There are plenty of people in the world who get nice things that they don’t (IMHO) deserve. So it’s especially nice when someone completely and utterly deserving is recognized for their greatness. I felt all the warm and fuzzies this morning when I heard on the news that the cartoonist and graphic novelist Alison Bechdel is a 2014 recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” one of the world’s most prestigious prizes. Bechdel draws the popular LGBTQ comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For and is the author/illustrator of the memoirs Are You My Mother? and Fun Home, the latter of which is one of the most esteemed books in the graphic novel genre (and a favorite of mine).
As a winner of the “Genius Grant,” which is awarded to between 20 and 40 individuals who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued and enhanced creative work,” Bechdel will receive upwards of $625,000 paid out over five years. The intention is for winners to use the prize money to continue doing their good work. Past winners have included people like “The Wire” creator David Simon, authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adihie, Junot Diaz and Edwidge Dandicat, and critic Susan Sontag.
After the jump, here are five things to know about Alison Bechdel, her cartoons and her important mark on pop culture! Keep reading »
Today on Slate.com is an excellent piece about why “kinky” should be considered a sexual orientation. Writer Jillian Keenan posits how we define a person’s sexual orientation should include what kind of energies turn a person on — dominant or submissive, for example — because for people like Keenan and myself, our sexuality is more complicated than just the gender and genitalia of the person to whom we are attracted. Keep reading »
Cosmopolitan, after almost 50 years of being one of the most aggressively heteronormative women’s publications from newsstand to screen, has finally decided to throw the queers a bone — specifically, 28 (ways to) bone, if you wanna get punnily Cosmo-esque — by publishing its first ever lesbian sex guide.
The NSFW slideshow up at Cosmopolitan.com has been garnering praise from mainstream media. “Finally,” said Salon.com, “Cosmo is reaching out to lesbians.” “Hurrah,” cheered Huffington Post UK. The coverage has accompanied acknowledgement of Cosmo’s recent forays into broader LGBTQ editorial content, with pieces like “8 Things Not to Say to a Transgender Person,” “14 Things You Should Never Say to a Gay Man,” and (the extremely wonderful) “My Life as an Invisible Queer.”
With wide circulation of the lesbian sex guide, Cosmo continues to ride a PR high on its perceived social progressivism. The Hollywood Gossip trilled the slideshow “will receive no criticism from any sane male OR female.”
So now, here I am, an Allegedly Crazy Female Gay, arriving right on cue to crash this positivity party. Keep reading »
Welcome to the 21st century, Alabama!
On Friday, an appeals court in the state overturned the anti-sodomy law, which criminalized consensual oral and anal sex between unmarried partners. The great state of AL punished “any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one and the mouth or anus of another” with a year in prison or hard labor or up to a $2,000 fine. The law was meant to harass and intimidate gays in particular — I mean, you know they weren’t going after teen boys getting BJs from their girlfriends in the backseat of their pickup trucks. Keep reading »