November is for transgender and intersex awareness

This November marks an important time for transgender and intersex communities — not only as a crucial moment for intersex political organizing, but also as a period of celebration and remembrance: Intersex Solidarity Day is celebrated on November 8th, the birthday of Herculine Barbin.  Barbin was a French intersex woman who was forcibly assigned male by a court after her affair and medical examinations were made public.  Transgender Awareness Week is the second week of the month, leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th. This international observance honors the lives of trans people, and remembers those who have been killed due to transphobic violence. As nonbinary library employees of color, we’ve compiled this list of books that center the lives and experiences of intersex, transgender, and non-binary people.

I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shreya
This short volume of essays is a deeply vulnerable examination of masculine violence in our society. The essays are accessible, profoundly honest, and they serve to help us all think more deeply about gendered violence. Content warning for self-harm, transmisogyny (violence against trans women), abuse. Continue reading “November is for transgender and intersex awareness”

Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In Our Own Image(s)

At the Capitol Hill Library, we wondered how to create an Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Heritage Month display that recognizes the many peoples who are categorized as “Asian” and “Pacific Islander” — each unique and with their own histories, languages, religions, cultural values, and experiences.  Is it possible to represent such broad and diverse communities without using stereotypical imagery (especially those which focus exclusively on East Asia)?

An answer dawned on us: since API people are already representing themselves, through their art and creative practice… why reach for the clipart of cherry blossoms and dragons, when we could highlight the imagery of API artists?

We reached out to a number of local artists with API heritage, and have featured some samples of their work – swing by the Capitol Hill library, and check out library items that are produced by API writers, illustrators, filmmakers, and musicians.  Our display offers a selection of poetry, picture books, nonfiction, DVDs, comics, and other media from our collection.  For those who can’t make it to our neck of the city, here are a few titles to place on hold:

Works by Pacific Islanders

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Continue reading “Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In Our Own Image(s)”