urban viii

Benedictine Blessing of Bees

Because St. Benedict is the patron of beekeepers, it is still customary in some parts of France for bee-keepers to have a medal of St. Benedict affixed to their hives.  Here is the prayer for the Benedictine Blessing of Bees prayed on this day:

O Lord, God almighty, who hast created heaven and earth and every animal existing over them and in them for the use of men, and who hast commanded through the ministers of holy Church that candles made from the products of bees be lit in church during the carrying out of the sacred office in which the most holy Body and Blood of Jesus Christ thy Son is made present and is received; may thy holy blessing descend upon these bees and these hives, so that they may multiply, be fruitful and be preserved from all ills and that the fruits coming forth from them may be distributed for thy praise and that of thy Son and the holy Spirit and of the most blessed Virgin Mary. 

The Galileo Controversy

It is commonly believed that the Catholic Church persecuted Galileo for abandoning the geocentric (earth-at-the-center) view of the solar system for the heliocentric (sun-at-the-center) view.

The Galileo case, for many anti-Catholics, is thought to prove that the Church abhors science, refuses to abandon outdated teachings, and is not infallible. For Catholics, the episode is often an embarrassment. It shouldn’t be.

This tract provides a brief explanation of what really happened to Galileo.


The Church is not anti-scientific. It has supported scientific endeavors for centuries. During Galileo’s time, the Jesuits had a highly respected group of astronomers and scientists in Rome. In addition, many notable scientists received encouragement and funding from the Church and from individual Church officials. Many of the scientific advances during this period were made either by clerics or as a result of Church funding.

Nicolaus Copernicus dedicated his most famous work, On the Revolution of the Celestial Orbs, in which he gave an excellent account of heliocentricity, to Pope Paul III. Copernicus entrusted this work to Andreas Osiander, a Lutheran clergyman who knew that Protestant reaction to it would be negative, since Martin Luther seemed to have condemned the new theory, and, as a result, the book would be condemned. Osiander wrote a preface to the book, in which heliocentrism was presented only as a theory that would account for the movements of the planets more simply than geocentrism did—something Copernicus did not intend.

Ten years prior to Galileo, Johannes Kepler
published a heliocentric work that expanded on Copernicus’ work. As a result, Kepler also found opposition among his fellow Protestants for his heliocentric views and found a welcome reception among some Jesuits who were known for their scientific achievements.

Clinging to Tradition?

Anti-Catholics often cite the Galileo case as an example of the Church refusing to abandon outdated or incorrect teaching, and clinging to a “tradition.” They fail to realize that the judges who presided over Galileo’s case were not the only people who held to a geocentric view of the universe. It was the received view among scientists at the time.

Centuries earlier, Aristotle had refuted heliocentricity, and by Galileo’s time, nearly every major thinker subscribed to a geocentric view. Copernicus refrained from publishing his heliocentric theory for some time, not out of fear of censure from the Church, but out of fear of ridicule from his colleagues.

Many people wrongly believe Galileo proved heliocentricity. He could not answer the strongest argument against it, which had been made nearly two thousand years earlier by Aristotle: If heliocentrism were true, then there would be observable parallax shifts in the stars’ positions as the earth moved in its orbit around the sun. However, given the technology of Galileo’s time, no such shifts in their positions could be observed. It would require more sensitive measuring equipment than was available in Galileo’s day to document the existence of these shifts, given the stars’ great distance. Until then, the available evidence suggested that the stars were fixed in their positions relative to the earth, and, thus, that the earth and the stars were not moving in space—only the sun, moon, and planets were.

Thus Galileo did not prove the theory by the Aristotelian standards of science in his day. In his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina and other documents, Galileo claimed that the Copernican theory had the “sensible demonstrations” needed according to Aristotelian science, but most knew that such demonstrations were not yet forthcoming. Most astronomers in that day were not convinced of the great distance of the stars that the Copernican theory required to account for the absence of observable parallax shifts. This is one of the main reasons why the respected astronomer Tycho Brahe refused to adopt Copernicus fully.

