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Janet Mason
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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

The International Gay: Around the World in Three LGBT Books

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 3:23 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 | 12:38 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 | 4:41 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

(1) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 1:22 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 | 8:05 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

(3) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 12:57 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 | 8:52 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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Lesbian Author Tackles Edmund White, Gains a Deeper Understanding of the Gay Icon, the Writer, the Human Being

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 3:10 PM

I knew about Edmund White as a writer long before I read his books. I knew that he was a gay icon and had written many books, fiction and nonfiction. I knew that he was especially known for his coming of age novel, A Boy's Own Story, written in 1982,...

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Lesbian Truthtellers Write Books to Take Home With You: Essayist Judith Witherow and Novelist Renee Bess

(2) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 10:45 AM

I was reminded of the quote from the late poet Muriel Rukeyser -- ''What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open'' -- when I read Judith K. Witherow's collection of essays, Strong Enough To Bend, Twin Spirits Publishing, 2014. Then when...

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'The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray', 'Foolish Hearts': Gay Love and Marriage?

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 10:50 PM

Love makes the world go round. And when it comes to LGBT civil rights, love is what all the fuss is all about.

Two recent books from Cleis Press (both published in 2013) brought the idea of love to the forefront of my mind, in very different ways. In The...

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Experimental Poetry and a Good Old-fashioned Mystery: Lesbian Staples to Live By

(1) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Walk into any LGBT book store (those that are left) and you'll find two major sections of lesbian literature -- which may seem to have nothing to do with each other: lesbian mysteries and lesbian poetry. Some might describe these all high brow and low brow, but the fact is...

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Heal This Way and Coming Around: Words for LGBT Youth and Their Parents

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 5:07 PM

It has been said that children are our future. This is exactly why we should be concerned about LGBT children and teens -- and in fact with any kids who are different in any way. I was strongly reminded about this with two new books that recently came across my...

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Post-Modern Lesbian Erotica Comes Harder

(0) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 1:24 PM

It's tempting to think about a collection of lesbian erotica as inconsequential. The word erotica signals that it's just about sex -- right? The definition of erotica is that it is literature or art dealing with sexual love. And the word erotica is based on the Greek word Eros.

Eros...

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My Russian Dream: Time for Olympic Athletes to Step Up and Right Wrongs

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 1:23 PM

I watched the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi and was enchanted by the Russian dream of a land that was home to so many important writers and intellectuals such as Chekhov and Tolstoy. I was also influenced by the poet Anna Akhmatova, but since she...

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What Ping the Duck, Duck Dynasty, Same-Sex Marriage in Utah, and Most of the Rest of Us Have in Common

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 10:38 AM

Since the Duck Dynasty controversy surfaced, I've been keeping my distance.

Even though I've never seen the show -- or heard of it before the controversy -- I found the whole thing, well, distasteful. I've been a lapsed vegetarian for years -- and still avoid red meat and pork. And...

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Harvey and Me: Harvey Milk on a Stamp and Remembering His Times

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2013 | 12:35 PM

Now that Harvey Milk is on a stamp, I'll be able to ask for him by name whenever I go to the post office.

The announcement was made close to the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk, who became the first openly gay official to hold public...

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Married With Benefits in Montgomery County PA: Same-Sex Marriage As Real As It Gets

(2) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 6:47 PM

As a little girl, I never dreamed about weddings -- and discarded my baby dolls for dump trucks.

As a grown woman (who became a lesbian-feminist in my early 20s) -- I never professed to understand what the fuss was all about when straight women talked about looking forward to...

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Trayvon Martin, the Voting Rights Act, the Repeal of DOMA and The Sin Warriors: We Are All Connected

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 2:20 PM

As a white lesbian, I am an equally dismayed about the not guilty verdict rendered in the case of Tayvon Martin and the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act as I am elated about the recent Supreme Court ruling repealing the Defense...

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LGBT Pride Month and James Baldwin: When Identity Matters

(5) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 1:44 PM

The Obama administration has declared that June is LGBT Pride Month.

There is nothing new about June being Gay Pride Month. This anniversary of the gay liberation riots outside the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in 1969 has long been celebrated unofficially and officially as Gay Pride....

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If May Is Older Americans Month, Why Is Obama Proposing Cuts in Medicare and Social Security?

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 3:04 PM

The Obama administration has declared that May is Older Americans Month.

At the same time the Obama administration is proposing cuts in Social Security and Medicare. There seems to be a disconnect.

Recently, I have been visiting my old friend and literary...

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