Connexions Resource Centre:
Focus on Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexuals
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to gay, lesbian and bisexual issues in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Breaking the Left's Gay Taboo (January 18, 2019)
A review of Allen Young's "Left, Gay and Green: a Writer's Life" that includes much historical context and the reviewer's personal history.
- Disagreement is not hatred (November 25, 2018)
An essay on the transgender debate which argues that debate ends when we label views we simply disagree with as 'hatred''.
- Review: The Politics of Some Bodies - On "Feminism, Queer Theory and Marxism at the Intersection" (March 1, 2017)
At a time when Marxist politics is struggling more than ever against the current, queer Marxist scholarship is enjoying a slight, startling, heartening resurgence. Holly Lewis' The Politics of Everybody is a major contribution to the trend.
- LGBT: a Dissection (July 15, 2016)
"LGBT" is everywhere these days. But is it here to stay, or is it a passing fad? Where did it come from? Why was it promoted? By whom? And to what end? How did it acquire its seemingly endless variants? The acronym, in its many permutations, designates a movement very different from the gay liberation movement it evolved from. Some might see it as progress, expansion, and greater inclusivity, others as a tombstone for what was once a radical sexual liberation movement.
- A queer take on Safe Schools and identity politics (June 16, 2016)
In recent weeks, the debate over the Safe Schools Coalition anti-bullying program has intensified, taking what is in many ways a bizarre turn. The brief suspension of program architect Roz Ward from her position at La Trobe University has reopened the debate about whether Safe Schools is 'cultural Marxism' by stealth, the program once again coming under fire from conservatives across the country. Even trans advocate and member of the ADF Catherine McGregor has weighed in. One of the more interesting elements of this, however, has been the debate it has created about the role gender and sexual politics can and should play within Marxism. Here enters Guy Rundle. In the pages of Crikey, Rundle penned a treatise on the program and what he considers the failures of 'queer theory'. Rundle believes Safe Schools (via queer theory) presents the view that 'gender and sexuality are infinitely fluid'. He argues, however, that such a view denies the material realities of sexuality and gender, not to mention his view that 'almost no-one really believes it -- and they certainly do not let it shape their lives'.
- Marxism and LGBT politics: a new wave of discussion (June 1, 2016)
Colin Wilson reviews Peter Drucker's book Warped: Gay Normality and Queer Anti-Capitalism.
- Homonationalism and Queer Resistance (May 1, 2016)
For most young queers today, still, the image of a "worker" is white, male and straight. You can't understand the realities of class without an intersectional approach - an intersectional approach fused with some of the key insights of contemporary radical queer theory.
- Anti-Capitalism and Queer Liberation (November 1, 2015)
Book review of Peter Drucker's Warped: Gay Normality and Queer Anti-Capitalism.
- Queer Activism in the Labor Movement (January 31, 2015)
In the 1970s, Teresa Rankin kept her sexual orientation private while organizing textile workers at J.P. Stevens in North Carolina. When the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) offered her an organizing position in a small town in Virginia, Rankin, turned down the opportunity fearing isolation due to her sexual orientation.
- Unite and Fight (January 28, 2015)
The flim Pride isnt just excellent labour history. Its a reminder of what real solidarity looks like.
- How Social Movements Can Win More Victories Like Same-Sex Marriage (July 11, 2014)
The rapidly expanding victory around same-sex marriage defies many of our common ideas about how social change happens. This was not a win that came in measured doses, but rather a situation in which the floodgates of progress were opened after years of half-steps and seemingly devastating reversals. It came about through the efforts of a broad-based movement, pushing for increased acceptance of LGBT rights within a wide range of constituencies.
- Why we must stop this gay witch-hunt now (February 28, 2014)
President Yoweri Museveni has done it. Against widespread expectation raised by his earlier pledge, the Ugandan leader turned around this week and signed into law the contentious Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed last December by a parliament his ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), controls.
- Stop hate rape! (February 26, 2014)
Hate crimes, homophobia and discrimination against queer people are global phenomena that are common practice. This situation is especially experienced in Africa and the Middle East where harsh and punitive legislation and policies are authorised and endorsed. The lack of democracy, or the protection thereof, also perpetuates extreme human rights abuses, which often takes the form of physical assault.
- The Nigerians Who Dare to Speak of Love as a Tide of Anti-gay Hatred Rises (January 18, 2014)
A new crackdown on gender minorities has led to arrests and fears of mob violence. But a brave few are still fighting for sexual freedom.