Galileo could have safely proposed heliocentricity as a theory or a method to more simply account for the planets’ motions. His problem arose when he stopped proposing it as a scientific theory and began proclaiming it as truth, though there was no conclusive proof of it at the time. Even so, Galileo would not have been in so much trouble if he had chosen to stay within the realm of science and out of the realm of theology. But, despite his friends’ warnings, he insisted on moving the debate onto theological grounds.

In 1614, Galileo felt compelled to answer the charge that this “new science” was contrary to certain Scripture passages. His opponents pointed to Bible passages with statements like, “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed …” (Josh. 10:13). This is not an isolated occurrence. Psalms 93 and 104 and Ecclesiastes 1:5 also speak of celestial motion and terrestrial stability. A literalistic reading of these passages would have to be abandoned if the heliocentric theory were adopted. Yet this should not have posed a problem. As Augustine put it, “One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: ‘I will send you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon.’ For he willed to make them Christians, not mathematicians.” Following Augustine’s example, Galileo urged caution in not interpreting these biblical statements too literally.

Unfortunately, throughout Church history there have been those who insist on reading the Bible in a more literal sense than it was intended. They fail to appreciate, for example, instances in which Scripture uses what is called “phenomenological” language—that is, the language of appearances. Just as we today speak of the sun rising and setting to cause day and night, rather than the earth turning, so did the ancients. From an earthbound perspective, the sun does appear to rise and appear to set, and the earth appears to be immobile. When we describe these things according to their appearances, we are using phenomenological language.

The phenomenological language concerning the motion of the heavens and the non-motion of the earth is obvious to us today, but was less so in previous centuries. Scripture scholars of the past were willing to consider whether particular statements were to be taken literally or phenomenologically, but they did not like being told by a non-Scripture scholar, such as Galileo, that the words of the sacred page must be taken in a particular sense.

During this period, personal interpretation of Scripture was a sensitive subject. In the early 1600s, the Church had just been through the Reformation experience, and one of the chief quarrels with Protestants was over individual interpretation of the Bible.

Theologians were not prepared to entertain the heliocentric theory based on a layman’s interpretation. Yet Galileo insisted on moving the debate into a theological realm. There is little question that if Galileo had kept the discussion within the accepted boundaries of astronomy (i.e., predicting planetary motions) and had not claimed physical truth for the heliocentric theory, the issue would not have escalated to the point it did. After all, he had not proved the new theory beyond reasonable doubt.

Galileo “Confronts” Rome

Galileo came to Rome to see Pope Paul V (1605-1621). The pope, weary of controversy, turned the matter over to the Holy Office, which issued a condemnation of Galileo’s theory in 1616. Things returned to relative quiet for a time, until Galileo forced another showdown.

At Galileo’s request, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, a Jesuit—one of the most important Catholic theologians of the day—issued a certificate that, although it forbade Galileo to hold or defend the heliocentric theory, did not prevent him from conjecturing it. When Galileo met with the new pope, Urban VIII, in 1623, he received permission from his longtime friend to write a work on heliocentrism, but the new pontiff cautioned him not to advocate the new position, only to present arguments for and against it. When Galileo wrote the Dialogue on the Two World Systems, he used an argument the pope had offered, and placed it in the mouth of his character Simplicio. Galileo, perhaps inadvertently, made fun of the pope, a result that could only have disastrous consequences. Urban felt mocked and could not believe how his friend could disgrace him publicly. Galileo had mocked the very person he needed as a benefactor. He also alienated his long-time supporters, the Jesuits, with attacks on one of their astronomers. The result was the infamous trial, which is still heralded as the final separation of science and religion.

Tortured for His Beliefs?

In the end, Galileo recanted his heliocentric teachings, but it was not—as is commonly supposed—under torture nor after a harsh imprison- ment. Galileo was, in fact, treated surprisingly well.

As historian Giorgio de Santillana, who is not overly fond of the Catholic Church, noted, “We must, if anything, admire the cautiousness and legal scruples of the Roman authorities.” Galileo was offered every convenience possible to make his imprisonment in his home bearable.

Galileo’s friend Nicolini, Tuscan ambassador to the Vatican, sent regular reports to the court regarding affairs in Rome. Many of his letters dealt with the ongoing controversy surrounding Galileo.

