Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged lesbian

The Others

_I read all the pages the Google search engine would give me when I typed in the English words homosexual and bisexual. The pages that came up made my head hurt. I felt as though they were forcing upon me awareness, an acknowledgment, of an orientation that was not really mine.

Where the Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica

When I first began reading Where the Girls Are, I thought I had made a mistake. As I turned the pages of the first short story, Charlotte Dare’s “The Critic,” I thought, “This must be doing nothing for me because I’m not a lesbian.” Oh-oh. Fortunately, things changed as I moved on to the following stories.

Out in the Country: Youth, Media, and Queer Visibility in Rural America

The town I grew up in—Athens, Georgia (pop. 100,266)—is generally known for two things: indie music (a la REM, Elephant 6, and Kindercore) and the University of Georgia, both of which play a major role in maintaining the town's liberal leanings. However, Athens doesn't lean too far. It's still a place where college football dominates from Labor Day to Christmas, and if you're not in church on Sunday morning, you are assumed to be riddled with sin. Coming up in an environment rife with contradiction, I learned a lot about peaceful co-existence through plausible deniability.

Twisted Triangle: A Famous Crime Writer, a Lesbian Love Affair, and the FBI Husband’s Violent Revenge

“Stranger than fiction” is the most accurate way to describe the premise for this book about married FBI agents. The wife has a lesbian affair with a crime novel author, and the husband kidnaps and later tries to kill his wife. And yet, it’s a true story!

Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities

Julie Abraham’s Metropolitan Lovers: The Homosexuality of Cities is a survey of the presence of homosexuality within urban contexts throughout modern Western history.

Alice Fantastic

“I read faster than I breathe,” panted Maggie Estep. The author furiously delivered her signature sassy staccato while reading recently from her sixth novel, Alice Fantastic, at Inquiring Minds independent bookstore in Saugerties, New York. Estep quickly seduced the audience with her sharp tongue, much the way she first seduced me with her spoken word at the Nuyorican Poets Café in the 1990s.

Feminist and Queer Performance: Critical Strategies

Feminist and Queer Performance is a collection of eleven previously published essays by Sue-Ellen Case, a Professor of Theatre and Critical Studies at UCLA. Exploring topics as diverse as butch-femme aesthetics, cyber-minstrelsy, W.O.W.

Girl + Girl: Classic Lesbian Short Films

Reviewing a diverse film collection that includes a variety pieces can be a tricky task. This has certainly has been the case for reviewing this collection of lesbian short films. The DVD features a range of lesbian shorts produced between 1988 and 2003 in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.

Desiring Arabs

On September 24, 2007, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran drew derisive laughter from a group at Columbia University when he announced, "In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran, we do not have this phenomenon." Joseph A. Massad, Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia, was likely among the few who were not mocking this assertion.

Queer Youth Cultures

Queer youth are often absent from discussions about adolescents, popular culture, and even the queer community. Susan Driver, an advocate and expert on LGBTQ youth, puts together a thoughtful and diverse collection of work that gives voice to queer youth without pathologizing them.

American Studies (Volume 48, Number 2): Homosexuals in Unexpected Places?

In this special issue of American Studies, the editors promise a review that will challenge the preconceived notions of “metronormativity” in the LGBT community. From Dartmouth in the 1920s, to the work camps of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), to the eroticization of the rural male in the work of a visual artist, to Small Town USA, the gays are everywhere. What is surprising about this is that we’re supposed to find this surprising. In the introduction to this issue, Colin R.

Drifting Flowers

In the film Drifting Flowers, director Zero Chou brings together three stories of lesbian love and camaraderie. In the first, the audience is presented with May, a young girl who is confronted with the need to guide her blind older sister, Jing, while envying her sister's relationship with Diego. The second story is a sharp turn from the youthful innocence of May to the addled mind of Lily.

Are Girls Necessary?: Lesbian Writing and Modern Histories

Are Girls Necessary? was an astoundingly great idea, exploring the lesbian in nineteenth and twentieth century lesbian-authored literature, even that which is not as explicit as the lesbian novels that make up the heart of the lesbian literary canon. The subjects of Abraham’s examinations are a veritable pantheon of lesbian, bisexual and feminist literary icons: [Willa Cather](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1844083721?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkCode=as

Against a Trans Narrative

I did not know what exactly to expect when I inserted Against a Trans Narrative into my DVD player. Anticipating its arrival, I ran a brief Google search on the film and found myself at the official website, which seemed intentionally ambiguous.  About an hour later, I realized that Against a Trans Narrative was arguably the best movie about gender I’ve ever viewed. It’s remarkably intelligent, sensitive and powerful.

The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities

The Revolution Starts At Home is not your usual zine. At 111 pages, it qualifies as a book, and I’m excited to say the editors are looking for a publisher. Pending publication*, it will soon be available on the INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence website. Don’t be turned off by the bulk; this is an important zine that needs to be read by all activists of any sort. Contributors include Alexis Pauline Gumbs of UBUNTU, collective members of Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), Vanessa Huang, Gina de Vries, and a collection of women from the Mango Tribe.

Talking Funny With Jennie McNulty

Jennie McNulty is a stand-up comedian and professional football player who can be seen every Monday hosting LOGO’s "Walking Funny with Jennie McNulty," on which she interviews female comedians and sports personalities while taking them on a power walk. She recently chatted (over the phone, sitting down) with Elevate Difference about how laughter and exercise are especially important in these tough economic times. How did you decide to become a stand-up comedian? I had gone to school and got a degree in psychology.

