Sunday Funday is Saluting Helen Grace James, 90-Year-Old Lesbian American Hero!

Hello, fluffy Norwegian forest cats! What’s a Norwegian forest cat? So glad you asked! It’s a very fluffy breed of cat related to the Maine coon and we’re pretty sure our adopted weirdo shelter cat, Jeter, is one. I mean, based on very scientific Googling we did one night when we first learned of the breed.

I don’t know! Remi is still on a quest to forcefully befriend our Norwegian forest cat. It’s not going well, TBH, for either of them. Jeter’s terrified of loud noises and quick movements. Remi’s loud and grabby when she gets excited. Cats excite Remi. I believe they’ll eventually be friends, but I thought we’d have made a lot more progress than this at almost 17 months.


90-Year Old Lesbian WINS Decades-Long Battle for Honorable Discharge

Helen Grace James at home (via Legal Aid at Work)

More than six decades after being forced to leave the U.S. Air Force due to Lavender Scare-era targeting and intimidation, Helen Grace James finally had her honor and rights as a veteran restored. Her records now reflect that she was honorably discharged, not “dishonorably discharged,” a designation that made it impossible for James to continue her employment as a teacher, apply for veterans benefits, and find peace. James is one of the thousands of LGBTQ veterans whose papers weren’t automatically corrected after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in 2011.

“I’m still trying to process it,” James told NBC News. “It was both joy and shock. It was really true. It was really going to be an ‘honourable discharge.’ It’s hard to take in. I’m wondering if I’m in a dream or a wish.”

YES HELEN!!!


To Be Young, Gifted and Black

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, the first feature-length documentary about Lorraine Hansberry, best known as the author of A Raisin in the Sun (the first play by a Black woman to be performed on Broadway). Hansberry was a civil rights activist, author, and a lesbian, which the documentary casts light on, though it wasn’t openly discussed in Hansberry’s lifetime.

According to filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain, Hansberry kept journals which made clear not only that she had relationships with women, but that she specifically identified herself as a lesbian. She was active in the 1960’s lesbian scene in NYC and contributed under a pseudonym to The Ladder.

Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart debuted as part of PBS American Masters series this weekend and is available to stream.


Here, Queer, Etc

Tipping the Velvet film adaptation, 2002

“It was an electric time to be gay”: Sarah Waters on 20 years of Tipping the Velvet.

I remember the mid-90s as a rather electric time to be gay, and young, and living in London. There was a lot to be angry about, but also a lot to celebrate and relish. Grassroots direct action groups such as OutRage! and the Lesbian Avengers were giving lesbian and gay culture an energy and a political charge. Queer theory was beginning to have an impact on ideas about sex, gender and identity. Sh!, the “women’s erotic emporium”, had recently opened its doors in Hoxton, selling sex toys in a fun, safe space. “Were dildos OK?” we pondered, thrillingly, in my Hackney lesbian house share. Were they sexually oppressive? Might it make them more feminist if they were shaped like dolphins?

The LGBT Candidate Running Against a Man Who Denounced Gay Marriage. Meet Joan Greene, Arizona’s candidate for Congress!

Washington State Senate votes to protect LGBTQ youth from practice of conversion therapy.

First-ever Super Bowl Inclusion Party set for Minneapolis. Hosted by an openly gay former NFL player, Esera Tuaolo!


I Wanna Start an Uprising of Love

I don’t know how I feel about the Women’s March L.A. or why the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles is there or where the long opening is going ok, but Melissa Etheridge led a “Yes, I Am” call-and-response and I’m a sucker for nostalgia, so…here ya’ go!


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KaeLyn is a 35-year-old (femme)nist activist, word nerd, and queer mama. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating carbs, or just generally doing too many things at once. She lives in Rochester, NY with her spouse, a baby T. rex, a xenophobic cat, and a rascally rabbit. You can preorder her debut book, Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution today if you want to, if you feel like it, if that's a thing that interests you or whatever.

KaeLyn has written 172 articles for us.

19 Comments

  1. Honestly, I’m shocked that there has been ANY progress in the Remi/Jeter saga. I say this both as someone who people who have shy cats are SHOCKED at their cats’ friendliness around me (it’s because I respect THEIR BOUNDARIES like literally that’s it (unless I need to violate their boundaries for Health Reasons which my cats generally understand even if they are Generally Displeased with that)) AND a former tiny human who, according to my parents, “learned to crawl to chase the cat, and then learned to walk to chase the cat FASTER” and barely saw my mom’s shy Bermese until I was like 4 and to the point of understanding that chasing the cat will not, in fact, make the cat my friend (though after 3 or so years of chasing, the elderly cat was understandably wary of me and the singular time she sat on my lap was probably the Peak Existence of me at 4 or 5).

    Oh, and also speaking as someone who is TRYING TO MAKE THE PUPPY UNDERSTAND THAT BEING LOUD AND CHASEY AND OVERWHELMINGLY IN THEIR FACES WILL NOT MAKE THE CATS HIS FRIENDS. Also, licking the cat that is semi-willing to be his friend will not make her his friend either, like I get it, the headbutting and licking SEEMS like it should go both ways but you have a head that is almost the size of the cat’s torso and your tongue has WAY more saliva on it than cats’ tongues do and you’re messing up her floof, bud, and she does not tolerate ANYBODY messing up her floof (and I wish she WOULD so I could actually do a decent job BRUSHING HER and stop agonizing over whether it’s worth it to sedate her to shave her butt-region at the least).

    • Haha! This made me laugh, @hollisb! I don’t think Remi is going to fully win him over until she’s old enough to learn to be chill around him. She’s made contact with other, less-skittish animals and once she pets a new animal friend a few times, she’s no longer super intense about chasing them down. Our cat is a really choice variety of scaredy cat, though. It’s a shame. They have so many similar interests: running from window to window, eating floor trash, aggressive cuddling, sitting on soft things, cardboard boxes…

  2. Really think it would have been better if Melissa’s performance was with the Trans Choir of LA, which includes some very lovely trans women, men, and people of color. I might be a bit basis as I know a few of the members.

  3. Great to see so many women being recognised, even if it is posthumously or after many years of being silenced. Also great to hear that so many women are “out there” taking on political power and making political careers for themselves and others.

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