Welcome to our February 2024 issue
I'm excited about the February issue. We're bringing back the best book previews available in Johnson County. As we all know, Iowa City is the City of Literature, and we're here to celebrate this distinction. This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding our dedication to books and local bookstores.
Crunch Time Cereal is going fast at Hy Vee. Everyone must have a box of Caitlin Clark Cereal.
We also commit that GoGuide will not fill local landfills with thousands of unread paper magazines. Paper magazines were great last century. I have worked for some of the best. However, everyone is ready to move from the old-style print and online magazine format to something new and enjoyable.
We also want your input. Be bold and tell us what we are doing wrong; if we do something right, it would be great to hear about that. We are also looking for story ideas, and we accept submissions. Of course, we want to add non-intrusive advertising (hint).
Thank you again for visiting our site. Consider our soft opening. There is a lot more to come. However, we are going to take our time and do this right.
Tim Nedoba (he/him)
"Blood Sisters" by Vanessa Lillie
Preview is written by Bookworm Sez for GoGuide Magazine
c.2023, Berkley $27.00 384 pages
It's the truth. Scout's honor.
Pinky swear. Spit on your palms prick your fingers, and shake hands. As a child, you had many ways to show that you intended to keep a promise when you made it and your word was your bond, but you've grown up. Today, you cross your heart but, as in the new novel "Blood Sisters" by Vanessa Lillie, you hope no one has to die.
She wasn't looking for skeletal remains.
For Bureau of Indian Affairs archaeologist Syd Walker, such a find was very unusual but not unknown. Odd things happen during geological surveys on tribal lands everywhere. Still, the gruesome recovery in Rhode Island wasn't top on Syd's mind.
She'd gotten a call that her sister, Emma Lou, was missing in Oklahoma.
Fifteen years before, as Syd, Emma Lou, and Luna, whom they'd considered a sister, were chilling in Luna's family's trailer, a group of men broke in. Wearing masks, the "devils" killed Luna and her parents, and the small town of Picher, was never the same.
Neither were Emma Lou or Syd. As a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Syd was well aware of the problems near her hometown, the issues Native Americans had there with the BIA, and her own ancestors' efforts to survive on land that was given and then snatched back. She also knew the fact that she had a wife at home in Rhode Island set her apart since she'd left. And drugs – too many people on tribal allotments were getting drugs too easily.
But someone wanted Syd to come home: a female skull was found in the crook of a tree with her old work badge in its mouth. Despite knowing that Syd had fled Oklahoma on purpose, her new boss at the BIA pulled strings to arrange the trip and assigned her the case.
Years ago, Syd had promised to protect Luna and Emma Lou.
One of them was already dead. The other was missing. Was the skull a threat – or a warning?
Here is the best advice you're going to get when you grab "Blood Sisters": pay close attention to the minutiae. Without being a spoiler, little things mean a lot.
Unless you watch carefully, you'll be cruising along at 200 miles an hour in a screaming run through pages and pages of barely-bearable excitement when suddenly, your brain will make that scratchy sound like a stopped record album. It's there where author Vanessa Lillie drops three tons of TNT, right towards the almost-end of her story and whoa, Nelly. If you're not paying attention, you may have to read the chapter multiple times to cut your "What the....?" down to a manageable level.
Yeah, this is that kind of book, the kind that's written with authenticity, an insider's feel, and heightened tension that'll keep you awake.
The kind that you think you know how it'll end and you're wrong. For mystery lovers or thriller fans, "Blood Sisters" is the kind of book you should scout out.
"Safe: A Memoir of Fatherhood, Foster Care, and the Risks We Take for Family"
by Mark Daley
c.2024, Atria Books $28.99 304 pages
The closet is full of miniature hangers. The mattress bumpers match the drapes and the rug beneath the tiny bed. There's a rocker for late-night fusses, a tall giraffe in the corner, and wind-up elephants march in a circle over the crib. Now you need someone to occupy that space and in the new book, "Safe" by Mark Daley, there's more than one way to accomplish that dream.
