New Zine Collection

The GLBT Library is proud to debut the new zine collection! These new materials in the library offer an intimate and alternative voice from the queer community.

What are zines?
Zines are self-published, low-circulating works that include both text and image. The term is an abbreviation of “fanzine” or “magazine” and is unlimited in the scope of its contents. Zines can include poetry and prose, political commentary, photography, drawings, collages, and just about anything else.

Our new zine collection!
Our new zine collection!
Though Thomas Paine’s Common Sense (1775) has been cited as a precursor, modern zines have a stronger connection to DIY (do-it-yourself) cultures. Because of this, zine creators are often interested in topics such as social justice, feminism, sexuality, media, and identity, among others.

Since zines have no standard format (often made my photocopies, appropriation, and staples), essentially anyone can make one. This offers the possibility of disseminating an alternative democratic voice, free from censorship by major publishing companies. Queer folks, historically oppressed by mainstream authorities, have taken advantage of this medium as a platform for sharing their beliefs and experiences.

Since zines are typically limited in their number of copies, the GLBT Library’s collection will be non-circulating. This policy is to ensure the preservation of these rare items and to offer everyone the opportunity to check them out. If you’re interested in photocopying the zines or borrowing them for a presentation, please consult the GLBT Library Coordinator to make arrangements at

We’ll be featuring new zines on our Twitter, so be sure to follow us @GLBTlibrary!

The GLBT Library is currently working on some programs in conjunction with the “inauguration” of this collection — stay tuned! (Especially if you’re interested in making zines!)

Spring Collection Development

LibraryAs our school year comes to a close, the GLBT Office is tasked with the always difficult, but very rewarding, duty of ordering new materials for the GLBT Library. After compiling an extensive list of titles (worth at least 4 times our budget), I managed to whittle it down according to our strategic goals. My main concern for acquisitions was diversity, that our collection had something for everyone. Some of our underrepresented collections include comics, animated films, and horror – all of which are included in our wishlist. More importantly, we will be ordering works that relate to issues of intersectionality, including crip theory, body types, fetishism, race theory, and others. I also hope to expand our resources for underrepresented sexes, sexualities, and genders, including bisexuality, intersex, and trans* issues.

In addition to ensuring that we have the “quintessential” titles and new releases, catering to as many patrons as possible in a variety of mediums and subjects is always a challenge. In the end, I believe we’ll be receiving some very exciting titles this summer!

If you’ll be around, stop by the GLBT Office periodically to check out a book or movie! We’ll continue our regular office hours of Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, all summer long. Good luck with finals!

MORE New Stuff: New DVDs

Last week, I shared some of my favorites that we just added to our collection.  Well this week, we got some MORE new materials, including a Cinderella retelling–Ash by Malinda Lo–and a parenting memoir chronicling the journey of raising a gender nonconforming child–Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron.  But since I shared books last week, I thought I’d share some of our new movies, because I am really, really, really excited about them.

Based on the great novel by Brent Hartinger,

Geography_clubGeography Club (2013) is an American comedy-drama directed by Gary Entin. Sixteen-year-old Russell is still going on dates with girls while having a secret relationship with football quarterback Kevin, who will do anything to prevent his football teammates from finding out. Min and Terese tell everyone that they’re just really good friends. And then there’s Ike, who can’t figure out who he is or who he wants to be. Finding the truth too hard to hide, they all decide to form the Geography Club, thinking nobody else in their right mind would ever want to join. However, their secrets may soon be discovered and they could have to face the choice of revealing who they really are.

And speaking of teenagers,

MV5BMjI0Njc5NDQ5NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTk2MjE3OA@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_The Wise Kids (2011), a vivid dynamic Southern coming-of-age drama, takes place in the transitional space between high school and college, when life seems to be all questions and no answers, and the future is scarily wide open. Set in and around a Charleston, SC Baptist church, weaving through this ensemble piece are three main characters – Brea, an introspective pastor’s daughter experiencing debilitating doubt, the hyperactive Laura, Brea’s best friend and a devout believer, and Tim, the open-hearted son of a single father, confronting his homosexuality for the first time. Tensions and buried feelings abound, as colleges are chosen and adults behave badly, as Brea, Laura and Tim attempt to hang onto what they have, all the while yearning to break free.

And because who doesn’t love a well-done documentary? We’ve got two new great ones!

