Who was Audre Lorde

The decade of the 1960’s was a tumultuous period for many reasons, not the least of which being the struggle for civil rights among the LGBT, feminist, and African American communities. To speak from an historical standpoint, there were many champions who represented and fought for either one party or another, but a significantly lower number who attempted to fight for all three simultaneously.

Audre Lorde was born on February 18, 1934 to Caribbean immigrants in Harlem, NY. At an early age, she became exposed to poetry and used it as a communication tool in her everyday life. Beginning with reciting poetry to answer basic questions such as how she might be feeling on any given day, Lorde eventually began to write her own pieces in eighth grade – a talent which would carry her for years to come.

After graduating from high school, Lorde attended the National University of Mexico for a year in 1954. During this period, she is said to have affirmed herself as both a lesbian and a poet. She returned to New York to attend Hunter College, graduating in 1959, and furthered her education by attending Columbia University, eventually receiving a Master’s degree in library science in 1961. During these years, Lorde had asserted herself as a supporter of gay culture by being an active member in Greenwich Village while she continued on her literary path through persisting with her writing and working as a librarian in Mount Vernon.

As her career came to fruition, Lorde’s writing began to be published in many different outlets as well. Her poetry was featured in the likes of New Negro Poets, USA by Langston Hughes, as well as many foreign anthologies and black literary magazines around the country. Soon after, her works would be published as anthologies of their own, featuring works such as New York Head Shop and Museum, Coal, and The Black Unicorn. Much of her early work features themes of love, while her later work spoke with a very different voice and focused on issues involving race, gender, sexual orientation and other disparaging qualities in society. While often writing about the injustices of racism, Lorde would also occasionally poke into the dilemmas of sexism simultaneously, feeling no qualm or shame in targeting black men who were guilty of what she referred to as “male privilege.”

“As Black people, we cannot begin our dialogue by denying the oppressive nature of male privilege…and if Black males choose to assume that privilege, for whatever reason…then we cannot ignore Black male oppression. One oppression does not justify another.”

Lorde was also talented as a prose writer, publishing works such as “The Cancer Journals,” which intimately explores her diagnosis, treatment and recovery from breast cancer, “Zami: A New Spelling of My Name,” described as a narrative that deals with the evolution of her sexuality and self-awareness, and “Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches.” This work possibly had the greatest influence on her views of marginalized groups, effectively calling for unified feminist thought among white and African American women alike to think outside the “racist, patriarchal framework.”

Exemplified in many of her writings, Lorde was a proponent for spectrum-wide feminism, though she found herself on the outside of the ways of thought with many other famed feminists of her time. She had found that she had effectively segregated herself from conventional feminist thought by accusing white feminists of being unwittingly dependent upon the patriarchy through subtle yet divisive racism that she believed still separated the cause of white feminism from black feminism, insisting the differences were still as of yet unrecognized.

For the last couple of years of her life, Lorde was recognized as New York State Poet Laureate for her literary achievements. She eventually succumbed to liver cancer on November 17, 1992.

4 People You May Not Know Were Transgender

Do you like keeping up with the latest entertainment news? If so, you probably hear about famous people speaking out about gender identity. These days, the term “transgender” is commonly heard in various entertainment channels, thanks to actors, athletes, and singers who have decided to reveal how they want the world to see them. A notable example is Caitlyn Jenner, who has since become an influential spokesperson for the LGBT community. Here are some people you might know were transgender.

Jake Zyrus

The name Jake Zyrus may not ring any bells, but a quick Google search should help you figure out who this famous singer is. Formerly known as Charice Pempengco, the singer from the Philippines first made waves in the local entertainment industry. Charice also appeared on the hit show, Glee, helping her rise to global fame. In June 2017, he changed his name to Jake Zyrus and announced plans of continuing his career as a singer.

Jamie Clayton

If you’re watching Sense8, then you might find it surprising that Jamie Clayton was transgender. Known as Nami by fans of the show, she first enjoyed fame on TRANSform Me, a makeover series. She has spoken a lot about the difficulties she had to deal with to make it this far into her career. She now takes part in several projects.

Caroline Cossey

Have you watched all James Bond films? If yes, then you may know Carline Cossey. She managed to build an incredible career in Hollywood and modeling, without revealing to the public her true identity. Caroline began hormone replacement therapy at only 17 years old. In 1974, she went through gender confirmation surgery. Despite the attempts by tabloids to reveal her past, Cossey continued to get big roles including For Your Eyes Only in 1981.

Jazz Jennings

Jazz always knew she was different since she was a child. At the young age of six, Jennings became known to the public after her appearances on 20/20 and The Rosie Show. She then started a YouTube series of her own, garnering a lot of followers. In 2013, Jennings wrote “I Am Jazz,” where she chronicled her struggles as a transgender. She now plans to undergo gender confirmation surgery.

There’s no question that more transgender individuals are finding the courage and confidence to reveal who they are. And it’s interesting to see that they continue to enjoy success in their respective careers as society learns to accept the LGBT community.

Gay Movie Characters And Their Place In Stories

As Hollywood steadily becomes more progressive, an increasing number of gay, bisexual and transsexual characters are emerging in the world of American cinema. While other liberal republics are also producing various movies focused on gay, bisexual and transgender characters, most of the movies making an impact on the global scene are American productions focusing on the struggles of people who are not straight and cis-gendered. Sometimes these characters are more respectful to the people involved and others have reveled in the outrageous camp of varying levels of good taste, camp, poor taste and outright offensiveness.

