Sep. 2nd, 2012 04:45 pm
ellenkushner: (Default)

THE.... Sodomite Hal Duncan!! 

From April 2008, but new to me:  

Glaswegian fantasist (Vellum and Ink) Hal Duncan* explains the finer points of m/m activity** to the sender of some hate mail.  And picks his teeth with what's left of them.

* You might also like Hal's expletive filled, loving and empowering 8-minute "It Gets Better" rant.  Or you might not.  I do.

**No, I'm not being squeamish; I just want to avoid overexciting the spambots.


Jun. 23rd, 2012 10:09 pm
ellenkushner: (Bessie McNicol)
I am pleased beyond measure to have had a story of mine* included in Brit Mandelo's wonderful new anthology BEYOND BINARY: GENDERQUEER AND SEXUALLY FLUID SPECULATIVE FICTION (from Steve Berman's ground-breaking Lethe Press).

But I confess I was stumped, right on page 1 of her Introduction, by the term Cisgendered.

I called Brit up to get her to tell me, and she, a Gender Studies grad student, patiently explained, and I thought I understood . . .  sorta. 

But I didn't really - and I wasn't really comfortable, either, with the idea of yet another category I had to try to squeeeeze my bad
interstitial self into - until my dear friend Pat O'Connor (who teaches at Oberlin) said:

"It means you feel like a woman trapped in a woman's body."

- Yes!!! I hollered (in the restaurant, frightening the other patrons). - So true!!!

*The story is "'A Wild and a Wicked Youth'" - which is about the childhood of Richard St Vier, one of the Swordspoint protags - but unlike a few of my other Riverside short stories, I think stands unquestionably on its own without reference to the novels . . . despite the disparaging words of the Locus reviewer, who loved nearly everything else in Beyond Binary.  Which really gave me a mauvais quart d'heure:  Nobody likes to hear that a work of theirs didn't "land" properly.  It is very discouraging and demoralizing.  And it does happen, as often as not.  I hope it makes you laugh to know that I got myself out of the funk by reminding myself that that self-same awful story that someone had disparaged in print had also been selected for two "Best of the Year" collections [Jonathan Strahan's Vol. 4 from Nightshade, and David Hartwell's upcoming e-book from Tor]!

I say this not to boast, but to remind us all that These Things Happen.  And there's (almost) always a way out.

This is my first post directly to DreamWidth, with a cross-posting set up to LiveJournal (thanks to my wonderful new assistant, Katharine Duckett - wonderful, that is, if it works....!).
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
Private Romeo appears to be opening in NYC this week.

Watch the trailer.  It's perfectly decent, but your reaction may not be, ah, Office Safe....  

Here's today's NYTimes review - you should be all right with that.
ellenkushner: (FurCoat)
"So when a book is about a girl who is the best at something and about the boys (and/or girls) that love her and how she defeats the bad guy, well, that's because she's the protagonist. It is good and right that she be at the center of the story."

My love for Holly Black / [livejournal.com profile] blackholly  ,  it knows no bounds.
ellenkushner: (gargoyle close)
Ursula LeGuin on China Mieville's Embassytown (in The Guardian - UK):
 "There are men right now who have never learned how to talk to women. How will we talk to somebody really different – aliens?"

The Atlantic Monthly's PROJECT:  FIRST DRAFTS offers some pretty great artists' takes on "the sometimes messy, frequently maddening, and almost always mysterious process of creating something new" - including Paul Simon, T.C. Boyle, Chuck Close, Tim Burton, Ben Katchor & more!

Hey!  Wow!  NYTimes & New Milford Patch report that the deportation of Venezualan guy legally married in Connecticut to U.S. guy is being suspended, while an appeals court "work[s] out whether a gay partner might be eligible under some circumstances for residency. . . . ''Something is shifting and opening, and change is on the horizon,'" says the executive director of Immigration Equality, a legal group that advocates for gay immigrants.

Tara O'Shea, who made the wonderful Bordertown wallpaper/icons, blogs about her road to the Border.
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)

Indeed, throughout history, male sopranos, whether in sacred music, opera or pop, have been prized as much for an ideal of angelic purity as for romantic heroism. The voice does not, as some might have it, appeal chiefly to gay men: much of pre-19th-century opera — or for that matter, Shakespearean comedy — is based on the understanding that what drives a woman wild is a boy who may or may not be a girl.

ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)
Hal Duncan is a friend & colleague, a fellow-author with whom I've had the pleasure of sharing a table (and a certain amount of wine) at conferences from his native Glasgow to the Nantes "Utopiales" Festival in France . . . . Here he joins the voices uplifted to tell teens "It gets better."  I think all teens should see this, not just queer ones - because show me the kid I'll actually like, no matter their sexual orientation, who hasn't needed to hear this:


"The world tomorrow belongs to you; be there to take it."

Thank you, Hal.

(I also sent this link to the Welcome to Bordertown authors - to me it has the right  feel.  And, yes, one of them (Annette Curtis Klause) responded:  "Any miserable misfit angy kid needs to hear that. Kids like I was who are made fun of because they look different, speak different, and look at the world through different eyes. Kids like I was who speak like that--use that language--defy the world and are scared as shit of it at the same time. Kids who want to run away to Bordertown and might some time be able to make their own Bordertown right here and now.")
ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)
Wow. Just . . . wow. A beautifully-designed website (& Twitter feed) devoted to "vintage photographs of men together (and sometimes women together) circa 1880 to 1950...paired with text to narrate what... the couples might be saying, doing, feeling. Text is drawn from poetry, fiction, letters, lyrics...."

The choice of the Cavafy poem = Win. Great translation. If you don't know Cavafy, you should.

Plus, much love for the quote on the homepage: "WHEN SOMEONE SHOWS YOU WHO THEY ARE, BELIEVE THEM." -- MAYA ANGELOU
ellenkushner: (Bessie McNicol)
"[O]ne of [fashion designer] McQueen's real gifts was a comprehension of an experience recognizable to most women, the feeling of being the object of someone's unforgiving gaze." -- NYTimes Style section, 2/14/10

Well, that explains a lot about the women I find confusing, the ones who really seem to think that if they go to the grocery w/o full makeup or in the wrong pair of shoes, the Furies will descend. The fierceness with which they feel this only makes sense in the presence of an imaginary Gazer installed early in life.

'"The goyim . . . do not feed their guests; it is not their custom," the girls' mother explains, bringing a cake as a gift while paying a social call. "We must respect the customs of others cultures, but that does not mean we have to starve."'
-- Cathleen Schine, The Three Weissmanns of Westport (a modern riff on Sense & Sensiblity!), as reviewed by Dominique Browning in the NYTimes Book Review

Ha! When I read that aloud to Delia, adding, "Now, who do you think wrote that?" she said, without missing a beat, "You?"


Jun. 5th, 2009 11:01 am
ellenkushner: (Default)
Hilariously wonderful dream this morning about being at a con at a spread-out college with Holly Black & a buncha people I didn't know, feeling slightly left out. Then Leonard Bernstein turned up as one of the guests, and when we all needed to get to a talk at another location and various cars were being parcelled out by the organizers, he offered me a ride on the back of his bike. His own "talk" finished with him singing a medley of songs he liked. He was having fun, and didn't feel like he needed to impress anyone with his erudition. Though he was also flirting with all of us. I stuck around, and kissed him. We made an assignation. He kept saying, "I'm bisexual" and trying to explain it to me. I told him I was pleased, because I'd written an entire set of books in which practically everyone was, so it was good to have corroboration. (Woke up & remembered that he actually was. I met him twice while he was alive, BTW. My chorus, the New Amsterdam Singers, was one of the groups called in for his Mahler's 9th at Alice Tully, and once when the group went caroling at the Dakota - in one of the stairwells - he came out and applauded us and our conductor, who turned quite pink. He & that stairwell get a cameo in my new short story, "Dulce Domum," which I read most of at Wiscon.)

We never did get to bed, though. The other night, I dreamed that Jeremy Irons was around, and I was wondering whether there was any chance he'd take an interest in me. Eventually, he did - but I woke up thinking, "Dammit, it was my dream - why did I have to waste all that time worrying about it?" Silly me.
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
Have you noticed that no one in my books ever eats bacon or ham? No hard feelings; it's just not a part of my world view, and therefore doesn't show up in my worlds! (I only realized this recently when someone in a novel I was enjoying tucked into some....)

