point), the writers intentionally create a character that the lgbt+ community will relate to.

Our representation is tiny. Luckily it’s growing, but writers know that when the lgbt+ community finds someone they can relate to, they are automatically hooked. It’s not so easy anymore now that characters like us are showing up more, especially if you actively look for these characters. We’re not so easy to impress anymore and most of us will no longer settle for low standards.

Writers know that subtext and small hints of a character being lgbt+ is enough to draw in a large crowd. This takes advantage of us.

The writers have no intention to make these characters lgbt+ within canon.

This is one of the big traits that makes something Queer Baiting. The writers do not want their characters to be canonically lgbt+. They do not want to alienate the homophobic audience. They will neither confirm nor deny lgbt+ characters.

The writers have no intention to make these characters get together.

This is not always Queer Baiting. If one (or more) of the characters ends up being canonically lgbt+, they do not have to end up together. The “will they or won’t they” plot or subplot is perfectly okay to use.

If the characters are never confirmed as being lgbt+, it can fall into Queer Baiting if this trait coexists with others listed.

“No homo” jokes, gay jokes, and reaffirmations of the characters’ heterosexuality are also present. These often come up to avoid alienating homophobic viewers.

The writers love to reaffirm the characters’ heterosexuality. Sometimes the character is frustrated that others see them as gay or sometimes they go off and do something to prove their heterosexuality. This keeps the homophobic audience.

Other characters often see the Queer Baiting characters as being gay, being in a relationship, or having feelings toward one another. They might try to tell these characters that they are gay. The Queer Baiting characters might respond with a laugh or a strong denial. They might run off and have a quickie with someone else to reinstate their heterosexuality.

How to Avoid Queer Baiting

  1. Confirm your character within the canon as lgbt+. Word of God does not count. Doing this also cancels out some traits listed above, so you don’t have to worry about those ones (like the third one and the last one to an extent, depending on what you write).
  2. Make them a well-made character.

That’s pretty much it.

Again, there is an exception for those who might be in danger if their characters are lgbt+, in which subtext is all they have. However, subtext is not automatically Queer Baiting. It’s not representation either though (with the exception of the exception I just listed).

There’s this whole wonderful “progressive” movement that tells parents “don’t worry, your gender non conforming child isn’t an icky gay! They’re just the opposite sex!”

And isn’t it super neat that this very progressive movement lines up very neatly with conservative thought, that being gay is wrong, and bad, and unnatural? Now you can hate us, condemn gays and lesbians, and still get to claim a sweet and trendy progressive label!