MV5BMTMyMzIwMTQ5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODAyOTY3Mw@@._V1_SY317_CR6,0,214,317_AL_Chiseled bodies, flawless skin, sculpted jawlines.  At a time when popular culture objectifies men more than ever, it’s hard for them to avoid the pressure to possess such physical traits. In The Adonis Factor (2010), director Christopher Hines exposes how far some will go to attain “the Adonis factor” — the kind of god-like masculine beauty only seen in ancient Greek sculptures.
Hines takes the viewers on an eye-opening journey through circuit parties, gay porn, and avant-garde fashion photo shoots, all of which promote their own kinds of idealized physiques.  By capturing a diver range of voices the documentary poses the question: does a man’s fixation on body image make him any happier?

I cannot stop talking about this next film. Watch it. Seriously.

MV5BMTQyNzQ2NjI0N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTc5NjA0MDE@._V1_SX214_AL_Bridegroom (2013) gives an intensely personal edge to the ongoing debate over the legal rights of same-sex couples. Interviews, photos and video footage all testify to the uncommon connection that drew together Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom. For six years they remained united despite extreme challenges from both family and society, until a tragic accident tears apart their dreams. Now one must fight to be recognized as his soul mate’s legitimate counterpart.

Bridegroom won the Audience Awards for Best Documentary at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, the 2013 Toronto Inside Out Festival and the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival as well as Outstanding Documentary Feature at the 2013 Outfest in LA. Most recently it won Best Documentary at the GLAAD Media Awards.

Take my word for it and check out the trailer.

Be sure to stop by the office, we’ve got all these and more of our new materials on display!

Christmas in July: New Books!

new books

Picture it: yesterday afternoon. A big box is delivered full of bright, shiny, new materials for the library.  They all had the new smelling book smell. You know that smell? It was like Christmas came early. At least, I thought so; I might have done a little happy dance in celebration, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a little glimpse of some of the new books I’m most excited about.

InIn One Person by John Irving
Winner of a 2013 Lambda Literary Award, New York Times bestselling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity. In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of One Person, tells the tragicomic story of his life as a “sexual suspect.” In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself worthwhile.


fairylandFairyland: A Memoir of My Father by Alysia Abbott
After his wife dies in a car accident, bisexual writer and activist Steve Abbott moves with his two-year-old daughter to San Francisco. There they discover a city in the midst of revolution, bustling with gay men in search of liberation—few of whom are raising a child.  Steve throws himself into San Francisco’s vibrant cultural scene. He takes Alysia to raucous parties, pushes her in front of the microphone at poetry readings, and introduces her to a world of artists, thinkers, and writers. As a child Alysia views her father as a loving playmate who can transform the ordinary into magic, but as she gets older Alysia wants more than anything to fit in. The world, she learns, is hostile to difference.
Reconstructing their life together from a remarkable cache of her father’s journals, letters, and writings, Alysia Abbott gives us an unforgettable portrait of a tumultuous, historic time in San Francisco as well as an exquisitely moving account of a father’s legacy and a daughter’s love.

silhouetteSilhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin
In the summer of 1926, sixteen-year-old Garnet Richardson is sent to a lake resort to escape the polio epidemic. She dreams of indulging in ornithology and a visit to an amusement park—a summer of fun before she returns to a last year of high school, marriage, and middle-class homemaking. But in the country, Garnet finds herself under supervision of oppressive guardians. Only a job in a hat shop, an intense, secret relationship with a beautiful flapper, and a deep faith in her own heart can save her from the suffocation of traditional femininity. It is the tale of a young woman’s discovery of the science of risk and the art of rebellion, and, of course, the power of unexpected love.

And because I love graphic novels so much…

batwomanBatwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka
A new era begins as Batwoman is unleashed on Gotham City! Marked by the blood-red bat emblem, Kate Kane is a soldier fighting her own private war – one that began years ago and haunts her every waking moment. In this first tale, Batwoman battles a madwoman known only as Alice, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, who sees her life as a fairy tale and everyone around her as expendable extras! Also, witness the origin of Batwoman in the shocking and tragic story “Go,” in which young Kate Kane and her family are kidnapped by terrorists, and Kate’s life – and the lives of her family – will never be the same!


And the book I’m most excited about…

beyond Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
by Susan Kuklin
Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves.

All of these new materials and more are on display now in the GLBT office, stop by and see what else we got for Christmas in July!

