In these times upon which we live in, we continue the day-to-day struggle for our most basic rights. We fight against stereotypes, discrimination, and being second-class citizens within our own borders. With each day, we hear of setbacks but we also hear of progress. Sometimes that progress can seem very slow, moving at a snail’s pace at times, and the naysayers come out to complain that it’s not enough and that we shouldn’t be accepting the little things in exchange for the bigger goals. However, it has always been my view that we need those smaller victories on our way to fully achieving equality for our LGBT community.
History, Not Your Average Prom Queen »
It’s Mother’s day again?
Didn’t I just send flowers?
Do I have to send cards to all my friends who have suddenly and uncoolly morphed into mothers?
Isn’t this just one more Hallmark holiday?
Mother’s Day, as pink and fluffy as it may be, in fact is not a Hallmark holiday – at least not originally. In the wake of the violence our country has been experiencing (and maybe celebrating, I cringe to say) this is a good time to reflect on the pacifist origins of Mom’s day.
First off, let me personally and sincerely thank you for your art, activism, and anger. I want to congratulate you and everyone involved with A Normal Heart on its success and your much-deserved Broadway run. As a young high school student from Wyoming, I used a monologue from A Normal Heart for college scholarship auditions. The scholarship I received from Whitman College allowed me to get the hell out of Wyoming in 2000. In more ways than one, your life’s work has without a doubt, saved my life. Thank you for that.
Drag Kings are far from a new thing. There has long been a tradition in opera and theatre of women performing in male attire in “breeches rolls” or “en travesti.” This was explored in the novel Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters in which two “mashers” (essentially Victorian English slang for drag kings) fall in love on the vaudeville stage. American performers like Gladys Bentley and Annie Hindle, not to mention British mashers Etta Shields and Hetty King, were working the stage at the turn of the century. Kings have long been integral to the queer community: drag king Stormé DeLarverie was an integral part in the Stonewall Riots of 1969.
What is considered flagging for femmey gay men today was once, not that long ago, considered very masculine. Looking fierce with your salmon, burnout, v-neck t-shirt and leggings would have been considered downright macho just a couple decades ago. Not only does this indicate severe cultural shifts, but also that the scope of masculinity is narrowing.
Columns, History, Not Your Average Prom Queen »
Did you learn about Stonewall in your high school history class? Did your 10th grade English teacher mention that Walt Whitman was gay? How about Langston Hughes? When you stared in your high school Spring musical, West side story, did anyone mention that composer Leonard Bernstein was gay, too? We can hope that in the future the history of the Gay Rights Movement will be present in every discussion about the constitution and how the sexual or racial identity of an author, musician of director informed his or her work. We can hope. But, unfortunately, it also seems like in some places in this country curriculum development hasn’t just hit the brakes, but gone in full speed reverse.
Books, Columns, Culture, Fifteen from 1984, History »
At 81, Kenward Elmslie is the oldest writer still living who was featured in the 1984 fall reading series at A Different Light. A postmodern poet, a librettist, a playwright, even a novelist (The Orchid Stories), Elmslie has pursued his unique artistic vision over the course of more than six decades. It is a testament to how many books he has released and how many projects he has worked on that I have no idea which of the many he was promoting at A Different Light.
Columns, Culture, Fifteen from 1984, History »
In a reading series full of poets, novelists, dramatists, and performers, George Stambolian stands out for being best known in a supporting role: as an editor and scholar, one of the leading proponents of gay literature in the United States. Many of the best gay novelists of the 1970s through the 1990s owe a huge debt to him for laying the groundwork that would allow their writing to thrive.
A.M. Bowen, after his chat with Sara Marcus in Why Doesn’t the DC Punk Scene Have a Bigger Queer Following Part One and Two was so well received on TNg, has decided to embark on a journey of analyzing other people and things that seemed to have missed an appearance the LGBT radar. Here’s a little taste of what’s to come: