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Income and Equality on Independence Day

BY KELLY COGSWELL | Another Fourth of July, and Independence Day in the US seems especially ironic this year since Britain, the country we won our independence from, just voted to sever ties with the European Union and is already regretting it. Those who voted to leave said they didn’t like EU taxation — even though […]

When Religion Bolsters Violence

When Religion Bolsters Violence

BY KELLY COGSWELL | I was eating fennel salad a couple weeks ago in this Italian dyke’s house when she asked if I knew why fags there were called “finocchio,” or fennel. And in between bites she explained that in the old days when the Catholic Church burned inherently heretical fags at the stake, they’d throw fennel […]

Trading in Rage

Trading in Rage

BY KELLY COGSWELL | Donald Trump is all my fault. So are the Bernie Bros. I left the door open behind me and they snuck in with their red-faced, white-knuckled rage. I didn’t know it would matter. Since mostly anger and rage propelled people onto the streets to protest dyke-bashings and people dying of AIDS, I […]

From Paris to Peru: Women Daring the Streets

BY KELLY COGSWELL | I was sitting on the Paris metro last week when some guy of about 30 plopped himself down next to the teenage girl across from me and began to ask, “Where are you going? What stop are you getting off at?,” as he touched her shoulder and touched her arm. She didn’t […]

Vampires, Activists, and the Return of “The Gilda Stories”

Vampires, Activists, and the Return of “The Gilda Stories”

BY KELLY COGSWELL | When “The Gilda Stories” came out in 1991, vampires weren’t such a big thing, and black, lesbian ones were unheard of. But that didn’t matter to Jewelle Gomez, who at first was just writing for revenge. Cat-call her, harass her on the street and she would rip your throat out — in […]

Nuit Debout: This Revolution Is Not for You

Nuit Debout: This Revolution Is Not for You

BY KELLY COGSWELL | Revolutions don’t excite me any more. They’re never for me. Not Occupy Wall Street. Not the new social movement going on in France right now, called “Nuit debout” and centered 15 or 20 long blocks from me at Place de la République. It began on March 31 following a series of protests […]

State of the Queer World

BY KELLY COGSWELL | This week, anyway, it seems that the world is lurching closer to acknowledging that we LGBT people deserve basic human rights and maybe even, the full rights of adult citizens. On April 7, the high court of Colombia ruled that same-sex couples could marry. About the same time, the United Nations released […]

Identity, Politics, and “Authenticity” Post-St. Pat’s

BY KELLY COGSWELL | Two weeks ago, Irish queers marched behind their own banner in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade for the first time ever in New York. In the photos they look so happy. More importantly, the crowd did, too. Most of them didn’t even know it was a landmark year, assumed that battle was […]

Queers in Alphabet City

BY KELLY COGSWELL | What a mess. Already in March somebody suggested that trans people take their T and exit from the LGBT movement. And I eavesdropped on an all too typical election year conversation in which a young gay man long mentored by a dyke called her something along the lines of idiot cunt, indicating […]

The Terror of Terroir

BY KELLY COGSWELL | While Americans duke it out over the White House, the French are lining up to get into the annual Agricultural Fair in Paris, where you can see in the flesh how tough it is to maintain symbols of tradition in a society grappling with how to integrate immigrants and prod the recalcitrant […]