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this week in gender bending: queer art coming your way!

Image from Amazon.com

Some of my favorite gender benders and queer activists have been quite prolific lately, and I just wanted to share news about some exciting ongoing tours, recently published books, and more.

Kate Bornstein – Kate and S. Bear Bergman collaborated this past year to create the anthology Gender Outlaws:  The Next Generation, which contains stories, comics and art by young trans and genderqueer contributors.  Kate’s original book Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us opened up a lot of needed dialogue about the complexities and diversity of gender, and this new collection takes a look at how perceptions of gender have changed in the fifteen years since it was published.

S. Bear Bergman – Bear is on tour this fall/winter with the most excellent Ivan Coyote.  Their Dangerous Mammals: Please Don’t Feed or Tease the Animals tour is mainly focused on the East Coast (alas no Seattle stops planned), but promises to deliver an amazing night of clever dialogue and masterful storytelling.  This tour in part celebrates …

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notable queers: vivek shraya

Image from vivekshraya.com

Vivek Shraya is a synth pop artist from Toronto who has shared the stage with artists such as Tegan and Sara, Team Dresch and Melissa Ferrick and who seems well on his way to becoming a Renaissance man.  I immediately felt a kinship with Vivek after checking out an Xtra! interview with him where he expressed that “queer visibility is paramount” and also after noticing that he is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, which is incidentally one of the two Canadian towns I have ever visited.

Aside from releasing five albums of electropop, Vivek has recently released a collection of 20 short stories, God Loves Hair.  The official release description of it states,

God Loves Hair is an exploration of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion and belonging through the eyes of a tender and intellectually curious child. These twenty short stories follow the protagonist into realms he sometimes doesn’t understand but he emerges with the poignant insight, sophistication, and honesty that only the voice of a young mind can convey. Each story is accompanied by …

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what? a totally free book?!

Blue Boy

Blue Boy

That’s right totally free…until midnight tonight (Weds, Oct 6, PST).  There are alas some limitations – to enjoy this free digital copy of “Blue Boy” by gay novelist Rakesh Satyal, you must have a Kindle and/or a Mac computer (for those who have Macs but not Kindles, go here to download a free application so that you can read Kindle books on your computer).

Why is Satyal offering free digital copies of his book?  He hopes that it can be a source of comfort and insight to queer youth who may be struggling with bullying.  This book, though fictional, has some basis on Satyal’s life.  It tells the story of a gay Indian-American boy growing up in Cincinnati  who must learn to overcome the bullying and family pressures that he faces.

I just downloaded it and haven’t read much of it yet, but got 4.5/5 stars on Amazon and seems like a pretty cool book.  I’ll do …

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national coming out day and a few other tidbits...

National Coming Out Day is coming soon!  This Sunday (October 11th) is the big day.  There’s a great deal going on in the US, including a National Equality March in Washington, DC which begins at noon and ends on the lawn of the Capitol building.  President Obama will be attending the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) annual dinner event on October 10th.  This is a really positive sign for the LGBTQ population, which hasn’t exactly seen President Obama going to bat for queer issues, despite his considerable efforts to win the LGBT vote with promises of real change.  You can read more about the events surrounding National Coming Out Day here.

If you’re a member of Facebook you can get involved with the HRC by adding their “Conversations from the Heart” facebook application, where you can donate your status to update about National Coming Out Day and join in the conversation.  I definitely recommend becoming a fan of the HRC page on Facebook as well, as they post important updates about what’s going on politically and legally for LGBT persons in the US.

In other news, S. Bear Bergman is releasing a new book entitled Click to continue reading national coming out day and a few other tidbits…

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reading about genderqueer: cool anthologies

I’ve always been a huge fan of anthologies, and my passion for them has been renewed in recent years, when I realized just how many nifty queer anthologies existed.  A considerable amount of my time is dedicated to obsessively reading/watching videos about queer culture/art/people/everything (usually on the internet at 2 in the morning), and so these anthologies work well for me.  It’s nice to be able to easily access a big pile of pre-selected, pre-edited queer material.  I just picked up a neat new book the other day, “Genderqueer: Voices from Beyond the Sexual Binary” and have been impressed with it thus far.

I thought i’d share a few of my favorite anthologies that I’ve found so far.  I obtained all of these from Amazon (as to my knowledge there are no queer bookstores or lending libraries within a half day’s driving distance from where I live).

nifty queer anthologies: genderqueer: voices from beyond the sexual binary:  a discussion of how gender is both personal and political – includes both analytical essays and personal stories. the full spectrum:  compilation of autobiographical short stories by young queers (all under the age of 23) – all are …

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