Probably the most well-known gay character to come out of Hollywood actually originated in Britain. Albus Dumbledore of the Harry Potter franchise is well known to both children and adults and according to the franchise’s creator, Dumbledore was gay all along. However, as many literary and film critics have noted, Dumbledore’s sexuality has absolutely no impact on the plot of the Harry Potter series, despite the fact that Dumbledore is one of the most important characters in the Harry Potter narrative. Indeed, Dumbledore’s homosexuality was only announced after the last book and a number of the films had been released, making it more or less an almost invisible manifestation of homosexual representation.

Elsewhere, the film “But I’m A Cheerleader” is fairly heavy and open about its homosexual themes. The film focuses on the story of a teenage girl named Megan Bloomfield who is forced into a conversion therapy camp that claims to be capable of “curing” her homosexuality. Despite Megan’s best efforts to change her sexuality away at both the behest of her parents and her own beliefs about her identity (hence the title; she feels that because she’s a cheerleader and very feminine, she can not actually be a lesbian). However, as she falls in love with another girl at the camp, other former students of the camp infiltrate the ranks of students and begin to coax them out of their efforts to become heterosexual.

The film is notable for being rated NC-17 specifically because of the homosexual content. While a few people in less tolerant areas, like Texas, would argue that such a sexually charged film was worthy of an R rating, the decision to keep it at NC-17 (and thus out of mainstream theaters) was done specifically in regards to the homosexual content. This prompted a great deal of anger at the MPAA, though little can be done about that organization at the moment.

Famous Gay Athletes To Know

Being gay is something that wasn’t socially acceptable and is still frowned upon by people around the world.

While considerable changes have been made to legislation and education, it’s important to know some of the most famous gay individuals. Here are athletes who have come out about their sexual orientation and have been activists for the LGBTQ community.

1) Jason Collins

He was the trailblazer when it came to gay athletes in the four major North American sports.

Before him, not a single professional athlete in the MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL had decided to come out about his sexual orientation. With Jason Collins, this hurdle was removed, and he was openly declared as being gay. He felt it was time to set the trend and make sure players who were “in the closet” could get out and play without fear.

He had hoped someone else did it before him, but when the time came, he felt it was time to put the word out about his sexual orientation.

2) Martina Navratilova (Tennis)

She is well-regarded as being one of the finest women tennis players to have graced the planet.

Her skill alone made her famous, but her stature grew as she came out as a gay athlete. Martina Navratilova is heralded for the work she has done on the court and continues to help others who are in her position. She came out during the 1981 season and played a lengthy career before retiring.

3) Sheryl Swoopes

She’s one of the most famous basketball players of all time. In fact, she is called the female version of Michael Jordan when it came to her talent level.

Sherly Swoopes came out in 2005 and had a period where she was married to a man in the 90s. She has a son named Michael Jordan (named after her favorite NBA player) from the marriage.

She has supported the gay community and helped spread the word over the past decade. You can check out a video of some of her best highlights below.

4) David Denson (MLB)

David Denson is the first openly gay athlete in the MLB.

While he is a retired baseball player at the age of 22 due to pursuing other dreams, he has gone on to become a recognized professional in the gay community. He was able to break the barrier that was in place and spent time in the Brewer’s farm system working on his craft as a baseball player.

5 Celebrities You’d Never Guess Were Gay or Bisexual

Despite all the revolutions the world has seen in our perspectives on sexualities, the news that a celebrity has openly announced being gay or bisexual can still come as quite a surprise. The LGBT community has done much to de-stigmatize sexual diversity but it can still be difficult to face your family and friends and even more so the entire globe.

So, here’s a toast to all those brave fellows in the lime light who have stepped forth and been counted with their LGBT community.

1. Michelle Rodriguez

The star of Fast and Furious series came out as an open bisexual a few years ago, in an important interview with the Entertainment Weekly periodical. According to Michele, she has experience on both sides of the sexuality street and basically does what she pleases. “I’m just too curious to not try what I can and want! Guys are intriguing, but then again, so are girls!”

2. Rupert Everett

Rupert Everett has entertained us with classy humor and a distinguished presence in films such as “Shrek”, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and many others. For many years, Rupert struggled with his desire to be open about his sexual inclination and the concerns over the reception he would get from friends and family, more’s the pity. He has advised other gay actors to keep their sexuality to themselves as straight men get better roles.

3. Alan Cumming

The star of “X-Men” and “The Good Wife” was very clean about his orientation when he discussed the matter on the Larry King Now show. According to Alan Cumming his sexual curiosity has led him to both male and female relations. “I actually had a boyfriend before I was married, but I’ve always felt kind of bisexual.”

4. Jillian Michaels

The coach on the popular TV show” The Greatest Loser”, Jillian Michaels, surprised many people when she spoke about her sexual inclination during an exclusive interview with ‘Lady’s Home Journal”. She alluded to her love life as a healthy aspect of her lifestyle, much like her choice of diet. “I believe that a relationship should be healthy. As long as there’s love it is all right. Just like healthy eating, as long as the nutrition is wholesome and beneficial, it’s good eating.”

5. Clive Davis

He may be 80 years old, but the musical magnate that brought Whitney Houston to fame has recently been open about his sexuality in his latest production “A Soundtrack to My Life”