Jason was a natural-born father. Mark Daley knew that when they were dating, when he watched Jason with his nephew, with infants, and the look on Jason's face when he had one in his arms. As a gay man, Daley never thought much having a family but he knew Jason did – and so, shortly after their wedding, they began exploring surrogacy and foster-to-adopt.
Daley knew how important it was to get the latter right: his mother had a less-than-optimal childhood, and she protected her own children fiercely for it. When Daley came out to her, and to his father, he was instantly supported and that's what he wanted to give: support and loving comfort to a child in a hard situation.
Or children, as it happened. Just weeks after competing in foster parenting classes and after telling the social worker they'd take siblings if there were a need, the prospective dads were offered two small brothers to foster.
It was love at first sight, but courts, laws, and rules somewhat tempered euphoria. Their social worker warned several times that reunifying the boys with their parents was "Plan A," but Daley couldn't imagine it. The parents seemed unreliable; they rarely kept appointments, and they didn't seem to want to learn better parenting skills. The mother all but ignored the baby, and the child noticed.
So did Daley, but the courts held all the power, and predicting an outcome was impossible."All we had was the present," he said. "If I didn't stay in it, I was going to lose everything I had."
So was there a Happily-Ever-After? Ah, you won't find an answer to that question here. You'll need to read "Safe" and wear your heart outside your chest for an hour or so, to find out. Bring tissues.
Bring a sense of humor, too, because author and founder of One Iowa Mark Daley takes readers along on his journey to being someone's Daddy, and he does it with the sweetest open-minded open-heartedness. He's also Mama Bear here, too, which is what you want to see, although there can sometimes be a lot of tiresome overdrama and over-fretting.
And yet, this isn't just a sweet but angst-riddled tale of family. If you're looking to foster, here's one man's truth about the frustrations, the stratospheric highs, and the deep lows. Will your foster experiences be similar? Maybe, but reading this book about it is its reward.
"Safe" soars, and it dives. It plays with your emotions, and it wallows in anxiety. You'll hang on to every word if you're a parent.
"Interesting Facts about Space"
by Emily Austin
c.2024, Atria $27.99 320 pages
People don't understand you. They don't "get" you at all. Your sense of humor goes over their heads. If you're happy, you're weird; it makes no sense to them if you're angry. You're an enigma to most people – even sometimes, as in the new book "Interesting Facts about Space" by Emily Austin, you're an enigma to yourself.
Enid Hughes wasn't entirely sure why she was at her half-sister's gender reveal party.
Truth was, Enid found those kinds of parties rather repugnant, but whatever, her half-sisters seemed to want a relationship with her. She didn't know why that, either. It wasn't like they all grew up together or anything; their father out-and-out abandoned her in favor of his second family. It was all just so awkward.
That whole thing still depressed Enid's mother years later, which Enid thought about as she spent party time surreptitiously texting space facts to her mom. Space facts were comforting and a way of checking in. She also sometimes texted women she'd met online, random hook-ups she'd had with zero plans of ever seeing any of the women again.
Usually, that was a way to avoid a mess, but she'd recently learned that she'd been duped into seeing someone who was married, and things got complicated when the woman's wife found out. Yes, Enid was a lesbian, so what? When she was younger, she thought of boys and marriage but eventually decided that love was for everybody else.
For real, who would put up with someone who thought her apartment was being cased or who had a serious phobia of bald men and their smell? Nobody in their right mind would put up with a woman who was obsessed with true-crime podcasts who loved the stars, planets, and the moon, or who texted a pre-written message when she wanted to break up.
Who'd want to date someone who was constantly being watched?
Don't be surprised if you're mystified when you first start "Interesting Facts about Space." Don't be surprised if you squirm because it's an uncomfortable read.
Which doesn't mean that you won't want to continue.
