One Book: Giovanni’s Room

Gender-Neutral Washrooms the Next Debate

Following the Supreme Court’s history ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, the next issue may be related to transgender people. One of the issues is related to gender-neutral washrooms. Check out this article from the Sun Times: Gay alderman proposes gender-neutral washrooms to accomodate transgender Chicagoans.

I post this because MVCC’s GASP! students have brought up this issue over the last academic year. They presented a petition to the MVCC Board of Trustees. Our college has several single-use washrooms on campus.

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Is gender identity biologically hard-wired?

Here’s a short video relating to the discussions we’ve had this academic year relating to our One Book program on Giovanni’s Room.

Is gender identity biologically hard-wired?

Description: At an early age, 8-year-old Skyler Kelly began to let his parents know that what he looked like on the outside, a girl, is not how he felt on the inside. The science of gender identity isn’t fully understood, but new research points to a complex set of factors, including biological ones. Special correspondent Jackie Judd talks to families and researchers who are working on these discoveries.

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National Bisexuality Day!

Since 1999 the 23rd of September has been National Bisexuality Day! What does that mean here at Moraine?  The One Book, One College this year is Giovanni’s Room which has a strong LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer) theme.  To understand more about the term Bisexuality and the many myths about it, here is a great article from

GLAAD is an organization that helps bring LGBTQ themes, issues, and movements for change to the forefront of news and media.  One of the most recent accomplishments of equality they have helped be a part of was the repeal of the ban on openly gay members in the Boy Scouts of America.  Many more movements in relations to LGBTQ equality and rights are still ongoing.  To find out more visit GLAAD’s Take Action page to be part of the change.

Today on campus we have an event for the One Book, One College: What is Queer?: Current and Historic Struggles of LGBTQ People.  The lecture starts at 12:30pm and goes to 1:45pm, in the Library Lounge.

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Graphic Novelist Alison Bechdel Wins MacArthur “Genius” Award

As we are in the midst of our Graphic Novel Symposium and our One Book Program on Giovanni’s Room, an artist who touches themes of both events was awarded the prestigious “Genius” award from the MacArthur Foundation.

Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home, has received critical acclaim for her work as a cartoonist and grpahic novelist. She explores issues of identity, family, and sexual orientation (among many topics). You can checkout a copy of Fun Home here in the MVCC Library.

Here are a couple of articles about Bechdel:

NPR: Book News: A Q&A With Alison Bechdel, Cartoonist And MacArthur Winner

PBS Newshour: From marriage equality advocate to materials scientist, MacArthur Foundation names 21 new ‘geniuses’

Here’s an excerpt of the biography provided by the MacArthur Foundation.

“Alison Bechdel is a cartoonist and graphic memoirist exploring the complexities of familial relationships in multilayered works that use the interplay of word and image to weave sophisticated narratives. Bechdel’s command of sequential narrative and her aesthetic as a visual artist was established in her long-running comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For (1983–2008), which realistically captured the lives of women in the lesbian community as they influenced and were influenced by the important cultural and political events of the day.

Garnering a devoted and diverse following, this pioneering work was a precursor to her book-length graphic memoirs. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2006) is a nuanced depiction of a childhood spent in an artistic family in a small Pennsylvania town and of her relationship with her father, a high school English teacher and funeral home director. An impeccable observer and record keeper, Bechdel incorporates drawings of archival materials, such as diaries, letters, photographs, and news clippings, as well as a variety of literary references in deep reflections into her own past.”

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‘The right to be handsome’: Clothing for gender non-conforming people on the rise

I wanted to share this video that touches on some of the topics that we will be examining for our One Book, One College program on Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. This video touches on ideas of gender identity, how we represent ourselves, and how we understand ourselves.

From the PBS Newshour: Companies that offer custom-made clothing for transgender and gender non-conforming people are coming to the forefront, as more diverse models gain visibility in the fashion industry – and redefine the parameters of gender identity. Ivette Feliciano reports.
‘The right to be handsome’: Clothing for gender non-conforming people on the rise

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The 26th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners

The Lambda Literary Foundation has been recognizing the best of LGBT writing since 1987, providing visibility to often marginalized writers and literature. This year’s award winners represent a wide range of genres and come from major publishing houses as well as independent presses. All of the selections look like fantastic additions to a summer reading list.

One of the features of this year’s ceremony was this video compilation from the “What LGBTQI Book Saved Your Life” campaign. It’s a powerful testament to the importance of LGBT literature. Look for the short clip that features Giovanni’s Room, this year’s One Book, One College selection.

Lambda Literary Awards 2014 from melanie larosa on Vimeo.

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Don’t Know John Green? You Should

If you haven’t heard of John Green, you need to catch up. His novel Will Grayson, Will Grayson (co-written with David Levithan) is one of our secondary texts for our One Book Program on Giovanni’s Room. You can find Will Grayson, Will Grayson here in the library.

You should also check out this video about John Green:
Author John Green and his awesome fans

Don’t Know John Green? You Should Read More »

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