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

Roe and Don’t Say Gay: Right Wing Ramp Up

Prism & Pen Weekly — May 15, 2022

by James Finn

With Roe v Wade under attack and more Don’t Say Gay threatening queer youth, P&P writers had busy pens this week. We offer plenty of positive stories too. Wondering why John Cormier and Slammed are MIA? He’s recovering from covid, new chapters next week!

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

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— Editor’s Picks —

Don’t Say Gay 2.0 is Here Already

James Finn

Think Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law is bad? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. New laws are popping up all over; one would force teachers to report kids to parents for violating gender norms. The Republican Party is sinking further into a cesspool …

In Louisiana, gay/trans teachers and counselors would be required BY LAW to be closeted at work. Legally married to a same-sex spouse? Don’t tell your students, or you’re fired.

Read in P&P

Michigan State Senator: “We. Will. Not. Let. Hate. Win!”

Rand Bishop

State Senator Mallory McMorrow (D/MI) made a fiery speech after a GOP colleague called her, a Christian parent, a pedophile because she opposes Don’t Say Gay:

You dehumanize and marginalize me. You say that I’m one of them. You say “She’s a groomer; she supports pedophilia; she wants children to believe that they are responsible for slavery and to feel bad about themselves because they’re white.”

But here’s a little bit of background about who I really am…

Read in P&P

Carrie Evans and Her Celebrated Rainbow Flag Defense

Kyle Palmer

You may remember Carrie Evans for her viral speech to the Minot City Counsel in defense of her right to be a full member of the community. Kyle tells the rest of the story.

I completed fifteen interviews with her, family, and others from Minot. What follows is a three-part chronicle of the events before, after, and long after the speech, delivered in a city that will no longer fly the Pride Flag.

Read in P&P

— Memoir —

A Tale of Two Souls

The Wordsmith™🏳️‍🌈🇺🇸

Alex’s memoir of love and loss during the worst of the AIDS era continues as he tells a friend how he met Loy, fell in love, and then got tested.

It was late on a Friday night, fourteen days since I first saw Loy… Neither of us liked the envious stares and jealous remarks… That I was 38 and he 26 only stoked the gay set’s speculation about…

May-December Gay Couple Becomes “All the Buzz

Live With Me,” Blurted Older Gay Man to Younger One, Moving Fast

Who Infected Whom? Gay Couple Learn They Are HIV+

— Fiction Series —

Prairie Death Tales

David Wade Chambers and Court Atchinson as Courtland Wade

Wade and partner bring Dine City, Oklahoma to life in Prairie Death Tales with tight prose and photography. The “Ben Nathan Murder” is a police procedural but much more.

Denver Nokes waved his hand impatiently. “Think he’s good for it?”

“Who knows?” Milacek answered. “He seems real broken up about it. And if I get him right, he’s saying some pretty goofy things — something about a serial killer been knocking off the queers of Dine City.”

Cerise Procedural

Spring Storm Brewing

The Storm Breaks

— Essays and Creative Nonfiction —

A Quick Explainer Of The SCOTUS Leak

Mason Smith

This case, however, could … lay the groundwork for a systematic attack on equal rights for non-whites and non-Christians in the United States.

Read in P&P

Alito’s Draft Looks Like Sharia Law to This Rural Gay Texan

Henry Lee Butler

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, in his draft opinion… lays the groundwork for the removal of individual freedom. In the short term, what falls is the right of women to choose, to make decisions regarding their own bodies…

Read in P&P

I’m Not a Trans Woman Invading Women’s Spaces

Kitty Whitemore

I have had the easiest transition imaginable, I keep waiting for something bad to happen, but so far nothing has… I have wonderful friends and I am not hiding in my house terrified.

Read in P&P

Biden and Dems Roll Over on Roe and LGBTQ Equality

James Finn

A bulldozer almost ripped my arm off at a protest years ago when AIDS was killing my friends and loved ones. I was with Act Up at the home of a pharma exec, making powerful men understand they had “skin in the game.” … Supreme Court justices must be taught they have skin in the game.

Read in P&P

A Gay Voice Against the Right’s Narrative in Deep Red Texas

Henry Lee Butler

It is not our culture the Right is at war with. They are at war with our lives… By enabling vigilantism…, they gain an expanded capacity to curtail the actions and narratives they seek to demonize.

Read in P&P

Trans Girl Sent to Foster Care For Wanting To Attend School

Skye Mo’ipulelehua Kahoali’i

“I just want to go to school. But they don’t want me to go to school because I’m trans,” she said live on a Twitch stream playing Minecraft, as the cops arrived and broke into her room. She’d been referred for truancy …

Read in P&P

The Gays of Suburbia: Why We’re Here and How to Tell Us Apart

Mona S Gable

Mr. Neighbor Guy is not scrutinizing you — or your outfit — … He flails his arms wildly, like an inflatable car lot air dancer, and doffs his proverbial cap. What’s this? Does he want to be pals with the exotic next-door lesbian?

Read in P&P

Outing as Transgender by Facts

Elena Wunderbar

Since I can’t bring myself to tell my wife that I’m also a woman who is stupidly 6'3" and has a penis, I’ve made a decision. The decision is so fierce I understandably doubt it sometimes…

Read in P&P

I Was Today Years Old When I Understood My Family Sent Me to Trans Conversion Therapy

Stephenie Magister

I had a physical reaction to letting something go this morning.