- The Emperor's New Penis (June 21, 2013)
Right now the gender fundamentalists are doing their best to shut down dialogue. They've damaged books books that dont even mention their concern pressured bookstores, and silenced speakers scheduled at universities. It should come as no surprise that they are using the final tactics of all fundamentalists: bullying, threats, assault. And they've done this with increasing frequency and intensity. How long does it take to see the pattern?
- How Laws Assault Queer People (book review) (January 1, 2012)
Queer (In)Justice is authored by Joey Mogul, a partner at the Peoples Law Office in Chicago and director of DePaul Universitys Civil Rights Clinic; Andrea Ritchie, an attorney and organizer who works on issues of police misconduct; and Kay Whitlock, an organizer and writer around structural injustices.
- A critique of anti-assimilation (November 16, 2011)
In this piece, Gayge Operaista critiques how anti-assimilation politics of many radical queer tendencies ignores class struggle, and recasts queer liberation in terms of the class struggle, countering the worst excess of identity politics with an introduction to models of class struggle.
- Queer theory and politics (October 11, 2011)
Queer theory and politics originated in the 1990s and continue to be influential today. This article traces the development of queer theory and politics, and assesses their claim to provide a radical alternative to what they see as the LGBT mainstream.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Toward A Queer Marxism? (March 1, 2011)
Scholarly approaches to sexuality since the 1980s have become increasingly divorced from practical sexual politics, and both have largely given up on earlier attempts to engage with Marxism. Now this may be changing. A stimulating new book by Kevin Floyd maintains that people in queer studies are paying more attention to Marxisms explanatory power. From the activist side, Sherry Wolf of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) has made an impressive effort to sum up LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) theory and practice from a Marxist perspective.
- Queering the Cold War (November 1, 2010)
A review of the book 'The Canadian War on Queers' and its examination of how homophobia, national security, and queerness unfolded in Canada during the Cold War.
- The New Sexual Radicalism (May 1, 2010)
What are the social origins of queer? Does this current have a vision - whether implicit or explicit - of sexual liberation, and if so, what is it? What is its relationship to such emancipatory projects as feminism, antiracism, global justice and socialism?
- The New Sexual Radicalism (May 1, 2010)
From its beginning in the 1990s in the United States, a queer activist current has gradually spread to other countries, including in recent years in Western Europe. In decades when the prevailing trend in LGBT movements has been to orient to legal reforms by parliamentary means, queer activism has constituted a third wave of sexual radicalism, emphasizing visibility, difference, direct action, refusal to assimilate to the dominant culture, and the fluidity and diversity of sexual desire.
- Globalizing the Culture Wars (April 2, 2010)
Uganda, like many countries in Africa and around the world, adheres to long-standing heterosexual and patriarchal traditions as to what is acceptable sexual behavior. In the West, such traditions are shared by a dwindling minority. The bourgeois capitalist marketplace has reconfigured that which is morally acceptable. Sexual practices among adults are areas of personal erotic experience, protected private activities.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- Mike Rogers: The Man Who Outs Closeted Right-Wing Politicians (September 21, 2009)
Mike Rogers talks about why it's important to report on the secret sex lives of gay conservatives who are in bed with anti-gay forces.
- How Islamist gangs use internet to track, torture and kill Iraqi gays (September 13, 2009)
Iraqi militias infiltrate internet gay chatrooms to hunt their quarry and hundreds are feared to be victims.
- Coming out in Kenya (August 23, 2009)
Rape has always been used to intimidate assertive women in Kenya, like feminists and female politicians.
- Théories et militantismes queer : réflexion à partir de l'exemple français (August 16, 2009)
- Sex Workers' Rights in Kenya: "It's Better to Be a Thief Than Gay in Kenya" (August 6, 2009)
"It's better to be a thief than gay in Kenya," says a gay sex worker. Both are often punished by death, but being the latter means never revealing yourself to the public and remaining perpetually closeted. It means dealing with homophobes at day and pleasuring them at night.
- Queer theories and militant practices (August 1, 2009)
A critical look at queer theories.
- The Hate Crimes Bill: How Not to Remember Matthew Shepard (June 26, 2009)
The problem with the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is that it creates a thought crime and also categories of crime victims for disparate treatment. Goodbye to equality under the law.
- 'The movement is ours!': Lesbian activist critique (December 1, 2008)
We have recently claimed a right to reciprocity in the support of our struggles, but how many in the Queer rights movement have actively worked for the liberation of those groups whose endorsement we demand?
- Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage: What is at Stake? (February 27, 2008)
There are good people on either side of the same-sex marriage debate. Unfortunately, however, it has been one of the most divisive issues in society. Opponents of same-sex marriage perceive the other side as part of a cabal of gay activists and social-engineering judges and politicians, intent on making a mockery of important social values. Proponents of same-sex marriage often perceive the other side as "homophobic" bigots or religious fundamentalists who want to deprive gay or lesbian couples of a right enjoyed by others because they hate homosexuals. The debate over same-sex marriage has divided people who share common values and beliefs on many fundamental questions--war and peace, economic security, democracy versus the increasingly anti-democratic and repressive nature of American society. This divisive debate cripples the ability of ordinary Americans to unite around the things that we agree on.
- Jealousy, Friendship, and Bisexual Chopped Liver (2008)
According to this theory, bisexuals could never, ever have any friends at all. We couldn't be friends with gay men, straight men, straight women, lesbians. And we definitely couldn't be friends with other bisexuals. According to this theory, the fact that we're attracted to both women and men makes us ineligible to be friends with anybody, of any gender, ever.
- Toronto Pride 1981 - setting the historical record queer (2006)
The Pride event in 1981 would not have taken place without the new political and social context created by the massive resistance that took place against the bath raids that year. Thousands of queer men, lesbians and our supporters took to the streets on a number of occasions.
- Marriage and the Capitalist State (2004)
Gays and lesbians ought to have the right to marry - but they shouldn't have to.
- On Lesbian/Gay Liberation (2003)
The link between the oppression of LGBT people and women's oppression is key to our understanding and the struggles for liberation are consequently closely linked.
- Pat Califia - A Three Part Interview (2001)
"If you believe that inequities can only be addressed through extreme social change, then you qualify as a sex radical, even if you prefer to get off in the missionary position and still believe there are only two genders."
- Time to Abandon Gay Rights (June 24, 1999)
Thirty years after the Stonewall Riots, comprehensive human rights laws - not gay rights - are the way forward.
- Beyond Gay Identity (1997)
Gay emancipation will destroy gay identity. This is a good thing, because gay identity sustains gay conformism.
- Gays and the Left (1997)
The contemporary movement for lesbian/gay liberation was born out of the ferment of the New Left. Its leftist roots were openly acknowledged. Leading theorists identified with one socialist or communist current or another. They acknowledged their debt to Marxism as well as feminism and psychoanalysis. Times have obviously changed. While lesbian/gay movements have grown and won some significant victories in the past quarter-century, the socialist left has shrunk to a shadow of what it was. Unsurprisingly, lesbian/gay spokespeople and theorists are less likely to identify with the anti- capitalist left than they used to be.
- Making Gay Redundant (1996)
Peter Tatchell suggests that gay identity has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with homophobia. Winning gay freedom will make gay identity redundant.
- Queer Vows, Pros and Cons (1996)
Equality ain't liberation, honey, but it's important nonetheless. We fight for the right to jobs, as horrible as so many of them are. We should fight for queer marriage, as problematic an institution as it is.
- The First Duty of a Revolutionary is to Survive (September 1, 1995)
Pat Califia observes that the first stage in trying to politicize SM people is to make it possible for people to find each other. Within our own community, we need to educate ourselves about each other: "gay men need to educate themselves about feminism; lesbians need to educate themselves about AIDS and sodomy laws; straight people need to address their homophobia, and everybody needs to address biphobia and transphobia." This kind of interaction doesn't have to mean the loss of separate social spaces, which are appropriate. But it is the truth that we hang together or we hang separately.
- The Bisexual Identity
Cross-cultural comparisons highlight not only the differences in how sexuality is perceived, but the power of such constructs on sexual behavior.
- Connexions Annual Overview: Lesbians & Gays (October 1, 1989)
Gays and lesbians have shown that while on one level -- rights, employment, etc. -- sexual orientation doesn't matter, on another level, sexual politics are profoundly important. They do matter, and no movement for change can ignore them.
- On the Origins of The Body Politic
The Genealogy, Conception, Birth, Coming Out, Baby Steps (& Babies of Canada's most vital voice of gay liberation 1971 - 1987.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with gay, lesbian adn bisexual issues in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- BiNet USA
BiNet USA collects and distributes information regarding Bisexuality; facilitates the development of Bisexual community and visibility; works for the equal rights and liberation of Bisexuals and all oppressed peoples; and to eradicate all forms of oppression inside and outside the Bisexual community.
