What are y'all reading?

CharlasQueer and Trans Lit

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What are y'all reading?

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Ago 6, 2006, 3:11 pm


What Queer/Trans works are folks reading or have recently read?

Ago 6, 2006, 10:26 pm

Recently finished Andrew Holleran's GRIEF. Very good, 'quiet' short novel.

Ago 9, 2006, 6:57 pm

The most recent Queer novel I've read is Kynship: The Way of Thorn and Thunder by Daniel Heath Justice. It's a Cherokee-rooted fantasy novel, the first in a trilogy.

Ago 10, 2006, 11:02 am

I'm afraid the last queer book I read was Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters.

Great novel, but not really helping me any on the obscurity rating.

Ago 10, 2006, 12:31 pm

I actually read it probably over a year ago, but it's definitely worth picking up repeatedly -- Rent Girl by Michelle Tea. I came to it by way of Laurenn McCubbin, who does some great indie comics work of her own.

Ago 21, 2006, 2:58 pm

unfortunately i haven't been able to focus on queer/trans stuff lately, but i did read walking with ghosts by qwo-li driskill and fuck pity #2 by colin kennedy donovan.

Ago 21, 2006, 6:49 pm

I'm really excited that peggy munson has that novel out! I wanna hear more about it!

Ago 30, 2006, 9:28 pm

One thing I can HIGHLY reccomend is Fun Home by Alison Bechdel. Fantastic book, and the one that will change peoples minds about the quality and seriousness of 'graphic novels' (although it's a 'graphic memoir'. Might be the best thing I've read all year

Sep 6, 2006, 9:41 pm

I completely and wholeheartedly second rmharris's recommendation in #9 of Fun Home. It's simply amazing.

11Tesseractive Primer Mensaje
Sep 12, 2006, 10:03 pm

Yep, I've been reading a chapter of fun home every time I go to the bookstore cause I can't afford to buy it right now. It's good.

Hehe, the last queer book I *bought* and read was The Outward Side, this gay pulp erotica novel I found for a quarter at Volunteers of America.

Sep 16, 2006, 7:16 pm

loved fun home and also, more fun but equally as skilled as comic art, the devil's panties. I've just picked up Baiser Vertige, an anthology of Québecois/e queer and trans writers. French is so sexy, non?

Sep 18, 2006, 5:18 pm

Devils Panties is fun for sure, I also love Geebas on Parade as I am a larper... I got to hang out with Jennie Breeden at a convention here, she is a very nice person as well as funny and talented.

(Um, these are both webcomics that are making the transition to print, for those of you who don't live on the internet. Hehe.)

14ShawnMooney Primer Mensaje
Sep 27, 2006, 7:50 pm

Hey I just joined the group and am glad to have a queer forum on LibraryThing! I've read a lot of queer fiction over the years, but have mostly been disappointed by everything I've read in the recent past so shy away from queer titles of late. The last fantastic queer-themed book I read was The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst, and wow I thoroughly enjoyed it. (The 3-hour British film adaptation is playing at our local film festival next Friday, and I'm looking forward to seeing that.)

The last queer book I read was much more mediocre, alas, Briefly Told Lives by C. Bard Cole. A couple of the stories were interesting, and I found Cole wrote about sex fairly interestingly; but overall, too many of the stories read as weak first drafts.

Editado: Sep 30, 2006, 6:19 am

Re-reading and teaching Deborah A. Miranda's The Zen of La Llorona. I just love this book, and my students are responding really well to it. I've been particularly delighted to read it again during some terrible racist bullshit at my university. This is one of those books that gives me hope and strength.

"Maybe our feet stich
this would closed
one dusty step
at a time,
create a scar;
the first healing skin."

She's amazing.

Oct 5, 2006, 3:54 pm

The most recent 'queer' novel I've read is a fantasy: The God Eaters by Jesse Hajicek. A fantasy adventure with a m/m romance. Very good. Almost as good as Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint and The Fall of the Kings.

Nov 24, 2006, 2:16 am

Just got Wyrwood by Daniel Heath Justice, the 2nd book in the Way of Thorn and Thunder series. They're Indingenous and Queer fantasy novels. Hooray!

Editado: Nov 28, 2006, 11:31 am

I'm just about to finish Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg, I've read one chapter of Macho Sluts by Pat Califia, and I'm also working my way through My Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein.

