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It Gets Better, edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

It Gets Better is a collection of short letters and testimonials written by gays, lesbians, transgendered people, and their allies. I’ve been waiting to get my hands on a copy, because I’ve heard a lot about it already, and because so many of my friends and loved ones are gay.

It Gets Better is a response to a series of troubling incidents (mainly in the United States) wherein young gay individuals have taken their own lives, or been killed, as a result of being gay.

When I was a high school student, the occasional utterance of “hey, faggot!” was as severe as it got, but these days, we hear of disturbing amounts of taunting, bullying and even torture of gay individuals – many of them in their tender teenage years.

If you know a gay teen who may be struggling to overcome self-doubt, anguish, loneliness, or isolation, then recommend this book to him or her. It’s not a catch-all solution to bullying, but it just may offer a bit of comfort to a young person who doubts that things can or will get better.

Gay Pride 2010!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Every year, in every high school, a girl will attend her prom with a gay date. Well, I was that girl, and my date was - and still is - a dear friend of mine. This post is for you, Joseph!

On September 5, celebrate diversity by marching in Calgary’s Gay Pride parade! Whether you’re gay or not, come downtown and show your support for equality, freedom, and choice.

Although drag queens and other colourful characters give the parade an air of frivolity, participating is actually a political act. Get “beglittered”, dig up that old feather boa, and then show your government, your neighbours, and your children that you believe relationships and families come in many wonderful forms.

For more information about the festivities, visit the Pride Calgary website.

Additionally, visit your local library! We have books to help gay couples improve their sex lives; books to help parents understand their gay children; books about the history of the gay rights movement. We also subscribe to several local GLBTQ magazines.

Don’t be shy about borrowing these materials. After all, some of our staff members are gay!

On September 14, join us at the Fish Creek branch for "Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride".

Happy Pride, to one and all!

Celebrate Pride: Curtsies not Required!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

What are you doing this Sunday night? Or next Sunday…or the one after that….?

Why not take in some local performances that are original, comic, strange and – best of all! – free of cover charge?

I’m talking about the Sunday night Drag (as in Queen) Show at the Twisted Element. Admittedly, it’s a scene that perhaps only an anthropologist could truly appreciate. Young and old, men and women, gay and straight, all hollering in unison at men dressed as ladies, who lip-sync to the latest pop song, or occasionally an old jazz standard. Sound weird? It is! But, our reactions to drag queens reveal so very much about what it means to be participants in a gendered society. Truly, drag queens give us insight into beauty, masculinity, femininity, performance, gender, attraction, bodies, and choice.

If you’re interested in more, check out these titles:

Guy to Goddess: An Intimate Look at Drag Queens, by Rosamond Norbury

Vested Interests: Cross Dressing and Cultural Anxiety, by Marjorie Garber

Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism, by Pat Califia

For a view from the other side, I recommend Self Made Man, by Norah Vincent. This autobiographical work has Norah Vincent cross-dressing for eighteen months, and working, dating and enjoying social outings as a man. The great thing about this book is that the reader isn't encouraged to be particularly sympathetic to either men or women; rather, just more enlightened about the challenges that both face.

Do drag queens have to be intellectualized? Of course not! Enjoy them simply for what they are: performers who are, (according to my boyfriend, who recently attended a show): “pretty….um…..convincing”.

If you'd like to get a glimpse of Calgary's "queen scene", be sure to participate in PRIDE 2009, on Sunday September 6th!

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Show Your Pride!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Get out your glitter and resurrect your rainbow flags! Another year of Pride is upon us!

This September, show your support for the GLBTQ community and march (or strut!) in Calgary’s gay pride parade. It’s a chance to declare that you’re gay and proud of it, or that you are a friendly ally in the battle against prejudice.

But, Pride is so much more than simply an announcement of homosexuality!

Come out (!) and declare that the gay/straight dichotomy is old and tired! Come out and declare that sexuality, families, partnerships, love and passion come in a multitude of forms, each one to be treasured and respected. Come out and declare that gay love and gay lives are something no government can legislate against, no sacred book can prohibit, and no society can repress.

Also, check out the Calgary Public Library catalogue! We've got fiction and non-fiction by, for and about gays! But, don't get caught up in reading - you've got marching to do!

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