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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

Raising Children Queerly: Four Books For Summer Reading

(2) Comments | Posted July 19, 2016 | 5:54 PM

In full disclosure, I often describe myself as not being a "kid person." And it's true -- when I came out in the early 1980s, I thought I was off the hook for getting married and having children. Whew. I chronicled my young child-free lesbian life in Tea...

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"Where Do People Learn Hatred?" : Religion and Responsibility

(2) Comments | Posted June 13, 2016 | 12:09 AM

When I woke up and heard the news that 50 people in a nightclub were murdered by a gunman in Orlando, Florida my heart sunk. Then I heard that the club was gay and that the murderer was of Arab-American descent and publicly declared his allegiance to ISIS and my...

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Gilda Lives On & Gay Life In The 1940s: Summer Reading Comes Early

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2016 | 6:33 PM

The saying that "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it" is just as true today as it was in 1948 when Winston Churchill repeated it from the writings of the philosopher George Santanya. It is particularly true for anyone who has ever been marginalized...

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For Women's History Month: Two Books To Fall In Love With

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2016 | 11:32 AM

For women's history month, I decided to read two books of fiction by women back to back. The two books that I selected -- Loving Eleanor, The intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok by Susan Wittig Albert and Bull and Other Stories by Kathy Anderson -- did not...

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Living History: Three Books to Find Yourself In

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2016 | 8:37 PM

I have to admit that I find history fascinating.

This hasn't always been the case.

I first came across history in the way that most of us are "fed" history. It was forced on me, it was exclusive, and it was boring. In fact, my high school history...

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Coming Out for Hillary: Let's Not Go Backwards on LGBT Issues

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2016 | 12:38 PM

Around ten years ago, I stood on the sidewalk and watched then senator of New York, Hillary Clinton march down Fifth Avenue in the midst of the Gay Pride Parade. What I focused on at the time was that she was the only person in the parade wearing high heels....

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History For All: Two Novels Based on American Life

(0) Comments | Posted February 28, 2016 | 7:19 PM

My partner and I, over breakfast, were discussing what a leap year is. The only consensus that we were able to come to was that time is an artificial construct. For this reason, Black History Month and Women's History Month, etc., are also artificial constructs. It is helpful to bring...

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In Celebration of Queer: Two Books Testify To The Power Of Difference

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 4:12 PM

"To the queerest person I know."

This is how my childhood best friend signed my high school year book. I am now in my fifties and don't remember that much from high school -- that I want to admit to -- but I do remember this comment.

She was...

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

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 9:26 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 | 6:15 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 | 5:37 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 | 9:12 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 | 12:33 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 | 3:19 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 | 5:26 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 | 12:12 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 | 12:55 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 | 4:03 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 | 7:06 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 | 9:10 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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