Stone Butch Blues has been an interesting and a fascinating read, showing me another choice I have in the gender spectrum, but not answering the questions I had about stone where it intersects with sexual behavior... and it's only helped to reinforce the ideas I had about said issue... ideas that I had hoped to be refuted by evidence otherwise. It's given me even more fodder for thought dealing with the ongoing search for my gender. It's also giving me a great look at the history of people like me. It's fascinating and enlightening, simultaneously a bit of a relief and a bit disappointing that there's been people like me or at least similar to me for decades (if not centuries), with the inability to hide, to go undercover and be someone we're not, trying to live life the best we can and get by in a society who is terribly threatened by our existence.

Macho Sluts actually isn't about what I was expecting. I was expecting gay men leather sex. I got lesbian/dyke leather sex. I'm not complaining.

My Gender Workbook is a work-in-progress for me. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out my gender by the time I'm done, but I have a feeling it won't do this for me. I have a feeling that I'll just realize that only I can figure that out (which I already know, but still). I decided to read/do this one after absolutely adoring Hello, Cruel World and reading it over and over and over again.

So, yeah, lots of books on gender recently.

Dic 7, 2006, 7:22 pm

I love Stone Butch Blues. It's such an important book.

Dic 17, 2006, 11:11 am

Yay for Wyrwood and the appearance of the fabulous Denarra, a genre and gender defying magic warrior with truly splendid hats :)

Stop the press, Geraldine McCaughrean's Peter Pan sequel, with the _flaming_ title Peter Pan in Scarlet has some wonderful trans and feminist subversive play with gender change and clothing. It's also a great read -- and the antidote to all that saccharine kidslit that floats around at Xmas.

Editado: Mar 2, 2007, 8:51 pm

I just got Uchechi Kalu's book of poetry, Flowers Blooming Against a Bruised Gray Sky. It's painful and beautiful and exquisite. I'm so glad it's finally out!

Mar 1, 2007, 8:53 pm

Hi, I'm new to the group, and glad to find y'all. I'm reading Queer Theory by Jagose, and "reading" Lost Boys--it's a book to look at, not to read. WebWeirdo_DC, I thought Pat Califa was a man too, until I read her gender analysis. Interesting viewpoint, but at odds with mine in lots of places.

Mar 2, 2007, 8:52 pm

Actually, Pat Califia trasitioned a few years ago, and is now Patrick Califia.

Mar 2, 2007, 9:06 pm

No kidding! Very interesting, I didn't know that at all. Thanks for the update. (I guess it shows that I'm sort of out of touch with goings-on in the GLBT literature world ).

Editado: Mar 2, 2007, 9:08 pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

Mar 8, 2007, 4:42 pm

Hi, I'm new to the group.

I am reading Speaking Sex To Power which is a collection of essays covering the period of Califia's transition. It's a book I really like, for how he is both personal and political.

I am a big fan of Kate Bornstein too - I really love My Gender Workbook and am currently dipping in and out of Hello, Cruel World. WebWeirdo_DC, I wonder how you found the workbook?

And finally, I am looking for a good introduction to queer theory - any recommendations?

Mar 10, 2007, 8:55 pm

re: Rent Girl by Michelle Tea - I could never quite get over feeling sick of reading so much with that sort of negative, one really messy horrible experience after the other - I guess it is an entirely subjective thing, but sometimes I feel like in being drawn into reading genderqueer/sex work it is easy to get bogged down in a sort of endlessly despondent world....

I had the same problem trying to read Augesten Burroughs. Does anyone get the tangent I'm failing to hold onto? Maybe it is entirely subjective...I think it is definitely something that goes on within my peers that read the same sorts of books as me - almost a fetishism of sexual abuse and sex work.

I think it's why I love Patrick Califia - i'm tired of everyone going "oh I'm SO fucked up!" - I LOVE Califia's unashamed reveling in queer behaviour.

Of course denying and silencing these experiences would be a horrendous thing and there is a definite validity in writing and reading about them.

Hmm. I think it's a little too late and I'm too tired to be explaining what I mean.

Mar 19, 2007, 9:40 pm

>27 mrscastavet: I completely agree. Lesbian/Gay literature needs to be homoaffirmative. At the risk of tooting my own horn, my novel, "Man in Shadow" is an example of affirmation of Gay lifestyle--it ain't all jolly old pleasure outings, but it's a helluva lot better than many writers would have us think.

