Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged queer

Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories

In a temporally queer attachment of my own, I was bound to Time Binds before it was even published. With versions of the preface, introduction, and three out of four chapters having already appeared in academic journals, Elizabeth Freeman’s arguments had already made an impression on me. This is not to say that Time Binds is a redundant publication. Bound together, the individual pieces only gain in strength, displaying Freeman’s commitment to theorizing the intersections of temporality, queer theory, and the body.

Best Lesbian Erotica 2011

As the title indicates, Best Lesbian Erotica 2011 is a compilation of short erotic fiction from a variety of authors, both established and obscure. What the title fails to express is that this is not just yet another compilation of middle-of-the-road lesbian erotica. This edition, unlike others before it, centers on lesbian outsiders, the ones whose radical gender bending and subversive sexuality sometimes makes the rest of us just a little bit squeamish.

Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States

In their near-exhaustive catalogue of violence, discrimination, and systematic abuse of LGBT people in the United States, Joey Mogul, Andrea Ritchie, and Kay Whitlock outline the specific ways that the criminalization of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered people has perpetuated inequalities not only based on sexual identity but also within the complex interplay of race, class, and gender.

Living and Loving in Dos Lenguas

Janet Romero-Leiva is a queer, feminist, Latina visual artist and writer whose work explores immigrant displacement, denied aboriginality, queer and of colour existence, living and loving in dos lenguas, and the continuous intersection of identities that shape who she is and how she moves in this world. Janet immigrated to Canada at the age of seven and has since been trying to find her footing between America of the north and America of the south.

We Have To Stop Now

We Have To Stop Now is freakin’ hilarious, excruciating, and perfect. You have to watch it. Convention dictates that I now tell you why. It all started in 1994 when I watched the Out There Comedy Special on Comedy Central while I was in college. Suzanne Westenhoefer had a ten minute stand up set on that one-off queer comedy show, and I was hooked. So when I saw her name on this blog’s list of review items, followed by the words “lesbian” and “comedy tv series,” I requested that I be the one to review it.

Radical Act

Tex Clark made the documentary Radical Act in 1995. It was originally intended as a snapshot of the rise of cisgender female involvement in indie rock following riot grrrl's and queercore's impact, particularly amongst lesbians and feminist women. After over a decade, Million Movies a Minute is officially releasing it this month.

Cho Dependent

To call comedienne Margaret Cho’s latest endeavor, Cho Dependent, a comedy album seems like a disservice. Though songs like “Calling in Stoned” (featuring the ever-stoned Tommy Chong), “Your Dick,” and “Eat Shit and Die” do little for my argument, Cho Dependent is completely unlike her six previous comedy albums. This, my friends, is Cho’s foray into the music world, and a damn fine one at that.

The Owls

The anticipation for Cheryl Dunye’s latest feature, an experimental narrative entitled The Owls (Older Wiser Lesbian) was high as information about the project has been accessible for some time. The filmmaker and actors belong to the Parliament Film Collective, a matrix of lesbian and new queer cinema creativity. The film cost $22,000 to make, and seems to fit in with the challenge made by Maya Deren to make good affordable films.

Tales of Tokyo

Full disclosure: Alan Rose and I are friends, and over the years I have enjoyed every bit of his writing. His first novel, the plot-driven ghost story The Legacy of Emily Hargraves, may differ in tone and content from Tales of Tokyo, but the underlying themes aren’t so different.

Mangos with Chili (7/11/2010)

I was thrilled to be able to attend a special Mangos with Chili show on Sunday night at Bluestockings in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I was thrilled not just because I consider the founders, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Ms.

Cotton’s Queer Relations: Same-Sex Intimacy and the Literature of the Southern Plantation, 1936-1968

As Michael Bibler mentions in the introduction to Cotton’s Queer Relations, it seems impossible that there could be enough material out there to serve as the basis for such depth of criticism on an incredibly narrow topic.

