Pride Month can be a time to dig deeper into LGBTQ culture, and explore topics of vital importance to our communities. From popular culture to family dynamics to sexual politics, check out this collection of feature pieces -- you just might learn something new.
We asked LGBT people of all ages, throughout the U.S., what Pride means to them today -- and what it meant to their own generation at the time they first became aware that Pride celebrations existed.
Growing up gay is tough. Queer youth often need role models during the coming-out process -- and they come from all different places. They need stories to emulate, stories of hope, and sometimes stories of despair -- the full gamut.
Thankfully, many notable television shows have used great storytelling and great characterization to present fully realized young gay characters who must come to terms with their own sexuality, find love and adjust to life in the real world while being gay. Yes, even out there in TV Land, it's getting better.
As marriage-equality wins ignite in U.S. states and nations throughout the world, the question of what makes a family has been drawn into mainstream debate. The importance of marriage rights for same-sex couples cannot be overstated. But LGBT people have been building their own versions of healthy, loving relationships and families for generations, without support or sanction from the state -- and in many families, monogamy is not part of the picture. Here, we acknowledge partnerships whose definitions were drawn without a clear social blueprint -- and gather insights that could benefit any healthy relationship.
It's the digital age, and geeks are in -- even if many of us grew up feeling like outsiders. Whether it's Luke Skywalker, Sherlock Holmes or any of the many uncanny X-Men, there's a character out there who made each and every geek feel as if he or she had a kindred spirit. Reading comics, watching television or sitting in the dark of a theater are all ways in which geeks, especially those who identify as LGBT, have found their role models and found themselves. In Part One of this two-part roundtable, five self-identified "queer geeks" discuss geek culture; the stories that gripped them and wouldn't let them go; how geek culture deals with LGBT stories; and if Professor X and Magneto will ever sign those divorce papers.
There are many traits that queer communities and geek communities share. One of them is the penchant for finding others of their ilk and making meaningful connections. Queers and geeks love to come together and form alternate family structures -- and often feel forced to do so out of a sense of "not belonging" in mainstream spaces. In the second part of this two-part roundtable, these self-identified queer geeks discuss how being a queer geek has informed their own art, their sense of community and their activism.
For HIV-positive gay men, the dating world can be a difficult forest to navigate. Enter Jack Mackenroth -- fashion designer, advocate, 23-year HIV survivor, and mastermind behind Volttage, a dating website for HIV-positive gay men. Jack's teamed with acclaimed writer David Duran to expand Volttage's scope from "just a dating site" to an artistic and cultural hub for gay men living with HIV. Jack and David sat down with TheBody.com's Mathew Rodriguez to discuss the project.
Comic books are often the place where people find stories that relate to their "outsider" status. LGBT people have often found parallels to their own experiences in this rich storytelling medium. And comic books have often responded with storylines that play up those connections. When HIV came along and began to ravage gay communities, many comic book creators struggled with how to present the epidemic. Here, we've compiled some of the most prominent HIV-related stories in mainstream comic books.
What factors keep health institutions from being the safe spaces they should be for trans people to receive care? What can providers do right now to bring awareness of trans issues into their own practices? And what could women's and LGBT organizations be doing, or doing better, to create an environment that welcomes transgender community members as clients as well as potential employees? Powerful transgender community health advocates get to the bottom of these questions in a two-part discussion.
How can lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people get the most out of face-to-face visits with their medical providers? Earlier this year, Robert Murayama, M.D., of APICHA Community Health Center hosted a workshop exploring this question.
What should lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people ask their medical providers before receiving tests or treatments of any kind? This list of questions is a great model for any person who wants to walk away fully informed.
Do you think the U.S. population just "got used to AIDS"? No, of course not: "This country had to be forced to deal with the crisis," recalls filmmaker Jim Hubbard, cofounder of the ACT UP Oral History Project. The project, which comprises more than 150 interviews with veteran AIDS activists, has gotten ACT UP into the halls of the New York and San Francisco Public Libraries; inspired changemakers around the globe; and ignited a new generation of students who didn't know you can fight the system.
Homophobia and HIV Risk: What's Family Got to Do With It?
In this exclusive two-part roundtable about the role that familial homophobia plays in LGBT people's lives and the connection to HIV risk, TheBody.com's Olivia Ford sat down with Sarah Schulman, professor of English, City University of New York, and author of Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences; Darnell L. Moore, visiting scholar in the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University, and project manager of the Sakia Gunn High School for Civic Engagement; and Kara Tucina Olidge, Ph.D., Director of Hetrick-Martin Institute's HMI To Go: Newark.