Nicolini revealed the circumstances surrounding Galileo’s “imprisonment” when he reported to the Tuscan king: “The pope told me that he had shown Galileo a favor never accorded to another” (letter dated Feb. 13, 1633); “ … he has a servant and every convenience” (letter, April 16); and “[i]n regard to the person of Galileo, he ought to be imprisoned for some time because he disobeyed the orders of 1616, but the pope says that after the publication of the sentence he will consider with me as to what can be done to afflict him as little as possible” (letter, June 18).

Had Galileo been tortured, Nicolini would have reported it to his king. While instruments of torture may have been present during Galileo’s recantation (this was the custom of the legal system in Europe at that time), they definitely were not used.

The records demonstrate that Galileo could not be tortured because of regulations laid down in The Directory for Inquisitors (Nicholas Eymeric, 1595). This was the official guide of the Holy Office, the Church office charged with dealing with such matters, and was followed to the letter.

As noted scientist and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead remarked, in an age that saw a large number of “witches” subjected to torture and execution by Protestants in New England, “the worst that happened to the men of science was that Galileo suffered an honorable detention and a mild reproof.” Even so, the Catholic Church today acknowledges that Galileo’s condemnation was wrong. The Vatican has even issued two stamps of Galileo as an expression of regret for his mistreatment.


Although three of the ten cardinals who judged Galileo refused to sign the verdict, his works were eventually condemned. Anti-Catholics often assert that his conviction and later rehabilitation somehow disproves the doctrine of papal infallibility, but this is not the case, for the pope never tried to make an infallible ruling concerning Galileo’s views.

The Church has never claimed ordinary tribunals, such as the one that judged Galileo, to be infallible. Church tribunals have disciplinary and juridical authority only; neither they nor their decisions are infallible.

No ecumenical council met concerning Galileo, and the pope was not at the center of the discussions, which were handled by the Holy Office. When the Holy Office finished its work, Urban VIII ratified its verdict, but did not attempt to engage infallibility.

Three conditions must be met for a pope to exercise the charism of infallibility: (1) he must speak in his official capacity as the successor of Peter; (2) he must speak on a matter of faith or morals; and (3) he must solemnly define the doctrine as one that must be held by all the faithful.

In Galileo’s case, the second and third conditions were not present, and possibly not even the first. Catholic theology has never claimed that a mere papal ratification of a tribunal decree is an exercise of infallibility. It is a straw man argument to represent the Catholic Church as having infallibly defined a scientific theory that turned out to be false. The strongest claim that can be made is that the Church of Galileo’s day issued a non-infallible disciplinary ruling concerning a scientist who was advocating a new and still-unproved theory and demanding that the Church change its understanding of Scripture to fit his.

It is a good thing that the Church did not rush to embrace Galileo’s views, because it turned out that his ideas were not entirely correct, either. Galileo believed that the sun was not just the fixed center of the solar system but the fixed center of the universe. We now know that the sun is not the center of the universe and that it does move—it simply orbits the center of the galaxy rather than the earth.

As more recent science has shown, both Galileo and his opponents were partly right and partly wrong. Galileo was right in asserting the mobility of the earth and wrong in asserting the immobility of the sun. His opponents were right in asserting the mobility of the sun and wrong in asserting the immobility of the earth.

Had the Catholic Church rushed to endorse Galileo’s views—and there were many in the Church who were quite favorable to them—the Church would have embraced what modern science has disproved.

The Sacrifice of Isaac is the title of two paintings from c. 1598 - 1603 depicting the sacrifice of Isaac. The version below is housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. According to the early biographer Giovanni Bellori, Caravaggio painted a version of this subject for Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII, and a series of payments totalling one hundred scudi were made to the artist by Barberini between May 1603 and January 1604. Caravaggio had previously painted a Portrait of Maffeo Barberini, which presumably pleased the cardinal enough for him to commission this second painting. Isaac has been identified as Cecco Boneri, who appeared as Caravaggio’s model in several other pictures. Recent X-ray analysis showed that Caravaggio used Cecco also for the angel, and later modified the profile and the hair to hide the resemblance.

