Happy Holidays?

During the holiday season, folks are supposed to be “merry and bright,” right? For many of us, that isn’t very easy.

Let’s talk about the US holiday Thanksgiving, a celebration of colonial oppression and overconsumption. For me, Thanksgiving is a mixed bag.

When I was 13, my parents announced on the Sunday after Thanksgiving that they were getting divorced. My mother had made strides to create a huge family tree for my grandmother. She had traced photos of five generations of my stepfathers’ relatives onto fabric that she then made into a quilt for my grandmother. It had taken her over a year to complete the project. It was my parents’ turn to host the family reunion, and they had chosen Thanksgiving as a way to have a one-day celebration, rather than the week-long camping trip that was a family tradition. After all of my mother’s hard work, it was very traumatizing to hear that we were being kicked to the curb. It’s hard to be thankful for a stark reminder of family trauma. [Read more…]

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Feminist Conversations: An Interview With Lesbian Icon Ann Bannon

Ann Bannon, in my opinion, is the queen of lesbian pulp fiction. Her books in the Beebo Brinker series served as a roadmap for many lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s. I was introduced to Bannon’s work in a Women’s Studies class at ASU. Bannon’s novels helped me navigate my own coming out process. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I was given the opportunity to interview her.

1. What was your initial inspiration for writing the Beebo Brinker novels?
I began by falling in “fascination” with the first original lesbian pulp novel, Spring Fire, by Vin Packer. It’s a story of two young women who meet in their college sorority house and fall in love—not a terribly original premise these days, but a dangerous and thrilling one then. The consequences of being outed in the 1950s were appalling, and I had been close enough to a similar disaster in my own sorority to empathize with the girls in Packer’s novel. I knew I wanted to write, and it turned out that this little pulp paperback I had found on a newsstand shelf was the creative trigger. [Read more…]

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