Mar 1, 2008, 10:10 am


Queer theory comes in two varieties: the post-modern "everything is a performance" brand and the political "g/l/b/t are an oppressed minority" version.
Obviously it isn't either/or, but the two groups tend not to talk to each other much. I'm on the political end of things myself. A good introduction to the post-modern school would be Annamarie Jagose's Queer Theory, followed by Judith Butler's Gender Trouble. I haven't approached the political side academically, so I'm not sure if there is a standard text. I've been reading Queer Studies: a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Anthology. I haven't finished yet, and the person who gave it to me said it was uneven, but what I've read so far has been pretty level-headed.

I just noticed the date of your message, so I guess this is irrelevant, but it's written. Maybe it'll start some more discussion on this thread.

Jun 9, 2008, 6:06 am

Hi, I just joined the group.
I'm going halfway through My Lives, by Edmund White and I'm loving it. But hey, I´m a big Ed White's fan.

Jun 14, 2008, 7:45 am

>30 innersmile: Hi, innersmile. This thread hasn't been functioning for a while, but I'd love to see it flourish again. I recently finished Ethan Mordden's I've a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore which I just loved. Witty, slightly snarky, but ultimately kind, it's short stories of A-list young gay men in the 70s in New York City. It was written pre-AIDS so it doesn't have that "these men are doomed and don't know it" angst that retrospective books about that period have.

I also read a lot of theoretical books. The latest was finishing Queer Studies: a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Anthology which I thought had some really interesting and helpful articles, including one study on how one's way of identifying yourself can change depending on the context. (Example: a bisexual person might identify as gay at work, but insist on a bi identity in queer space.)

Jun 14, 2008, 1:29 pm

Oh good. I've been watching this thread, hoping someone would revive it. Queer Studies is on my reading list for the summer. Glad to hear you liked it.

Personally, I'm wading through Bi Any Other Name, which is, on the whole, less interesting than I'd hoped. It's a nice affirmation of bisexuality, and a recognition of its many faces, but I've got some definite gripes with it. (Partly, it's just becoming dated...)
I'm only about 2/3 through, but I'll write a full review when I'm done, and post a link to it here.

Here's to hoping we can get this thread up and running again:)

Jun 15, 2008, 7:37 am

32: Queer Studies: a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Anthology, like all anthologies, has good essays and bad. I actually thought all the article were well thought out in this one, it's just that some of them had no relevance to questions I'm working on.

Bi Any Other Name is also outside my interest area, but I see from the review that it's an anthology of people's personal statements, like Genderqueer, which I just waded through. Genderqueer did an excellent job of rounding up diverse voices from the genderqueer community, but it did a lousy job of finding voices who were sufficiently skilled at writing to be able to communicate thoughtfully on the topic. I suspect it too will date quickly. It is, however, good to have authentic voices from our past preserved, so I was glad the book existed, even though it didn't help me that much.

Are you reading for yourself or for a class?

Jun 20, 2008, 1:06 pm

Genderqueer did an excellent job of rounding up diverse voices from the genderqueer community, but it did a lousy job of finding voices who were sufficiently skilled at writing to be able to communicate thoughtfully on the topic. I suspect it too will date quickly. It is, however, good to have authentic voices from our past preserved,...

That seems pretty close to my experience with Bi Any Other Name. There is certainly a diversity of experiences recorded, at all different levels of comfort or openness about their bisexuality. To me, today, it feels like a historical document, though. It was very much a product of the 1980s: consciously positioned in response to lesbian-feminism, the biphobia engendered by AIDS, and the end, if you will, of the sexual revolution.
I think the same book written now would be very different. A lot younger, for one thing, and probably a lot more queer-identified. In fact, I wonder how much overlap there has been between the bisexuality movement and the queer movement...

I'm not reading for a class, just personal interest. I wish I had a class to discuss things with, though! I just finished my bachelors and my program was too rigorous to allow me to take psych. of sexuality classes, or anything like that, sadly.

How about you? What brings you to this neck of the woods?

Jun 20, 2008, 6:47 pm

34: I suppose that the main thing that brings me to any particular woods is a penchant for research. I always think that life is more interesting when you have questions and are spending time investigating answers. This particular neck of the woods started with a lot of questions about how gender works (or is ignored) in same sex relationships and has evolved into a lot of questions about gender identity from both a personal and political point of view. I'm working on an essay on how gender functions in the gay male community, and I've also got a research paper in process about the inter-entanglements of views of gender in the 70s and 80s including feminists, the men's movements and the s/m community (gay and straight). Lots of really interesting things to read in that area. Most of the non-fiction in my library is related to those projects in one way or another.