10 reasons why the western empire fell

i. Too many Germans (see: Adrianople)
ii. Not enough Germans (see: Adrianople)
iii. Removal of the Altar of Victory (thanks Constantius II, u asshole)
iv. Replacement of the Altar of Victory (make up ur damn mind)
v. Re-removal of the Altar of Victory (wait, seriously? And then they replaced it again???)
vi. Climate change (Conservative senators were anti-water wheels)
vii. The sack of Rome by the Gauls. Yeah, the first one. It set them down a road of bad urban planning.
viii. They ran out of advice from the Sibylline books (thanks Tarquinius Superbus, u cheapskate).
ix. Lead pipes, they turned the Romans into violent conquerors.
x. Bishop Ambrose. No particular reason, he was just kinda an asshole.
xi. Roman numerals were damn hard to do math with.
xii. None of the emperors followed us on Tumblr. Just sayin.

Facts about the Pantheon
  • The Pantheon is the best-preserved ancient Roman building in Rome, largely because the Pantheon was turned into a church, it was kept remarkably well-preserved. In fact, you can still experience the building much as the ancient Romans would have.
  • The Oculus which is the opening of the dome and the source of light for the Pantheon is 8.8 metres in diameter.
  • The rotunda of the Pantheon is a perfect hemisphere which measures 43.2 m in diameter which is exactly the maximum height of the dome.
  • The bronze decoration of the Pantheon has been gradually stripped away over the centuries for use elsewhere. In 1631 Pope Urban VIII Barberini famously and controversially stripped the bronze from the inside of the portico to make cannons for Castel Sant’ Angelo giving rise to the saying “quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini” (what the barbarians didn’t do, the barberini did).
  • The tombs of the first two kings of the unified Kingdom of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I can both be found in the Pantheon, along with the tomb of Umberto’s wife, Queen Margherita (yes, the pizza queen)
  • The inscription indicates that the Pantheon was built by Marcus Agrippa at the time of his third consulate (27 BC).  However, Agrippa’s original Pantheon burned down in 80 AD and was followed by another two later versions which were also destroyed. The present structure was in fact built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian and dates from between 119-128 AD.
  • It took the ancient Roman’s 4-5 years to build the walls of the Rotunda and another 4-5 years to build the dome itself.

Catalina de Erauso: The Lieutenant Nun (1585/92-1650)

You know you’re in for a bumpy ride when you pick up an autobiography only to find that the author kills someone in a bar fight roughly every 5-6 pages. Such is the life of Catalina de Erauso, whose madcap disguised-as-a-man travels across South America come across like a 17th century episode of Cops. Her cycles of kill/hide/escape/repeat are so frequent that her story jumps rapidly from off-putting, to cartoonish, to… intriguing. For it’s only when one gives Erauso’s story a deeper inspection that her true cleverness reveals itself – after all, it’s not your everyday thug who is able to gin up a meeting with the pope and get special dispensation to crossdress. More on that later.

Erauso started out her once-upon-a-times with a prison break and a clothing swap. Cooped up in a Spanish convent since from the age of 4, Erauso gradually grew more frustrated with her lack of freedom, not to mention the regular beatings from the nuns. So at age 15 she escaped her holdings, grabbing fabric to spin herself up a new costume, and thus a new identity. She was, however, not interested in Cinderella-ing herself up a pretty dress and a regal life: instead, Erauso made some dudes’ duds and took on the name “Francisco de Loyola.” She then set about chasing her dreams – which were apparently to drink, fight, and womanize.

It cannot be stressed enough that, by today’s standards, Erauso was gleefully amoral, as was virtually the entire world she traveled in. The invasion of the conquistadors was still within living memory, for crying out loud – she was emphatically not a good person, but neither was anyone else. So with that in mind, on to her adventures:

One of her most recurrent escapades was to kill someone, then seek sanctuary in a church. This started out at age 18 (or 11, depending whose version of birth year you buy) when she went to the theater, and a guy was rude to her and threatened to slice her with his blade. The next day, she used a whetstone to make a sawtoothed blade, hunted him down, and slashed him up. This came to a head months later, when he came back for revenge. She killed him and several of his friends, then ran to a church to seek sanctuary until the heat died down.

