Portland, Oct. 26, 2010 – Gertrude, the longest continuously published queer literary journals, will celebrate the release of its 15th edition with a “Coming Out Party” at Portland’s Q Center.
To commemorate the small, independent publication’s milestone release, Gertrude Press put out a call for writing and visual art that explores, celebrates or subverts queer stereotypes. The resulting issue boasts a maniacal drag queen on the cover (from Portland artist Stephen O’Donnell
), and the pages hold everything from a poem about navigating family relationships (from Tallahassee poet Shane Allison) to a nonfiction essay about the sexual practice of “caking” (from Los Angeles writer Clint Catalyst
). “The Gay Issue” features contributions by 19 writers and seven visual artists from across the spectrum.
In celebration of the new edition and its representation of the diversity and talent of the LGBTQA community, Gertrude will bring together some fabulous local talent for its first-ever “Coming Out Party
.” The event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 21 at Q Center
(4115 N. Mississippi Ave., pdxqcenter.org, 503.234.7837). There is a suggested $10 tax-deductible at the door. All proceeds benefit Gertrude.
“Ten years ago the biggest critique we had as a queer publication was simply that we were not 'gay enough,' and we’ve struggled with that allegation. We wanted to challenge definition with ‘The Gay Issue’ (No. 15), now, when the issue of ‘gayness’ is so front and center. With recent bullying and enunciation of the particular internal struggles that we face as members of the queer community via the It Gets Better Project
, we need to celebrate the gay in all of us—now more than ever,” said LeAnna Crawford, President of the Board of Directors.
The evening’s lineup includes comedy performances, readings and music from:
- Kathy Belge is a professional writer specializing in LGBT issues. She is the co-author of Lipstick & Dipstick’s Essential Guide to Lesbian Life (Alyson, 2007) and pens the monthly lesbian advice column Lipstick & Dipstick in Curve magazine. She is the Guide to all things lesbian on About.com. Kathy has more than ten years experience counseling and advocating for LGBT youth. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her two Alaskan malamutes.
- Stand-up comic Belinda Carroll is a native Portlander and considers Austin, TX—where she began comedy, a second hometown. She is a writer for Curve magazine, is a finalist in NBC's Stand-Up for Diversity showcase, and a contributing author in Persistence: All ways Butch Femme, coming out from Arsenal Pulp Press in Spring 2011.
- James Crews is the author of The Book of What Stays, which won the Prairie Schooner Prize and will be published next year by University of Nebraska Press. His poems appear in basalt, Columbia, Crab Orchard Review and other journals. This winter he will be writer-in-residence at Caldera Arts in Sisters, Ore.
- Drag personalities Astin Martin, Beau Jangles and Macauley Cockin present “Puttin’ on the Skitz,” a three-person return to silent comedy.
- As a GLBT activist and political/community organizer, Kristin Flickinger has spoken out about the importance of personal connections—in politics, on the road toward full equality and in our daily lives. She applies that perspective in her latest project, “AskTheGay.com,” where she answers questions from straight allies and opponents alike.
- Jimmy Radosta is a longtime local journalist who will read an excerpt from his acclaimed one-man show, Triskaidekaphilia (Just My Luck), which returns in January 2011 at Curious Comedy Theater.
Gertrude’s “Coming Out Party” also will feature a live DJ, wine and light refreshments. Hot-off-the-presses copies of “The Gay Issue” will be available for $8. The event will be hosted by unflappable drag queen Mitzy Mae Finklebaum, a “terminally 29-year-old beauty who lives on Southern fried nuggets, vodka and Virginia Slims.”
Gertrude Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization showcasing and developing the creative talents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and allied individuals. The organization’s biannual publication, Gertrude Journal, and annual fiction and poetry chapbooks provide a positive forum for LGBTQA individuals to share their stories, poetry and art without limitation on subject matter or background. The journal maintains a contemporary focus that encompasses all areas of life—from the mundane to the exotic. Gertrude now holds the distinction of being the longest continuously published queer journal that is still in print today. As of its most recent issue, Gertrude Press has published work by more than 200 individuals from more than 30 U.S. states and 10 countries worldwide. To learn more about the journal’s latest issue, current submission opportunities, and past issues visit www.gertrudepress.org.