Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged lesbian


Sometimes you stumble upon really small, obscure films that leave such an impact that you just want as many people to see it as possible. Desigirls by Ishita Srivastava is one such film. Filmed as a graduate thesis project at New York University, this twenty-minute documentary explores a refreshingly new topic—the South Asian lesbian community in New York City. I had the opportunity to watch the film and speak to the director afterward.

Body 2 Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology

Body 2 Body is the product of Malaysia’s young, hip and well-connected who’ve banded together to compile a collection of short stories and essays on living la vida non-normative.

The Baby Formula

"Why shouldn't we have the chance to make our own babies, have our own children?” That's one of the first lines spoken in The Baby Formula, a delightful award-winning Canadian mockumentary that took two honors in 2009: the Audience Award at the Toronto Inside Out Lesbian & Gay Film & Video Festival and Best LGBT Film at the Nashville Film Festival.

Torah Queeries: Weekly Commentaries on the Hebrew Bible

Torah Queeries is a compilation of sixty drashot, short exegetical essays, each of which addresses one of the parshiyot, segments of the Torah that comprise the yearly cycle of the reading of the Five Books of Moses. The reason there are sixty drashot rather than the usual fifty-four is because six additional ones are included, each dealing with one of the major Jewish holidays.

Off and Running

Considering the number of children in need of adoption—and the number of children who are actually adopted each year—it's surprising there aren't more adoption stories being told. Aside from The Locator, we've had especially limited access to stories about adopted children reaching out to their birth parents. The delicate, vulnerable position of someone sending a letter out into the world, waiting and hoping to hear back about where they come from, is still a bit of a mystery, and more than worthwhile.

From Criminality to Equality: 40 Years of Lesbian and Gay Movement History in Canada

I was around eight years old when I went to my first Pride parade with my mom and her girlfriend. I was fourteen when my mom went on national television for a campaign demanding the right to marry for lesbians and gays. And I was twenty-five when I married my long-term girlfriend within months of same-sex marriages becoming legal in my country.

Sapphistries: A Global History of Love Between Women

Sapphistries is an epic journey through real and fictional love between women. It is so epic that the author, Leila J. Rupp, had to coin a new term to describe this type of book. It is not just a history; it is an interweaving of prehistoric musings, fictional accounts that draw on suppositions of what it must have been like in times when no evidence was left of when and where these kinds of love was forbidden, right up to the modern day.

Religion at the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana: Politics, Identity and Faith in New Immigrant Communities

Religion at the Corner of Bliss and Nirvana, a collection of essays on the religious activities and identity formation of immigrants to the United States, is the fruit of a four-year study conducted by researchers from the Religion and Immigration Project (TRIP) at the University of San Francisco.

One Summer in New Paltz: A Cautionary Tale

In the wake of a failing U.S. economy and two unwarranted wars, former president Bush set out to condemn the gay community as he called for a constitutional amendment to reduce gay rights. Facing reelection, the president’s call to enshrine a heterosexual definition of marriage into the Constitution effectively diverted attention away from his failures and used the gay community as a convenient scapegoat. But Bush’s move did more than spark nationwide debate.

Finding Gloria: Nos/otras

In the spirit of Gloria Anzaldúa, Finding Gloria: Nos/otras is an independent zine featuring the words and art of various contributors. Anzaldúa was a writer, poet, and artist whose work focused mostly on her identities as a woman, Chicana, lesbian, and feminist. The title of the zine comes from Anzaldúa’s work.

Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood

When Melissa Hart was eight years old, her mother fell in love with Patricia, the woman who drove the school bus. Soon, Hart’s mother left her husband and moved in with Patricia, taking her children with her. Within months, however, Hart learned a heart-wrenching lesson when she discovered that the family courts of the 1970s didn’t regard a woman involved in a same-sex relationship as a fit mother.

Off and Running

Off and Running is a very non-traditional coming-of-age story told in a way that deftly conveys one young woman’s unique situation as well as more universal themes. Filmmaker Nicole Opper was afforded intimate access to her subjects, which enabled her to invite the viewer to take a sensitive and warm perspective as the events unfold. The film’s central subject, a high school track star named Avery Klein-Cloud, is honest and likable.

The Age of Independence: Interracial Unions, Same-Sex Unions, and the Changing American Family

Michael Rosenfeld’s The Age of Independence is refreshing, yet scholarly application of demography. Though demography is often seen as merely a slew of statistics flat on a page, in actuality it is the soul of society spelled out as best we can.

A Jihad For Love

To ponder the relationship between Islam and homosexuality is to consider something that does not exist. Parvez Sharma’s groundbreaking documentary, A Jihad for Love, calls this frequently held assumption what it is: a lie.

