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This is an email from The Digest, a newsletter by Prism & Pen.

Queer Writers Share Stories as SCOTUS Threatens to Destroy Liberty

Prism & Pen Weekly — May 8, 2022

by James Finn

Monday’s SCOTUS bombshell has women and LGBTQ people everywhere shaking with fear and outrage. The justices look set to gut precedents keeping the State out of women’s bodies and queer lives. In this week’s Prism & Pen, I examine the issue in depth as P&P writers share stories about life, love, and overcoming obstacles.

READERS: Read for free by clicking underlined links. Want to help support P&P? Click here to join Medium.

WRITERS: Prompt day tomorrow. Leave me a comment about what you want to write about for the next two weeks, and I’ll try hard to work it in. Remember, you can help get more eyes on The Digest by commenting, clapping, and highlighting.

— Editor’s Picks —

Scotus Abortion Bombshell to Nuke Women, LGBTQ, Human Rights

James Finn

Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade is a vicious assault on women’s fundamental human rights, and it opens the door to the destruction of sexual privacy, marriage equality, and much more. If there were ever a moment in history for the American people to rise up and roar their uncompromising outrage, this is that moment.

Alito’s declaration that rights not enumerated in the Constitution must be firmly rooted in American history destroys the possibility of progressive legal reasoning. It enshrines the past (with all its racism, sexism, and homophobia) as the the only standard by which judges can rule to keep the State out of people’s private lives.

Read in P&P

Anything I Want to Be: SOPHIE, Fiona and an LGBTQ Evening at Sugar Club

Fiona Evangeline Leigh

Invited to sit on a Dublin roundtable to discuss the late transgender icon SOPHIE, Fiona ended the night dancing. And learning to celebrate her own transition with more joy than ever!

After the spate of hate crimes that have plundered through Ireland like the Four Horsemen, our togetherness beneath the rainbow was a buffet for the soul … For one exquisite evening I was Belle of the Ball again. I was blasted free from the ghetto of myself and appeared all shiny, new and retooled. I was suddenly ready for another stab at life.

Read in P&P

My Friend the Curious LGBTQ Bigot

Lex Laursmith

A teacher and tutor, Lex recalls a childhood friendship and the impact of ignorance in nurturing homophobia and transphobia. What’s so bad about Don’t Say Gay? This:

“Have you read the latest in the series, then?” I asked. I was hoping to discuss it with someone, as I had enjoyed it immensely.

My friend made a face. “Ew, no,” she spat. “That has gay people in it.”

Well, naturally, the remark stung.

Read in P&P

— Memoir —

A Tale of Two Souls

The Wordsmith™🏳️‍🌈🇺🇸

Blind Date’s Coke-Selling Roommate Caught Doing A Line

Awesome Sex! His Needs and My Wants Flawlessly Melded.

Alex’s memoir of love and loss during the worst of the AIDS era continues as he tells his and dying partner’s story to a compassionate stranger.

“The sex that night was as wondrous and fulfilling as I had hoped. Loy intuited what I wanted and needed while signaling what he needed and wanted. His needs and my wants flawlessly melded. He had done this before. … “I had been about to raise my head from where it nestled in his chest, nuzzling his nipple, to seek permission. He anticipated me…

Read in P&P

— Fiction Series —

Prairie Death Tales — The Ben Nathan Murder

David Wade Chambers and Court Atchinson writing as Courtland Wade

Wade and his writing partner bring fictional Dine City, Oklahoma to life in Prairie Death Tales with tight prose and original photography. DC is typical American heartland at first glance, but much more goes on under the surface. The “Ben Nathan Murder” is a police procedural at first glance. But only first glance!

Firelight flickers over the interior of the master bedroom, doubling and tripling itself in the mirrors, highlighting the contours of an oiled, glistening thigh. Near the foot of the bed stands a low Regency table precisely suitable for displaying the elaborate game box of lacquered rosewood, which Ben brought home from his art-student days in Paris.

Chapter 1: Straight Encounter, Gay Surprise

Chapter 2: Spring Storm Brewing

Chapter 3: The Storm Breaks

— Essays and Creative Nonfiction —

Heterosexuality Is Bullshit

Collin McGuinness

Don’t get too excited about me saying heterosexuality is bullshit. The same can and has been said about homosexuality. What you need to understand is that neither orientation is more valid than the other. Let’s get a couple things out of the way.

Read in P&P

Would You Trust Your Child With a Trans Person? The Numbers Speak.

Emma Holiday

If you chose letter A through F, you exposed a child to a far greater chance of molestation than if you had chosen G.

Surprise!!! Your child is safer with a transgender person.

NOW, can I go to the bathroom????

Read in P&P

A Gay Man Finding My Place in the World

Judah Leblang

On the surface, I should have fit right in — a curious, well-mannered boy among boys, with a good head — a yiddishe kop — on my shoulders. But given our lack of diversity, we Members of the Tribe filled all the roles in the scholastic universe, and by time I reached the upper elementary grades it seemed all the best seats were taken …

Read in P&P

What’s Trans Got to Do With Golf? Let Luc Play.