It happened when I sent messages naming and forgiving the sexual violence the people in my past had committed against me. Some of those messages went to the perpetrators. Some went to the people who enabled and empowered them.

Read in P&P

This Transgender Feminist Wants a Boob Job

Kitty Whitemore

I take my feminism seriously, I look forward to helping women’s causes as soon as I can work my way into a local feminist organization. I worry getting breast implants may hurt my credibility …

Read in P&P

How Low Can the Hateful Right Wing Anti-LGBTQ+ Smear Machine Go?

Rand Bishop

… grooming occurs when adults take advantage of a child’s vulnerability to manipulate the child into sexual abuse. Now that meaning has been warped to broadly smear the motives of LGBTQ people…

Read in P&P

Heartstopper Reminds Me of How It Was


The eight-part series on Netflix is a coming-of-age story about two teenage boys. It transported me back to being a teenager and my time with Brandon.

Read in P&P

My Transgender Exhaustion

Emma Holiday

Am I transgender? Am I female? Am I a woman? What is a woman? Do I even exist? Am I going to transition? What am I transitioning to? Do I need the medical risk at 66 Will I pass? Will I be alone?

Read in P&P

Christian Middle School Forces Kids to “Say Gay.”

James Finn

Did you ever get homework requiring you to convince a close friend to stop being gay? To persuade them God doesn’t approve of them? Would it ever occur to you that such homework could be handed out to 11, 12, and 13-year-olds?

A large Christian school system in Kentucky just taught kids they should morally condemn their friends. And made them practice!

Read in P&P

My Feels on a Bill Requiring Schools to Out Kids Over Gender Expression

Cate Talley

I took myself to dinner because there’s something on my mind that hurts. Recently, I learned about New Hampshire bill HB 1431. It proposes to legislate that parents can be notified if teachers find something wrong with a student’s gender expression or identity.

Read in P&P

Calling Gay People “Groomers” is a Sin

Esther Spurrill-Jones

This is one of the Ten Commandments, the Big Ten, the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Most Christians would say breaking one is a Very Bad Thing. Yet, that is exactly what they do when they call queer people “groomers”.

Read in P&P

— Poetry Picks —

Lovely Illusions: A Gay, Trans, Aromantic Poem About Aching Desire

Sieran Lane

Heart-fall blossoms plunge down
Into the autumn woods,
Deep velvet birds, caged and sad,

Read in P&P

Let Us Be Gay!

Josie Quinn

Domination of religion and politics
is the Leviathan
rearing its head
its lifeblood is power and control …

Read in P&P

But If You Say Yes, Will I Want You Then? (Bisexual Love Haibun)

Tre L. Loadholt

I have sat on these feelings for close to eight months; dishing out momentary hints and accepting casual flirtations. Still, I have not waved the words in her ear to be consumed. My cousin tells me, “Closed mouths don’t get fed,”

Read in P&P

That’s it, folks! Hope you find some great stories to chew on.

Seeya next Sunday! ❤


Esther Spurrill-Jones, Fred Shirley, neil chapman, David Wade Chambers, Artemis Shishir, alto, Gabriela Penelope, b.henriques, Carl Rebeiro 🏳️‍🌈, Rodney, Simon, Carl, Brian, Deneishia Jacobpito, Chris Hedges, Kathy Lee Tolleth, 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, Edris Quinn C., Dennett, Michael Constable, Jim Martens, Stephen Foster, Kravitz M. Kristen Nadel, William Kuhn, Denisa, Tre L. Loadholt, theoaknotes, Rachel Brindell, Elle Fredine, Jess Darnell, Emma, Gabe Evaristo, Joshua Mackey, Steve Alexander, Stevie Wilkinson, Andy Killoran, Nick, Bradley Wester, Stella Luna (they/she?), Chuy G. Gonzalez, MS, Zada Kent, Tima Loku, The Transgender Therapist, Sean Bennett, Ty Bo Yule, Alessia Autumn, Allen R. Marquez, Spencer James, Mary-Ellen Maynard, Gaby Spadaro, Elena Joy Thurston, Jason Masters, Jeff Harvey, Laurence Best, Don Stouder, Fiona Feng, Sarah McManus MSc, Annabelle Rose, Laura Silverstein, LCSW, Kyla Sawyer, Ellen Caminiti, rowen maeve, 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, Alexander Petrovnia, Elaine D Walsh, ƒ Michael Wells, Jack Herlocker, Lindsay Soberano-Wilson, Don Orr Martin, Jackson Banks, Martin Friend, Coby Bronze, Cate Talley, Emilly Olivares, Sogen Ohata, David Arias, Kayla Vokolek, G. L. Balend, Anthony Eichy Eichberger, Shanker Mahadev, Jenna McRae, Kevin M. Casin, Linda Caroll, Unzip It, Judy McCord, Eric Beach, Dr Jeff Livingston, Topher Bigelow, Christopher Kelly, Joseph Coco, Jordan Michael Becker, Eilís O’Keeffe, Meghan McKie, Rand Bishop, 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, 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, Skye Mo’ipulelehua Kahoali’i, Mona S Gable, Josie Quinn,




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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