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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 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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The Obama Inauguration, Immigration Reform, Poetry and the Cantor Twitch

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2013 | 10:28 PM

Like many LGBT Americans, I was profoundly moved by President Obama's recognition of gays and lesbians in his inaugural speech. Even my straight-talking retired postal worker partner who usually has something to say about everything (when it comes to gay rights, her usual comment is "it's about time") sat quietly...

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Religion Doesn't Have to Hurt: It's Time for the Presidential Inaugural Committee to Do the Right Thing

(43) Comments | Posted January 11, 2013 | 5:41 PM

When I heard the news that President Obama had selected yet another preacher with an anti-gay past to preside at the swearing-in ceremony, I wasn't angry; I was perplexed. When I read about Pastor Louie Giglio withdrawing from the inaugural ceremony, I also had mixed emotions.

In his

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Averting the Fiscal Cliff: Retired Postal Worker Shames One Percent

(10) Comments | Posted December 31, 2012 | 4:40 PM

Last night when I was watching the news, there was a short segment about a 84-year old retired postal worker who is helping the government solve its debt problems by sending $50 of his postal pension to the government each month along with the revenue he gets from collecting aluminum...

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Gun Control Laws and Race And Class: Let's Talk About It

(28) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 12:35 PM

The day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, I was in Newtown, Pennsylvania at The George School, a private Quaker high school. On the way, I passed Neshaminy Middle School, the junior high that I attended in the 1970s. I remembered the time capsule that my...

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Dear Santa: What I Want for Christmas

(5) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 6:05 PM

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and make federally recognized same-sex marriage the law of the land. I am a practical person, and specifically I am interested in federal benefits such as Social Security....

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November Is National Family Caregivers Month: The Personal Is Political

(0) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 11:10 AM

The Obama administration has declared that November is National Family Caregivers Month. The proclamation declares that family member, friends and neighbors dedicate countless hours providing care to their relatives and loved ones.

When my mother was diagnosed with fourth-stage cancer, I put aside everything that I could...

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It's About Time: Marriage Equality, the Gender Gap, RuPaul and the Reelection of President Obama

(2) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 9:55 AM

Change doesn't happen overnight, although the morning after election day, it seemed like it had. I was talking to a gay man I'd met at my recent reading at Giovanni's Room Bookstore, and he mentioned that the marriage equality victories were the "icing on the cake" of the election results.

...
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Vote for Romney and He'll Take Your Rights Away: In Remembrance of Post-Feminists and Back Alley Abortions

(12) Comments | Posted October 29, 2012 | 2:24 PM

"The Republicans will take your Planned Parenthood away -- that's why you should vote for the Democrats."

I was talking to a younger secretary in an office where I worked. Apparently, what I said was sinking in. Her eyes widened, despite being weighed down with a heavy layer of...

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Friday's Child Is Loving and Giving: Obama, Romney and the Post Office

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 11:32 AM

I've been spending some time standing in line at the post offices in Philadelphia. Everything is relative. When I was in Athens, Greece, just over 10 years ago, the service was so slow that postal customers would bring folding chairs with them and prepare to spend the day -- glaring...

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