“I applied [to Autostraddle] with a reported story about the history of a 1973 poster I’d found at the Lesbian Herstory Archives. It was an image of two women, one topless, with the caption I’LL ALWAYS LOVE MY MAMA.”
Gabrielle Korn would go on to join the Autostraddle team and publish this piece, her first for Autostraddle, in 2012, eventually launching the columns How to Own It and Lez Get Dressed for Work. Her book spans her career in media, from her first role at Refinery 29, to her promotion to Editor in Chief at Nylon in the same year that Nylon discontinued its print magazine in 2017.
In honor of the publication of Gabrielle’s book and our fundraiser, we’re hosting a conversation between Riese Bernard, Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle, and Gabrielle Korn, about queer internet culture, the current media landscape and how we go about building the queer media we want to see in the world. It will be so much fun and we hope to see you there!!!
Where:Crowdcast When: February 18, 2021 4:30pm PST / 7:30 EST How Much: Free Accessibility: Realtime captioning for this event will be provided by White Coat Captioning. You can access the captioning by opening up the following Streamtext link in a separate window. A transcript of this event will be published on Autostraddle.com on February 19, 2021.
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I am thrilled to reveal a project I’ve been working on for months (and in some ways, years): the Mombian Database of LGBTQ Family Books, Media, and More: over 500 books, music albums, movies, games, and toys for and about LGBTQ families. This is not just a booklist: you can search and filter by categories, tags, and more. Want board books with queer dads? Picture books starring Black transgender girls? Memoirs by queer moms about adoption? You can find them, among many other combinations!
What sets this database apart from other LGBTQ-inclusive booklists is the searching and filtering. You can choose broad categories of age and type of media, then narrow down your results with tags for LGBTQ identities, racial/ethnic identities, subject matter, and more. You can also filter by writer/creator/director, illustrator, publisher, and publication date.
I’ve tagged books based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and racial/ethnic identities of protagonists and their families, but not of every character. I’ve tried to design all the tags to be specific enough to be useful without creating too many tags to wade through. Tagging each item involved many judgment calls; I’ve probably made mistakes or overlooked things (500+ items was a lot to process), which I will work to fix. Drop me a note if you catch anything, and please be kind; this was essentially a part-time, one-person project, with no funding (though my son helped with some of the data entry).
One important tag is “Incidental queerness,” for items in which the story isn’t “about” the characters’ LGBTQ identities. This is something I’ve very often heard LGBTQ parents asking for. Sometimes these are called “everyday” stories—but I also want to encourage more stories about LGBTQ families that aren’t just about our everyday family lives (we need intergalactic space adventures and fantastical journeys, too!), so I’m using a different term.
Another tag to know is “Character w/bias or misunderstanding of LGBTQ.” Many LGBTQ-inclusive kids’ books depict someone questioning or being hostile to LGBTQ people and families. These topics are important to discuss (though far from the only storylines we should have), but parents and teachers may also want to be careful about when and how they introduce them, lest they raise fears or concerns that weren’t there before. I’ve tagged items that deal with these topics so you can make the decision that feels right for your children.
Each item contains a brief description. For ones that I’ve reviewed at more length on my blog, I’ve provided a link to the review.
A big thanks to my son for his help with the data entry. He’s far too old now for the kids’ books, many of which I wish had been available when he was younger—but I’m delighted he helped create this resource for the next generation.
These are the majority of entries (over 300!), most from the past 15 years or so. Earlier works are more sporadic, although I am working to add more. They include books from mainstream publishers, small presses, and self-published efforts.
I have not included all self-published books, however. Many are great and may push boundaries of inclusion that books from mainstream publishers do not; I’ve tried to include those. LGBTQ kids’ literature began with such efforts. Others are highly derivative or otherwise of lesser quality. If I’ve missed something that you think worth considering, however (especially more recent ones I may have missed), please drop me a note and I’d be happy to consider it.
Books for grown-ups on LGBTQ Families
These include how-to guidebooks for LGBTQ parents, memoirs and anthologies by LGBTQ parents and our grown children,social science studies about LGBTQ families, and books on LGBTQ inclusion in schools.
LGBTQ-inclusive middle-grade books
This is a much smaller collection than of picture books, because I can’t do everything and there have been so many picture books in recent years. I’ve included a number of them to get folks started, however.
There are no young adult books, since my site is aimed at parents; young adults are generally finding and choosing their own reading materials.
Kids’ music albums that are LGBTQ inclusive or expand ideas of gender
This is probably not a comprehensive list, but I’ve included a number that I know of.