Evidently staying in the church until the heat died down suited her quite well, since she did it over and over again. Later she joined the army, getting put under the command of her brother (who didn’t recognize her). After banging his mistress for three years, he found out, they fought, she fled into a church, and… sanctuary! Later, she stabbed an army buddy in the chest over “a small misunderstanding” (gambling was involved). When a judge interceded, she sliced him in the face. Then she ran into a church, sanctuary! A year later, killed another dude over cards, fought the police, church, sanctuary! You get the picture.

An aside – I’ve mentioned her escapades with her brother’s mistress. This was not an isolated incident:

  • Age 18: she romanced her boss’s mistress, to the point where said mistress cornered Erauso and demanded they sleep together. Erauso claimed she then “had to smack her one” to escape. Erauso then skipped town to Lima.
  • Once in Lima, she flirted with her new boss’s sister-in-law, combing her hair and running a hand “up and down between her legs.” This got Erauso fired.
  • Later, she got engaged to two separate women at the same time. When things progressed too far, she skipped town, right before marrying one of them. Evidently nobody ever knew she was a woman throughout any of this.

Back to her life in and out of the churches: after the judge-slicing, she stayed in a church for six months, surrounded outside by soldiers waiting to arrest her. She only left at the six-month mark to engage in a nighttime duel as a friend’s second. After killing her opponent, she realized it was her own brother, the army commander. This depressed her for almost a year (she wasn’t a monster). This is, in fact, the closest she gets to true introspection in the entire tersely-worded book.

Over the years, her usage of the church grew to be incredibly cunning. Years later, she was sentenced to death for killing a sheriff’s servant. This had not been her brightest hour: the servant had insulted her, yes, but her retaliation, which boiled down to “stabbing him in police headquarters in broad daylight,” hadn’t worked out very well. So, sentenced to death and taking last communion, she spat it out and started yelling, “I CALL ON THE CHURCH” — apparently demanding to give her confession in a church. The pious townsfolk escorted her to the church, where she pleaded sanctuary and refused to leave. A month later, she skipped town.

In fact, it was through her usage of the church as a “get out of jail free” card that her secret came out. After killing several more cops (at this point it’s hard to even keep track of why) and taking sanctuary again, she realized she was in deep trouble this time. So she confessed to the bishop that she was actually a woman, and gave him a somewhat sanitized account of her life. Somewhat skeptical, the bishop called in some old women to, uh, verify her claims. Not only did they do so – but they reported back that she was still a virgin.

This was, evidently, a big deal. Erauso’s intact hymen somehow wiped clean the previous two decades of murder, and the 35-year-old was declared a blessed individual, provided she devote herself to god. She did so, eventually even making her way to Pope Urban VIII, who gave her special leave to pursue her life in mens’ clothing. He did, however, chide her to not harm anyone else, taking special time to remind her of the Do Not Kill commandment.

After this brief international bout of fame, during which time she wrote her autobiography, Erauso ran out the rest of her life in relative quiet – although she did cut one more guy in the face over a game of cards, for good measure. One of the last anecdotes she gives in her autobiography is of her meeting a cardinal, who remarked, “your only fault is that you are a Spaniard.”

“With all due respect,” she replied, “that is my only virtue.”


  • I didn’t know exactly what pronoun to use for Erauso, so I looked into what a lot of feminist scholars used. Turns out a most of them didn’t know what to use either. In the book, Erauso switches regularly from using male indicators to female indicators, whenever it suits her purpose (she’s a crafty devil). One academic went so far as to switch pronouns every sentence, which… was confusing. The vast majority of papers settled on female pronouns, mostly due to her proclamation late in the book that she was a woman (something she never denied, just hid). I’m no expert in such matters, so I’m deferring to majority expert opinion here.
  • This is an extremely abbreviated overview of Erauso’s life. Her autobiography is short and easy to find, and I highly recommend it. I didn’t even mention her stealing from her uncle, her super-problematic attitudes regarding Native Americans, her deadly battle with a huge man named The Cid (where her cover was blown on a smaller scale), the tale of the blind-eyed horse, or any of her other numerous fights with cops. The whole thing is written about as matter-of-factly as humanly possible, and it’s a tremendously fun read. Check it out.
  • Lastly, her autobiography is probably best to be taken skeptically. It was written in 1626, but not recovered and published until the 1800s. Regardless of whether some of the gorier details are accurate, the broad outlines of her life are verifiable, and the insight on culture at that time is generally true to life.
  • She’s here depicted running into a church for Sanctuary, while Pope Urban VIII in the background puts up his hands in frustration at her consistent lawlessness.
  • The cards she’s spilling everywhere are a very early Spanish variant of playing cards. You’ll notice there’s some duplicates, indicating she was cheating. She never says anything to that effect in her autobiography, but I imagine she probably did cheat.
  • The church she’s running into is one in La Plata, one of the areas in which she traveled. It was built in the 1800s, but I’m pleading artistic license on this one.


