MyDentity: A New Book/Discussion Club

The GLBT Library is proud to start MyDentity, a new book/discussion club! Every month we’ll have 3-5 recommended books, based on a certain theme, available here at the GLBT Library. After reading as many and as much of the texts you’d like, join us for a general thematic discussion. Snacks will be provided. Our first meeting will be Thursday, October 1 at 7PM. We will be hosting at the GLBT Library (located at the GLBT Student Support Services Office). Folks of all ages and backgrounds are welcome!

How it works: The GLBT Library has placed the recommended books on reserve for the duration of the month. What this means is that you will be able to borrow each book for 3 business days (or read them in the library!) to ensure that as many folks as possible get the chance to check them out!


Our September theme is: Defining Identity
When did your life become decided by someone else? Are our physical appearances all that determine who we are? Perhaps our identity is determined by our actions? Come explore the many ways in which identities are constructed, including sexuality, gender, race, age, and more!

Recommended reading:
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
-Also available at other IU Libraries and Monroe County Public Library
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
-Also available at other IU Libraries, RPS Libraries, and Monroe County Public Library
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
-Also available at other IU Libraries, RPS Libraries, and Monroe County Public Library
Annabel by Kathleen Winter
-Also available at other IU Libraries and Monroe County Public Library

Questions or suggestions? Contact Ben at or Andrew at! Hope to see you at our first meeting!

Why Transgender Visibility Matters…

Transgender visibility is something that most people have no idea about or don’t really understand. On the most basic level Trans visibility is knowing what the term transgender means and how to interact with those folks in a respectable way. On the more advanced level, it is the understanding of transgender people as an oppressed population that faces violence and discrimination at an alarming rate, and even more so for transgender women of color. For example, 49% of transgender people reported physical abuse, and trans women of color have a 1 in 8 chance of being murdered. Not only do trans folks face violence and oppression from others, but they face increased risks of depression and suicide with 41% of trans people having attempted suicide.

This is the time for the transgender community to be visible not only because of the alarming statistics above, but because of the fight for equality and legal protections for the LGBT community. As individuals who are cisgender, one who affirms the gender assigned to them at birth, we have the opportunity to speak up for those who do not have the same privileges. We can stand in solidarity with the transgender community and be allies in the fight for equal rights.

Last month Tuesday, March 31st was Transgender Day of Visibility, a day to celebrate transgender people and to raise awareness of the issues that those in the transgender community face every day. I had the honor to celebrate this day by tabling at the Indiana Memorial Union Commons Desk. Dannie (my partner in this endeavor) and I spent the day handing out information about Transgender Day of Visibility and how students on the IUB campus can be Trans allies.

Although hundreds of students walked by our table throughout the day we only had about 120 people stop and talk and get a handout. That number may seem small, but it is a great start considering the lack of public discourse at IU about trans issues in the past. I hope that in the future transgender students and allies can continue the efforts of bringing more visibility to the transgender population on our campus. With visibility, allies and other students can be more respectful and supportive of our fellow trans students and insure that IU is a safe and affirming place for the trans community and other LGBT students.

Guest post by Deshea Meely
GLBT Student Support Services
Volunteer Coordinator
Social Work Intern

Exposed: A Film by Beth B

Rose Wood
Rose Wood
I was lucky enough to see Exposed: A Film by Beth B at the IU Cinema last week (2/5/15). Beth B herself was there, providing an introduction and Q&A session. Prior to the start of the screening, Beth B graciously provided a disclaimer: “This will shock some of you.” To which she added a strong belief that (hopefully) some of us would walk away excited and informed about this underground culture. It achieved all of the above.

Exposed follows 8 different burlesque performers through their personal lives and public performances, peppered with intimate interviews. The images were graphic, to say the least. In Serial Killer, performer Rose Wood, drenched in stage blood and wielding a chainsaw, staples his genitals. One performer drops an egg straight from her vagina, another two perform fellatio on stage, and one smothers her crotch in lipstick. As shocking as those sound, some were also quite humorous. Julie Atlas Muz, in The Hand, does a great rendition of being attacked by a re-animated, bodiless hand (qua The Addams Family‘s Thing). Dirty Martini performs an ode to the US justice system, with star-pasted breasts and a red, white, & blue striptease.

Bambi the Mermaid
Bambi the Mermaid
The interviews, however, highlight the radical impact this counter-culture is having on normative ideals of sex, gender, and representation. It is clear that these burlesque performers, savagely tearing off their clothes and bearing their bare bodies on stage, are making a statement. What are we so afraid of confronting? How do our bodies dictate our value? Why is the naked body, in all its shapes and sizes, so taboo? Beth B humanizes these figures and understands why it is they do what they do. Some satirize censorship, some reclaim their self-worth, and some just love to perform. Mat Fraser, frequently known as “The Seal Boy,” raises a critical point about burlesque’s place in a postmodern society: we’ve come full-circle, through a culture that degraded “freaks,” to a time of greater self-awareness. To add, Rose Wood, with an elegant strut, poignantly illustrates how a man is capable of all the same affectations of a woman — that what is holding us back from accepting this is our own deep-rooted conventions.

For more information on the film, visit:

Needless to say, we are in works of acquiring a copy for the GLBT Library!