Enid's story is compelling, but as a character, she's hard to categorize, and author Emily Austin doesn't make that easy to figure out. Enid's not gregarious or particularly friendly; her odd-duck ways are charming and abrasive with the lightest whiff of humor, but she's also depreciative and sad, and that doesn't abate – which may not make her very likable, but you still won't quit her. So why not?
Because you know something's coming. Like or dislike, Enid's quite the conundrum until you get toward the end of this story, and the whole thing pivots. Suddenly, everything you've read, every angsty comment and weird quirk, is turned upside down, and you will be, too.
It's an excellent pay-off if you can warm up to the quirkiness of this story and stick around. Until then, you may wonder why you're immersed in "Interesting Facts about Space." A few pages in, and you'll understand.
GoGuide Magazine proudly supports "get out the vote" with the Coralville Pride Festival initiatives. GoGuide Magzine has interviewed everyone from Liz Mathis, Christina Bohannan, and Mayor Pete to Zach Wahls and Cory Booker. There are so many it's impossible to list everyone.
From Iowa City Press-Citizen - Foster, Coralville's first female mayor, earned a second term as one of the most prominent elected women in the area. In her second term, she told the Press-Citizen she would focus on increasing housing affordability in the area, opening additional doors to services and resources in the community, and continuing to further Coralville's reputation as a welcoming place for all.
GoGuide Magazine will partner with the LGBTQ Task Force. Please visit https://www.thetaskforce.org/ for more information about this very reputable organization.
Cathy Rena, director of communications for the LGBTQ Task Force, said exclusively to GoGuide Magazine, "Creating Change is a unique and essential gathering that brings together thousands of diverse movement advocates and allies to discuss the current state of our movement, the challenges we face and learn from each other to plan for the coming year - and 2024 is a vital one with a Presidential election and ongoing attacks on our communities. There is also the extraordinary element of Creating Change as a 'family reunion' for the movement. Our theme says it all, we gather in queer power, we plan for queer action, and we celebrate queer joy! I have been to nearly every Creating Change conference, and it always fills my heart with energy and love and deepens the commitment of all attendees to the fight for freedom, justice, and equity for all LGBTQ+ people."
Local voter information is available at https://www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/auditor/elections.
All families must confront challenges every day. But many also face a rising tide of discrimination and hate in their churches, schools, and even their neighborhoods. "We Live Here: The Midwest" profiles families who hope to stay in a part of the country they love and where they have often established deep roots: a trans/queer family with five children in Iowa must find a new community after being expelled from their church; a gay Black couple with a young daughter test the line of acceptance in Nebraska; a lesbian couple homeschool their bullied son on a farm in Kansas; a gay teacher in Ohio creates a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students; and a couple in Minnesota struggles to rebuild their families following both of their transitions. Meanwhile, Minnesota State Representative and queer mother Heather Keeler brings LGBTQIA+ rights to the political forefront despite ongoing death threats. Fundamentally, the film captures a crucial time when anti-queer legislation and sentiment are rapidly multiplying across the country, and the values of all midwestern families are put to the ultimate test.
The documentary is now airing on HULU!
View the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzzIXrdLpOk
Credits: Melinda Maerker (director, producer), David Clayton Miller (producer) me to record this song with Stevie.”
Screen Savor: Midwestern melodrama
By Gregg Shapiro
Editors note: Gregg Shapiro is a nationally recognized journalist and author. Visit amazon.com
to view a list of available books.
The title of the documentary “We Live Here: The Midwest” (Hulu) is a somewhat misleading misnomer. A far better name for the project, featuring interviews with five LGBTQ+ couples, would be “We Live Here: The RURAL Midwest.”
The Midwestern states represented in the doc include Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Ohio, and Minnesota. The first stop is Iowa, the home of Nia and Katie. The land of “Iowa nice,” a passive/aggressive behavior as described by trans lesbian Nia, that is defined by people not saying “I don’t support you” to your face, but instead starting a letter-writing campaign to disparage you (actually, when it comes to the Midwest, that’s not limited to the borders of Iowa). Des Moines natives who never left, Nia and Katie met in second grade, attended the same “progressive evangelical church,” dated, married, and started a family. And then Nia came out as trans. Turns out the church wasn’t as progressive as they thought.
