In the Beginning, There was a March

imageOn Oct. 11, 1987, half a million people participated in the second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.  It is often referred to as “The Great March” and involved protests in front of the Internal Revenue Services Court, along with the unveiling of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.  The demonstration results in the founding of a number of LGBT organizations, including the National Latino/a Gay & Lesbian Organization.  Rob Eichberg, founder of the personal growth workshop, The Experience, and Jean O’Leary, then head of National Gay Rights Advocates came up with the idea of a national day to celebrate coming out and chose the anniversary of that The Great March to mark it.  National Coming Out Day (NCOD) was born. Logo_ncod_lg

This Saturday marks the 26th Anniversary of National Coming Out Day.  NCOD serves as a reminder that one of our most basic tools is the power of coming out.  According to Human Rights Campaign, one out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian, and for transgender people, that number is only one in ten.

Every person who speaks up changes more hearts and minds, creating new advocates for equality.  I’ve gathered some materials and resources to celebrate coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or as an ally.

1. Check out some of our favorite coming out books and movies, including:

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Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories
Testimonies by Karen Barber
Testimonies by Karen Barber

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Human Rights Campaign celebrates National Coming Out Day on this YouTube video.

3. Check out R U Coming Out, a site dedicated to inspire, support, and unite those who are living their lives either completely, or partially in the closet.  The main focus of the site is the stories: people from all over their world share their own personal accounts of Coming Out.  The purpose of this site is not to encourage people to Come Out before they are ready or to make them feel under any pressure to do things in a particular way; it is simply a source of first hand accounts from people who have already been through, and are still going through, the process themselves.

4. Check out coming out guides and other resources provided by the Human Rights Campaign.

5. If you’re a straight ally, check out Coming Out as a Straight Supporter.

6. And finally, check out some of the more creative ways to come out of the closet courtesy of BuzzFeed: 24 Awesomely Creative Way to Come Out of the Closet. and 41 Awesome Ways to Come Out to Your Friends and Family

Book of the Week – Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America

outinthecountryThere are numerous publications that focus on queer, urban life in locations such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. In her book Out in the Country, Mary L. Gray expands the scope of study on queer living by providing an ethnography and cultural exploration of queer youth in Appalachia and rural Kentucky. Gray illustrates how LGBT youth and their allies contend with the economic and social confines of the public places in their neighborhoods. Additionally, she discusses how they network online in order to find resources and connect with queer individuals across the country. Gray works to deconstruct the stereotypes attached to rural life and encourages the reader to think critically about the notion of American spaces.

Book of the Week – About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! It’s time to celebrate and honor the lives of those who have served in our military, especially those who have lost their lives during service.

In light of this holiday, our featured book this week is About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights by James E. Kennedy.

about face cover

Written in 1995, this book predates the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a huge step forward in equal rights for our military. It contains the personal account of the author – a former captain and lawyer in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (and a closeted gay man) who prosecuted and discharged LGBT soldiers. The book details his journey from closet to resignation and coming-out, to his work in the Clinton administration striving to change the military’s discriminatory policies.

New nonfiction at the GLBT Library

Last month was a bit like Christmas around here, with our latest batch of acquisitions arriving and several generous donations. First, we’ll take a look at some of our new nonfiction titles. As always, stop by for more, and stay tuned for our new fiction and DVDs!

 Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience
by Katrina Karkazis
6.009 KARfi 2008

Examines the contemporary controversies over the medical management of intersexuality in the United States from the multiple perspectives of those most intimately involved. This work exposes the contentious disagreements – and all that those debates imply about gender and the changing landscape of intersex management.

 

 Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism
by Scott Herring
3.250 HERan 2010

Expands the possibilities of queer studies beyond the city limits, investigating the lives of rural queers across the United States, from faeries in the Midwest to lesbian separatist communes on the coast of Northern California.

 

 Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners: The Definitive Guide to LGBT Life
1.400 PETst 2011

Covers topics ranging from coming out to being out in the workplace; from dealing with the joy and complexity of same-sex weddings and commitment ceremonies (including how to propose and write meaningful vows) to handling the legal paperwork every couple needs.

 

 Queer America: A People’s GLBT History of the United States
by Vicki L. Eaklor
2.640 EAKqu 2008

Focuses on 20th/21st- century U. S. history as it pertains to GLBT history. Major issues and events such as the Stonewall riot, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the military, same-sex marriage, gay rights, gay pride, organizations and alliances, AIDS, and legal battles and court cases are discussed. Also included are sidebars highlighting major debates, legal landmarks and key individuals.

 

 Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality
by Gayle Salamon
6.008 SALas 2010

Considering questions of transgendered embodiment via phenomenology (Maurice Merleau-Ponty), psychoanalysis (Sigmund Freud and Paul Ferdinand Schilder), and queer theory, Salamon advances an alternative theory of normative and non-normative gender, proving the value and vitality of trans experience for thinking about embodiment.

 

 Just One of the Guys?: Transgender Men and the Persistence of Gender Inequality
by Kristen Schilt
4.828 SCHju 2010

The fact that men and women continue to receive unequal treatment at work is a point of contention among politicians, the media, and scholars. Common explanations for this disparity range from biological differences between the sexes to the conscious and unconscious biases that guide hiring and promotion decisions. Just One of the Guys? sheds new light on this phenomenon by analyzing the unique experiences of transgender men–people designated female at birth whose gender identity is male–on the job.