4 Holiday Titles to Get You in the Spirit

With Thanksgiving past, marking the official start of the holiday season, we have put on display some of our favorite holiday titles that will make visions of sugar-plums dance in your head!

1453802630.01._SX140_SY224_SCLZZZZZZZ_Christmas in Graymoor Mansion
by Mark A. Roeder
Written by Bloomington resident, Christmas in Graymoor Mansion tells the story of friends and family who gather in stately Graymoor Mansion to celebrate the holiday season, but a blizzard traps them in the massive Victorian home Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day. To entertain themselves, the guests take turns sharing their Christmas memories and special holiday stories. Join Sean, his family, and friends in their Christmas celebration. There’s plenty of food, including wonderful desserts, Christmas cookies, and steaming hot cocoa to go with this set of Christmas tales. This is a collection of previously unpublished Christmas tales to be read year after year.

51j2QPiSLhL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_A Little Fruitcake: A Childhood in Holidays
by David Valdes Greenwood
Ah, the sweet memories of Christmas. Gifts under the tree. Cookies for Santa. And, of course, the annual fruitcake. For young David Valdes Greenwood, the indomitable “little fruitcake” at the center of these tales, nothing is sweeter than the promise of the holidays. A modern-day Tiny Tim, he holds fast to his ideal of what Christmas should be, despite the huge odds against him: Sub-zero Maine winters. A host of eccentric relatives. And his constant foil: a frugal, God-fearing Grammy who seems determined to bring an end to all his fun. A book that’s “fa-la-la-licious” (Louisville Courier Journal) and filled with funny, charming Yuletide memories (from building a Lego® manger to hunting for the perfect Christmas tree), A Little Fruitcake will inspire even the biggest Grinches around.

51yQgQ8RDUL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The Christmas Truck
by J. B. Blankenship, illustrated by Cassandre Bolan
Authored by a former GLBT office intern, if you are in need of Christmas cheer or have some cheer to spare, here is a book to warm your heart, a gift for friends to share. So settle in and know, my friend, before you turn the page, that this is a story for everyone: for friends of every age.
When celebrating a special Christmas tradition things go awry. Papa, Dad, their amazing kid, and one fabulous grandmother work together and implement a plan to save Christmas for a child they have never met. It’s a story where joy is found in giving and selfless acts unite families.

MV5BNzc5MTM5Mjc0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzI0MTcxMw@@._V1_SY317_CR6,0,214,317_AL_Make the Yuletide Gay (2009)
Olaf “Gunn” Gunnunderson, an out-and-proud gay college student, crawls back into the closet to survive the holidays with his family. He keeps his cool as his quirky Midwestern-hearted parents try to set him up with his high school sweetheart, Abby. But when his boyfriend, Nathan, shows up at their doorstep unannounced, Gunn must put on a charade to keep the relationship a secret. With pressure mounting from all sides, will Gunn come out before the truth does?

Bisexual Awareness Week

1455941_1483483695210181_1806438782_nIn celebration of the 15th anniversary of Celebrate Bisexuality Day, or Bisexual Visibility Day, held every September 23rd GLAAD, BiNet USA, and other bisexual organizations are launching Bisexual Awareness Week. Bisexual Awareness Week (#biweek) aims to draw attention to public policy concerns and also celebrate what makes bisexuality and bisexual great.

I’ll admit I’m a little late in my post, and that Bisexual Awareness Week is halfway over, but there is still time to celebrate and honor Bisexual Awareness Week! I’ve gathered a couple of things to explore in celebration!

1. Check out the data about bisexualitybisexmonth-and-oew-site

2. Read and share books about bisexuality. Here are some of our favorites:

Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins
Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out by Loraine Hutchins
Bi America: myths, truths, and struggles of an invisible community by William E. Burleson
Bi America: myths, truths, and struggles of an invisible community by William E. Burleson
Eros: A Journey of Multiple Lovers by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio
Eros: A Journey of Multiple Lovers by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio








3. Watch and share movies about bisexuality. Here’s our favorites:

Kissing Jessica Stein
Kissing Jessica Stein
Bi the way: A Documentary About the Whatever Generation
Bi the way: A Documentary About the Whatever Generation
Henry & June
Henry & June







4. Engage with people online about bisexuality by using the hashtag #biweek. BiNet has a series of other hashtags for the week focusing on history, culture, community, and current policy priorities that you can use to join the conversation as well! You can find their themes and hashtags for the week on their site.

5. Discover and share some fun memes about bisexuality.

6. Check out the beautiful faces of proud bisexual people: 28 celebrities who are bisexual!

For more information about everything happening this week, head to the official Bisexual Awareness Week site.


What is intersex?