Lieutenant Nun: Memoir of a Basque Transvestite in the New World by Catalina de Erauso (translation by Michele and Gabriel Stepto). This has some great stuff in the foreward that helps set the time and place of the story, as well as some insightful translators’ notes.

This one was difficult on you all! I am pleased.

Aly Caviness, Arabella Caulfield, platypusunicorn, Alana Ju, cathrinerose, Rhosyn, thenorthpohl, Jussi Hattara , hanniex33, IAMKAMI, Megan McF, Gigi Paderes, neferneferuaten, megaera, authorintraining, Mandi, and wynndrosinger (who only got it after sending in twenty different guesses. >_< come on, now…!)

We’re going to have a much shorter entry next week for a couple reasons:

  1. I need to catch up on book work.
  2. There just isn’t much known about this person.
  3. It’s my birthday.

So here’s your hint:

This ancient woman (or horse?) was given an iron leg — possibly the first one ever — to keep her going.

Submit guesses here, please!


Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, Ceiling of Palazzo Barberini. By Pietro da Cortona

Cortona’s huge Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power marks a watershed in Baroque painting. Following the architecture of the room, he created the painted illusion of an open airy architectural framework against which figures are situated, usually seen ‘al di sotto in su’ apparently coming into the room itself or floating far above it. The ornamented architectural framework essentially forms five compartments. The central and most significant part celebrates the glorification of the reign of Urban VIII in a light filled scene populated with allegorical figures and Barberini family emblems.

To Learn More About Trans

(As part of our trans visibilty day series, we invite our trans friends and followers to submit your stories @AGoodEqualTime) 

In the course of the last few articles we have been talking about trans personalities. We could also have mentioned Renee Richards, famous tennis player, and heroine of an autobiographical film called The choice; or Lynn Conway,  American computer scientist, electrical engineer, inventor, and transgender activist. And a lot of people forget, but it was a drag queen’s stiletto thrown at a cop that started the Stonewall riots and gave birth to the modern SWAT Team.

We have stated in our previous articles that trans aren’t new, it’s time now to turn back time and take a look to the trans people who made History.

  • Charles d'Éon de Beaumont, usually known as the Chevalier d'Éon, was a French diplomat, spy, freemason and soldier at French King Louis the 15th’s court. He  had androgynous physical characteristics and appeared publicly as a man and pursued masculine occupations for 49 years, while he successfully infiltrated the court of Empress Elizabeth of Russia by presenting as a woman. For 33 years, from 1777, d'Éon dressed as a woman, claiming to be assigned female at birth. Even though Doctors who examined d'Éon’s body after his death stated that he was in fact male, he remains in the public minds as an ambiguous character.
  • Born in Spain in 1592, Catalina de Erauso was daughter and sister of soldiers from the city of San Sebastián in Spain. Dressed as a man, calling herself “Francisco de Loyola”, she reached Spanish America and enlisted as a soldier in Chile under the name Alonso Díaz Ramírez de Guzmán. She served under several captains in the Arauco War, including her own brother, who never recognized her. In 1626, Catalina de Erauso was seen by Pope Urban VIII, who granted her a special dispensation to that would allow her to continue to live her life as a man, and to wear men’s clothing.
  • Lili Elbe, born in 1882 was the first ever intersex person to receive gender reassignment surgery in 1930. Her biopic, in which she’s portrayed by Eddie Redmayne, will be released in November 2015.

