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Women’s Prisons as Sites of Resistance: An Interview With Victoria Law

Victoria Law (Photo: PM Press)

Victoria Law. (Photo: PM Press)


Maya Schenwar | Truthout | June 28, 2015

In Resistance Behind Bars, regular Truthout contributor Victoria Law provides much-needed documentation of collective organizing and the daily struggles inside women’s prisons. This second edition inscludes powerful new sections examining the challenges facing trans, intersex and gender-variant people in prison as well as their acts of resistance. Order this award-winning book today by making a contribution to Truthout!

When we think of protest behind bars, what comes to mind? For many people, that list would include the Attica uprising, the work of George Jackson, the struggles of the Angola 3 activists, the 2013 California prison hunger strike and other crucial instances of resistance – mostly organized by incarcerated men.

Too often, organizing work done by incarcerated women goes wholly unrecognized. In her book, Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women, Victoria Law focuses on the many forms of activism happening inside of women’s prisons, most of which never reach the dominant media.

In the following interview, Law shares stories of little-known actions, insights into what constitutes “activism,” and ways in which individual acts of resistance are building toward a transformational new reality.

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Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government’s War on Gays


Michael Isikoff | View Finder | June 28, 2015

Following the U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, Yahoo News presents a new 30-minute documentary, “Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government’s War on Gays,” reported and narrated by chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff. The film explores a dark and little-known chapter in America’s recent political past, when gays and lesbians were barred from working for the federal government and the FBI, through its“sex deviates” program, secretly collected hundreds of thousands of files on the sex lives of American citizens.

“Uniquely Nasty” includes never-before-seen government memos by legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover (read by George Takei) and John Steele, a top lawyer for the U.S. Civil Service Commission (read by Matt Bomer) asserting that gays were “not suitable” for federal employment. “Uniquely Nasty” is divided into three chapters.

Chapter 1 — The Story of Charles Francis

A veteran Republican public relations consultant, Charles Francis was once a close friend of George W. Bush who served as the then Texas governor’s emissary to the gay community during the 2000 election. But Francis grew disillusioned by the Bush re-election campaign’s use of same-sex marriage as a wedge issue in 2004. “You have to be ready to be thrown overboard, and we were,” Francis says in the film. He then launched a new campaign to dig up government files documenting a forgotten history of decades of federal persecution of gays and lesbians.

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Next Installment of ‘Boystown’ Season Three

For Immediate Release
Jake Biondi reveals release date
for next installment of popular ‘BOYSTOWN’ series

‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ will be available May 1

‘BOYSTOWN’ series author Jake Biondi has revealed the release date for the highly-anticipated third book of his ‘BOYSTOWN’ series. ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ will be released on May 1, 2015.

“The wait is almost over,” Biondi told fans of his ‘BOYSTOWN’ book series. “Due to the success of the first two books in the series, fans from all over the country have been emailing me to know when the third book would be released. They want to know what’s coming next for their favorite characters and couples. Well, their wait is finally over.”

Biondi added, “’BOYSTOWN’ fans are the best. I am so humbled by and grateful for my readers and their positive response to the books. I regularly receive notes from fans who are connecting with the characters and want to know what the future holds for them.”

Biondi promises that readers won’t be disappointed. “’Season Three’ picks up with the aftermath of the New Year’s Eve explosion. While I won’t reveal who lives and who dies, I will say this: lives will be forever changed.” Biondi also previews that ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ continues the storylines from the first two books while introducing new ones — and some hot new characters, too!

As in his second book, Biondi pays tribute to and features some of his favorite performers in ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three.’ The “Whiskey & Cherries” trio, singer Amy Armstrong, and pop sensation Steve Grand are all featured in the third ‘BOYSTOWN’ book. “Meredith, Danielle, and I are thrilled to again be written into the ‘BOYSTOWN’ series. As an avid fan of our musical trio Whiskey & Cherries, Jake Biondi has included us as the musical entertainment for the fundraiser at the end of the book. As in book two, it’s always exciting to read about yourself interacting with the primary characters and being a part of the never-ending twists and turns in the brilliant plot line,” said Brian Felder of W&C. Amy Armstrong added, “I’m so excited that I got to be a part of this outstanding series.”

The ‘BOYSTOWN’ series has a fascinating history. It began as an online story released in installments, each ending with a cliffhanger that left readers wondering what would happen to their favorite characters. Enthusiastic ‘BOYSTOWN’ fans from all over the world petitioned Biondi to release the installments more quickly; they simply couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. Overwhelmed by and grateful for the fans’ responses to the series, Biondi began to write more quickly.