- Bisexual Resource Center
Information, discussions, and resources for bi-sexuals.
- British Columbia Bisexual Network (BiNet BC)
An umbrella organization providing resources and networking for bi and bi-supportive people and groups in British Columbia.
- Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives [now ArQuives]
A group of volunteers working in Toronto to preserve lesbian and gay history in Canada and beyond. Our primary mandate is to collect and maintain information related to gay and lesbian life in Canada -- though we have lots from elsewhere as well. We gather material on people, organizations, issues and events.
- Connexions Library: Women's Issues Focus
Selected articles, books, websites and other resources on women.
Other Links & Resources
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- The Canadian War on Queers
National Security as Sexual Regulation
Author: Kinsman, Gary; Gentile, Patrizia
From the 1950s to the late 1990s, agents of the Canadian state spied on, interrogated, and harassed gays and lesbians in a series of so-called national security campaigns. This book traces this history, revealing acts of state repression and forms of social resistance.
- The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864-1935)
Author: Lauritsen, John; Thorstad, David
- Eating Fire
Family Life, on the Queer Side
Author: Riordon, Michael
An inside look at a rainbow of relationships, sexual and otherwise, that gay, lesbian, and transgendered people create to animate their lives: lovers, partners, parents/kids, quick tricks, torrid affairs, sweethearts, crushes, exes, friends, bottoms and tops, threesomes, butches and fems, bears, cubs and johns. Based on hundreds of intimate conversations across Canada, Eating Fire explores the deepest currents of life: sex, love, loneliness, abuse, power and consent, giving birth, death, being a wo/man, pleasure, fear, joy - risks and rewards of creating family without boundaries.
- Flaunting It!
Author: Jackson, Ed; Perksy, Stan (eds.)
An anthology of articles spanning the first decade of the Canadian gay liberation periodical, The Body Politic.
- Gay Men and the Sexual History of the Political Left
Author: Hekma, Gert; Oosterhuis, Harry; Steakley, James
- Hidden from History
Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past
Author: Duberman, M.B.; Vicinus, M.; George, C. Jr. (eds)
Eessays analyzing the political, philosophical, and social history of homosexuality from the ancient world to the postwar era.
- Lesbians in Canada
Author: Stone, Sharon Dale (ed)
- Look Me in the Eye
Old Woman, Aging, and Ageism
Author: Macdonald, Barbara; Rich, Cynthia
About ageism, aging, and the inevitability and imminence of death.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Sexual Diversity
Author: Baird, Vanesse
An examination of the ways in which tolerance and hostility have manifested themselves throughout history, and in current attitudes toward sexual diversity.
- Out Our Way
Gay & Lesbian Life in Rural Canada
Author: Riordon, Michael
Explores the richly varied life experience of gay and lesbian Canadians living in small towns and rural areas across the country. Travelling 27,000 km and recording more than 300 conversations, the author distills stories of people aged fifteen to eighty-one, including First Nations/Two-Spirited, people living with HIV/AIDS, individuals, couples, communes, and a range of chosen families. Riordon includes his own experience and his partner's in rural eastern Ontario.
Author: Warchus, Matthew (director)
Based on a true story, the film depicts a group of lesbian and gay activists who raised money to help families affected by the British miners' strike in 1984, at the outset of what would become the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign.
- Queer Progress
From Homophobia to Homonationalism
Author: McCaskell, Tim
A political memoir by a leading gay rights and AIDS activist.
- The Regulation of Desire
Homo and Hetero Sexualities
Author: Kinsman, Gary
A survey of the history of sexuality in Canada.
Gay Normality and Queer Anti-Capitalism
Author: Drucker, Peter
Recent victories for LGBT rights have gone faster than most people imagined possible. Yet the accompanying rise of gay 'normality' has been disconcerting for activists with radical sympathies. This book shows how the successive 'same-sex formations' of the past century and a half have led both to the emergence of today's 'homonormativity' and 'homonationalism' and to ongoing queer resistance.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists. Submit your events for free here.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada’s print and broadcast media. .
Sources - A membership-based service that enables journalists to find spokespersons and story ideas, and which simultaneously enables organizations to raise their profile by reaching the media and the public with their message.
Organizing Resources Page - Change requires organizing. Power gives way only when it is challenged by a movement for change, and movements grow out of organizing. Organizing is qualitatively different from simple “activism”. Organizing means sustained long-term conscious effort to bring people together to work for common goals. This page features a selection of articles, books, and other resources related to organizing.
Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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