James Finn

Luc Esquivel loves playing golf! That’s kind of amazing considering when he was born, he had to be emergency-airlifted to a children’s hospital to correct a heart defect. Doctors warned his parents that if he lived, he might be severely disabled. So, why won’t Tennessee let him play? Luc is a transgender boy, and a Tennessee law kicked him off the team.

Read in P&P

Anti-Gay Bigotry Harms People You Know and Love

Lisa B-L

Anita Bryant infamously used the slogan, “Gays don’t produce, so they must recruit.” This is the same justification for the current rash of anti-gay laws exploding around the country. Charges of grooming and sexualizing children are the cornerstone of bigotry against queer people.

Read in P&P

It’s My One Year HRT Anniversary & I’m Scared

Alex Mell-Taylor

I have been on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) for a year, and it has made me so incredibly happy. I look at the curves of my new body in the mirror every morning, and it fills me with joy… All over the country, regressive, anti-queer laws have been passed. I want to explain why I am terrified…

Read in P&P

Same Sex Marriage is “Very Sad” Says Christian Institute’s Nigel Kenny

Esther Spurrill-Jones

When Kenny says, “The Bible is crystal clear that true, God-honouring marriage is only between one man and one woman,” he is lying. I have read the whole Bible more than once, and I have studied much of it in depth, and I have read many interpretations and analyses of the Bible, and the Bible is not “crystal clear” about marriage at all.

Read in P&P

Sexual Harassment on the Job

Emma Holiday

Five years ago, I became a member of one of the most marginalized of minorities. I discovered I was transgender. That diagnosis triggered the most profound and scathing analysis and dissection of who and what I am. It is still an ongoing process.

Read in P&P

LGBTQ Teen Romance Heartstopper Made Me Cry

James Finn

For LGBTQ people, films like this are rare birds. Heartstopper is something new under the sun. It’s an entirely normal film about entirely normal teens who live in a world that doesn’t throw up overwhelming obstacles just because of who they are.

Read in P&P

Lena’s Bathtub Brew for Trans Women

Kitty Whitemore

I haven’t used it in forever. I did hold on to it just in case. I no longer need it as a safety net. So I am going to throw Lena’s Bathtub brew away. I may shed a tear, but I know that I will always remember how I felt on that stuff. I was an Eastern European tough girl for a month or so.

Read in P&P

A Note from Your Friendly Neighborhood Man with a Uterus

Logan Silkwood

Her sign said, “If men could get pregnant, abortions would be available at ATMs.” Who’s going to tell my fellow protestor that she was walking beside a man with a uterus the whole time she held that sign? I’m not offended exactly. I didn’t know guys like me existed either for much of my life.

Read in P&P

A Twitter TERF Tried To Turn People Against Sapphic Authors

Sarah McManus MSc

This week, a sad little TERF decided it would be a good idea to share the names of all of the Sapphic writers who support trans people to… I don’t know, shame us, I guess? Warn their fellow TERFs not to buy our books? … It backfired significantly.

Read in P&P

Are Men Victims of Testosterone or Patriarchal Socialization?

Emma Holiday

Starting HRT has had a profound impact on many things for me … Many things in my life lost their sexual associations. Victoria’s Secret became a clothing store. I have found myself more attracted to fashion than the sexual context of it. I grew breasts, so cleavage became expressing my female gender and bras became just another piece of clothing. There were so many other examples because my world was so excessively sexualized.

Read in P&P

Senators Demand Parental Blocking for Gay/Trans TV Characters

James Finn

If the senators get their way, a warning like the one at the top of this article will appear before programming with gay characters, bisexual characters, or trans characters. Parents who use blocking tech to protect their kids from explicit or mature content would end up blocking programming with LGBTQ people.

Read in P&P

Rejected: Too Gay to Write

Jonny Masters

I offered my writing services to another, well-known, Christian charity based in the UK. “I’m sorry, mate. The Trustees have just put a new rule in place. Volunteers must now sign something to say they support the traditional view of marriage, so I am afraid you can’t sign up as a volunteer. You can’t write for us.”

Read in P&P

Our youth are our tomorrow

Jenny Starr✨

That is the aim behind the #letters4transkids movement championed by Matthew’s Place. Create cards, letters, notes, and poems, and send them out to our youth community. Let them know they aren’t alone!!!

Read in P&P

— Poetry Picks —

Where Should I Stand in Your Universe? (A Transgender Love Poem)

Logan Silkwood

Where should I stand
in your universe?
Should I be the Moon
to your Earth,

Read in P&P

Tree of Knowledge — A Poem

Rebecca Herz

I found a lover, beautiful and kind
the fairest woman anyone could find
in fear, they tell me not to take her hand
in fear of God’s true wrath they cannot stand

Read in P&P

My heart holds on — a poem

Rebecca Herz

I have made my way through collections
of journals old as my fear

few blank pages remain …

Read in P&P

That’s it, folks! Writers, it’s prompt day tomorrow. What shall we write about for the next two weeks? Hit me up in comments.