To stay updated on exciting activities, sign up for the QNews listserv. Contact for more information.

Free Screening: ‘Brother Outsider’

‘Brother Outsider’ documents the life of Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), civil rights and gay rights activist. Rustin played an integral role in strengthening Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership by organizing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Like Dr. King, Rustin supported nonviolent resistance and was a pioneer for the civil rights movement. He is perhaps best known as the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, where Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Today, Rustin represents the significance of intersectionality in identity construction. In his lifetime, Rustin faced oppression for both his race and his sexuality; he was arrested in 1953 for “homosexual acts.” Criticized within and beyond his own communities, Rustin is a symbol for modern social activism and the need to promote non-exclusionary equality. As Black History Month draws near, we are reminded of the systemic oppression that has, and continues, to restrict the rights of black communities worldwide. These communities include all sexes and genders, all sexual orientations, all body types. These issues are inseparable.

Come join us for a free screening of ‘Brother Outsider’ on Sunday, January 18 (8PM) at the IMU Whittenberger Auditorium. Bennett Singer, producer of the film, will be present and available for a Q&A following the film. Singer will also be the featured speaker for the MLK Day program sponsored by the city of Bloomington on Monday, January 19.

If you are unable to attend, please check out a copy of the film available in the GLBT Library! lightbox_BrotherOutsider4

“God Loves Uganda” Screening


Mark your calendars, folks.  On Sunday, September 7th, the GLBT office is cosponsoring a free screening of the film God Loves Uganda at 3 p.m. at IU Cinema.

“A searing look at the role of American evangelical missionaries int he persecution of gay Africans” – The New York Times

God Loves Uganda is a powerful documentary that explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry.God-Loves-Uganda-get-involved4

The film follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda along with politicians and missionaries as they attempt the task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity.

God Loves Uganda records the culture clash between enthusiastic Midwestern missionaries and world weary Ugandans. It features a heartbreaking interview with gay activist David Kato shortly before he was murdered. It tells the moving story of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, a minister excommunicated, ostracized and literally spat on for being tolerant – and chronicles his remarkable campaign for peace and healing in Uganda.

The documentary premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 18th, 2013.

Learn more at about this Roger Ross Williams film. You can also join the Facebook event, and invite your friends!

Student Summer Reading Program

Join the GLBT Student Summer Reading Program!

bookCheck out six books or DVDs, track what you’ve read/watched, and get a prize bag! Featured on our tracking sheet are Stonewall Book Award Winners, Fiction, Non-fiction, and DVDs!

All materials must be checked out from the IU GLBT Library, and a staff member will  highlight your tracking sheet when the book or DVD is returned.

The program is free and is open to all Bloomington-area student both in college and high school.  So stop by the GLBT Library to get signed up today!

Transgender Day of Remembrance – November 20th

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)’s Transgender Day of Remembrance ad
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)’s Transgender Day of Remembrance ad


November 20th, 5pm in Dunn Meadow

Please join us in honoring those who’ve lost their lives to anti-transgender violence and discrimination.


5:30pm Speakers
6:00pm Vigil walk to courthouse
7:00pm Memorializing names of those we have lost
8:00pm Closing statements

***Refreshments and warm drinks provided
***Rain Location: Tree Suites in the IMU

Questions? Feel free to contact Gender Warriors at

+Hope to see you all there!

Judy Shepard Tonight at Indiana Memorial Union

Judy Shepard

What: “The Meaning of Matthew with Judy Shepard”

When: Tuesday, October 22nd, 7-9pm

Where: Whittenberger Auditorium, Indiana Memorial Union

Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, will be speaking from a mother’s perspective. As a diversity speaker, Judy Shepard has made the prevention of hate crimes the focus of her efforts, and urges her audiences to make their schools and communities safer for everyone, regardless of their race, sex, religion, or gender identity and/or expression.

Go to the program page for more details about Judy Shepard, her son, and this special event.

On Display: Matthew Shepard

matthew shepardIn anticipation of Judy Shepard’s October 22nd visit to Indiana University to present “The Meaning of Matthew,” the GLBTSSS Library has on display some items in our collection that celebrate the life and legacy of Matthew Shepard.

Stop by and see how this young man continues to inspire acts of courage and how his legacy resonates with all those who fight for equality.

Holocaust Remembrance & Judy Shepard Talk

April 7-14 is Holocaust Remembrance week, and in the LGBT community the Holocaust carries some more modern significances–only recently was the reasoning behind many gay and lesbian arrests & time concentration camps recognized publicly.

Gunther Grahiddenholocaustu discusses LGBT persecution in Germany during World War II in his book Hidden Holocaust?, highlighting some aspects of the Holocaust that are not as well-known as others.

And though much progress has been made against LGBTQ violence, hate crimes are still very much a part of daily life for some LGBTQ people. This week at the Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union at IU Bloomington, Judy Shepard will speak about the murder of her son, Matthew Shepard, in Laramie, Wyoming.

Judy’s book, The Meaning of Matthew, discusses not only the death of her son, but dealing with the press and the extensive support from the LGBTQ community nationwide. Judy’s talk is on April 10, from 7:00pm – 8:30pm, and is free for students. She is a moving and heartfelt speaker, and it is well worth taking the time off from cramming for finals and projects to come and listen!