I was raised in the branch of Judaism called "Conservative" - less rule-bound than the Orthodox, but with a lot more Hebrew and tradition than Reform Judaism. It was founded partly in reaction to the Jews being allowed to join the modern world about 100 years ago. What to give up, and what to keep? As Wiki explains, it's "a modern stream of Judaism that arose out of intellectual currents in Germany in the mid-19th century and took institutional form in the United States in the early 1900s."

I drifted away, but am proud to see that it is continuing to evolve in response to changes in society. My mom handed me their new quarterly magazine last month, "The Freedom Issue: Looking at Passover, Liberty and Identity." Imagine my surprise to find a ton of articles about GLBT Conservative Jews - including rabbis! Because in a landmark decision in 2006, the Conservative Rabbinical Assembly's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (yes, it's complicated. There is no Central Authority in Judaism. Think of it as . . . oh, different schools of Kung Fu which you can choose to adhere to?) voted to allow out gay men and lesbians to be ordained as rabbis and to allow rabbis to perform same-sex commitment ceremonies. I learned a lot and was very moved by the articles. They're all online for you to read at will. Here are some of my favorite excerpts from longer articles:
Read more... )

* * *

And finally, there's a swell article on the origins of the Seder: a Greco-Roman Symposium of the 2nd century! It's short, so I won't excerpt it, and just urge you to read it if you've always wondered why the emphasis on reclining, hand-washing, and arguing philosophy around the meaning of food. Not to mention Why Four Cups of Wine? It just makes my cultural syncretism heart go pitta-pat.

* * *

Tonight was the first Seder. Smallish, for various reasons. My mom, Delia & I worked hard, and it was good. Another tomorrow night.

May your parsley be springy & green, and your Liberation joyous!
ellenkushner: (Default)
Trust me, you don't want to miss this article from the NYTimes Magazine on scientific research on women's desire. Headline quotes: No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, women in the study, unlike men, showed strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men. . . .[ADD:] for women on average, desire often emerges so compellingly from emotional closeness that innate orientations can be overridden. " Women’s desire is not relational, it’s narcissistic — it is dominated by the yearnings of “self-love,” by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need. . . . . In comparison with men, women’s erotic fantasies center less on giving pleasure and more on getting it.

I'm not saying they're accurate, but it gives you an idea of the range of the piece. Read it for details.

* * *

Also, thanks to all who responded to the previous post on LitMags - I'm really enjoying the comments, and learning a lot!


Aug. 27th, 2008 03:09 pm
ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)
So glad everyone's enjoying the Bob Morris piece on gay marriage! [livejournal.com profile] burgundy sent a link to a really great piece by Sarah Sarasohn of Berkeley, CA (and NPR - gosh, I always thought it was spelt "Saracen"!) from the Washington Post: "A Marriage Form will just be Icing on our Cake." While it also gives you the warm cuddlies, it is longer and more profound than Morris's piece. (It also echoes Delia's & my situation in some entertaining ways that I'll write about later, as I'm on deadline....) I particularly like her analysis:

quoted here: )

* * *

Meanwhile, [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman's trying to create a new website, and finding it a challenge to organize & taxonomize, as she has careers (and publications) in middle-grade/YA and adult fiction. I refer you to her post on the subject. My question: What other authors can you think of with the same issue? How did they deal with it on their sites?

And speaking of YA, I just finished A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama (ah! that telltale moment of authorial anxiety - like when I insisted on subtitling Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners and Thomas the Rhymer: A Romance) by Laura Amy Schlitz. Fantastic book. Read, read, read if you like well-rendered period setting with complex characters . . . its other virtues are for you to discover.
ellenkushner: (Default)
I dreamed last night that I had stubble all over my face, because I'd forgotten to shave for a few days. Indeed, I tried to remember the last time I had shaved, and thought, "Hey, wait a minute! I thought the whole point of being a girl was that you never have to shave!"

Guess I was wrong.

And may I add that I looked pretty damn good with it?

(I blame Torchwood, which we watched for the first time last night, On Demand - how I love the modern world! - now that our cable wire is finally installed and I have lost my fear of all the Remotes....)

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