Feminist Conversations: An Interview With Lesbian Icon Ann Bannon

Ann Bannon, the queen of lesbian pulpFeminist Conversations is a regular feature here at Feminists For Choice. 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...]

I Have Seen the Cliff, and it is Arizona

If you’re a political junkie like me, you know the professional punditry is once again buzzing about the ”fiscal cliff.”  The definition, according to the NY Times’ cheat sheet: “the tax increases and spending cuts slated to take effect starting in January and totaling some $700 billion next year alone.” Stirring the pot today: Obama’s tiny wilting olive branch of an offer – extending the Bush tax cuts for another year for most and letting them expire for taxpayers earning more that $250,000 a year. I say before we head off into the “kicking the can down the road” portion of the economic meta-foreplay, we need to take a look at the cliff that is about to open up along the eastern edge of Arizona. ‘Cause there’s some major apocalyptic bullshit going on out there.

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Two Women in Love Equals One Happy Family

Kristen Henderson and Sarah Ellis are the authors of Times Two: Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made. They recently spoke with Feminists for Choice about their book, their family, and same-sex marriage.

What inspired you to write Times Two?
We thought it was a great opportunity to show that our family isn’t so different from any other family. I think the more stories out there like ours will help shift public perception and hopefully break down barriers for everyone.

You were both pregnant at the same time, and describe the experience as “producing double the hormones, double the morning sickness, double the cravings, and have double the ups and downs.” Can you talk a little bit more about what it was like to go through pregnancy together?
The one thing that you can count on with Kristen and me is that we are so different. Kristen is rock n’ roll and I’m your good corporate citizen. That same opposition riddled our pregnancy. We collectively had pretty much all the side effects listed in the pregnancy books: heartburn, carpel tunnel, hemorrhoids, migraines, etc., but we didn’t share any of them. If I had heartburn, Kristen had carpel tunnel. We also had different opinions on epidurals, finding out the babies’ genders, and how to decorate the nursery. Some days our dual pregnancies felt like an episode of The Odd Couple. It made for some hilarious moments in our pregnancies. [Read more...]

Pro-LGBTQ Demostration Planned at Mormon Temple

Last month we told you about a speech that Mormon leader Boyd K. Packer gave at the Mormon Church’s bi-annual general conference, where Packer stated that being gay is a choice, and that God wouldn’t make people gay, since homosexuality is a sin. This speech is part of the same old, same old for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But in light of the recent media attention on LGTBQ youth suicides, it’s time to say that enough is enough.

The Phoenix GLBT Coalition for Mormon Action is planning a demonstration aimed at stopping gay Mormon suicides in Arizona, set for Friday, November 26th from 6:00-10:00 PM, coinciding with the Christmas lighting ceremony at the Mormon Temple in Mesa. The purpose of the demonstration is to make gay Mormons aware of The Trevor Project Suicide Prevention National Hotline and the local Gay and Lesbian organization for gay Mormons, Phoenix Affirmation. The demonstration will also continue the national message, “It Gets Better.”

Packer has been called upon to recant his words in a talk given to the 13,000,000 members of the church via satellite from Salt Lake City. The organizers of the November 26th rally believe these words have put the estimated 40,000-60,000 gay Mormons in Arizona in grave danger and may contribute to suicides. Utah, which is the stronghold of the Mormon faith, has a suicide rate 3 times the national average. [Read more...]

New Polls Reveal that Support for Same-sex Marriage is on the Rise!

Looks like public opinion on marriage equality in the U.S. is beginning to shift for the better. For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, opposition to gay marriage has fallen below the 50% line.

Polls this year have found that more Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally than did so just last year. In two polls conducted over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42% favor same-sex marriage while 48% are opposed. In polls conducted in 2009, 37% favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally and 54% were opposed.