Technically, intersex is defined as “congenital anomaly of the reproductive and sexual system.” Intersex people are born with external genitalia, internal reproductive organs, and/or endocrine system that are different from most other people. There is no single “intersex body;” it encompasses a wide variety of conditions that do not have anything in common except that they are deemed “abnormal” by the society. What makes intersex people similar is their experiences of medicalization, not biology. Generally speaking, intersex is not an identity category. While some intersex people do reclaim “intersex” as part of their identity, most regard it as a medical condition, or just a unique physical state. Most intersex people identify and live as ordinary men and women, and are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight.

Want to learn more about intersexed people?

Check out some of the resources we have on the subject! Click on the book or DVD’s image to find out more about each title.


Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) by Thea Hillman
Intersex (For Lack of a Better Word) by Thea Hillman
Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes by Gerald N. Callahan PhD
Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes by Gerald N. Callahan PhD
Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self by Sharon E. Preves
Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self by Sharon E. Preves










Golden Boy: A Novel by Abigail Tarttelin
Golden Boy: A Novel by Abigail Tarttelin
Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides
Annabel: A Novel by Kathleen Winter
Annabel: A Novel by Kathleen Winter









Harsh Beauty
Harsh Beauty







You can also easily find all of our resources related to intersex by browsing our tag “Intersexed people” in our catalog.

Looking for even more information? Check out some of these online resources:


2014-world-cup-logoThe end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching with the final this Sunday at 3 p.m. on ABC where Germany will face off against either the Netherlands or Argentina depending on the result of their game today at 4 p.m. We’re a little sad to see it end, too. It feels like it has been going on forever, and honestly, I don’t even remember what I watched before the World Cup took over my life. What do I watch when it’s over?

Fortunately, I went digging through our collection and found some materials to satisfy my soccer fix.

MV5BODIzMzc2MDkxOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTYyNTY1Mw@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_ Lesbians of Buenos Aires (2004) directed by Santiago Garcia
This documentary tells the tale of Buenos Aires lesbians, focusing on three personal stories. A former militant woman who now devotes her time to feminine soccer; a young woman who is active so no girl has to go through what she went through, and a lesbian mother who recounts how hostile the laws are regarding the rights of lesbian women. In spite of the difficulties their characters go through, the stories have a lot of humor, a tour of the city, and some soccer!

And my personal favorite made all the more perfect for this World Cup season as it is from Germany, the country definitely in the final round…

index Guys & Balls (2004) directed by Sherry Hormann
Already under pressure for playing badly, Ecki is thrown off the soccer team when his homophobic team-members find out that he is gay. With the help of his sister, Susan, and a cranky former soccer star, Karl, he forms an all-gay soccer team and challenges his old team in a grudge match. Ecki’s journey into self-realization is filled with wonderful surprises and interesting characters in this delightful romantic comedy.


Need more soccer? Check out some of our soccer-related books:

And stay up to date on all things related to the World Cup on Twitter.

Youth Resources

We recently visited with Prism Youth Community, which is an inclusive space for teens celebrating all sexual orientations and gender identity expressions that meets twice a week, to talk about our office and resources.  For the meeting, we put together a list of our favorite LGBTQ teen novels and movies which prominently feature gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, or question characters; all the teens seemed really excited about our materials!

So we thought we’d share a little bit of our book list with you.

Our favorite book with a prominently GAY character…

aristotleanddanteAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


miseducationThe Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth
When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl. Orphaned, Cameron comes to live with her old-fashioned grandmother and ultraconservative aunt Ruth. There she falls in love with her best friend, a beautiful cowgirl. When she’s eventually outed, her aunt sends her to God’s Promise, a religious conversion camp that is supposed to “cure” her homosexuality. At the camp, Cameron comes face to face with the cost of denying her true identity.


boyfriendsBoyfriends with Girlfriends by Alex Sanchez
When Lance begins to date Sergio, who’s bisexual, he’s not sure it will work out, and when his best friend Allie, who has a boyfriend, meets Sergio’s lesbian friend, Kimiko, she has unexpected feelings which she struggles to understand. Kimiko, falling hard for Allie, and finding it impossible to believe that a gorgeous girl like Allie would be into her, is willing to stick around and help Allie figure it out.


lunaLuna by Julie Anne Peters
Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night. In the secrecy of his basement bedroom, Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with the help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change–Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives?



openlyOpenly Straight by Bill Konigsburg
Rafe is a normal teenager from Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.
And oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. Tired of being known as “the gay kid,” when Rafe transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decided to assume a new persona. But trying to deny his identity has unexpected complication and consequences.


Check out our full lists: LGBT Youth Book Guide and LGBT Youth DVD Guide! Which books and movies do you recommend?

