by Kitcher, Lewis and Cohn-Sherbok, Kownacki and Snyder, Morinis, Shapiro, Loy, Walsch, and Mangabeira
Speaking OUT: Queer Youth in Focus
by Rachelle Lee Smith, Graeme Taylor, and Candace Gingrich
PM Press, 2014
Against Equality: Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion
Edited by Ryan Conrad
AK Press, 2014
As state after state approves gay marriage, it can be tempting to jump to the conclusion that the most pressing issues for LGBTQ people have been “solved.” Taken together, these two books offer an illuminating reality check. Speaking OUT, a photo essay that pairs photographic portraits with handwritten reflections from youth who identify as queer, offers a glimpse of the wide range of experiences that comprise life for queer youth today. Some teens express a sense of deep joy about the loving support they received from their entire community upon coming out (“the response was 100 percent supportive—100 percent!” exclaims contributor Graeme Taylor), attesting to the meaningful shifts that have taken place culturally within the last half-century. But others describe experiences of physical assault, rejection, and discrimination, attesting to the continued lived realities of homophobia and transphobia in the current era. Ryan Conrad’s anthology, meanwhile, offers a hard-edged political analysis of the many forms of oppression that mainstream efforts such as the marriage equality campaign will never solve.
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From here, the farthest highway
slammed with cars
arrives to the eye in segments
slicing through the baffling clouds,
shiny as the bite of a memory
of being yelled at, a call to the kitchen
for a late-night admonition,
while the dirty river to the harbor
dries like mustard upon the evening meat. The worser I feel, the childer I am. Beyond the window, I can see
how the moody wind manipulates,
the splat of the springtime
jumbled in some illegible smatter,
while the rooftops pretend to organize—
a scripture of rooftops,
dishes and antennae—and jumbled,
over-heated gardens snarl in disuse. From this far away the occasional bird
blackens in silhouette, little rabbi. From this far away a rabbinate of birds
swoops above the alleys below,
a gulp of swallows.
Review of Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst by Adam Phillips and Franz Kafka: The Poet of Shame and Guilt by Saul Friedländer.
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Review of Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire by Brenda Hillman.
To reduce emissions, we must stop driving so much. One source of hope is the movement to transform dead suburban malls into walkable city centers.
The things we will need to change to keep the earth safe are the very things closest to us, dearest to us, and most rooted in our traditions.
The environmental movement is too fragmented. It’s time to integrate our struggles and recognize the spiritual dimension of our political work.
Environmental harm intensifies structural violence, so acting for justice in an age of climate change means fighting all forms of oppression.
Corporations are feeding our denial. Climate change cannot be averted without also overhauling the global economy.
We must find ways to mourn lost species and care for dying ecosystems—doing so will enable us to face climate change with humility and hope.
We can replace the ethos of endless growth and conspicuous consumption with an approach to nature based on awe and wonder at the preciousness of the earth, love of all beings, and celebration of life.
As the earth heats up, sea levels rise, and thousands of species face extinction, it’s easy to boomerang between denial and despair.