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DC Council Approves Same-Sex Marriage

coming out walkOn an 11-to-2 vote, the D.C. city council passed a measure today legalizing same-sex marriage. However monumental this decision may prove to be, there is unfortunately some opposition ahead. Opponents have vowed to overturn the bill through referendum or by interfering with the 30 day review process in Congress. “The City Council’s action today is not the final word,” said Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville.

Same-sex couples could potentially be getting married by March if the bill gets a stamp of approval from Congress in its 30 day legislative review period. Mike DeBonis highlights some of the possible drama to come, [Read more...]

Tuesday News Roundup

mouse-clickIs a Personhood Statute Coming to a State Near You? – LA Times
Abstinence-Only Violates the First Amendment – RH Reality Check
Dr. Susan Wicklund on Native American Women & Reproductive Health Care – Blog For Choice
Google Will No Longer Accept Pro-Choice Ads – Women’s Rights @ Change.org
The Conversation on Race That Most Americans Won’t Have – Pam’s House Blend
Warning Signs of Breast Cancer – Susan G. Komen Foundation
Is Fear of Population Control Trumping Green Solutions? – RH Reality Check
Will Portugal Legalize Same-Sex Marriage? – Gay Rights @ Change.org
35 Catholic Leaders Support Repeal of DOMA – Catholic.net

Conservative Activists Push for Ban on Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey

Gerald Cardinale

Gerald Cardinale

Republican lawmakers and conservative activists are at it again in New Jersey. Although the momentum has slowly been growing among democrats to push forward equal marriage legislation, social conservatives have made their way out of the woodworks, pushing for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in the state of New Jersey. Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-Bergen) is one of the leading conservative voices behind the push for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in New Jersey, and this isn’t his first time.

The current situation for same-sex couples in New Jersey makes this issue a hot button one for pushing forward with either increased legal access to marriage rights, or a significant roll back. In the state of New Jersey, same-sex couples have been issued the legal right to register as domestic partners since July 10, 2004. Unfortunately, domestic partnership does not resolve the disparity between legal rights afforded to heterosexual couples, and those awarded to non-normalized partnerships. According to a report presented to the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. General Accounting Office, here are a couple of the 1,138 benefits the United States government provides to legally married couples: [Read more...]

Senator King: Same Sex Marriage = Socialism

rainbow_flagSenator Steve King (R-Iowa) stated Wednesday that same sex marriage is just another item on the list towards a push for a Socialist agenda. “Not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis.” Same sex marriage means socialism to King because then the couples will get access to public funds and resources. This doesn’t surprise me much as King openly condemned his state’s supreme court in April when they decided that a ban on same sex marriage was against the state constitution, stating they should all resign. He fears that  with out residency requirements on marriage licenses, Iowa will become “a gay Mecca.” 

King is strongly opposed to any special laws or bills for women or minorities because he fears that soon there will be no rights left for white men. He also sides with Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) that if same sex marriage is legalized the next logical step is to legalize polygamy and bestiality.

So why is socialism such a bad thing? I mean perhaps adopting some practices would benefit our society some. It seems to me that the only people who fear it are those rich white men who don’t want to share with everyone else.
Equality is the only real issue here. We all deserve the right to chose who we love and whom we want to spend the rest of our lives with, and we should all have the right to the legal obligations that come with joining your life with someone else’s, as well as the ability to openly proclaim your choices without fear and persecution.

Thanks to Michael O’Brien from thehill.com

Thursday News Roundup

mouse2Common Birth Control Side Effects & How to Treat Them – Birth Control Buzz
For Young Women, Self-Esteem is Determined by BMI – Women’s Rights @ Change.org
Out of State Applications = 50% of Iowa Same-Sex Marriages – Jaysays.com
Writing Your Congressperson CAN Make a Difference – Greta Christina’s Blog
Home Births Are As Safe As Hospital Births – CBC
How to Prevent Rape – The Adventures of Dr. Diana
The Anti-Choice Agenda: The Truth Behind Opposition to Health Care Reform – RH Reality Check