DVD of the Week – Red Without Blue

“I really don’t think that I was born in this world as a man or as a woman. I think the process of changing was the path I was born into.” –Clair Farley

RedWithoutBlue“Red Without Blue” is a groundbreaking documentary that chronicles the lives of two identical twins, Mark and Alex, as Alex transitions from a man to a woman named Clair. Covering a three year period, this film documents the twins’ lives as they work to redefine their family. Through candid interviews, Mark and Clair recount their difficult past and their current efforts to find themselves. As Mark and Clair reassert their bond as identical twins, they also question the normative standards of identity and gender.

The GLBT Student Support Services Office is screening a new film!

Film: What’s the T
When: Thursday, March 6th at 7:30pm
Where: Rose Residence Hall B111, Indiana University

“What’s the T” follows the lives of five transgender women and explores the problems and triumphs they experience on a daily basis. Immediately afterward there will be a small panel to discuss the film’s content and transgender issues at large.

Find out more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/656546337735020/?ref=22on

DVD of the Week – Fish Out of Water

In an origiFishoutofWaternal and humorous way, Fish Out of Water tackles the seven Bible verses used to condemn homosexuality and justify marriage discrimination. Using animated illustrations as well as discussions with celebrated scholars, Director Ky Dickens shows how these passages are often misinterpreted and misquoted in regard to same-sex relationships.

Through interviews with hundreds of LGBT people, viewers are able to learn more about individual experiences with faith and sexuality. These interviews offer unique viewpoints that span across culture, race, age, socio-economic status, and religion.

Fish Out of Water is an accessible and engaging documentary that discredits conventional arguments of hate and gives a voice to the oppressed.

Find the DVD at the GLBT Library!

Check out the trailer here: http://www.fishoutofwaterfilm.com/trailer.html

DVD of the Week – Behind the Candelabra

BehindtheCandelabra_GLBTlibAs someone who watched Liberace (the RuPaul of the 50’s) on TV with my grandmother, I was fascinated to  view this film which spans the life of an outrageous entertainer and an amazing pianist. “Lee” as he was affectionately known by hundreds of blue-haired grandmas (and scores of closeted little and big boys) gave meaning to the word ‘flamboyant’. And, yet, this incredible entertainer lived a closeted existence until his death from AIDS. The story of his life and one significant relationship is skillfully played by Mike Douglas (Lee) and Matt Damon (his lover) and the commentary after the film is as fascinating as the film itself. To hear Douglas speak about playing the role of his former neighbor and to hear Damon talk about his first role as ‘the gay lover’ is very revealing. For anyone who remembers the 1950’s, it’s fascinating to consider how far we’ve come as you watch Douglas and Damon’s portrayal of Liberace’s life. To hear their commentary following the film is equally important. People magazine gives this 4 stars. I agree. A worthwhile hour and a half for young and old, gay and straight.

Written by: Doug Bauder, GLBTSSS Office Coordinator

Check out These LGBTQ-themed Holiday Flicks!

WinschBirds1Holiday Double Feature: Make the Yuletide Gay and Come Out, Come Out

Make the Yuletide Gay follows a young gay couple as they spend their first Christmas apart.  When Gunn travels back home to Wisconsin he goes back into the closet to survive the holidays with his Midwestern parents.  When Nathan’s scheduled holiday plans fall through, he arrives on Gunn’s doorstep and they are hilariously forced to juggle the hetero views of his family and their true gay reality.  This movie examines some of the struggles couples face when coming out and celebrates love for family and each other.

Come Out, Come Out includes five short films about the issues of being young and gay.  A “Kiss in the Snow,” “Southern Family,” and “Home for Christmas” examine some of these issues in the context of the holiday season.  “A Kiss in the Snow” focuses on the unrequited love of two teenage boys in the cold winter months in Norway.  “Southern Family” is a short documentary following a young southern boy as he comes out to his family during the Christmas holiday, briefly details their reactions, and shows the strong and unconditional love of his family.  The last holiday short film, “Home for Christmas,” shares a young woman’s fear about coming out to her family.  Through her dream scenario, we see her desired family reaction and are given a new interpretation of the Christmas carol “Silent Night” along the way.

DVD of the Week – Orlando

orlandoHere’s an oldie but a goodie: the film adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic tale of gender-bending and unfettered movement through time. The gorgeous and androgynous Tilda Swinton plays Orlando, who begins life as a boy of the Elizabethan Age but experiences a series of gender transformations while jumping through the centuries.

The cinematography is lush, the costumes beautiful, and all the details evocative of each period represented. There is romance and adventure as Orlando takes lovers and travels across the British Empire, but also thoughtful exploration of gender roles and the societal expectations surrounding them. The novel was published in 1928, but director Sally Potter recognized its timelessness; and while the film is now over 20 years old, its themes and execution still feel fresh and modern.