Films about LGBTQ families
The current listings are documentaries and educational films for grown-ups, but I am working to include the growing number of LGBTQ-inclusive kids’ shows and movies—stay tuned; in the meantime, see this post, which rounds up a number of them, and my compilation of YouTube videos for and about LGBTQ families.
LGBTQ-inclusive games and toys
Dolls, building sets, and card games that showcase diverse families and gender identities/expressions.
Inclusion of an item in the database is not necessarily a recommendation. I’ve included some problematic items that you may come across and indicated why they may be problematic.
While I’ve made efforts to ensure the data is accurate, I make no guarantees. This was a part-time, unfunded project done mostly by one person (me, with some help from my son on the data entry), using off-the-shelf WordPress plugins. I hope to continue improving it.
I’ve provided links to Amazon and Bookshop for each item, when available (though because of technical limitations, you’ll only see the Amazon link unless you click through to each individual item). Many people prefer Bookshop for the way that it supports independent bookstores; many LGBTQ-inclusive books, however, especially by independent creators, are only available on Amazon, and Amazon is often a little cheaper. I’ve therefore included links to both (when available) so that you can buy where it feels right to you. Additionally, some items are available only through the creators’ websites, in which case I’ve included links to those sites instead. And a few books are available to read free online (at Open Library or elsewhere), so I’ve included those links, too, as applicable.
As an Amazon Associate and a Bookshop Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This is part of how I am able to maintain Mombian. I’m also just as happy if you ask your local library or school to stock these items.
This is a work in progress. I’ll be adding to the database as new books and other items come out this year. (I already have a number on my radar, but if you know of any, please let me know.) I’ll also be adding LGBTQ-inclusive kids’ movies and television shows, refining tags, and filling in some of the other gaps noted above.
Congressional hopeful George Santos (left) and his fiancé (right) at the Mar-A-Lago New Year’s event, as shared on InstagramPhoto: Screenshot
Out gay Trump-supporter George Santos has expressed his dismay at a report that led to the termination of his fiancé. He claims he had to flee his home because it was revealed that Santos and his fiancé attended a mask-less New Year’s Eve event at Mar-A-Lago.
The report relied on Santos’ own social media posts as a citation.
“My fiancé & I had to leave our home this evening with our 4 dogs thanks to the @nytimes publishing of my Instagram showing me attending the #MarALago New Year’s Eve party,” Santos wrote on Twitter.
“My fiancé a pharmacist who worked [12 hour, 7 days] of shifts for 9 months was fired! The violence against us is real.”
My fiancé & I had to leave our home this evening with our 4 dogs thanks to the @nytimes publishing of my Instagram showing me attending the #MarALago New Year’s Eve party. My fiancé a pharmacist who worked 12h/7days shifts for 9 months was fired! The violence against us is real.
Santos further blamed the New York Times on Instagram for his and his unnamed fiancé’s newfound problems. “@Nytimes you have exposed my family to danger,” he wrote in a caption for a screenshot of his tweet, “…and have striped [sic] one of us of our livelihood! This is unAmerican [sic].”
The Mar-A-Lago New Year’s Eve party is a tradition that the Trump family started prior to becoming President. The event was not cancelled this year, even in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With more than 500 scheduled to attend, critics believed it was going to be a “superspreader” event — such as the ones that infected several in Republican Party, possibly including the President.
Santos nor his fiancé were identified in the report by name, but Santos’ Instagram post was used as a source for the report’s description of the event’s menu.
At the event, Santos and his fiancé were all smiles. They posed for pictures with prominent “Trump World” figures like Rudy Giuliani and impressed billionaire heiress Andrea Catsimatidis, who chairs the Manhattan Republican Party.
The President and First Lady, however, chose at the last moment not to show.
“It was unclear why Mr. Trump flew back to Washington,” the Times reported, although the Daily Mail believes he was “forced” to return to the White House to work on COVID-19 relief. Instead, President Trump tweeted into the new year, sharing videos from One America News Network (OANN) and election-related conspiracies through the night and early morning.
In November, Santos lost his election for a seat in Congress representing the 3rd District of New York state. If he had been elected, Santos would have been the first out LGBTQ Republican ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I think that this president has done more for the community than his predecessors,” Santos claimed in October. He was one of only two out candidates in the GOP to receive an endorsement from the Log Cabin Republicans, who endorsed several anti-LGBTQ politicians alongside him.
Santos presented himself as a far-right choice with a platform that included ending bail reform, increased funding for the police, less gun control, partial privatization of Social Security, and building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. His website says he supports marriage equality.
LGBTQ equality or protections against discrimination weren’t mentioned when he shared his platform on Ballotpedia, but preventing “churches and synagogues from ever being mandated upon by the government” was.
