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Janet Mason
Janet Mason is the author of Tea Leaves: A Memoir of Mothers and Daughters, published by Bella Books in 2012. She lives in Philadelphia.

Entries by Janet Mason

Expanding Gender and Making It Roomier for All Of Us: three from Daylight Books

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 10:26 PM

Gender has always been on my mind -- or in my face -- whether I like it or not. As a budding feminist and then a young lesbian with short hair, I was called "Sir" on more than one occasion. I didn't like it, but was happy to have the...

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Trump or Treat: Lessons in Anthropology

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 7:15 PM

"It could happen. Trump could get elected. Hitler was elected, you know," said an older friend of mine.

My friend and I were sitting in a college classroom where we are taking a class together in anthropology and photography.

It's the first time that I've been back in a college...

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"That Business in Kentucky": Accentuating the Positive and Coming Out in the South

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 6:37 PM

I turned on the television news at exactly the wrong moment and saw Kim Davis standing on stage between (Republican presidential hopeful) Mike Huckabee and her lawyer. Kim, the homophobic clerk in Kentucky who was jailed for not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, defying the supreme court and using...

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Therese and Isabelle and Living Large: two books to think about

(0) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 10:12 PM

The alternative to the LGBT community is to be invisible. There is strength in numbers and in community and that is why we band together. Historically, we have a collective history of living in the shadows -- out of self preservation in a homophobic society. But living in the shadows...

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A Pride Celebration: Two Memoirs, Out of Orange and Bettyville

(2) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 1:33 PM

June is LGBT Pride Month. President Obama sanctioned it in 2011 -- "I call upon all Americans to observe this month by fighting prejudice and discrimination in their own lives and everywhere it exists." Before that, President Bill Clinton declared June as Pride Month in the year 2000. Between those...

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The Evangelical Christian Church and the LGBT Community: 'Winning the Battle but Losing the War'

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 4:19 PM

As a member of the LGBT community, I have a history of being intolerant of intolerance. But I am a compassionate person by nature, and a believer and a practitioner of mindfulness. I was raised by a secular parents, something that I am grateful for and that I explore in...

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Religion and the LGBT community: 3 Books to Find Faith

(5) Comments | Posted April 6, 2015 | 6:26 PM

Lately, I've been warming up to religion. Like many in the LGBT community, I had managed to avoid the whole thing. I haven't so much run from it. Thank God, I was raised by a Bible-burning, atheist mother -- something that I wrote about in my book Tea...

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Coming Home: Selma, Int'l Women's Day, LGBT Rights and Unitarian Universalism

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 1:12 PM

In 1965 when events that were part of the voting rights struggle unfolded in Selma, I was 6 years old. I must have seen parts of it on television. I don't remember. But I do remember that I was influenced by the Civil Rights movement.

This weekend is the 50th...

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LGBT Books to Warm Up With

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 1:55 PM

It's been a cold winter. Very cold. One of the things that I'm doing to keep warm is to take an imaginary LGBT cruise in my head -- through books -- to exotic lands.

The first stop was the land of queer history, which I entered by reading Katie Gilmartin's...

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History Repeating Itself: Odd Girl Out and Under This Beautiful Dome

(0) Comments | Posted December 24, 2014 | 5:03 PM

History repeats itself.

Just last week, I went into the new Philadelphia AIDS Thrift at Giovanni's Room, the organization that took bought the old Giovanni's Room Bookstore, the iconic bookstore that opened in 1973. I was thrilled to hear that Giovanni's Room was continuing in some form, of course. But...

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Your Gay vs. My Gay: Coming Out and Becoming a Better Parent

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2014 | 8:06 PM

I came out in the early 1980s -- into a thriving lesbian community that was fueled by the feminist movement and had some overlap with the gay male community. I always knew that there were different realities for gay people and that many still were in the closet. I dismissed...

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Three New Books on the Theme of "It Isn't Easy Being Gay"

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 10:10 PM

Many years ago -- more than two decades -- I was friendly with a gay man named Vincent, whose trademark lament (with a dramatic sigh and a stereotypical swish of the wrist) was, "It isn't easy being gay."

LGBT rights have come a long way. However, Vincent's lament still...

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New Book Is a Message to Parents With Drug Addicted Teens

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 12:52 AM

The central message in Bonnie Kaye's, M.Ed., memoir (Jennifer Needle in Her Arm: Healing from the Hell of My Daughter's Drug Addiction (CCB Publishing: British Columbia) to parents of drug addicted children is: It's not your fault."

This is a conclusion that the author came to after a painful process...

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The International Gay: Around the World in Three LGBT Books

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 4:23 PM

One of the things that I love about being part of the LGBT community is feeling strongly connected to the rainbow way that spans the globe. Sometimes our experiences are different -- vastly so -- but there is some commonality in struggle and, for me and most likely for many...

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Living Marriage Equality: Redeeming the Dream and All I Love and Know

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 1:38 PM

I was elated with the recent victory for same-sex marriage. The dominoes are falling -- even if we still have a fight ahead of us. I was delighted to read, in Michelangelo Signorile's post on the right's new strategy, that one of the crusaders against gay marriage is...

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Marriage and the Military: Three New LGBT Books to Enjoy and Think About

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 5:41 PM

I like surprises. And (almost) nothing is better than a good book that takes me to an unexpected place. I recently picked up Lesbian Marriage: A Sex Survival Kit (2014) by Kim Chernin and Renate Stendhal, and then I picked up Active Duty: Gay Military Erotic Romance, edited...

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'Just Know That I Am a Person' -- Three New Books on Transgender Issues

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 2:22 PM

Rigid gender roles are irritating to many of us, damaging to society at large (whether people know it or not), and absolutely toxic to gender nonconforming children and their families. But like it or not, there are "boy's toys" and "girl's toys" and they are marketed aggressively.

As a second-generation...

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A Positive View of LGBTQ and Living Out Islam: There Is Magic All Around

(0) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 9:05 PM

Reading two new books on LGBTQ identity gave me pause to reflect on the fact that identity is an ongoing issue for all of us -- particularly those of us in the LGBTQ community. Perhaps this is particularly true as the mainstream widens to assimilate us.

A Positive View of...

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When Bookstores Save Lives and Preserve Culture: Reflections on Giovanni's Room

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 1:57 PM

I still remember the first time that I set foot in Giovanni's Room, the beloved LGBT bookstore that recently closed its doors this past May. It was 1981, the year that I came out. I was in my early twenties. I had known about Giovanni's Room, the gay and lesbian...

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Still Married in Pennsylvania: PA Constitutional Ban Struck Down and Marriage Is Re-Defined

(4) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 9:52 AM

"So are we all legally married?" was the question that I posed to our long-time friends, Mary and Joanne, and my partner as we all drove to a Thai restaurant. Last summer, the four of us went to the Montgomery County Courthouse when a judge went rogue, got...

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