When Little Richard died a few days ago, everyone was quick to rightfully hail him as the true king of rock and roll (which he was always quick to crown himself). But he was also the queen (which he would also sometimes declare).
David Bowie is often identified as the great leper messiah who made unapologetic gender fluidity acceptable in rock and roll, but he (and countless others) got their inspiration --and costume and makeup tips-- from Little Richard. James Brown, Bowie, Prince, Elton John, Marc Bolan, Jagger, Plant, Rundgren, Alice Cooper, and all the rest of them, even John Waters' mustache, owe an immense debt to Little Richard (who...um...owes his own great debt to Esquerita). Richard had nearly as much of an impact on the style, preen and swagger, and the transgressive posturings of rock and roll as did his music.
Hail the Queen!
Read a bit more on the subject (and see some cool pictures) in this article in The Guardian.
Image: Anna Bleker, Public Domain Read the rest
Sarah Gailey is one of science fiction's great new talents and their 2019 debut novel Magic for Liars was incredibly strong; now they're back with Upright Women Wanted, a feminist, genderqueer science fiction western novel about gun-toting roving librarians who are secretly the heart of an antifascist resistance.
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“We are glad to be able to better accommodate the gender preferences of our travelers and team members.” - AA
Theresa Thorn (co-host of the excellent parenting podcast One Bad Mother and Jesse Thorn (proprietor of the excellent Maximum Fun podcasting network) have a transgender daughter; Theresa has written a beautiful, sweet picture book about gender identity based on her experiences with her trans kid: It Feels Good to Be Yourself.
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UCLA released a study that found 796,000 California adolescents, or over one in four, self-report that peers consider them gender nonconforming. Our recruitment drive is working! Read the rest
Pussy Riot's video for "Straight Outta Vagina" frames the poppy, danceable song with visuals calculated to enrage the Kremlin, with LA's Ace Hotel standing in for church where various genderbent dancers receive communion while singing the praises of vaginas. Given that the last iteration of this theme landed the musicians in a hard labor gulag where they were subjected to routine sexual assaults, it's a pretty big fuck you to the Russian establishment. (via Bruce Sterling) Read the rest
Merriam-Webster is to add "genderqueer" to its unabridged English dictionary; also "cisgender".
Cisgender: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
Genderqueer: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female.
Which pronoun? TIP: Whichever they want. Read the rest