banQuet2012 – A Feast of Writing and Art by Queer Women
edited by Carson and Dettori


Twenty-two women have pooled their artistic and writing skills for the 2012 anthology of queer erotica. This is a book where the reader can “lose herself … among a carnival of cunnilingus” – as a character from Teri Louise Kelly’s poem discovers. Desire is an undercurrent for many of the pieces, but love is “always balanced on a knife’s edge, gritting its teeth, waiting for the fall” as Luke laments in Virginia Barratt’s story. Raunchy lesbians, gender outlaws and transgendered women engage in sensuous and sometimes downright pornographic activities, revealing the diversity of the queer community. Sometimes the stories are filled with longing for a lost love and sometimes the love is captured and dealt with accordingly. As Virginia Barrett writes, “desire and disillusion dance in a double negative two-step”. The stories and poems are interspersed with seductive portraits. If you want to bury yourself in a “moist cavern of debauchery … where all things await all people” (from Teri Louise Kelly’s poem) then race out and get a copy of banQuet2012 – Lezly Herbert




Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution
by Linda Hirshman

Harper Collins

It took just four decades from the Stonewall riots until the legislation of gay marriage by New York State but the surge of activism had been gathering for a while before the summer of 1969. Lawyer and political columnist Linda Hirshman has written a very accessible account of how a minority of “despised and marginalised” people fought for gay rights and challenged social perceptions. She writes about activist groups as well as individual heroes and ordinary people who made a difference by hunting down diaries (including a diary from the early 1920s), court transcripts, eye-witness accounts and archives.

As activist Arthur Evans says, there is more to being gay than sex.  “We discovered who we were and we supported each other doing that” and they came up with a vision for common good. Sometimes the progress was slow but debunking psychiatrists who labelled people attracted to the same sex as ‘crazy’ and laws that made it illegal for to have sex made it worthwhile. Sometimes gains were eroded, as during the notorious McCarthy era, but many people stepped forward to fight injustices. Read about some of the people who helped made a difference – from the Communist cross-dresser Harry Hay, to Hugh Hefner who put money into American Civil Liberties Union which fought for gay rights, to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Lieutenant Dan Choi. As Hirshman says, “they didn’t only change their world: they changed everyone’s world” – Lezly Herbert

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