Leading Ladies

It may seem quite an impossibility, but the film Leading Ladies is, simply put, a quietly revolutionary dance musical. While most dance musicals (think Dirty Dancing, Save the Last Dance) center on the boy-meets-girl heterosexual love match, Leading Ladies is a beautifully wrought girl-meets-girl story.

The Promise of Happiness

In the introduction to her new book The Promise of Happiness, Sara Ahmed asks readers a provocative question: “Do we consent to happiness? And what are we consenting to, if or when we consent to happiness?” Ahmed takes on the elusive topic of happiness not to define it, but to look at how it works. Amazingly, this book does not get trapped in abstraction.

Voces Zine (Summer 2010, Issue 3)

Unapologetic. Raw. Honest. The third issue of Voces Zine is a collection of poetry by artists from different communities—indigenous, people of color, trans, and queer—sharing their experiences as survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Originally inspired by a small community of Latino immigrants, this issue represents a first-time inclusion of contributors from outside of its original roots. The eclectic air of the compilation reflects this shift.

Lizzy the Lezzy

To celebrate Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, the Sundance Channel has released five digitally animated Lizzy the Lezzy short films featuring the irreverent stand up comedy and musical humor of their title character. Who is this Lizzy the Lezzy – besides an Internet and television phenom who’s been featured on AfterEllen.com and Logo TV’s Alien Boot Camp?

Bye Bi Love

Bye Bi Love is a short film about a woman named Vera who receives a wedding invitation from her ex, and has a decision to make. Ticking this box is answering the most loaded question ever, and the reasons for this become clear as Vera’s story unfolds in a series of flashbacks depicting scenes with her current and former partners, all in the same apartment. Stylistically, it’s a rondo, which is really nice to see executed on film so sophisticatedly.

Le Tigre: On Tour

“What’s the status of Le Tigre?” an eager—albeit slightly angst-ridden—fan asks Kathleen Hanna during the Q&A session after the screening of Le Tigre: On Tour. I, too, had been wondering the same question—because this band, who has proven so formative to women young and old everywhere, seems to exist only in our collective lesbo-feminist consciousness at the moment.


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.

Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out!

Courtney Trouble, the creator of Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out!, is one of the hottest new directors of queer porn. After creating No Fauxxx in March 2002—a website with 150 models, twenty videos, and a free social networking community—Trouble started making full-length queer porn videos. She has also been in a few porn films herself, which she says adds to her respect for those in front of the camera.

Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch/Femme Erotica

So, I sometimes forget that reading erotica and looking at BDSM queer porn in the library of an Ivy League university is not necessarily standard practice. Lucky for me, I go to Brown, where I’m concentrating in Gender and Sexuality studies, and have somehow managed to legitimize studying sex manuals with postmodern theory in order to (supposedly, so they say) get a degree next year.

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.

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.

Anachronism and Its Others: Sexuality, Race, Temporality

Valerie Rohy’s exploration of the efforts to define both queer and Black identities and their subsequent intersections is as interesting as it is illuminating, as presented in Anachronism and Its Others, whether it is a discussion of the temporal implications of Frederick Douglass’ thought presented in his autobiography or demystifying the nebulous concepts of "queer time." _[Anachronism and Its Others](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1438428650?ie=UTF8&tag=f

The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

Gender, sex, and queer theory aren’t exactly what come to mind when I think of an easy read. I remember being duped into reading one of Anne Fausto-Sterling’s books, Sexing the Body, which begins with the story of a female athlete, Maria Patino, stripped of her medals when it was determined by doctors that she had been born with a condition known as androgen insensitivity.

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.

Diagnosing Difference

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is referred to as “the Bible” by the psychologists and psychiatrists who utilize it to diagnosis and treat patients. A project of the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM was first published in 1952 and subsequently revised in 1968, 1980, 1987, 1994, and 2000; the forthcoming 2012 edition is currently in formation.