Whenever nature is invoked to support our human divisions, [we have] every
right to be suspicious, nature having betrayed only the most perplexing
and untrustworthy interest in man and none whatsoever in his institutions.
-- James Baldwin, "Preservation of Innocence"
It is the class struggle between men and women which will abolish men and
women . . . If we, as lesbians and gay men, continue to speak of ourselves
and to conceive of ourselves as women and as men, we are instrumental in
-- Monique Wittig, "The Straight Mind"
After World War II, a time during which homosexual identity politics began
to emerge with Harry Hay's Mattachine Society and a growing gay/lesbian
bar culture, gays and lesbians were forced to remain closeted if they
wished to lead "normal" (i.e., harassment-free) lives. As queer
historians like Allan Berube have explained, it was not until the late
1960s--and most memorably in 1969 with the famous Stonewall riots at a New
York gay bar--that "Gay Liberation" became an open public issue. Since that
time, the term "queer" has been accepted in many circles as an
all-encompassing idea that identifies a wide range of sexual minorities.
"Queer" includes homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgendered people of all
varieties. It also includes individuals who, for whatever reason, feel
that their sexual preferences have more in common with queer forms of
sexual expression rather than "straight" ones.
Queer theory, perhaps more than queer fiction, has been changing the way
we understand literary and aesthetic expression since the early 1980s.
Philosophers, activists, and critics such as Judith Butler, Adrianne Rich,
and Alexander Doty have suggested ways that supposedly "straight" culture
might be "queered" and seen from the perspective of socio-sexual
outsiders. Queer readings involve, for instance, ironic reconstructions
of traditional gender roles, reimagining supposedly heterosexual
characters in literature as, in fact, closeted gay lovers, and agitating
to make formerly marginal forms of pleasure and desire into perfectly
acceptable, mainstream ones. Queer theory and queer literature remind
us that there is always a subtext, and subtexts can be sexy. On a more
serious level, queer theory problematizes dominant modes of experiencing
social intimacy and ways that institutions enforce highly restrictive
sexual roles on individuals and families. Literature which is queer
includes any writing concerned with the themes of queer
theory and queer life experience.
About reading and enjoying gay literature. Includes many reviews
of contemporary gay fiction.
Gay Lit. Now
Tim Donahue's reviews of contemporary gay literature.
Gay and Lesbian Themes in Children's Books
Compiled by Wendy C. Betts, this site is an annotated bibliography
of children's literature which treats gay characters and themes
- Wildcat Press
Queer friendly press, featuring work by Patricia Nell Warren among
Gay Wired Book Source
In association with Amazon.com bookstore, this is a detailed listing of
queer oriented books listed by topic. Very useful, especially for research
on contemporary fiction and theory.
- Queer Resources Directory
An exhaustive compendium of links, resources, and contacts within the
- Transgender Forum
Lots of useful cultural, political, and social links for the
Bibliography of FTM and Transgender Subjects
An introductory bibliography of issues and people related to
- FTM International
Mostly a political/cutlural resource for female-to-male TGs. It's
especially helpful because many TG resources tend to focus heavily
on MTFs. Also includes information on TG activist Leslie Feinberg,
the author of Stone Butch Blues and Transgender
An interview with Dorothy Allison about her life and work in
Fat Girl magazine. Allison is the acclaimed author of
Bastard Out of Carolina.
Kate Bornstein--A Transgender Transsexual Postmodern Tiresias
An interview with Bornstein in ctheory, with excerpts
from hir plays and performances.
- Rita Mae Brown
Profile and bibliography of the celebrated author of
An unofficial tribute to the bestselling author of the Kay Scarpetta
mysteries, whose well-publicized real-life entanglements with a female FBI
agent make her the most tabloid queer mystery writer around.
Katherine V. Forrest
An acclaimed murder mystery author, Forrest is perhaps best-known for
Murder at the Nightwood Bar, which is soon to become
a movie. This site lists her books and awards.
An up-and-coming queer author, Heim's first novel Mysterious
Skin was widely praised. His latest, In Awe,
is described here, and this site also offers a short biography.
An article about the famous gay playwrite in Mother Jones.
Kushner wrote Angels in America.
- Joanna Russ
Russ is the author of many feminist science fiction novels, including
The Female Man. She's also published several critical essays
on women's writing and lesbian fiction. This is an unofficial site
with bio-bibliography and links.
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