Lesbian News

Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & Spa – Gay Owned Bed & Breakfast in Dahlonega, Georgia

Mountain Laurel Creek Inn xmasfront

Mountain Laurel Creek Inn xmasfront

UPSCALE DAHLONEGA MOUNTAIN GETAWAY

Georgia’s Mountain Laurel Creek is a quiet getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with some of the best accommodations in Lumpkin County.

We over seven elegant suites in a beautiful mountain setting, each equipped with:

* Private bath
* Whirlpool tub
* Separate shower
* WiFi
* Balcony
* Romantic gas fireplace

Our large suites sleepsone or two, with queen- or king-sized bed, sitting area, in-room Keurig K-cup coffee maker, clock radio/cd player, and dedicated AC.

Mountain Laurel Creek provides a relaxing, quiet, romantic escape where you can re-energize and take care of yourself and your partner. We’re also a great place to spend a vacation with family or friends.

At Mountain Laurel Creek, we are green and eco-friendly – we recycle and use green/organic products wherever possible.

See the Mountain Laurel Creek Inn & Spa Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Georgia Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

LGBTQ History Books for Children and Teens

LGBTQ History Books for Children and Teens

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve done a roundup of kids’ books on LGBTQ history and there have been many new ones in that time! Here’s a fresh list of old and new for LGBTQ History Month—including an upcoming picture book about Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera!

LGBTQ History Books for Kids

I’m focusing here on books that delve into the history of Pride and LGBTQ people more generally; ones that look solely at the experience of a Pride march or the colors of the rainbow flag can be found in my roundup of Pride Books for Kids. Also, as far as I know, all the authors below identify as White; I wish there was much more diversity of authorship among these books that chart our diverse history. (I know there are LGBTQ-inclusive kids’ books by authors of color; I’m speaking just of history books here.) Publishers, you can do better than this.

An Upcoming Picture Book

Let’s start with one book I haven’t reviewed previously. Sylvia and Marsha Start a Revolution, by Joy Michael Ellison and Teshika Silver (Jessica Kingsley, 2020), isn’t out until November 21, but I’d be remiss not to mention it here. It tells the story of Stonewall icons and transgender activists Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera by focusing on their close friendship and how they cared for their community in the face of harassment by police and others. We see them at the heart of the Stonewall Rebellion, then opening a home for homeless trans girls and continuing to fight “for the survival and rights of transgender people.”

Some of the violence during the riots has been tempered for the age group and a few historical details could be argued, but as the authors note, this is only one retelling of what happened. What comes through clearly, though—and is probably most important for this age group—is the bond between Sylvia and Marsha and the overall sense of how they worked to help those in need. A few of the narrative transitions are a little jumpy, but the thread of Sylvia and Marsha’s friendship helps hold things together.

The back matter offers additional details on the two, a glossary, discussion questions, and activities. There are a couple of errors in the two online resources listed, though: “Queer Kids Stuff” should be “Queer Kid Stuff,” and “The Family Equality Council” should be just “Family Equality.” (Also, I would have added PFLAG and Gender Spectrum as key resources, since they do a lot of work with families of trans kids.) Those are minor issues, though. This inspiring story of friendship, community, and revolution rightly gives Sylvia and Marsha their place on our kids’ bookshelves alongside the mostly White and male figures who have dominated LGBTQ picture book biographies.

Other Elementary School Books

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution, by Rob Sanders (Random House, 2019), uses the perspective of the Stonewall Inn itself to create a simple yet compelling story that focuses on the people in the neighborhood. Jamey Christoph’s evocative illustrations capture their diversity of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. (Full review.)

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Steven Salerno (Random House: 2018), is an inspiring biography of Milk that stresses his friendship with Gilbert Baker, who designed the rainbow flag as a symbol of hope and inspiration. It does mention Milk’s assassination, although as gently as possible, but parents should still be prepared to address kids’ concerns there. (Full review.)

Sewing the Rainbow: A Story About Gilbert Baker (Magination Press: 2018), written by Gayle Pitman and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown, flips the perspective Sanders used, and takes us along with Baker from his childhood, through adversity, to the request by his friend Milk to create a new symbol for their community. A few rough transitions may take adult explanation, but all will be inspired by this story and how Baker regained his lost sparkle. (Full review.)