In Nebraska, where Mario and Monte are “one out of three black families, let alone gay families,” we learn about their history (and struggles), which is also connected to a church community. The married fathers of a baby girl, Mario and Monte provided the “mystery sperm” (both mixed together) for surrogate Ariel. They arrived in Nebraska (after living in more liberal Colorado) where Mario, who is in the Air Force, is stationed.
Courtney and Denise, who live in Kansas with their son Marek always wanted land, to be closer to their food, and to ranch goats. It was definitely an adjustment for the couple, who had met in Lawrence, Kansas, especially for Denise who had lived in New York, Portland, and Austin. However, it was Marek’s experience of being bullied in school that opened their eyes to the ways in which (again, rural) Midwestern culture is resistant to change.
The next stop is Ohio, the furthest east Midwestern state, where married gay couple Russ and Mark live. Russ is a high school teacher who came out later in life. They talk about how representation matters (Russ’ students know that Mark is his husband) where they live, as well as how following the presidential election in 2016 a change occurred resulting in a backlash against all the progress made by the LGBTQ+ community prior to that.
Finally, we arrive in Minnesota. This segment includes an interview with indigenous queer Heather Keeler of the Minnesota House of Representatives. But the main focus is trans couple Jenn and Debb, and features interviews with Jenn’s daughters, as well as her ex-wife Tricia.
With a runtime of less than an hour, and only five couples (and assorted others, including family members and neighbors) as interview subjects, it’s reasonable that “We Live Here,” would come up short. Making matters worse is that it feels incredibly amateur and unclear in its messaging (i.e. Jenn’s daughters still refer to her as “dad”). It’s admirable that Melinda Maerker wanted to address a segment of the population that doesn’t get much attention, but unfortunately the execution is flawed.
“Everything” everywhere all at once: an interview with Freda Love Smith
Editors note: Gregg Shapiro is a Hall of Fame and nationally recognized journalist and author.
by Gregg Shapiro
For many people, the name Freda Love Smith conjures the sound of music. Drumming, in particular. Before she retired, Smith was a drummer in several bands, including Blake Babies, The Mysteries of Life, Antenna, Some Girls, and Sunshine Boys to mention a few. Smith wrote about that part of her life in her marvelous 2015 memoir “Red Velvet Underground.” The subject of music also features prominently in her equally awesome new book, “I Quit Everything” (Agate, 2023). Subtitled, “How One Woman’s Addiction to Quitting Helped Her Confront Bad Habits and Embrace Midlife,” the book includes sections on alcohol, sugar, cannabis, caffeine, and social media, and is equal parts confessional and self-help guide. Smith’s honest and open voice guides readers through her experiences while generously providing hard-won wisdom. Freda was kind enough to make time for an interview shortly before the book’s release.
Gregg Shapiro: Your new book “I Quit Everything” is your second after 2015’s “Red Velvet Underground.” Did you know after the first book that you had another in you?
Freda Love Smith: I knew I wanted to write more books, and even before “Red Velvet Underground” came out I was experimenting with another food-related project. That fizzled, and then a surprising thing happened, which was the resurrection of my drumming career with Chicago band Sunshine Boys—suddenly I had a whole other, all-consuming artistic outlet. I kept writing during that time, but I wrote slower and less. The narrative of “I Quit Everything” ends with my retirement from drumming, but the process of writing the book actually began with that retirement. At one of my final musical performances, I read an early draft of the social media chapter, marking my transition from one type of creative work to another.
GS: In the book you write about completing your MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Did any part of this book begin while you were working on your MFA?