The Gay & Lesbian Review has Arrived!

G&LRWe have received our first issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review!

This bi-monthly magazine provides a forum for discussing issues and ideas that are important and interesting to the LGBT community. Topics covered in this magazine broadly include history, culture, and politics. Each issue also contains reviews of books, plays, and movies.

In the March-April 2014 issue you can find articles about camp, drag kings, Harry Chess (the first gay comic hero), and short story author James Purdy. In addition, there are insightful reviews of a few new books including “The Leonard Bernstein Letters” and “The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray”.

Be sure to stop by the GLBT Library and check out this awesome new resource!

Book of the Week – Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LBGT Youth

safe_spaces_cover“What image comes to mind when you think about a safe or welcoming space? Is it an inclusive classroom environment, affirming community organization, or loving home? No matter what your image, it likely does not include fear, hate, or exclusion.” –Annemarie Vaccaro, Gerri August, and Megan S. Kennedy (2012, p. 9)

Safe Spaces offers a comprehensive view of the lives of LGBT youth, ranging in age from kindergarten to college, and includes clear and focused steps for creating schools and communities that are safe and welcoming spaces.  Over 100 first-person accounts from students, families, educators, community members, and researchers are included.  These personal accounts help readers understand both the individual stories as well as the “larger social implications of what it means to be a lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth in America (Vaccaro, August, & Kennedy, 2012, p. 7).  A “Queerossary”, which moves away from conventional glossaries by providing multiple definitions for terms, as well as an LGBT Resource List, add additional informative content to this work.

DVD of the Week – Mosquita y Mari

Mosquita y MariMosquita y Mari tells the story of two teen Chicanas growing up in Los Angeles. The girls are best friends, but slowly their friendship develops into romantic affection and sexual attraction.  Each must find a way to balance her new-found love, which comes wrapped in a confusion of emotions, with the responsibilities of family and school. This independent film from first-time writer-director Aurora Guerrero has been hailed by critics as honest and well-crafted. It was honored with nominations for both GLAAD Media and Independent Spirit Awards.

Book of the Week – Skim

skimThis graphic novel, released in 2008 to overwhelming critically praise, tells the story of Skim, a Japanese-Canadian girl attending a Catholic school in the early ‘90s.  It’s a simultaneously funny and sad coming-of-age tale, full of all the struggles of adolescence; and it does not shy away from difficult and complex subjects, including depression and suicide, teenage sexuality (including homosexuality), cliques, and unhealthy friendships.  The artwork is gorgeously detailed, evocative of its particular time and place, and often cinematic in scope.

DVD of the Week – Hit & Miss (TV series)

hit-and-missAmerican indie actress Chloe Sevigny stars in this stylish yet spare British television series about Mia, a contract killer who is also a transgender woman.  Action and domestic drama mix when Mia must find a way to balance her life as an assassin with her new parental role—after an ex-girlfriend dies of cancer, Mia takes in their eleven-year-old son.  Hit & Miss is from the creator of Shameless, another UK series that had crossover appeal in the States, and like that series, it is often provocative in its portrayal of sexuality.  But it aims for authenticity, and Sevigny has discussed in interviews her attempts to really understand transgenderism: “To prepare for [her role, she] waded through medical notes about surgical procedures, hormone treatments and read autobiographies of people who had changed gender. ‘I also sat down with some M to F girls and they were very open with me, very generous,’ she says.”  The GLBT Library has the complete first season available for checkout on DVD.  

Book of the Week – First Spring Grass Fire

spoonTransgender indie singer-songwriter Rae Spoon’s first novel is memoir-esque in its intimacy and candidness, and with its powerful revelations of a life.  The young narrator grows up queer in the urban wilds of Calgary, in a conservative Christian family headed by a violent and ill father.  The voice is plain-spoken and poetic, with an often devastating understanding of the outsider’s life: “I couldn’t run away from home in a city that was so expansive and cold.  You could run for half an hour and not even get to the end of your neighbourhood, and all of the neighbourhoods looked the same, so it didn’t really feel like escaping at all.”

While the story is full of struggle, both internal and external, it nevertheless offers glimmers of hope, a possibility of a better and bigger life.  Here, there are Nirvana songs, religious revivals, Bible verses, tragic losses, first loves, and mountains both real and metaphorical.  A coming-of-age book whose protagonist smolders quietly and then becomes a flame.