The Harvey Milk Story, written by Kari Krakow and illustrated by David Gardner (Two Lives Publishing: 2001), conveys Milk’s significance with warmth and appreciation. It is wordier and more detailed that Sanders’ book, and probably best for older elementary students. Unfortunately out of print and only available in used versions; see if you can find a cheap one or seek it in a library.

When You Look Out the Window: How Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Built a Community, by Gayle Pitman (Magination Press: 2017), tells of the transformation that LGBTQ-rights pioneers Lyon and Martin helped bring to San Francisco and its LGBTQ community.

The Fighting Infantryman, by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali (Little Bee, 2020), is the story of Albert D. J. Cashier, an immigrant, Union soldier in the U.S. Civil War, and a transgender man—though as Sanders notes, he probably wouldn’t have used that term. Terminology aside, Sanders reinforces that “His identity fit him as snug as his suspenders.” (Full review.)

Mayor Pete: The Story of Pete Buttigieg, written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Levi Hastings (Henry Holt, 2020), takes us from Buttigieg’s birth in Indiana to his announcement of a groundbreaking run for president. “Only time will tell” who he will become, it concludes. It’s a smart way to end a book that was finished in May 2019 and fast-tracked for publication, as Sanders confirmed with me—well before Mayor Pete won the Iowa Democratic Caucuses but shortly thereafter dropped out of the race. It may inspire young readers on their own journeys of self-discovery and service. (Full review.)

For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for “America the Beautiful,” by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Olga Baumert (Albert Whitman), tells of Bates’ childhood during the Civil War, her dedication to study, and her work to address social injustices, as well as the trip that inspired her most famous poem. It mentions “the home she shared with Katharine Coman”; an afterward calls their relationship “a close companionship,” though as I explain in my full review, it was likely more than that.

Be Amazing: A History of Pride, by “Drag Kid” Desmond Is Amazing (Farrar Staus Giroux, 2020), is less a detailed history than a short overview of the Stonewall Riots and the first March one year later; brief biographies of Stonewall icons Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera; and a description of the influence of Pride on Desmond’s life. A mention of President Obama’s 2009 declaration of Pride Month makes it (incorrectly) seem as if that legitimized the observance. What it lacks as a history it makes up for with dazzling illustrations from Dylan Glynn and an enthusiastic message to “Be amazing.”

Harvey Milk, Ellen DeGeneres, and RuPaul Charles from Little Bee Books (2020) with no stated author,  illustrated by Victoria Grace Elliott, each offer simple takes on these figures’ lives, though not as simple as the board book format might imply. (Full review.)

Middle Grade Books

Rainbow Revolutionaries: Fifty LGBTQ+ People Who Made History, by Sarah Prager (HarperCollins, 2020), offers short but engaging profiles of LGBTQ+ people who have had an impact on the world in a variety of times and places. The format matches her book for teens, Queer There and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World (see below)but the language has been tuned to a slightly younger audience. In both books, Prager writes in an informal, approachable style while also providing substantial facts about each person’s life and motivations. (Full review.)

Pride: The Celebration and the Struggle, by Robin Stevenson (Orca, 2020), is an updated edition of her 2016 Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community, which blends a history of the event with a broader look at the struggle for LGBTQ equality, along with a look at what it means to come out, what to expect at Pride events around the world, a glossary, and an explanation of gender identity. The new edition places a greater focus on activism and activists, as the need for such work has grown over the past few years.

Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights, by Jerome Pohlen (Chicago Review Press, 2015), starts with Sappho, Alexander the Great, and other figures from distant history, but then focuses mostly on U.S. social and political history. A series of activities throughout the book add fun and engagement. Despite the main title, Pohlen is inclusive of the LGBT spectrum.

Stonewall: Our March Continues, by Olivia Higgins, illustrated by Tess Marie Vosevich Keller (self-published, 2019), straddles the picture book/middle grade line as it tells the tale through the eyes of young LGBT people in the 1960s seeking community in New York City. It’s an engaging approach, but the undifferentiated first-person narrative, intended to convey perspectives from different people, may be confusing. Young readers might also need adult guidance so they are not scared by the line, “My parents demand that I change or leave home forever.” (Full review.)

Young Adult Books

Queer There and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World, by Sarah Prager (HarperCollins: 2017), aims for the teen audience, but adults will also learn much from her engaging profiles. Prager offers a thoughtful exploration of historical terms for what we now call “queer” identities, an overview of queerness around the world, and profiles that are both informative and entertaining.

