Archives for posts with tag: queer history

Hey guys, just wanted to share comments about The Pop-up Museum of Queer History. It was great to be able to see a nationally know art exhibit at the Bloomington LGBTSSS center. The mission statement/ what we do made a really good point,

       “The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History is a grassroots organization that transforms spaces into temporary installations dedicated to celebrating the rich, long, and largely unknown histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. We believe that our community – and especially our youth – deserve to know our history. If you don’t know you have a past, how can you believe you have a future?

I feel that this exhibit has something to offer for everyone. Knowing your past is half the battle, and there are people out there that won’t give recognition to a group if they don’t understand them. This artwork and information broadened my knowledge of LGBTQ history, most especially in relation to the present.

Of all of the artwork there I was most intrigued by the lesbian pulp fiction art/literature. It was something that I had never seen before. After doing some research about the history I was curious to find that the pulp was originally marketed toward men as erotic fantasy. Women also bought the literature, but it was seen as far more scandalous. Personally, when I shop for books the cover and it’s artwork is 80% of the reason that I want to buy it. The provocative catch phrases and images made me think of the artwork as a statement against patriarchal influence while also attracting those very men as part of the reader base for said literature.

In comparison to present day literature, my favorite female author Laurell K Hamilton has similar cover art that echos lesbian pulp in a fashion. It is interesting to see that literature and art that was “taboo” in it’s time, is now a more socially acceptable as covers for reading material. Here are a few of Hamilton’s book covers to compare (visually) to the pulp cover art.

On another note, i found this awesome picture of Abe Lincoln’s Big Gay Dance Party and thought the class would get a kick out of it.

-Sarah Klapperich

Hey friends!

So, the queer pop-up museum was super fun. My favorite exhibit was the display of lesbian pulp covers. You guys. I fucking love old lesbian pulp covers. Back when I had a Tumblr (RIP baldgirl/booboomeow), that was one of my main things (that and weird cat-related stuff like the image below, which is AWESOME, right?? Ohmg it’s so good).

So, I just wanted to include a few favorite covers of mine that were regrettably missing from the queer museum’s display. Feast your eyes!!!!!!!!!

And THERE ARE MORE. TONS.

Here I should probably refer to the one lesbian pulp book I’ve actually read, Odd Girl Out.

Um, I really really liked it. Great summer reading.

In it, Laura and Beth are sorority sisters who fall in LOVE (gasp!) among such similarly shocking drama as the DIVORCE of Laura’s parents (a shameful secret she must keep hidden at all costs!) and the PROMISCUITY of their friend Emma, who is outed as having gone ALL THE WAY with her boyfriend even though they’re NOT MARRIED. Really though, as a little baby queer reading Odd Girl Out in 2008 or whenever, I couldn’t even imagine what it must have been like to read it as a queer during the 1950’s when it was published (specifically, 1957). I mean, I can’t even imagine feeling like I had to throw away a paperback or even BURN it instead of just sticking it on my bookshelf next to tons of other readily available queer literature.

I’m not saying the world is perfectly queer-friendly currently. But reading an old lesbian pulp novel is a powerful reminder of the much-changed circumstances we live in now as compared to the early days of queer pulp, and of the contributions of all the queers who came before us and made it possible for us to not only be reading queer pulp but taking Queer Theory courses in college and seeing little baby pop-up museums that remind us that we have a history, long-suffering but also PULPY. Mmm.

-Blair Dietrick