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In other LGBT news…
Frank Ocean has FINALLY released his long awaited album (Blond). And an additional visual album (Endless). And a zine (Boys Don’t Cry)! Ocean sure does know how to open the floodgates. It has lead to a discussion of “What Kind of Writer is Frank Ocean?” with thoughts from queer writers Danez Smith and Darnell Moore. In addition, his zine includes work from queer author/poet Andrew Durbin. Ocean has also released notes on the making of the new materials and the internet is eating up ever piece of information about his recently released work.
Lambda Literary Fellow Brandon Taylor’s essay “There is No Secret to Writing About People Who Do Not Look Like You” has been making the internet rounds:
A writer’s work begins and ends with empathy. Without it, there can be no writing, at least not good writing, and if the author cannot enter into the lives of those unlike himself, then he must, I think, hold the work about himself up for closer scrutiny. The distance between the self and the other is never as great as we imagine it to be—the two are often twinned, and it’s this relationship that empathy reveals. The best writing, the writing most alive with possibilities, is the writing that at once familiarizes and estranges; it’s writing that divorces us from our same-old contexts and shifts our thinking about ourselves and the world around us.
Marvel Comics’ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has been getting a lot of press lately. Fans have had some theories that the character Koi Boi might be transmasculine, which were confirmed by one of the creators. And actress Shannon Purser, who has gained notoriety for playing Stranger Things fan favorite Barb, has expressed wanting the chance to play Squirrel Girl herself.
In Plus, Phil Jimenez was profiled as an openly gay comic book artist and the ways the HIV epidemic has shaped his life.
Speaking of comics, if you aren’t reading Lumber Janes, you should be.
Lidia Yuknavitch was interviewed by Lenny Letter where she discussed being a misfit and finding inspiration:
I think the worst lie of all that we’ve inherited about our own bodies is that the stories of sexuality and sexual identity are already written. The reality is, we haven’t even finished figuring out who we are yet as a species — let alone what to do with our bodies. For me, sexuality is a whole terrain or territory that you explore your entire life, from birth to dirt. We’ve yet to even begin to liberate the full story lines of our bodies.
This week, Alexander Chee’s article in Elle explores his relationship with his first and only girlfriend and how she helped give him style.
Nicole Dennis-Benn was interviewed by Flavorwire. When asked to pick one overrated book, she had this to say:
The Bible. I think it’s the best fiction out there, but somehow it’s often placed in the nonfiction category. It would’ve been a lot better if Eden, Ruth, Jezebel, Mary, and Mary Magdalene had chapters, too.