Gayle Pitman’s The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets (Abrams, 2019) is organized around 50 representative objects from the era and the event, such as photos, matchbooks, picket signs, and more. Pitman skillfully weaves the stories behind these objects into an accessible and substantial narrative. (Full review.)

What Was Stonewall? by Nico Medina (Penguin, 2019), looks at Stonewall in the context of the broader movement for LGBTQ equality both before 1969 and after, through 2016.

The Stonewall Riots: The Fight for LGBT Rights, by Tristan Poehlmann (Essential Library, 2016) is a solid overview, but only available in a $30 library edition, which may make it a better library pick than one for home bookshelves.

Rainbow Revolutions: Power, Pride, and Protest in the Fight for Queer Rights, by Jamie Lawson (Crocodile Books/Interlink, 2020), takes an more event-based approach to history, in contrast to Prager’s people-based one (see above), offering brief snapshots of significant moments and movements in LGBTQ history from the Victorian age to our current era. There’s a lot of fascinating information in the volume, although Lawson’s choices about what to focus on feels somewhat uneven. (Full review.)

Gay America: Struggle for Equality, by Linus Alsenas (Amulet: 2008), is explicitly limited to gay men and lesbians and a little dated now, but worthwhile within those limits, covering politics, culture, relations between the lesbian and gay rights movement and other civil rights movements, entertainment, the evolution of gay and lesbian identities, and more.


(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

Lez Liberty Lit: Poetry Is Not a Luxury

Lez Liberty Lit: Poetry Is Not a Luxury

autostraddle-lez-liberty-litweb
Hey there and welcome to this week’s Lez Liberty Lit!

At Electric Literature, Destiny O. Birdsong discusses her debut poetry collection Negotiations, expressing anger as a Black woman, living with a chronic illness and more:

“I entered adulthood believing that my body was supposed to retain a certain kind of social capital in order to be valuable and desirable, and that capital lay in things like beauty, health, and sexual purity. A lot of the poems in the book chronicle my renegotiation of those beliefs in the wake of illness and assault. Letting go of all that allowed me to see myself clearer, see my God clearer, and reclaim my power.

But of course, in spite of all this work, everywhere I turn I’m reminded of how little this world values Black women, which affects me personally in some specific and contradictory ways. I’m often misread as being not enough of something: not smart enough, not beautiful enough, and in some instances, because I have albinism, not Black enough to even speak about these issues. Many of the poems in the book address that, but I also made space for the worlds in which I feel safest and most loved: the private spaces that me and Black women I love create with and for each other. That’s what’s saved me. That’s where I draw my strength, but also my sense of self-worth. I wanted the book to tell the totality of this reality: the blister and the balm.”

What is the right way to write an autistic character?

Former Autostraddle editor and friend of the pod Austen Osworth has a new joy-first drafting class at Catapult! Check it out before it fills up.

Poetry is not a luxury.”

What happens when literary events move online?

Why are we obsessed with other people’s bookshelves?

Give me a gay section, not gentrified bookshelves.”

Here’s a history of just going and walking around.

I enjoyed this review of Lush: Life After Alcohol, and maybe you will too:

“As I sipped my own wine while reading this collection, I had the strong urge to put it down and never pick up a glass again, in part because I never felt judged. Ward and Libaire have mastered the delicate alchemy of instilling knowledge, understanding struggles, and conveying complete honesty all at once. Their words are powerful not because they demand change, but because they offer visionary wisdom about life after alcohol.”

How much does your job shape your identity?”

Read these horror books by Filipino authors. Read these eight witchy YA novels. Read These 12 mysteries featuring Black, indigenous, and POC protagonists. Read these spooky stories from around the world. Read these 10 contemporary books by Korean American writers. Read these seven eerie books by Asian authors. Read these 17 short stories by Black authors. Read this forthcoming queer YA. Read these 11 books in October. Read these 12 books on how midwives are changing childbirth.

Carolyn Yates

Carolyn Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for Autostraddle.com, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, Xtra!, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Carolyn has written 1046 articles for us.

I’m donating gc2b tank binder : butchlesbians

I'm donating gc2b tank binder : butchlesbians

Hello Everyone,

I bought a binder from gc2b but it was too tight. I emailed them for size exchange, they said since I ordered it myself and not with their consultant, they cannot do an exchange. This is why they will not grow like other online stores, their policy gears toward their own interest instead of “customer first” like Amazon.

The size is Large, nude 5 tank. I paid $35 plus tax and shipping.

If you live in Los Angeles, feel free to pick it up.

