For about two years, I’ve been collecting data on the use of the #ftm hashtag and, for a shorter time, #mtf hashtag on Tumblr. These oft used trans hashtags, standing for female-to-male and male-to-female respectively, drew my attention as I was coming into my own trans identity. I came upon the world of trans Tumblr, as I call it, in 2010 when I was choosing my own new name. I found a tightly-knit network of trans people who are otherwise unanchored through their geographic diaspora. They were mostly very young, publicly sharing and connecting about the everyday violence and life milestones, accomplishments and losses that fuel life in general and trans life specifically. I was particularly struck by the small number of voices that dominated the conversation, as well as the suicide notes that would float to the surface and the resounding and instant response of those around them …
In the last month while moving to Hartford and getting settled in my new office at Trinity, I am happy to share that I joined the founding Board of Directors of the Rainbow Heritage Network (RHN). RHN is a national organization for the recognition and preservation of LGBTQ+ sites, history, and heritage. While always one for conspiring with archivists, librarians, historians, and their various home turfs, my collaboration with preservationists and archaeologists is a new endeavor that emerged from my roll in the LGBTQ Monuments Advisory Council of Scholars of the US National Parks Service. I am particularly keen in observing and helping to support the truly wide-ranging and radical representations of LGBTQQTSTSIA life that exist within the US and in relation to the US. I am also devoted to working with the RHN to think about our preservation efforts play a roll in the gentrification and financialization of …
I am delighted to announce the publication of “Useful Instability: the Queer Social and Spatial Production of the Lesbian Herstory Archives” in Radical History Review. The article is in the second of a two part special issue on “Queering Archives” titled “Queering Archives” Intimate Tracings,” both of which were edited by Daniel Marshall, Zeb Tortorici, and Kevin Murphy. The abstract and full citation are below, and a link to an open access version of this article is above. My thanks again to the Lesbian Herstory Archives for the work they do and place they keep that inspired this piece!
Queer theory’s embrace of instability paints stabilizing practices as normalizing and unjust. Rather than upholding a stance of opposition by championing instability alone, what can be gleaned for queer theory by examining the tension of the in/stability dialectic? This essay reflects on the author’s own embodied experience as researcher within …
In celebration of the year since the absolutely magical Queer Internet Studies (QIS) workshop, I went and realized that the final notes from our conversations never posted. Oy! I take solace in the fact these even exist and can still be shared. As described in this great final post from the QIS site by my colleague, friend, and QIS co-organizer partner in crime, Jessa Lingel, most of our panelists and presenters highlighted the digitization and import of queer archives, including the likes in New York City alone of the Downtown Collection at NYU, NY Public Library Gay and Lesbian & AIDS/HIV Archives, LGBT Community Center National History Archive, Lesbian Herstory Archives, and OutHistory.org.
When we broke into discussion groups at the end of the day, our conversations repeated five key topics.
- The internet affords a space to convey the import of our queer history
We are pleased to announce the launch of the website, PeoplePlaceSpace.org, for the forthcoming The People, Place, & Space Reader, edited by Jen Jack Gieseking and William Mangold, with Cindi Katz, Setha Low, and Susan Saegert. The People, Place, and Space Reader includes both classic writings and contemporary research, connecting scholarship across disciplines, periods, and locations to make sense of the ways we shape and inhabit our world. Essays from the editors introduce the texts and outline key issues surrounding each topic.
In that there are specific online and open access components of the volume to share, I wanted to send on word via email. The editors are committed to open access (OA) to public knowledge and as such have made their introduction to the book and the twelve section introductions of the book available on the website. We provide links to OA versions of excerpted readings when …
On founding the Lesbian Herstory Archives:
Deb Edel: We began talking about how easily our history had gotten lost.
Joan Nestle: That we didn’t want our story told by quote “a patriarchal history keeper.” I didn’t want our story told by those who told us we were freaks to begin with.
Deb: If we didn’t do it, nobody was gonna do it for us.
Joan: This wasn’t gonna be a one night stand. This was gonna be a long-term relationship. We had a commitment to the archives that…it had to be a lifetime commitment… If an archives doesn’t outlast at least one generation it’s not an archives. … This was an archives who belonged to the people who lived its history. (Lesbian Herstory Archives 2009)
There is a need for lgbtq people to unearth and even create their own history, especially lesbians and queer women who face erasures of their voices and stories …
Once I was able to sort out that my own copyright as ascertained through the UMIDatabase system allowed me to self-share my own work–because, of course, we really never know these days with copyright–I am hereby sharing “Living in an (In)Visible World: Lesbians’ and Queer Women’s Spaces and Experiences of Justice and Oppression in New York City, 1983-2008” with you, dear world. LIVW is presently being drastically rewritten into two (or perhaps three) books, Queer New York and Beyond a Politics of Visibility. Queer New York examines the spatialities of lesbian-queer life as they change over time and presents the concept of constellations (see below). Beyond a Politics of Visibility will focus on what the political, social, sexual, and relationship practices of everyday urban lesbian-queer life in the contemporary period say about these women’s tactics of resilience, reworking, and resistance.
One way to frame this work is to ask: …
Today we are launching the Our Queer Lives and Spaces (OQLS) Project!
OQLS is a living archive that affords lgbtqtstsiq people a space to map and share their stories online through mobile devices, multimedia, & web and geospatial technologies. In other words, anyone can text, call, or type in her/his/zee’s own stories from anywhere in the world and it will geocode to one giant, queer map. Hashtag: #OQLS.
Anyone and everyone is invited to join!
- Option A) Call (617) 286-5071. After a welcome, press 2 to create an acct & leave an audio story.
- Option B) Send an mms (picture message) or an sms (text message) to: email@example.com Include a description of the picture. Yes, you can send an mms or sms to an email account!
To post to OQLS:
- Option A) Send a sms or mms (text and/or picture message) from your phone to firstname.lastname@example.org