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LGBTQIA Rights

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The Genderqueer Pride Flag

We’re Not In Oxford Anymore

by Caroline Kubzansky

I am one of the biggest grammar freaks that I know. I proudly count myself as a “soldier of the subjunctive,” and I find cartoons about comma placement to be hilarious-- so it may come as a surprise that I was excited when The American Dialect Society voted an ”incorrect” use of English to be the defining word of 2015. The word in question? The singular “they.” 

Denise Eger

In 2015, Denise Eger became the first openly gay president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the professional organization for Reform rabbis.

Betty Berzon

Two years after psychologist Betty Berzon came out as a lesbian in 1971, she won the fight to have the American Psychiatric Association declassify homosexuality as a mental illness.

Judith Butler

Judith Butler transformed philosophy’s understanding of gender and queer studies with her theory that gender is not an inherent quality, it is a repeated performance based on social codes.

Toba Spitzer

Toba Spitzer became the first openly gay head of a rabbinic organization in 2007 when she became president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association.

Deborah Brin

Deborah Brin, one of the first openly gay rabbis, led the first prayer service for Women of the Wall at the Conference for the Empowerment of Jewish Women in 1988.

Joy Ladin

Poet and scholar Joy Ladin is the first openly transgender employee of an Orthodox institution, Yeshiva University’s Stern College.
Caroline Kubzansky Holding "Fearless" Sign

Dear Midge Decter

by Caroline Kubzansky

You know the saying: keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Were we to meet, we wouldn’t be enemies exactly, but I doubt that we’d be friends either. While you and I are both female Jewish writers, the similarity stops there. 

Kate Bornstein

Through performance art pieces like Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger and The Opposite Sex is Neither, Kate Bornstein questions society’s understanding of gender as a binary.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Hailed as the “Scream Queen” for her 1978 film debut in Halloween and her work in other slasher films, Jamie Lee Curtis defied expectations through her roles in A Fish Called Wanda and The Heidi Chronicles.
Woman Silhouette, cropped

Being a Woman

by Leiah Moser

For me—and, I imagine, a lot of other trans women out there—the recent flurry of media attention around the appearance of Caitlyn Jenner in Vanity Fair has given rise to a whole complicated array of feelings, not the least of which may be longing for a time when everybody will finally stop talking about Caitlyn Jenner.

Leslie Feinberg

A working-class lesbian, transgender activist, and communist, Leslie Feinberg became an important voice for lesbians of hir generation with the publication of hir powerful 1993 novel Stone Butch Blues.

Jeanne Manford

In 1973 Jeanne Manford’s fierce love for her gay son in the face of national condemnation of homosexuality led her to create a support network for other families, Parents of Gays, later known as PFLAG.

Amanda Simpson

A skilled pilot and aeronautics engineer, Amanda Simpson made history in 2010 when she became the first openly transgender presidential appointee, as senior technical advisor to the Bureau of Industry and Security.

Harriet Perl, 1920 - 2013

In my imagination, she was a well-adjusted spinster whose heroes were Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald. But in the packed sanctuary that day, people spoke of a much greater hero: Ellen DeGeneres.

Nicolette Mason

Body-positive blogger Nicolette Mason has become a leader in creating and celebrating fashion for women of all sizes and shapes.

Judith Light

In her four decades as an Emmy- and Tony-winning actress, Judith Light has repeatedly taken on challenging and unconventional roles, from a housewife-turned-prostitute on One Life to Live to ex-wife of a transgender woman on the acclaimed Transparent.

Hanne Blank

Both as a historian and as a fiction writer, Hanne Blank has questioned how we relate to our bodies and our sexuality, from gender norms to fat-shaming.
Andrew Sullivan at his Wedding

Know Hope: Learning Civil Rights with Andrew Sullivan

by Sophie Edelhart

Andrew Sullivan came into my life when I entered high school. At that time, he was writing a blog for the Daily Beast called “The Dish” and I read it Every. Single. Day. He wrote about politics in Washington, the Iraq War, different facets of American culture, conservatism, Christianity. But what he is best known for his role in the fight for same sex marriage.      

Topics: LGBTQIA Rights

Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” Climbs Billboard Charts

February 1, 1964
"I don’t care what age you are—whether you’re 16 or 116—there’s nothing more wonderful than standing on the stage and shaking your finger and singing, ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’” - Singer Lesley Gore

Idina Menzel

A longtime star of the Broadway stage, Idina Menzel became the first person ever to claim both a Billboard Top 10 slot (for Holiday Wishes in 2014) and a Tony Award (for Wicked in 2003).

Leslie Feinberg, 1949 - 2014

And in the reflection of the glass, finally, literally and metaphorically, I could see myself, and Leslie, at once. I think I started to understand what I could be in that moment, that I belonged to a proud tradition of Butch women. That there was a place for me in this world. That I could grow up. For the first time, I understood that I was looking at who and what I would become as an adult. It was breathtaking.

Leslea Newman

A proud lesbian feminist writer, Lesléa Newman made history in 1989 with her controversial children’s book, Heather Has Two Mommies.

Deborah Wasserman Schultz

An outspoken Democrat, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was entrusted with great responsibility for the party both in the US House of Representatives and as chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Martine Rothblatt

CEO Martine Rothblatt’s fascination with interconnectivity led her to found both GeoStar and Sirius Radio, but it was her drive to save her daughter’s life that led her to create biotech company United Therapeutics Corporation.
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