If you want me to mail it to you, please pay for the shipping cost. I have a Paypal. I would have ship it to you for free but I’m currently unemployed.

If you are financially able, please don’t ask me. I’d like to give this to someone who needs it most. So I trust you with an honor system.

https://www.gc2b.co/collections/gc2b-all-nude/products/nude-no-5-tank

Pope Francis endorses civil unions for same-sex couples

Pope Francis endorses civil unions for same-sex couples

Pope Francis endorses civil unions for same-sex couples

Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions in’ major step forward’

Pope Francis holds his speech during an International Prayer Meeting for Peace

Pope Francis holds his speech during an International Prayer Meeting for Peace (Vatican Pool/Getty Images)

Pope Francis has given his backing to same-sex civil unions for the first time, in a major break from Catholic teachings.

The 83-year-old leader gave the nod to gay unions in an interview for the documentary Francesco, which premiered at the Rome Film Festival on Wednesday (October 21).

The pontiff said: “Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it.”

He added: “What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered. I stood up for that.”

The comments are a significant break from his own past comments as well as the position of the church, which has long deployed its lobbying influence to oppose any legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

Pope Francis has previously opposed same-sex civil unions and adoption.

As noted by the Catholic News Agency, in his 2013 book On Heaven and Earth Pope Francis condemned laws “assimilating” homosexual relationships to marriage as “an anthropological regression”.

 He also warned that same-sex couples gaining the right to form unions and adopt could “affect children”, insisting: “Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity.”

Catholic opposition led to repeated defeats over a civil union law in Italy, before a watered-down version was finally approved in 2016 in the face of continued opposition from the church.

As the bill was discussed in 2014, high-ranking cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, claimed: “It is irresponsible to weaken the family by creating new forms of unions… it only confuses people and has the effect of being a sort of Trojan horse, undermining culturally and socially the core of humanity.”

Pope Francis arrives to lead his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on October 21, 2020.
Pope Francis arrives to lead his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on October 21, 2020. (VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2003, under Pope John Paul II, the Vatican warned: “Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity.”

While Pope Francis has a track record of public comments in support of LGBT+ people’s individual freedoms, critics say he has done little on paper to end the church’s discriminatory practises and lobbying in opposition to equal rights.

There are still countless cases of Catholic schools firing teachers for being gay, and Catholic adoption agencies have fought for the right to exclude same-sex parents. Bishops have also led the defence of conversion therapy practises, which pro-LGBT+ voices in the church say is still commonplace in Catholicism.

Pope Francis’ comments on same-sex civil unions hailed as a ‘major step forward’.

Responding to his the remarks, the pro-LGBT+ Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin said they were a “a major step forward in the church’s support for LGBT people.”

He said: “The Pope’s speaking positively about civil unions also sends a strong message to places where the church has opposed such laws.”

Director Evgeny Afineevsky received considerable access for the film Francesco, part of which addresses the leader’s outreach to LGBT+ people.

The film recounts the story of two gay Italian men who say the leader encouraged them to raise their children with the Pope.

“He didn’t mention what was his opinion on my family. Probably he’s following the doctrine on this point,” one of the men said.

Pope Francis has had a chequered history with the LGBT+ community.

In 2013, he made global headlines when he called on the Catholic church to “show mercy, not condemnation” to gay people – representing a stark shift in tone from his predecessors.

But in 2019, he told a Spanish newspaper that parents who see signs of homosexuality in their children should “consult a professional” – a comment that was considered by many to endorse conversion therapy.

Meanwhile, he has been staunch in his opposition to trans identities, comparing them to nuclear war and genetic manipulation in 2015.

In 2019, the Vatican released a document claiming that “gender ideology” is a “move away from nature”.

Pablo Alborán says he’s just a normal guy who happens to be gay and an international superstar / Queerty

Pablo Alborán says he’s just a normal guy who happens

This profile is part nine of Queerty’s 2020 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

Name: Pablo Alborán, 31

Bio: The Spanish crooner first burst onto the music scene in 2011 with his self-tiled album, which was certified six-time platinum and earned him three Latin Grammy Awards nominations. His follow-up album Tanto was released a year later and certified platinum ten times over. To date, he has released four studio albums, two live albums, and an EP, all of which have topped the charts.

Coming out: To commemorate Pride month this year, Alborán posted a short video to Instagram announcing to his 5 million followers that he’s gay.

