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LGBT Authors of Our Time

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Quite a few members of the community have mastered skills in literary expression and art as a means to overcome struggles experienced in everyday life and the oppression they’ve experienced.

Some of the excellent literature to be explored includes poetry, novels and contemporary stories. See a few of excellent recommendations below, located within the Library of Congress.

Walt Whitman was a famous poet who was gay and often wrote stories for newspapers in the early 1850s. One novel of his you may find interesting is called “A Rich Revelation.”

Also check out “Love has to be Reinvented,” by Jean Cocteau, who was an influential French artist as well as a writer. He was known as one of the major figures of Dada and Surrealism.

Maureen Cummins created a special collection from love letters she acquired in New York from young men before the world wars. Her collection is called “Far Rockaway: A Romantic Correspondence.”

Another novel that may broaden your horizon is by Clarissa Sligh, titled “Wrongly Bodied Two.” She wrote of two coinciding stories, where one was a white male “imprisoned” in a woman’s body, and an African American woman who escaped slavery by disguising as a white man. This book describes society’s psychological response to the act of changing one’s identity.

An excellent compilation of personal stories of ten lesbian and gay couples were published by Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry in “Marriage Matters.” These two felt their twenty-six year relationship had transformed them into artists.

Military Life Focus

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Andrew James Chier served in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars, tells of his experiences as a gay Airman serving before and after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

U.S. Army Sgt. Christina A. Frisby tells of her perseverance when she was denied military service due to her sexual orientation after completing the U.S. Naval Academy. She went on to join the Army National Guard after September 11, and served in Iraq.

U.S. Air Force Sgt. Theresa Ruggiero served during the Cold War, tells of her frustration of inner conflicts with her gender, followed by the acceptance she received from her comrades upon joining the Air Force Medical field.

U.S. Army Private 1st Class Franklin Kameny served in World War II and returned home to pursue a doctorate in astronomy. He was hired and then fired by the Army for being gay. After fighting his own case, he became a paralegal to protect the discriminatory actions towards others and gay rights of draftees.

For more information, visit the Library of Congress in the main reading room, https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/resources or contact the 21 SW/EO office at 21sw.eo.wf@us.af.mil.

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