the song of bilitis

She has gone out, and she is far away, but I see her still, for all within this room is full of her, all is hers, and I just like the rest.

This bed, still warm, where my mouth is wandering now, is rumpled to the pattern of her body. In this soft pillow her little ringleted head has softly slept.

This is the basin where she oft has washed; this comb has smoothed the knots of her tangled hair. These slippers have held her little naked feet. This gauze bandeau restrained her swelling breasts.

But I dare not touch, even with my finger, this mirror in which she sees her burning bruises, and in which, perhaps, the image of her sweet moist lips is still reflected.

—  Absence, The Songs of Bilitis (1894).
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“When you’re queer, no one ever sits you down and says ‘This is our story.’ Sure, you hear snippets. Friends tell friends what they know, terrible movies provide some context, but you don’t often get to share the experience of learning history together.”

With Serving Pride: The Handbook for your Queer History Dinner Party, Geeks OUT hopes to change that. Illustrated by contemporary queer artists, the book will guide dinner guests through a ritual meal where queer history is retold through readings, songs, games, recipes, and art. Guests will learn about the Daughters of Bilitis, sing chants from Stonewall, recall the drag ball culture of Harlem in the 1920s, and remember the queer figures who redefined American music, literature, and fashion.

In addition to printing a full-color version of the book, Geeks OUT intends to make a printable PDF version available for free. Support its publication and learn more about the project here.