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Caring About Queers During the Trumpocalypse

BY KELLY COGSWELL | After gracing the front pages for what seems like years with major gains in trans rights and marriage equality, queers are nearly invisible again in the face of neo-Nazis in the White House and board rooms, nuclear war with North Korea, deadly earthquakes in Mexico, fires across the globe, and their evil […]

In Defense of Lesbians, i.e., Those Fucking Dykes

In Defense of Lesbians, i.e., Those Fucking Dykes

BY KELLY COGSWELL | On Saturday, May 20, two lesbians got attacked on the Q train. The news reports say it was an altercation over seats. Apparently two lezzies had them, and, according to police, when Antoine Thomas got on the train he demanded theirs, bumping against them and screaming “Faggot,” and “Dyke.” When they […]

More Radical Than Hate

BY KELLY COGSWELL | A couple of decades ago, the Lesbian Avengers did a Valentine’s Day action at Bryant Park reuniting the statue of Gertrude Stein with a papier-mâché Alice B. Toklas. Veteran activist Maxine Wolfe launched the proceedings with a speech explaining that the purpose of the action was to make “visible the fact […]

Hating Kim Davis

BY KELLY COGSWELL | Good ole Kim Davis, how we love to hate her. Long after she got sprung from jail and same-sex couples were issued their marriage licenses, it’s still Kim Davis as a lead on half the gay rags of the country and beyond. Mostly because she’s so easy to hate. She’s a woman, […]

One of the Last Lesbians Standing… In Publishing

BY KELLY COGSWELL | Early in July, I had a conversation with Sarah Schulman, writer, queer activist, historian, and co-founder of the Lesbian Avengers. We talked about what contributed to that group’s successful launch, including the vibrancy of the lesbian subculture in 1970s and ‘80s. We also discussed why it’s so hard for lesbian writers to […]

Re-Reading Sarah Schulman’s “After Delores”

Re-Reading Sarah Schulman’s “After Delores”

BY KELLY COGSWELL | These days I mostly read to entertain myself and kill time, though books are still what I turn to when I need to understand my own life or try to lend it meaning. After I gave up on the Bible, I obsessively read “The Black Unicorn,” Audre Lorde’s collection of poetry. […]

The Death of the Queer Community?

BY KELLY COGSWELL | Every now and then, I howl in grief at the demise of queer activism, the closing of queer bars and bookstores, the erasure of LGBT history, and the industrialization of our movement. Like others, I wonder if approaching legal equality and social acceptance spell the end of the LGBT community. Not […]

Regretting the Gay Future: Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me

BY KELLY COGSWELL | So I went to the Rainbow Book Fair this weekend, and cooed over all the new presses, the courage of self-publishers, writers of sci-fi, porn, roman noir, and the wan, smoldering poets. At the same time, I tried to quell a growing and uncomfortable awareness at how much has changed in our […]

The Fire that Forged Bravery

The Fire that Forged Bravery

BY BETH STROUD | On the first day of school in 1992, when broke poets could still afford loft shares on Avenue B, Kelly Cogswell scrounged a subway token to get to the first-ever Lesbian Avengers action in Middle Village, Queens. Right-wing groups in New York had raged for months about the Children of the Rainbow […]

The Pussy Riot Olympics

The Pussy Riot Olympics

BY KELLY COGSWELL | If activism were an Olympic sport, Pussy Riot would have taken the gold for their 2012 punk prayer performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Central Moscow, asking, “Virgin Mary, Mother of God, chase Putin out, / Chase Putin out, chase Putin out…” They picked the perfect target, sent a […]

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