How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism

While leftists and gay rights activists occasionally discuss the notion that left wing battles, and particularly GLBTQ struggles, are too influenced by the religious right, the complaint is always frustrated and dismissive, never a serious consideration. Tina Fetner approaches the notion differently, addressing how the influence of religious right was, in fact, invaluable in shaping, and in rendering more powerful, the lesbian and gay movement.

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour, which began in February 2008, is still scheduled to visit a number of lucky locations throughout the United States. As usual, Cho’s brand of feminist, LGBTQ, activist, and politicized humor was hilarious, raunchy, and thought-provoking. Unlike so much of the comedy gracing television screens lately, Cho continues to infuse her comedy with cutting edge analysis of race, gender, body image, and sexuality.

Queer Queens of Qomedy (08/01/2008)

Lesbians, like feminists, have no sense of humor. Or so we’ve been told… repeatedly. Poppy Champlin and her troupe of hilarious women-loving-women are busting that stereotype wide open. In various venues across the United States, the Queer Queens of Qomedy are met with crowds of queer fans and a hail of riotous laughter. I joined in on the gayety this past Friday night at the historic Birchmere music hall in Alexandria, Virginia, and I must say I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.

My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy

Andrea Askowitz doesn’t mince words, and this book’s title is just the start. In My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy, Askowitz takes her readers on a blow-by-blow tour through her first trimester, back to her “before pregnancy” days, and then all the way through her second and third trimester, her delivery, and her postpartum period.

My Brain Hurts: Volume One

Liz Baillie’s character Kate Callahan is everything that I wish I had been in school, as well as everything that I’m glad I wasn’t: a punk dyke; Mohawk-wearing, patches held on with safety pins-styling, multiple girlfriends-loving activist; and all-around New York City street-roamer. Think Diane DiMassa’s _Hothead Paisan _before she turned homicidal and got a cat.

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation?

The Lesbian and Gay Movements: Assimilation or Liberation? is a history of post-Stonewall GLBTQ activism as seen through three focused battles: the AIDS crisis, the ban on gays in the military, and the conflict over gay marriage. Craig Rimmerman presents a detailed breakdown of each, assembling them into a supposed study of the differences and relative importance of assimilationist and liberationist strategies.


Sonja is a tale of unrequited love and adolescent bumbling depicted with typical Finnish tendencies towards the grand, dramatic and baroque; that is to say, none. A joke: “How can you tell when you’ve met an outgoing Finn? He stares at your shoes.” I note this because the director, Kirsi Liimatainen, is a Finn, and this highly personal movie is typically devoid of the teary-eyed, blouse-rending that might infect another teen drama about relationships. My pal. Manicella.

That Tender Touch

I once read that it was possible to become mesmerized by bad acting. I never realized how true that was until I sat through Russel Vincent’s 1969 “dykesploitation” classic, That Tender Touch. Actually “bad acting” is too strong a term. “Campy” and “overblown” are much more accurate. The story starts with fresh-faced Terry (Sue Bernard) getting date raped.

The Off Season

This book, the sequel to Murdock’s Dairy Queen, may be marketed for young adults, but it’s not the equivalent of Sweet Valley High or The Princess Diaries, as both the book and heroine D.J. Schwenk have their feet planted firmly in reality. D.J.

Lesbian Connection

Lesbian Connection is a ‘zine published out of East Lansing, Michigan. The reader base isn’t immediately apparent, though after one read through it might be assumed that the ‘zine is geared towards older, white lesbians. It opens with a brief introduction and some “housekeeping” items and updates. Readers can then dive right in to articles submitted by readers.

Handbook of the Evolution of Human Sexuality

The style and content in a sentence: Professional enough for an academic, but thought provoking for the general public. If you’re reading this with thoughts that the “Evolution” part of this title might limit the diversity of coverage of “Human Sexuality,” read on. Most of what we might have learned about evolution and sex on public television, in high school biology, health class and even in psychology 101 leaves everything other than heterosexual, reproductive, cave-man sex in the archeological dust.

Figures of Resistance: Essays in Feminist Theory

Figures of Resistance is a collection of essays, including previously unpublished lectures and essays, by the absolutely brilliant, feminist thinker Teresa de Lauretis. The texts in this collection span from the concept of feminist aesthetics (or deaesthetics) in film as well as the notion of the narrative, and lesbianism.

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric Issue #5

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric Issue #5: The Breakup Issue is a perzine dedicated to the pain and loss of a breakup. It is mainly about one woman who, for all intents and purposes, appears to be the love of the author’s (also a woman) life. One thing rings particularly true while reading this deeply personal zine: relationships are often messy and complicated and wonderful and awful, and the pain of a breakup can feel unending no matter what gender you are. This zine explores all kinds of pain that derives from breaking up with someone you loved in an epic, devastating way.

Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled

I’ve always been a sporadic fan of Melissa Etheridge’s work; perhaps it’s because, to me, her lyrics often feel oddly a little sophmoric and platitudinously P.C.—even when her sound is rocking tough, true and primal. Her guitar sounds dangerous, but her words don’t. The disconnect in poetic feeling between her amazing guitar work and lackluster words is one of the reasons she’s not, up to now, been included on my ipod.