We don't usually find children's literature relevant for our readers, but the Chicago Tribune (4/18) has a mini-review of a book for 4- to 8-year olds that may find its way into Xmas stockings for an older larger group. Bad Bears In The Big City by Daniel Pinkwater tells us of polar bears Irving and Muktuk. An illustration shows us the two bad bear boys in leather jacket and biker caps on a motorcycle.
The Chicago Trib (3/28) listed 10 essential books about gay life in America. Fine books, but Charles Kaiser, who compiled this list, seems to have forgotten that lesbians—and an equally impressive list of books by and about lesbians —also exist.
'What Goes Around Comes Around' is a saying in the African-American community and it seems singularly apropos concerning an article from The Independent (4/16). The Anglican Church (we call the U.S. branch Episcopalians) had to withdraw the offer of the bishopric of Reading, England, to Dr. Jeffrey John who is openly gay—though also openly celibate—when homophobes fussed and fumed. So the church hierarchy turned around and appointed John to be the Dean of St. Albans, a much higher and more prestigious post. Parishioners of St. Albans gladly welcomed Dr. John. The Independent's article, went on to snarkily point out the predicted break-up of the Episcopal Church in America upon the ordination of (gay) Gene Robinson has not happened.
The Chicago Trib (3/9) reported on the erotic pottery collection of the ancient Peruvian Moche. Many of the 1,500-year-old ceramics depict homosexual acts. The Spanish conquerors of the Incas were '... aghast to find ... homosexuality widely accepted ...' and brought the Inquisition to Peru in 1569 so that '... homosexuals could be burned at the stake.' The collection is now a major tourist attraction.
The Chicago Sun-Times (4/4) reports on the situation of various drag queens such as Nikkia Scott receiving 'illegal back-room injections of industrial silicone' to change their breasts, cheekbones and hips. Even though there have been a number of deaths from the non-sterile injections, no one transgendered was willing to blame anyone.
A Voice of Reason Award to a New Yorker (4/16) cartoon: A woman talking to friends: 'I don't blame gay marriage for my marital problems. I blame that woman my husband is sleeping with!'
The Chicago Sun-Times (4/20) reports that, in a new take on minority rights, India's eunuchs are running for office. The motto of eunuch Sonia Ajmeri? 'They have tried men, and they have tried women, but both failed the voters. Now let them try us!'
The Des Moines Register (4/17) agrees with school superintendent Tim Dose who has recommended sexual orientation be added to his districts non-discrimination policy.
The British paper, The Independent (4/2) under the heading 'Is the fight for gay rights really over' wonders whether gay commentator Andrew Sullivan is right in his assertion that the (British) gay movement should throw a big victory bash and disband. However, even in somewhat less homophobic England there will still be political fights for gay people.
A little culcha: two books and a play. From the NY Times (4/21): Martin Moran's memory play The Tricky Part in which Moran looks up the adult man he had a sexual relationship with between the ages of 12 and 15 and can't decide if this was his first lover or a horrendous abuser. The Denver Post did some research and named the older man. Catharsis or an evil mess? From the NY Times Book Review (4/25) Have You Heard by Anderson Ferrell, a novel in which a gay florist in drag shoots a Jesse Helms-like senator. Also the NY Times Book Review (4/18) reviews a book of short stories The View From Stalin's Head by Aaron Hamburger—virtually all of the stories involve gay Jewish men in Prague.
Clarence Page, columnist for the Chicago Trib (4/25), reports that the rate for booting gays out of the U.S. Armed Forces is way down. Apparently because of the war which, uhh, needs soldiers, any soldiers, straight or gay. Page's title say it all: 'Don't ask, don't tell and please don't leave.'