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Life After ‘Cat Person’: Why We Need Feminist Novels

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If you haven’t read the short by Kristen Roupenian, ‘Cat Person,’ which just went viral last week, you absolutely have to. Many women find themselves relating to her story, which is why the author sold her collection of short stories so that everyday people will get to experience her truthful writing with an impact, again and again! As you eagerly await the short story collection, there are some other novels being released in the upcoming weeks that follow women’s lives and honest subjects we never knew we needed to learn about until now, inclusive to all women: Black women, transgender, and gay. We all understand the importance and impact of feminism in our lives. Here are 10 feminist novels that…

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LGBTQ Reads: Jazz Jennings and Kody Keplinger Among Authors Embracing Pride Month

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June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month, and in light of the upcoming election and the tragedy that occurred in Orlando, reading books about LGTBQ characters is more important than ever. Ten years ago it was almost impossible to find queer main characters in popular literature, with readers often needing to seek out indie titles or search through self-published e-books to find non-heteronormative stories. But lately there has been a boom in LGBTQ publishing, particularly in genres like Young Adult literature. And while we definitely still have a long way to go, it’s clear that readers are clamoring for more and more books that celebrate the LGBTQ community. So as we close out Pride Month, we thought it only fitting…

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Bathroom Bigotry and the Next Battle for Transgender Rights

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If you want to know what some people think about transgender people, consider their comments about the bathroom. Right, the bathroom—bathroom use to be specific. Here are a couple of examples: From former Arkansas Governor, former Fox News talk show host and soon-to-be-former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: “For those who do not think that we are under threat, simply recognize the fact that we are now in city after city watching ordinances that say that your 7-year-old daughter—if she goes into the restroom—cannot be offended and you can’t be offended if she’s greeted there by a 42-year-old man who feels more like a woman than he does a man.”  Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister (at least I think he’s…

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#LoveWins but the Struggle for Transgender Rights is Just Beginning

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The Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right is a great victory for the LGBTQI community and for everyone who believes in freedom and equality for all human beings. It is a defeat for the forces of bigotry and ignorance and particularly for people who believe that freedom of religion includes the freedom to discriminate. It does not. We are indeed making great progress. At the same time it is clear that there is so much more to do. As a result, I’m sure that while many of us have been celebrating, we have also spent a good deal of time assessing where we stand in the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality for all members of…

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Pride Month: Joe Wenke Says LGBTQIA equality still a long ways off

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Well, it’s Gay Pride month and we’re also just a few weeks away from the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. I think it’s almost always a bad idea to anticipate outcomes because life is so unpredictable, but just about everyone, including every Republican candidate for president, thinks that SCOTUS will rule either that all Americans have a constitutional right to marry whomever they want regardless of gender or that all states must recognize legal marriages performed in other states. So it would seem that this is a particularly good time to step back and assess where we stand in the struggle for freedom and equality for all LGBTQIA people. What follows is what I think along with a number…

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A primer on gender identity and transgender children

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Aidan Key is the founder and director of Gender Diversity Education and Support Services at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Joe Wenke is the author of THE HUMAN AGENDA: Conversations about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Aidan, Joe and transgender fashion model and activist Gisele Alicea will be at Seattle Town Hall on Friday, April 17, at 7:30 for a panel discussion of “Gender Identity in Seattle and Beyond.” Joe and Aidan got together for BookTrib to discuss some of the issues they will be addressing at the Seattle Town Hall event. What is the difference between gender identity and biological gender? AIDAN KEY: Biological sex is the gender you are assigned at birth. The doctor takes a quick look, says, boy, girl…

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What will it take to end discrimination against our 15,500 transgender service members?

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It was certainly cause for celebration when President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen certified congressional legislation to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) and the discriminatory policy was terminated on September 20, 2011. However, the termination of the policy applied only to gay, lesbian and bisexual service people. Transgender people and intersex people are still banned from serving in the Unites States military, not by law but by military policy. Both groups of people are deemed unfit for military service not for any demonstrable deficiency in their ability to serve but solely because of their respective gender identities, which are pathologized by the military as disorders. There…

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