Santos claimed that he had been the victim of voter fraud and called on the “FBI,CIA,DOJ” to intervene on his behalf to stop “ILLEGAL VOTES.” Eventually, though, he conceded. He has already refiled to run again in 2022.
Early in 2020, during his campaign, Santos contracted COVID-19. He later told the Island Now that he “had probably the worst two weeks of my life as an adult.” Noting that he stayed with his fiance while quarantining, Santos added that “nobody would come near me thinking I was still viral.”
“That said, I survived coronavirus,” he boasted.
Santos did not clarify why he had to immediately vacate his home, why the Times was responsible for it, or what violence he faced as a result. The Times has not issued a response.
The Twitter world, however, was not merciful in response to Santos’ claims. Some replies assumed his fiancé was a woman, with one tweet saying “she deserves to be fired” for attending the gala.
So, your fiancé serves an at-risk population but was maskless at a public event?
Further criticisms of Santos’ actions were equally not as kind, even from other LGBTQ people. Journalist and Senior Advisor at the Justice Collaborative, Chris Geidner, replied on Twitter: “Wait, do I have this right?
“You’re a guy running for Congress, and you’re upset that the paper that covers your district is … covering your campaign-oriented Instagram account?”
Geidner later tweeted — after seeing some of Santos’ political positions — “I’m — Oh.”
Dude you just admitted your fiancée was maskless at an event and is in the medical profession, really don’t feel sorry for you at all putting lives at risk, dipshit
You published it! You put it on your Instagram. Seems like the blame is squarely on your shoulders. Don’t want to deal with the consequences of your actions? Then don’t put them on display for the world to see.
LGBT+ footballers still receive backlash because of the the “sensationalised” coverage of gay and bisexual players, fans and allies wrote in an open letter published Monday (September 21).
After two anonymous gay players revealed they are wrestling to come out publicly, a letter was organised by Sports Media LGBT, a network group and consultancy that “advocates for inclusion in both our own industry and across sport in general”.
In the letter, the network condemned the media and fans’ “intense interest” in players as one of the reasons why LGBT+ players may struggle to come out.
“As a group of LGBTQ+ people and allies with roles in football, we know there are moments when the game can be unwelcoming for members of our community,” they wrote.
“The culture of the men’s professional set-up can make it a particularly challenging environment for anyone who is gay or bi.”
Football authorities have ‘the capacity to do more’ to help queer players, says LGBT+ sports group.
The letter acknowledged the campaigns and measures drawn up by football authorities to bring positive representation for gay players, but stressed that they “have the capacity to do more”.
This includes: “Addressing LGBTQ+ mental wellbeing specifically, and the challenges faced by closeted gay and bi male players; and delivering education for all stakeholders around how homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and behaviour can make people feel unwelcome and unsafe.”
Despite there being a number of players living publicly as queer men both in Britain and beyond – such as Thomas Beattie, as well as players in non-league teams – the group said that the narrative of the lonely closeted player does more harm than good.
“Sensationalised accounts in the media of agony and anguish give the perception that complacency has set in on homophobia in football,” the letter explained.
“The truth is that there has never been a more concerted team effort to tackle prejudice, but its progress is hampered by such accounts and makes gay and bi people across the men’s game feel less safe and less likely to feel they can be honest and open about their identity.”
Closeted gay footballer: ‘Living a secret life has damaged my mental health.’
For decades, football governing bodies, as well as clubs, have struggled to reconcile a sport so seeded into British culture with the spectre cast by the treatment of Justin Fashanu —the first top male player to come out as gay, who died by suicide in 1998.
Sports Media LGBT’s letter was penned in response to a pair of Premier League footballers, who both revealed this year that they are gay and are struggling to come out via anonymous statements.
Both said that in part, they remain closeted because of fears of a firestorm reaction from fans, as well as a lack of support from sporting leaders.
In a heart-wrenching letter sent by the Justin Fashanu Foundation to The Sun in September, one of the gay footballers said that the sport has not “moved on” enough to support him.
He also mentioned how his bosses have had a “lip service” approach to the issue.
The letter was the second released through the Justin Fashanu Foundation, a charity started by Fashanu’s niece Amal Fashanu in his honour, after another closeted footballer came forward to tell his story in July.
He urged the football authorities and the fan to accept him and others like him, writing: “I am gay. Even writing that down in this letter is a big step for me.
“But only my family members and a select group of friends are aware of my sexuality. I don’t feel ready to share it with my team or my manager.”
Amal Fashanu suggested that at least five famous footballers are closeted gay men.