“We need to reconsider our lives, careers, what does and doesn’t make us happy,” he said in the video. “I think that we often forget about the love that unites us and makes us stronger.”

“I’m here to tell you that I am homosexual and it’s okay. Life goes on, everything will remain the same, but I’m going to be a little happier than I already am.”

Finding my flock: After coming out, Alborán not only made international headlines, he attracted new fans and followers from all over the world. Speaking to GQ Spain in September, he said he never expected his three-minute video, which he recorded on the fly, to garner the kind of attention it did.

“I have received a flood of love and stories that I swear I did not imagine,” he said, adding that he’s heard from mothers who used his coming out video to teach their children about LGBTQ people, and fans were inspired by it to share their own truths.

“I’m a normal guy, who laughs at everything, who wants to have fun,” he added. “And now, in addition, I can look at people and say: this is me.”

But that’s only half the story. By coming out, people can look at Alborán and say “He came out. I can too.” That, folks, is finding a flock.

This is the most gay outfit I have ever worn in my entire life (I’m usually a femme) : actuallesbians

This is the most gay outfit I have ever worn

A place for discussions for and by cis and trans lesbians, bisexual girls, chicks who like chicks, bi-curious folks, dykes, butches, femmes, girls who kiss girls, birls, bois, aces, LGBT allies, and anyone else interested! Our subreddit is named r/actuallesbians because r/lesbians is not really for or by lesbians–it was meant to be a joke. We’re not a militant or exclusive group, so feel free to join up!

Six Queer Travel Destinations – Purple Roofs

rainbow flag - pixabay

rainbow flag - pixabay

Now that more countries are opening back up for travel and fun, it is time to start planning your next vacation. There is no shortage of amazing queer travel destinations, all packed with a welcoming vibe and loads of exciting activities to keep you busy during your stay. Here are six of the best queer travel destinations to consider for your adventure.

Explore the Birthplace of a Nation in Boston

As the capital of the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage, it is no surprise that Boston is an exceptionally queer-friendly travel location. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the country by traversing the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, featuring 16 historical sites that shaped the character of this nation. Boston also boasts an eclectic dining scene, great shopping opportunities, and charming neighborhoods that are begging to be explored. Bean Town is also known for being the birthplace of GLAD, affirming its spot as a city that is exceptionally friendly to queers.

Set Sail on a Cruise

Hit the high seas on a cruise for the ultimate balance of relaxation and exciting outdoor recreational opportunities. One of the best things about a cruise is that you can choose your itinerary and duration to fit your specific needs and preferences. For example, a Mediterranean cruise is perfect for those travelers who want to experience some of the most historically significant sites on the planet while also soaking up the warm sun any time of the year. Many cruise lines also offer specific sailings dedicated to the queer crowd, making it easy for you to connect with like-minded travelers and meet new friends.

Adventure of a Lifetime in Cape Town, South Africa

If you want something truly exotic, consider a trip to Cape Town, South Africa. This multicultural destination is a favorite for the queer population. The high-energy nightclubs, diverse cuisine, and stunning arts and cultural scene make this city a winner. This cosmopolitan city is the second-largest metropolitan area in Africa. Cape Town is also one of the best cities in the world to partake in Pride Week events, offering a variety of parades and festivals. After you have had enough of the city vibe, you can escape to the savannah for an African safari. There is nothing quite like Cape Town.

Immerse Yourself in the Cultural Melting Pot of Miami

You will not be disappointed in a trip to the gem of South Florida. Miami’s famous gay scene makes it a natural choice for your next queer-friendly vacation. Relax on South Beach during the day and then head to the sizzling nightclubs that line Collins Avenue at night. The city even boasts its own gay beach. Be sure to leave time to indulge in the authentic Cuban food and fresh seafood.

Soak Up the Sun and the Surf in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

This Mexican seaside resort town boasts stunning beaches, a lively nightlife scene, and color around every corner. Located along the Pacific Coast, you will enjoy endless sunshine and a host of outdoor recreational opportunities. Puerto Vallarta is distinguished as being one of the most gay-friendly resort towns in the world. The city has won multiple awards for its status as being a destination that is incredibly welcoming to the queer population. You will find accommodations in a variety of price points, making it easy to find a place to fit your budget and your personal tastes.