In 2013, Biondi published the first ten ‘episodes’ in book form as ‘BOYSTOWN Season One.’ The sequel, ‘BOYSTOWN Season Two,’ was released in July of 2014. Ending in a spectacular cliffhanger, ‘Season Two’ left the lives of several main characters in peril. Readers were left wondering who would survive and what would happen next. Now, ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ answers readers’ questions and, of course, provides even more twists and turns for the fans.

Early reviews of ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ are very positive. Journalist and ‘BOYSTOWN’ fan Dustin Shrader, who previewed the book, said, “Iconic writer Jake Biondi has done it again. ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ is an emotional roller coaster with page after page of twisting thrills and crafty curveballs coming along at such speed that readers are left breathless. They will not want to get off this ride.” Editor and ‘BOYSTOWN’ fan Lisa Tepper said, “This story is amazing; it’s filled with excitement, drama, romance…you name it, it has it.”

Like the first two books, ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ will be available at bookstores across the country as well at online at,, and itunes. The series is available in paperback and all e-book formats. Readers may also order autographed paperback copies of the books directly from Biondi’s website:

Biondi will reveal the book cover of ‘BOYSTOWN Season Three’ in one week.

For additional information or to schedule an interview with author Jake Biondi, please send an email to

Fun Home, Curious Incident, Kelli O’Hara, Helen Mirren, Michael Cerveris, Alex Sharp Top 69th Annual Tony Awards

Robert Viagas | Play Bill | June 7, 2015

Fun Home won five Tony Awards, the most of any musical at the 69th Annual Tony Awards. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Simon Stephens also won five Tonys, including Best Play, the most of any non-musical play.

Kelli O’Hara won her first Tony Award in six tries for her performance as Anna Leonowens in The King and I, which was also named Best Revival of a Musical. Her show also won Tonys for Best Costume Design and Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical to Ruthie Ann Miles.

Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron won Best Original Score for Fun Home, the first all-female songwriting team to win this award. Kron also won the Tony for Best Book of a Musical.

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The way Hawaiian culture embraces a particular kind of transgender identity


Kumu Hina premieres on PBS on Monday, May 4 at 10 p.m. EST (9 PM CST).

Photo credit: PBS

Photo credit: PBS Kumu Hina premieres on PBS on Monday, May 4 at 10 p.m. EST (9 PM CST).

HUFFINGTON POST | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News | April 28, 2015

In traditional, Western culture, gender identity is often considered a binary concept: You are either male or you are female.

This restrictive and defining construct makes it difficult for our society to understand people like Bruce Jenner, who recently came out as transgender, because they don’t always fit neatly into a box. While some transgender people move from one end of the gender spectrum to the other when they transition, other transgender people exist somewhere in between, embracing both genders, neither genders or a multiplicity of genders.

Ultimately, by changing and broadening our definition of gender identity, we can not only better understand it, we can truly embrace it. In Native Hawaiian culture, for instance, the idea of someone who embodies both the male and female spirit is a familiar and even revered concept. Gender identity is considered fluid and amorphous, allowing room for māhū, who would fall under the transgender umbrella in Western society.

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Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post-Cold War Order

  Rajan Menon and Eugene Rumer’s Conflict in Ukraine: The Unwinding of the Post-Cold War Order (MIT, Apr.) examines the recent uprising in Ukraine. It’s short and accessible, and as well as discussing the immediate events that led to the Euromaidan protests, the authors provide background on the history of the country pre– and post–Cold War. They likewise look at what Russia’s actions, particularly in the annexing of the Crimea, could mean—not just for Ukraine but for global international relations, calling the resulting conflict “the gravest crisis that has occurred between Russia and the West since the Cold War.”

Angry listeners lash out at country stations for promoting the ‘gay agenda’ with ‘Girl Crush’ song

Little Big Town ('Girl Crush' promotional photo)

 | Raw Story | March 27, 2014

Country music radio stations have placed Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” into low rotation after listeners complained that the song is “promoting the gay agenda,”’s Debbie Lord reports.

The song is written from the perspective of a woman who envies of her ex-boyfriend’s new lover. “I want to taste her lips, yeah cause they taste like you / I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume,” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild sings. “I want her long blond hair, I want her magic touch / Yeah cause maybe then, you’d want me just as much — I got a girl crush.”

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