commodorified: On a plain pink background the words "Canadian Problem number 61: being a very bored gay rights activist" (canadian queer)
[personal profile] commodorified
One of my very favourite cousins is starting his PhD in education. One of his long-term goals is to help improve how LGBT issues are handled in the Ontario and Canadian school systems.

We talk about this stuff, some, and we talk a lot about the broader education of a queer activist. About racism, and poverty/classism, and feminism, and sex education, and reproductive justice, and disability, and what I came up calling 'linked oppressions' and is now referred to as intersectionality ...

And then again about vulnerability and shame and addiction and trauma and how they can echo down the generations of a marginalised subculture as they do down the generations of a family, and about building community and sometimes about psychology and sociology and anthropology and history and art ...

At one point I was tossing a bunch of books and names at him and suggested that I ought to make him a bibliography, and then, on further pondering, that maybe I should crowdsource it a bit, because while in some ways he and I are different enough for me to be useful to him - I'm a woman, I'm twice his age, my activist and academic experiences and preoccupations are different - at heart we're just a couple of white semirural Protestant SW Ontario kids not that far off the farm or the railroad.

Plus, it might be useful to people other than him.

So, here's my invitation/request: if you identify as an academic—formally or otherwise—and/or as an activist, tell me (him, us) about the books and essays and writers/artists and works that changed you, informed you, showed you aspects of yourself and the world that changed you and changed how you went to work. Your touchstones, as it were.

Everything is welcome: Movies. Music. Poetry, prose, fiction, academic works, famous or obscure, any field, any era. I'm particularly interested in works outside your own usual interests that turned out to be extremely important to you.


1) You don't need to explain why you're recommending something, but you are very welcome to. You also don't need to provide links, but they will be appreciated.

2) All works will be assumed to be both luminous and flawed, which is to say, do not challenge other commenters on their choices, or post dispargements/anti-recs. Those can be very valuable, but not here and now.

If you're reccing something that you consider problematic but still really valuable—or even valuable because it illuminates a really problematic mindset—you're welcome to say so, absolutely. Footnoting other people's recs is not so helpful here. If you know a better work on a topic, just rec it, okay? The goal here is the broadest possible net, and we won't get that if this turns into "your fave is problematic."

3) You can make as many recs as you like, or only one. Pick things that have lasted for you, things that have held up over the years, things that you're profoundly grateful not to have missed.

4) Feel free to link this, but I'd much rather it be linked to individuals or small groups who will be very interested than to larger groups who will be largely indifferent.

ETA: also, please don't reply to comments, as I'd like people to be able to come back and edit their comments (or add to them themselves if they can't edit for whatever reason), plus it makes everything easier to read.

Date: 2016-03-14 04:08 am (UTC)
amazon_syren: (Default)
From: [personal profile] amazon_syren
Brazen Femme (For the femme, but also for the sexwork and the intersectionality, and for finally finding some writing that centred femme as an identity in and of itself rather than something that only existed in relation to butch. It does get described as "a bit performance arty", which is not inaccurate).

(Also, if you look under "lesbian" at the Arsenal Pulp site, you will find a LOT of good stuff, including: I am a Red Dress, How Poetry Saved My Life (and all of Amber Dawn's other work, for that matter), and Dirty River)

Sex Change, Social Change

Whipping Girl

Fem(me): Feminists, Lesbians, & Bad Girls and A Woman Like That more because they were the first Gay Lady books I ever bought, and it took me years to get up the guts to take them off the shelf and bring them home.

Stone Butch Blues (not so much for me, but for a lot of the trans folks I know)

Inward Towards the Bones (this is, effectively, Georgia O'Keefe/Emily Carr femslash in poetry form)

Longing At Least Is Constant (Bi-Poly-Femme poetry by Kathryn Payne - yes, the obnoxious one in Raynedaze's poetry class a zillion years ago. I carried that book around like a talisman during my divorce. It was like I could finally see my own face).


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