Because a little bit of reading never killed anyone, here’s a list of books:

First of all, here’s a selection of non-fictional books, most of them beeing academic research:

  • Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us, Kate Bornstein (1994)
  • Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law, Dean Spade (2011)
  • Redefining Realness, Janet Mock (2014)
  • Third Sex and Human Rights, Rajesh Talwar (1999)
  • Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, Leslie Feinberg (1999)
  • Transgender History, Susan Stryker (2008)
  • Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come, Leslie Feinberg (1992)
  • Transgender Rights, Paisley Currah, Richard M. Juang, and Shannon Minter (2006)
  • Transgender Warriors : Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman, Leslie Feinberg (1996)

In French

  • Ni d’Ève ni d’Adam, Défaire la différence des sexes, Marie-Joseph Bertini et Daniel Bougnoux (2006)
  • La Transidentité : Des changements individuels au débat de société, Arnaud Alessandrin (2011)
  • La transidentité, de l’espace médiatique à l’espace public, Karine Espineira (2008)
  • LG… B… T… I… ? Identités émergentes, Karine Espineira et Arnaud Alessandrin (2013)
  • Psychologie(s) des transsexuels et des transgenres, Françoise Sironi (2011)

Fiction and poetry
Young adult/Children’s

  • 10,000 Dresses, Marcus Ewert (2008)
  • The Adventures of Tulip, Birthday Wish Fairy, S. Bear Bergman and Suzy Malik (2012)
  • Almost Perfect, Brian Katcher (2009) 2011 Stonewall Book Award from the American Library Association
  • Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, Kirstin Cronn-Mills (2012) 2014 Stonewall Book Award winner
  • Being Emily, Rachel Gold (2012)
  • Freakboy, Kristin Elizabeth Clark (2013)
  • I Am Jazz, Jazz Jennings & Jessica Herthel (2014)
  • Just Girls, Rachel Gold (2014)
  • Luna, Julie Anne Peters (2004)
  • My Princess Boy, Cheryl Kilodavis and Suzanne DeSimone (2009)
  • Parrotfish, Ellen Wittlinger (2011)
  • Roving Pack, Sassafrass Lowrey (2012)

In French

  • Les Petites Déesses, Francesca Lia Block, (1999)
  • Hâvre de paix, Fujino Chiya, Thierry Magnier (2006)
  • L’Âge d’ange, Anne Percin (2008)
  • La face cachée de Luna, Julie-Anne Peters (2005)
  • Le garçon bientôt oublié, Jean-Noël Sciarini (2010)


  • Breakfast on Pluto, Patrick McCabe (1998)
  • The Butterfly and the Flame, Dana De Young (2005)
  • The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard (anthology), Tom Léger and Riley MacLeod (editors) (2012)
  • Holding Still For As Long As Possible, Zoe Whittall (2009)
  • I Am J, Cris Beam (2011)
  • Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami (2002)
  • Maxine Wore Black, Nora Olsen (2014)
  • Myra Breckinridge, Gore Vidal (1968)
  • Nevada, Imogen Binnie (2013)
  • Orlando: A Biography, Virginia Woolf (1928)
  • Run, Clarissa, Run, Rachel Eliason (2012)
  • A Safe Girl to Love, Casey Plett (2014)
  • Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg (1993) - Won the Lambda Literary Award and the 1994 American Library Association Gay & Lesbian Book Award
  • Trans-Sister Radio, Chris Bohjalian (2000)


  • Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, T.C. Tolbert & Trace Peterson (editors) (2013)

And finally, you can also take a look at the trans associations:



United Kingdom



United States


SnKBad Ritual// an ereri fanmix // “This love is a dark, dark thing.”

i. timber timbre - bad ritual // ii. the neighbourhood - lurk // iii. kleerup ft. lykke li - until we bleed // iv. eels - fresh blood // v. blue foundation (zeds dead remix) - eyes on fire // vi. digital daggers - fear the fever // vii. placebo - every you every me // viii. nihils (urban contact remix) - help our souls 

(cover art by vvim, pixiv id: 5888548)

Great Feuds in Science!

Today I started reading book called Great Feuds in Science: Ten of the Liveliest Disputes Ever by Hal Hellman which consists of ten different chapters, each focusing on a different dispute. The first chapter is “Urban VIII versus Galileo” and it has already discussed Galileo, Copernicus, Aristotle (briefly) and Kepler. I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest! 

How was your day?