Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Audre Lorde, Rituals, Gay Voice, Nightlife Memories, LGBTQ Erasure & MORE!

Hi, Everyone!

Here's your Arts & Culture Round-Up for today...

Good news about queer youth! Which I found inspiring. The upcoming generation will do great things! 

Have you ever wondered about bathing rituals and how they've changed over the centuries? Did you know that during the Middle Ages some European men and women gave up bathing because they believed that it would spread disease. Yikes! 

Speaking of history, have you ever wondered about the sexuality of your unmarried great aunt or great uncle? They might have been queer but we'll never really know. Erasure of LGBTQ stories is all too common. Looking into your family tree may reveal many secrets.

Heather Glazzard has a new zine "The World Before Sanitizer" which features some interesting photographs (check it out below). Are you like me? Do you find it hard to remember what life was like before the COVID-19 pandemic? Socializing is not the same for most of us. Dance clubs have been one of the safe spaces for LGBTQ folk to be ourselves. Our community has been harshly hit with all the closures. Now we are going into year two! Hard to believe. But we'll make it through. I hope you and yours are staying safe.

Happy reading!

Shane, Editor

Capturing The Joy Of Pre-Pandemic Queer Nightlife
One of the most memorable moments captured in Heather Glazzard’s new zine, The World Before Sanitiser, lies in a portrait of artist Jo Tothill, covered in clay and gazing blissfully into the lens. It was taken after a stage performance at Fatty Acid, an LGBTQ+ night at Manchester co-op and cultural space Partisan. “It was one of the most iconic performances I’ve ever seen,” Heather remembers. “Jo was on a turntable while Bethan covered Jo in clay to the tune of Unchained Melody — a scene right out of Ghost but queer and sensual.” More.

Eight Books Featuring Big Queer Families

February’s Ask Your Friendly Neighborhood Lesbrarian question is a doozy. We’re diving into comforting queer books about big families — chosen, found, of origin, or a delightful mix. Let’s have a look at the request: "I’m having a doozy of a time trying to articulate the genre of books I’m searching for, and don’t know how to explain it to my local librarians". I’ve pulled together a list below that I’m proud of, but I definitely think we could use a heck of a lot more stories about big queer families for adults. More.

LGBTQ Teens Twice As Likely To Do Volunteer Work

(Galway, Ireland) A study has found that LGBT+ teens are twice as likely to be involved in volunteer work. Co-author of the report Dr Elena Vaughan says the research suggests LGBT+ teens may be driven to fight against injustice through volunteering due to their own experiences with discrimination. More.

What History's Bathing Rituals Reveal About Status, Purity And Power

In Ancient Greece, bathhouses were a place for men to wash after sport or swap philosophical discussions (some even contained libraries), while in the Middle Ages, men and women in Europe gave up bathing altogether, for fear it would spread disease. Perfumes and cleansing ointments replaced steam and water, with elaborately adorned bottles and containers linking affluence to health. Fast-forward to the 1960s and '70s, where bathhouses in New York City became safe havens for gay men to relax, socialize and seek pleasure. In many parts of the world, cleansing one's body has become an individual, daily ritual -- a quick, steamy shower in the morning or a longer bath to unwind at night. But historically, our bathing habits have been imbued with deeper meanings. More.

What Does Bi-Curious Mean?

Sexuality exists on a spectrum and if one end holds people who consider themselves to be 100 per cent gay or lesbian, towards the opposite end you’ll find a space for those who identify as bi-curious. But, many of us don't really know what bi-curious means, and how it differs from heteroflexible or bisexual. It's also said to contribute to bisexual erasure. So here's what you need to know about bi-curiosity. More.

Gay Men Who ‘Sound Gay’ Encounter More Discrimination

Gay men who ‘sound gay’ encounter more stigma nd discrimination from heterosexual peers. The study found that participants believed voice was a better cue to sexual orientation for men than for women, and their opinions on the discreteness, immutability and controllability of 'gay-sounding' voices was linked to higher avoidant discrimination towards gay-sounding men. "It is clear from this study that voice and the perception of it are linked to stigma. This is important because it can have negative consequences for gay men's wellbeing." More.

Many lesbians come to university as virgins; many others come to university only having had experience with men; yet still, some others arrive with incredibly pointed experiences of what sex is. In my incredibly short life, I’ve had sex with plenty of women as well as men. The men I had sex with did not see anything but a hole to shove a dick into but the women I had sex with, while still objectifying me, had the tact to be a bit more complex. I was often a human dildo, or a doll to project daddy issues onto, or in the worst cases mistaken for someone who could make adult decisions. More.

Audre Lorde: "Black, Lesbian, Mother, Warrior, Poet"

Lorde’s inspirations went against the societal need to categorize; she refused to condemn herself to either being a lesbian or a black woman because she wouldn’t prioritize one aspect of her identity over another. This is something that still fiercely stands in this modern age. A famous quote of Audre Lorde that still rings true is: “revolution is not a one-time event” and the meaning behind those words still hold relevance in trying times such as these. More.

Book Review: “The Prophets” by Robert Jones, Jr. A Novel of Queer Love During Slavery

In “The Prophets,” the approach to history is the kitchen sink—no channelling of the past is too much for the purpose of parable. Ancestors of various kinds are beckoned forth to lend the weight of their influence, from the denizens of the plantation who populate the novel to the luminaries of African-American letters who inspired it. I was primed to adore “The Prophets,” not only because of the considerable advance praise it had received, or because of the rapturous blurbs from young literary stars that decorate its back cover, but also because of my steadfast faith in neo-slave narratives, which, at their best, take the archive as curiosity rather than gospel. Much of the book’s reception has lingered on two points in particular: the revelatory import of its same-sex love story, which pulls queer love from out of the hidden—or suppressed—depths of antebellum conjecture, and its Baldwinian, Morrisonian rhythms, by which, I think, people mean an assumed orality in Jones’s prose. More.

Gender Nonconformity In Childhood

In recent years, societal perceptions of gender have been rapidly shifting and evolving to include a host of ways for people to express and identify themselves. One particular way our understanding has developed is in recognizing gender nonconformity, which the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination defines as any type of gender expression — including use of clothing, hair, and body language — outside the typical norms of masculinity and femininity. Gender nonconformity can also go by other names, such as gender diversity and gender variance. Gender nonconformity among children is a research area of particular interest for psychologists who are interested in how social perceptions of gender behaviour develop as we grow older. More.

The LGBTQ Erasure In Family Histories

The erasure of LGBTQ stories from our family trees and history books has convinced us that same-sex love is some new invention that arose in the 20th Century. More.

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