Leave Your Heart in San Francisco

No list of queer travel destinations is complete without mentioning San Francisco. This iconic city by the bay proudly boasts its status as America’s first gay headquarters. Take a spin on a trolley car, shop the stores along Fisherman’s Wharf, and nosh on clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls. For the ultimate queer experience, make your headquarters the famed Castro District. Here you will find the legendary Castro Theatre, regularly featuring shows that cater to a gay and queer audience. You will never feel more affirmed than when visiting San Francisco.

Stoke the fires of your wanderlust by choosing one of these six fabulous travel destinations. You owe it to yourself to choose a destination that will allow you to embrace and celebrate your queerness.

Also.Also.Also: I’m Dreaming of a “Euphoria” Christmas (and I’m Getting What I Asked For)

Also.Also.Also: I'm Dreaming of a "Euphoria" Christmas (and I'm Getting

Remember last week when I told you that I was craving chocolate cupcakes and I couldn’t tell you why because it was a secret? WELL! That was because we (the senior staff of this humble website) had ordered a dozen chocolate cupcakes as a surprise for Kamala, whose first book came out yesterday!! Did you get a copy yet?? I hear it is very gay and lots of fun!


Queer as in F*ck You

We are in such a barren desert for queer television that I actually physically gasped when I heard this news! We’re getting two Euphoria episodes in the “bridge” season — including one about my second favorite holigay, Christmas! Sadly, it doesn’t sound like it will be a happy holigay for Rue.

“To Be Black in America Is to Be Gaslit Everyday of Your Life”: Indya Moore Opens up About Their Journey of Self Growth (So many people were talking about this one over the weekend! Definitely worth your reading time!)

Ok!! Listen!!! I AM OBSESSED WITH WITH HOW GOOD THIS IS!! THE WRITER! THE LAYOUT!!! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking not only about the activism of Angela Davis, but the ways we have consumed — and re-consumed! — her image over the last 50 years. Please take me seriously when I say, everything about it is what an Icon like Angela Davis absolutely deserves: Angela Davis Still Believes America Can Change

“I meet Tourmaline on a sticky July afternoon in Brooklyn by the edge of the algae-saturated pond adjacent to the boathouse in Prospect Park. The heat appears to shimmer and break above the asphalt on the path nearby. A pair of dragonflies hover above a lily pad next to me. I wonder if they’re fucking. Dabbing the condensation from my iced coffee onto my brow, I fiddle with my phone as I wait. When she arrives, Tourmaline is a seapunk dream. Her hair is dyed an aquatic blue and there is a streak of teal eyeshadow across her eyelids. A tattoo of Johnson peeks out from beneath her blouse. Her look transports me back to the Tumblr aesthetics of 2012, when Tourmaline’s blog first became popular. ” — Muna Mire on Tourmaline: Tourmaline Summons the Queer Past (Seriously, this is just some damn beautiful queer writing)

GO FUND ME! Golponama: Bangladesh’s 1st Queer Story Collective. This comes our way from Himani, who had this to say: Being a queer South Asian often feels like being invisible because it is a community that lives behind many, many doors. As Faisal Ahmed Misha writes in the GoFundMe campaign: “These stories also speak about the lived realities of queer people that cannot be expressed through non-fiction.” I can’t wait to read the words of these Bangladeshi queer writers!


Saw This, Thought of You

My Old Brooklyn Apartment Was Perfect. Except for the Ghost. ‘TIS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!!

Given how much both of these shows have burned down my Twitter timeline the last two months, I found this supremely timely: Lovecraft Country, Ratched and The Horrifying Manipulation of Black Women’s Psyches

This Oregon Town is a Hotbed of Latinx Political Leadership

Dying Birds and the Fires: Scientists Work to Unravel a Great Mystery. Nobody knows precisely how wildfire smoke affects birds’ health and migratory patterns. Now, citizen birdwatchers are stepping in.

And I guess this is lol somewhat related? Cuz… I don’t know, animals? Huge Cat Found Etched Into Desert Among Nazca Lines in Peru

Why Social Media Is So Good at Polarizing Us. Using data and math!

Self-Help Hacks at the End of the World

From Natalie, always steadfast with your WNBA coverage needs: How the Most Socially Progressive Pro League Got That Way


Political Snacks

“What does a Republican “moderate” mean these days, though? Under Kasich, half of Ohio’s abortion clinics closed. In his 2015 budget, Kasich proposed cutting Medicaid coverage for low-income pregnant women.”