Wherever There's a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in California

On June 16th, 2008 Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin made headlines as the first same-sex couple legally married in the state of California. The couple, who first met in the ‘50s, spent the majority of their adult lives advocating for equal rights for homosexual couples and lived to see their goal realized. Although Californians have fought the battle for same-sex marriage most visibly in the past ten years, activists such as Lyon and Martin have been addressing the issue of discrimination against homosexuals in California for several decades.

Chica Busca Chica (Girl Seeks Girl)

For all those who have complained about the suburban whiteness of The L Word, meet Chica Busca Chica (Girl Seeks Girl). Chica Busca Chica is a new Spanish television show with a lesbian perspective.

Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing

Something to Declare is a wonderful collection of travel stories written to share a unique experience, traveling while lesbian. These stories bring a solid voice to the forefront for queer travel writing, showing the world that travel is indeed colored by the lens of being a lesbian.

Who's Your Daddy?

Postmodern indeed. As a single Black lesbian mother, I assumed that a resource like this wouldn’t yet exist. On searching, I discovered a literary road map to queer parenting and family that is current, diverse and mini-encyclopedic in its breadth. Reading this work made me feel as though I had added to my family of choice.

Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures

Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures is a collection of fifteen short stories that, as promised, feature lesbian cowboys. On average, the stories run approximately fourteen pages or so, which results in the feeling that there is not much in the way of plot or character development.

Another Life Altogether

Elaine Beale crafts the engrossing coming-of-age and coming out story of Jesse Bennet in Another Life Altogether. Jesse lives on the northeast coast of England, one of the world’s fastest eroding coastlines. The constant threat of the breakdown of the cliffs is mirrored by Jesse’s mother’s constant threat of mental collapse.

Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, And Lipstick Lesbians

California: Land of the free, the brave, and the gay. This heart-lifting literary biopsy of gay rights’ progression in Southern California (Los Angeles, specifically) is a delight to read. For those of you who have ever stood in the face of adversity, protest poster in hand, Gay L.A. will remind you exactly why you did so.

City of Borders

I grew up in Berlin. The images of the wall, of barbed wire around strips of no-man’s land dividing the city, and of rigorous border controls and heavily armed border guards were a normal part of my life for a long time.

Pleasure Consuming Medicine: The Queer Politics of Drugs

Pleasure Consuming Medicine is the deliciously (and ambiguously) titled new work by the Senior Lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Kane Race. His difficult but rewarding text joins a number of new works about the pleasures (not just punishments) of drug use.

Girl Crazy: Coming Out Erotica

Stories of self-discovery and coming out comprise the overwhelming majority of lesbian imagery in literature, television, and film internationally. Many of us lesbian types truly wish we could get a bit more exploration beyond those murky borders, but I know of few people who actively dislike the coming out story. After all, if it is done well, it can be quite romantic and caters to the notorious lesbian love for nostalgia.

When Women Were Warriors Book I: The Warrior's Path

I usually do not read fantasy books, but The Warrior's Path changed my mind. Catherine M. Wilson writes a beautifully well-crafted story that incorporates the elements of fantasy without entering any stereotypes. The first of three books in the When Women Were Warriors series follow Tamras, who trains to become a warrior like the other women in her family.


Author Elana Dykewomon has been acclaimed for writing about lesbian lives and realities largely unacknowledged by the mainstream.

Smash the Church, Smash the State!: The Early Years of Gay Liberation

Like all good memoirs of the 1960s and early ‘70s, Smash the Church, Smash the State! takes readers back to a time when revolution seemed imminent. Change was in the air and the fifty-one essays comprising Tommi Avicolli Mecca’s important anthology vividly capture the heady exhilaration of queer activists on both U.S. coasts as the possibility of being out-and-proud became increasingly tangible. The book is both a look back and a look forward.

States of Union (09/2009)

Artwork can rarely be separated from the artist. The two inform each other. At least that is the case with photographer Alix Smith, whose latest exhibition, “States of Union,” recently opened at the Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York City. A common theme of Smith’s work is identity—the perceived notion of one’s identity and one's actual identity. The identity that was most challenging for Smith is her own as a lesbian. She always had a feeling of wanting to fit into the norm.

The Passing Game: Queering Jewish American Culture

Once homosexuality has been fully incorporated and accepted into “mainstream” society, I wonder what group will be placed at the bottom of the totem pole. I use the word incorporated because it symbolizes a capitalistic tolerance without a desire or need to understand a person's totality.

She Likes Girls 4

She Likes Girls 4 is a hilarious compilation of eight short films on various ways in which girls like girls. Topics center around gender, childhood innocence, homophobia, and presumptions. _Babysitting Andy _directed by Pat Mills is a humorous short about a nine-year-old brat who tortures her wheelchair-bound uncle and his partner into schooling her on the definition of fellatio.