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.
Lesbian writer, filmmaker and political activist Amber Hollibaugh died this weekend at age 77. Her memoir 'My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home' was a pivotal piece of literature on femme identity, growing up poor, sex work and surviving incest. RIP 🤍 pic.twitter.com/OBsKxgN6P3
— Xtra (@XtraMagazine) October 23, 2023
In other lit news: In Blackouts, Justin Torres Examines How We Read Queer History, and Each Other.
And speaking of the city where I live, this weekend was Pride in Orlando, and here are some shoutouts:
- Trans Girl Aged 11 Is Youngest Ever Orlando Pride Marshal: ‘Living Her Best Life.’
- 200,000 People Showed Up for Orlando Pride in Defiant Middle Finger to Ron DeSantis.
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.
One More Thing