Seeya next Sunday! ❤

Jim

Esther Spurrill-Jones, Ainsley L, Fred Shirley, neil chapman, David Wade Chambers, Artemis Shishir, alto, Gabriela Penelope, Lois, b.henriques, Carl Rebeiro 🏳️‍🌈, Rodney, Simon, Carl, Brian, Deneishia Jacobpito, Chris Hedges, Kathy Lee Tolleth, Alex David Bevan, David Wade, Lois Shearing, Valentine, b.henriques, Simon Z., Cassie Brighter, James, Brigid Maloney, Gabriela, Presley Thomas, Evan McCoy, Loren Olson, Ken Wilson, Chandler, Arabelle J., Liam Heitmann-Ryce, Prickly Pam, Dawn McGrath, Jonathan | sex & theology, Tabitha Lowndes, Emma Nwosisi, Melissa Speed, Till, Dave Smurthwaite, Ellie Rebecca, Zoey, Edris Quinn C., Dennett, Michael Constable, Jim Martens, Stephen Foster, Kravitz M. Kristen Nadel, William Kuhn, Denisa, Rafaela Mempin, Tre L. Loadholt, theoaknotes, Rachel Brindell, Elle Fredine, Jess Darnell, Emma, Gabe Evaristo, Joshua Mackey, Steve Alexander, Stevie Wilkinson, Andy Killoran, Nick, ElMehdi El, Bradley Wester, Stella Luna (they/she?), Chuy G. Gonzalez, MS, Aaron W. Marrs, Zada Kent, Tima Loku, Cam, The Transgender Therapist, Sean Bennett, Ty Bo Yule, Alessia Autumn, Allen R. Marquez, Spencer James, Mary-Ellen Maynard, Gaby Spadaro, Elena Joy Thurston, Mina Krane, Jason Masters, Jeff Harvey, Laurence Best, Don Stouder, J. S. Richards, Fiona Feng, Yvonne Borgquist, Sarah McManus MSc, Annabelle Rose, Laura Silverstein, LCSW, Kyla Sawyer, Ellen Caminiti, rowen maeve, Rafaela Mempin, Punch Drunk Cola, Jeff Poole, Mrs. Capricious, Justine L, Patsy Fergusson, John Westphalen, Curtis Harding, Phoenix Huber, Val Servino, Jadon-Maurice Forbes, Molly Martin, Henry Lee Butler, Grey Alexander Crawford, Les Campbell, Casira Copes, Niki Madore, Shachee Swadia, Chevanne Scordinsky, Reis Asher, Jahleel Wasser, Jaimie Brickey, Doody Richards, Patrick Paul, James Fox Jeffries, Alexander Petrovnia, Elaine D Walsh, ƒ Michael Wells, Jack Herlocker, Lindsay Soberano-Wilson, Don Orr Martin, Jackson Banks, Martin Friend, Coby Bronze, Cate Talley, Damian Delune, Emilly Olivares, Sree Jaya, Sogen Ohata, David Arias, Kayla Vokolek, G. L. Balend, Anthony Eichy Eichberger, Shanker Mahadev, Jenna McRae, Jay Rose Ana, Kevin M. Casin, Linda Caroll, Unzip It, Judy McCord, Eric Beach, Dr Jeff Livingston, Topher Bigelow, Christopher Kelly, Joseph Coco, Jordan Michael Becker, syys, Eilís O’Keeffe, Meghan McKie, Rand Bishop, Ryan Doskocil, Jacob Green, JULIAN GRACIANO NUNEZ, Marcus Davensky, Rebecca Herz, Alexander Tan, X.S., Ken Scout, Kitty Whitemore, Ellison O., Ed Guzzo, KP_the_writer, Judah Leblang, Arthur Keith, Jess Whitehall, Takoda Leighton-Patterson, S. Armstrong, Elena, Dunollie, Rita Malone, Nicole Stewart, Amanda Laughtland, Stephanie Moga, Tyler Albertario, Na.tasha Tr.oop, Suzanna Alastair, Lorelei Weldon, Victoria Stagg Elliott, Staten Blogging, Jaimie Hileman, Roo Benjamin, I. J., Helianthos, Brynn Tannehill, Lari, Amelia Harlow, Mary DeVries, Alyssa Ferguson, Anna, Casey Lawrence, Meagon Nolasco, spoorti, Antoni(a) Ceballos, A. T. Steel, Logan Silkwood, E. Katherine Kottaras, Eugene Pierson, David Moreton, Joanna Miles, Fay Wylde, Mila Bea, Elliott Jacob, Gerald Sturgill, Kim Barrett, Jenny Starr✨, Alex Mell-Taylor, Jonny Masters, Collin McGuinness, Ryan J. Mills, Kyle Palmer, Teresa Wymore, Dan Thomas, Lisa B-L, Lex Laursmith,

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Amplifying LGBTQ voices through the art of storytelling

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James Finn

James Finn

James Finn is a columnist for the LA Blade, a former Air Force intelligence analyst, an alumnus of Act Up NY, and an agented but unpublished novelist.

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