Sunday Funday Is Wishing Josephine Baker The Happiest Birthday

Hello, fragrant basil trees! Today is the day I plant my kitchen herb container gardens on the front porch. The front porch—otherwise known as our summer spider sanctuary. I don’t know if it’s the plants that attract them or that we consistently release the house spiders we find out the front door. Either way, we always have a dozen spiders occupying our porch all summer and into the fall. Usually, there’s at least one huge spider that becomes an honorary family member.

Spider Sanctuary 2015 – Stevie’s World

Last year it was Maximillion the Resilient, an enormous black spider who set his trap under the mailbox and spun his web over and over every time the UPS guy demolished it by sliding a package into it. The year before it was Stevie the Guardian, a big cream-colored mushroom-shaped spider that kept watch over the front steps, occasionally dropping down to greet us.

I’m ready for summer (spider) vibes! How ’bout you?


Happy Birthday, Josephine Baker!

+ You may have noticed that yesterday’s Google Doodle was all about queer icon and first internationally-recognized African-American entertainer, Josephine Baker, in celebration of her 111th birthday.

+ Josephine Baker: The life of an artist and activist

+ Google Honors War Hero, Civil Rights Icon Josephine Baker On Her 111th Birthday


Here, Queer, Etc.

+ Black poet, Aziza Barnes​, on queer and gender liberation.

+ Vice looks into How Queer Prom Took Over America.


Reclaiming Our History in the Classroom


History Unerased is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit trying to bring training to teachers and providing curriuclums on LGBTQ issues and histories.

“People who we label and understand as LGBTQ today have always existed in every nation, in every belief system, in every ethnicity,” said co-founder and former high school teacher Debra Fowler.

History Erased is the only group licensed by the U.S. Department of Education to provide curriculum on LGBT issues. Of course, convincing schools to adopt the curricula and training is still an uphill battle, but since their founding in 2015, they’ve taught 400 educators are in talks with some school districts to use their content in the next academic year.

Why is this critical work to do? According to History Erased website:

Despite undeniable advancements for LGBTQ equality, the statistics relating to LGBTQ youth and homelessness, suicidality, risk behaviors and drop out rates are worsening. Study after study speaks to the unique opportunity (and responsibility) K-12 schools have to mitigate these statistics by disrupting the cycle of fear and shame through the presentation of a more honest and inclusive curriculum.


You’re Welcome: Just in Time for PRIDE


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Profile gravatar of KaeLyn

KaeLyn is a 34-year-old (femme)nist activist and the reigning Queer Fat Korean Immigrant Ms. America Pageant winner. You can typically find her binge-watching TV, over-caffeinating herself, standing somewhere with a mic or a sign in her hand, eating tofu, 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. Talk sexy about intersectionality, cult movies, or theatre nerdiness to her at @kaelynrich.

KaeLyn has written 148 articles for us.

16 Comments

  1. UM SO. UM. THE FACE OF PRIDE ARTICLE? HEY, LOOK WHO IT IS FOR MY STATE – ONLY MY GP! MY DOCTOR! I KNEW SHE WAS AWESOME, I KNEW ALL THIS BUT UM. YO! THAT’S MY DOCTOR!

    i mean now you know who my doctor is but i don’t care lol

    • It’s pretty neat at first, @wrengr, but over time the porch morphs into a spider pit. Which makes the prospect of actually enjoying the porch kind of terrifying unless you’re cool with spiders being all up in your business. Also, last year were spider eggs on some mint leaves I cut and they survived the washing and then they hatched tiny baby spiders all over the clean dish rack in the kitchen where I was hanging them to dry.

      But hey, it’s cool for a minute.

  2. Wow, History UnErased is doing such important work! I hadn’t heard of the org until now, and I love that it’s based in my state. It’s getting a Pride Month donation from me for sure! When I was in school in the U.K., there was a law against “promoting homosexuality” in the classroom that was basically interpreted as a ban against mentioning LGBTQ+ stuff at all. I didn’t know queer historical figures even existed until I was about 20.

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