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Also.Also.Also: Two Longtime Lesbian Writers and Activists Have Died

Something cute and nice: In a couple weeks, I will be returning to the arts high school I graduated from in Virginia to participate in the annual writers festival there! I used to attend this festival every year as a student. Full circle moment! Plus, my fiancee is going to be one of the featured authors as well, so even more special!

Queer as in F*ck You

There have been a couple deaths recently of longtime lesbian activists and writers, so I wanted to share some words about both of them here for archival/queer history purposes. But I encourage you to seek out their writings, as I’m only skimming the surface here.

Former refugee from Nazi-occupied Austria Eva Kollisch has died: Eva Kollisch, Lesbian Rights Advocate and Memoirist, Dies at 98. Kollisch escaped Nazi-occupied Austria as a teenager in 1939 when her parents put her and her brothers on a train as part of an operation that got 10,000 Jewish children out of occupied Europe and was later reunited with her parents in 1940. The family relocated to Staten Island. She was a lesbian rights activist throughout her life, and she authored the memoirs The Ground Under My Feet and Girl in Movement. For 30 years, she taught at Sarah Lawrence, where she helped establish the women’s studies program. In 2009, Kollisch married her partner Naomi Replansky, a poet and activist. Naomi died earlier this year.

Amber Hollibaugh, author of My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home, has also died. She wrote on her experiences as a sex worker, queer feminist politics, the politics of desire, and more. She also was a filmmaker. She served as the former Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice and fought for reproductive justice, the rights of HIV-positive folks, and so much more. It feels like a lot of lesbian and queer elders have been lost this year. May their legacies live on.

Arrest Made in Arson Attack on California Lesbian Bar. Perhaps you have heard by now of the fires set at Gossip Grill. The owner and employees at the bar have been really adamant that this was not a hate crime but rather a result of a mental health crisis. More info can be found on the bar’s Instagram:

The Olympian Fighting for Her Right to Run. Caster Semenya’s new memoir The Race to Be Myself comes out next week.

In other lit news: In Blackouts, Justin Torres Examines How We Read Queer History, and Each Other.

City of Orlando Is Purchasing Pulse & Planning to Turn It Into a Memorial.

And speaking of the city where I live, this weekend was Pride in Orlando, and here are some shoutouts:

Saw This, Thought of You

Read the Last Words of Writer Heba Abu Nada, Who Was Killed Last Week by an Israeli Airstrike. Palestinian author of the novel Oxygen is Not for the Dead was killed by an Israeli airstrike in her home outside Gaza City at age 32. She was a poet and novelist.

A chilling podcast listen: How Canada Became a Nazi Haven.

How Osage Nation Members Struck Back at Decades of Indigenous Misrepresentation in the Media. This is a really necessary read if you’re planning to see Killers of the Flower Moon.

Political Snacks

After 30 Years of Silence, Althea Garrison Is Claiming Her Place in LGBTQ+ History.

One More Thing

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 842 articles for us.


  1. RE: Killers of the Flower Moon

    I saw the movie and I have to say while I thought it was overly long but an okay movie when I left it, by the next day I thought it really terrible how it centered the white men who are the bad guys and not the indigenous people and women who were the victims. I mean, they could have at centered the the white men from the FBI who solve the crime, but, no.

    Also I listened to a great podcast (less than an hour long) the day before the movie that did center the indigenous victims and actually explained key things not explained in the 3.5 hour movie.

    So I have definitely come to feel that Killers of the Flower Moon was a big flop.

    • The book that this is adapted from is very much the same way. A good portion of the book is about the FBI agent and the murderers and how they committed the crimes. Unfortunately, the Osage are almost tertiary characters by comparison. I excepted nothing less from the film tbh. If it gets Gladstone an Oscar then I’m here for it but I knew what this was going to be going into it.

  2. Not that i am trying to downplay canada’s attempts at hiding nazis but i find it kinda weird that you’re putting links into that but not the Saskatchewan’s government’s use of the not withstanding clause to remove the rights of transgender youth or the on going saga of bullshit that is James Cantor who has been making scads of money off americans by testifying as an “expert” witness to support anti-trans legislation in the US. Or in happier news the new deputy primier of manitoba is Uzoma Asagwara a queer nonbinary black person (and the primier is the first first nations person in canada to be elected to be primier of a canadian province, actually manitoba’s new government has a lot of ither firsts too)

    Like those are pretty explicity queer news events that have been making major headlines for weeks but have been weirdly absent from this site.

    • Thanks for this! I honestly just put that podcast episode because I listened to it and found it interesting. I’m not always up to date on Canadian news, but I can be sure to include more about these happenings.

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