I’ve been screaming about this ever since former Ohio Governor John Kasich was an invited speaker during the Democratic National Convention (and today it was announced that his name is being floated among other “moderates” in the GOP for Biden’s potential cabinet) — the enemy of our enemy is NOT our friend. Anyway! This is smart: Living With White Supremacy in a Swing State

Activist Emma G. writes VOTE in sidewalk chalk in yellow, pink, and blue bubble lettering.

I’ve been wondering what Emma has been up to lately! Glad to know the answer is being a badass, as always.

“We have to change our standards for this election in order to avoid completely throwing out our futures.” — Emma González, Vote as If Your Life Depends on It—Because It Does

A Child Teaches Great Grandma About Pronouns in New Picture Book

A Child Teaches Great Grandma About Pronouns in New Picture

A self-assured, gender ambiguous child gets a visit from Great Grandma Bubbie—and teaches her a few things about pronouns and gender in a sequel to a 2019 picture book about gender creative play.

Jamie and Bubbie - Afsaneh Moradian

Jamie and Bubbie: A Book About People’s Pronouns, written by Afsaneh Moradian and illustrated by Maria Bogade (Free Spirit Publishing) is a sequel to the duo’s Jamie Is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way (my review here), but either can be read independently of the other. Both books star Jamie, a child whose gender is never specified. In the latest book, Bubbie comes for a visit (making this, as far as I’m aware, the first LGBTQ-inclusive picture book with a great grandparent in it). As she and Jamie do things together in the neighborhood, Bubbie mistakenly misgenders several of the people they meet—a woman as a man, a man as a woman, and a transgender girl whom Bubbie had previously met when the girl was still using her male birth name. Jamie knows everyone’s correct genders and pronouns, though, and gently informs Bubbie. Bubbie admits she’s been “putting my foot in my mouth all day.”

Jamie reassures her that you can’t always know what pronouns someone uses, and that if they don’t tell you, you can always use their name or “they.” Jamie’s mother offers the example, “We can say that the mail carrier is taking mail out of their mail bag and putting it in the mailbox.” Then Jamie mentions a friend who uses “they.” Grown-ups may need to clarify here that some people choose to use “they” on an ongoing basis; it’s not just for when you don’t know someone’s pronouns. (At the end of the book, some “Tips for Teachers, Parents, and Caregivers” do help explain this.)

Jamie’s mother then tells Bubbie that people sometimes change their names and/or pronouns, and that it’s important to call them by the name and pronouns they want to use, which is good advice. Bubbie says that’s a lot to remember, but she’ll try.

The mother and Jamie’s explanations to Bubbie border on pedantic but are simple and supportive, and may be useful to those first encountering the idea of chosen pronouns or singular “they.” Jamie’s own gender and pronouns remain unknown. On one level, this book could have been a good time to introduce them—if they’re not what Bubbie would have expected from Jamie’s gender assigned at birth, perhaps she should be clued in as part of her whole education about the subject. On another level, though, perhaps more children will relate if they can imagine that Jamie’s gender is whatever they want it to be. As in the first book, Jamie is just Jamie. Jamie’s gender ambiguity also offers a place for discussion about asking someone what pronouns they use.

A few lines of dialogue could have benefited from indications of who is speaking; adult readers should be able to guess from context, but a little extra clarity might help the younger ones. And a neighbor’s sudden reference to Bubbie as “Mrs. Green,” when there was no previous indication of her last name, may confuse young readers at first (especially because a passing pedestrian on the page is wearing a green jacket).

As with the first book in the series, I like that Jamie, not an adult, is doing most of the instructing (though the mother does chime in a bit). Jamie knows the people in the neighborhood and understands the importance of referring to them the way they want. We can always use more role models of confident kids who move through the world with respect for themselves and others—and aren’t afraid to teach adults a thing or two.

Adults should appreciate the thoughtful tips at the end on talking with children about pronouns. I will note that Moradian here uses the term “gender nonconforming,” which PFLAG said in 2019 was outdated and Gender Spectrum (which Moradian includes as a resource) does not include in its list of gender-related language. I recognize, however, that these terms shift and evolve, perhaps faster than publishing cycles; I just hope this gets updated in a future edition. Mostly, Moradian’s brief explanations and suggestions seem clear and useful. Those who want more ideas for using the book as a jumping-off point for talking about gender and family can also check out the Teacher’s Guide, available under “Free Downloads” at the book’s Web page. Despite a few minor places for improvement, Jamie and Bubbie is a positive addition to the growing number of picture books about gender identity and expression.


(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)