I don't know where you're located, but maybe you could get a book group together to discuss things with. That's kind of like being in a class but without having to worry about there being a right answer. Anyway, I wish you all the joys of "just" reading for personal interest. I've found it to be one of the greatest things life has to offer.

Editado: Jun 21, 2008, 11:44 am

Well alrighty then, let's keep this thread going....

Hi all, new to this group, and relatively new to LT. Chris, I have to agree with your comments to byzanne re general split in queer studies between the pomo and political contigents. And while there's definitely a fan base for Butler's works---myself included---I too tend to lean to the political end of the spectrum.

Haven't read Queer Studies but will make a point of looking it up. I'm particularly intrigued by that article you mentioned about social context determining how one identifies to others. As someone who is moving away from rigid either/or labels (been there, done that) and wanting to identify simply as "queer", I've found that it's hard going. It's almost like I'm compelled by others' assumptions/biases to be more confrontational (and contrarian) and so end up assuming various positional identities.

Re great books recently read: Julia Serano's Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Passionate, articulate and makes a convincing argument. She totally rocks.

Jun 22, 2008, 9:59 am

I'm currently reading Charlotte Bunch's Passionate politics: essays 1968-1986. It's somewhat dated, discussing controversies in the feminist movement that are long dead. However, she has a very clear voice and vision of what feminism should be about, that was generally refreshing and exciting. There are a couple of duds, like her 1975 essay on lesbian separatism where she calls for the eradication of heterosexuality, but I found most of the essays worth reading.

EAG: What do you think Judith Butler has to offer, and who would benefit from reading her stuff? (As my review of Gender Trouble shows, I am definitely not a fan, but maybe there are other people reading the list who would be interested in her work)

Editado: Jun 22, 2008, 1:25 pm

Hmmm, hard to encapsulate in a few sound bites... Butler, for me, is a philosopher who managed to adapt Foucault's seminal ideas of regulatory discourses into a feminist framework for discussing the cultural construction of sex, gender and sexuality. Bodies that Matter, which I read sometime after Gender Trouble really fleshes out her notion of "performance"---which I think has been often misconstrued. I should really get a copy of Bodies for myself and brush up on my Butler repetoire. Am also hunting for Giving an Account of Oneself which is an ethical treatise on the limits of self-knowledge and self-accountability.

Tangential backgrounder: The whole French poststructural wave was just coming into vogue during my final year of university and I gobbled it up for a while, finding it a refreshing change from old-school socialist/marxist analysis. Since then, I've veered back and forth between the pol and the pomo and am still sitting very uncomfortably on the fence.

Hey, I remember reading Charlotte Bunch's essays back in the day! (yup, older than dirt) Though for me they were scattered about in various anthologies, NYC pamphlets and in Ms. magazine. The Redstocking Brigade. The Lavender Menace. Wow, that took me down memory lane.

On my to-be-read list:
1. Sex Changes, which I've read before, but now own a brand new copy so must reread
2. Are We Persons Yet? and
3. Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence which seems a bit dated, but hey, got it for a buck at Goodwill...

Ago 10, 2008, 3:00 pm

>35 chrisjones: - thanks for your answer, the date doesn't matter - it's good that this thread got revived and I've got lots more ideas of what to read.

I've just been listening to podcasts from Beyond Masculinity: Essays from queer men on gender and politics. Lots of good stuff there which has me thinking.

Ago 10, 2008, 7:10 pm

I just finished Riki Wilchens Queer Theory, Gender Theory. It's a review of postmodern theory for the gender activist. The review of queer theory is simplified almost to the point of inaccuracy. However, she makes up for that by including critiques of queer theory, especially from the activist community. She ends with a very hopeful vision of how queer people can work together in an inclusive way to make gender a less contested space. I'm not sure it will work, and I'm not sure how I feel about the demise of identity politics, which have evidently been kinder to me than to others. But it's the first thing I've read that could clearly articulate a vision for a non-identity based movement.

Mar 12, 2009, 3:37 am

I'm looking for the details of a novel set in Germany pre WWII and during. It's the story of two gay blokes (lovers) who end up in a Concentration Camp. I think it's called 'The Kiss' or something similar and it's based on a true story. There's a scene in the camp in which the lovers are forced to pin the pink triangles on each other and keep laughing. I've been googling it, looking up fiction connection and all sorts.
Has anyone heard of it?

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