A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn’t have bothered otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood.
This is a series of Thank You notes to those figures featured in Prager’s book who have paved the way toward today, where Pride parades (or marches) may dance down city roads, streets clogged by the sheer multitude clamoring to participate in festivity; where marriage equality drapes its long laced veil across a vastly more accepting world, nation by nation; where LGBTQ stories win the highest cinematic awards; where LGBTQ athletes can proudly reveal their truths; where LGBTQ world leaders stand tall amongst their peers; and where there’s still terrible things we need to fix, but we know it gets better when we look behind us and see all that has hitherto been accomplished.
Dear Lili Elbe,
Thank you for your bravery! Not only did you transition in a time when such a thing was unheard of, but after the fact, you told the world. Your example gives us hope, and teaches us that transparency is not invisibility. When you were Einar, you were a painter. But as Lili, your brushstrokes were most purposeful, your colors most beautifully vivid.
Dear José Sarria,
Thank you for utilizing your creative, curious mind to defend the queer community throughout your lifetime. When laws were written against us, you found the loopholes that would uphold our dignity. And as a renowned performer, you made sure we knew we were correct, and valuable. We are so grateful for you, an empress whose conquest was unforgiving stigma, and who crushed it beneath his red stilettos.
photo: Nate Gowdy Photography
Dear George Takei,
Thank you for acting as such a figurehead, piloting us into a more visible world. Despite the injustice done to you and your family during the period of Japanese internment in the 1940s, you have dedicated so much time and energy as an activist fighting for LGBTQ rights in a country that had once turned its back on you. Your voice, amplified so loudly despite its deep register, has given so many people hope. Thank you for widening your spotlight to land on our whole community.
More thank you notes throughout this week.
Find out the full true stories of these people and 20 others in Queer, There, and Everywhere, on sale nowhere.
I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do. I am going to write fire until it comes out of my ears, my eyes, my noseholes—everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!
Audre Lorde, excerpt from a journal entry collected in A Burst of Light
So I recently finished the complete works of Sappho and in the afterward–which was a ton of historical reference, literary analysis, and tribute writing about Sappho and her work– I found repeatedly that she was referred to by many as “The Manly Sappho of Lesbos” or just manly Sappho. Plus all physical descriptions of her say that she was short, dark skinned, had short hair, and was not very feminine or attractive.
So my point with all this is, Sappho was one of the first butch woman of color loving other women who didn’t conform to conventional beauty standards and I just am so much more grateful to have her as our sapphic saint after learning this.
I name myself “lesbian” because this culture oppresses, silences, and destroys lesbians, even lesbians who don’t call themselves “lesbians.” I name myself “lesbian” because I want to be visible to other black lesbians. I name myself “lesbian” because I do not subscribe to predatory/institutionalized heterosexuality. I name myself lesbian because I want to be with women (and they don’t all have to call themselves “lesbians”). I name myself “lesbian” because it is part of my vision. I name myself lesbian because being woman-identified has kept me sane. I call myself “Black,” too, because Black is my perspective, my aesthetic, my politics, my vision, my sanity.
Cheryl Clarke, “New Notes on Lesbianism in The Days of Good Looks: The Prose and Poetry of Cheryl Clarke, 1980-2005
Alright. Phew. It’s been a looooooooooong time coming but @blackindiaink and I have finally gotten the first book in our first joint series ready enough to put out there for anyone who might be interested in reading something new!
Some character designs and concepts I did to participate to a project (I wasn’t chosen at the end, but whatever). It should have been an erotic-themed story settled in the closed environment of the Japanese nobility of the early XIII century, a love story between Kiyou (daughter of an important government officer) and Utahime (a blind koto’s teacher). For this plot I took heavily inspiration from a novel written by Tanizaki Jun'ichirou, “Shunkinshou”. I’m sorry if I haven’t been so active lately, but I’ve been very much busy.
There’s something truly strange about living in a historical moment in which the conservative anxiety and despair about queers bringing down civilization and its institutions (marriage, most notably) is met by the anxiety and despair so many queers feel about the failure or incapacity of queerness to bring down civilization and its institutions.
If you are like me and love books you can relate to and are also queer as heck this is a list for you!! Working in a book store you get a lot of time to wander around and find good books and well teen LGBTQ books are my favorite to find. The list is small for now but I will be updating as I find more and more. All the main characters in these books will be queer, not the side characters so there lots of extra gay to go around. So here are some of my favorite LGBTQ books!