FLS: Writing this book interrupted the project I’d been working on for my MFA! My thesis was a biography of Angela DeAngelis, a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army and an instrumental player in the kidnapping and indoctrination of Patty Hearst. Angela went to college in my hometown, Bloomington, Indiana. I have a contract for that book, and I still absolutely intend to write it, although it seems to be morphing into a novel. The idea to write “I Quit Everything” popped into my head, and it wouldn’t leave me alone until I wrote it. It’s a very short book, and it didn’t take long; it just came pouring out of me. I’d already lived through all the quitting that the book documents, and had kept a detailed journal throughout, so it was just a matter of finding points of connection, doing some research, and assembling a loose structure.
GS: “I Quit Everything” is separated into seven sections, five of which have addictive-substance-titles, with each one containing brief essays. Did the essays or the section themes come first in your creative process?
FLS: I mostly started with the themes. One advantage I had in figuring out the structure was that the book documents an experiment that spanned about eight months, so there was an intrinsic chronology I could rely on: first I quit this, then that, then that. Within this framework I certainly take liberties, but at least there is a basic timeline to contain the chaos!
GS: “I Quit Everything” is a book full of books with quotes from and references to “Sugar Blues,” “The Doors of Perception,” and “The Botany of Desire,” to name a few. Do you feel, as a writer, that you have a responsibility to recommend books to your readers?
FLS: I am grateful when writers recommend books to me and I love when one piece of writing points me to another, so it’s natural to want to pay it forward! “I Quit Everything” does end up being partly about books—I write about how books saved me during Covid, and about how a bookstore job helped me escape the academic job I was eager to quit. And although the book is a deeply personal memoir, documenting my struggles with addiction and withdrawal and midlife, I wanted it to be more than just my story; I wanted to fold in the stories and observations and research of others to give the book more texture and substance.
GS: In addition to quoting writers, you also quote musicians, including Jonathan Richman on pages 82 and 104. Would it be fair to say you consider Richman as an influence?
FLS: Yes, for sure! Jonathan Richman has been a force in my life since I first heard his solo albums in the eighties, which inspired me to seek out his earlier work with the Modern Lovers, one of my favorite bands of all time. Few songwriters are as singular--he steers clear of cliché, irony, and cultural pressure to conform to any current trends. He makes sincerity seem like the most punk thing ever.
GS: Would you agree that the looseness you write about in the “I’m Loose” essay seems to have been replaced by a kind of cultural tightness? If so, do you see that as a positive or negative?
FLS: This is amazing timing! I was just talking about “looseness” today with a former student of mine. She’s in her twenties, and at a recent family event her aunt (a Gen-X’er like me, in her fifties) went on a rant about how kids these days are too uptight, how we all used to drive drunk, and it was fine! I don’t advocate a return to rampant drunk driving, but believe me, I understand the sentiment, absolutely.
GS: I love the way you write about actors and films. For people familiar with you as a musician in bands including Blake Babies, Mysteries of Life, and Some Girls, to name a few, do you think they’ll be surprised to learn about movie star dreams?
FLS: I think they’ll be surprised, yes. I always felt most comfortable hiding back behind the drum set and became very shy when I had a microphone in front of my face.
GS: Did being a musician and playing for audiences fulfill that longing for you?
FLS: It absolutely did and gave me a more comfortable way to be an artist and performer; one better suited to my disposition!
GS: I loved the Sugar section, as that is also my addiction. I totally related to Cap’n Crunch’s violent mouth shredding, which is why I preferred the now defunct Quisp – same manufacturer, same taste, but gentler on the gums. Are you concerned about a backlash from Big Cereal?
FLS: First of all, I’d like a time machine so I can go back and pour myself a big bowl of Quisp—how did I never know about Quisp! I feel cheated. I have often felt the same way about quaaludes. Totally missed out, born just a little too late. Anyway, it’s unlikely Big Cereal will find me much of a threat; I think their power is even greater than it was when I was a kid. I recently read that they continue to reformulate those cereals to make them more appealing and—to borrow a cute adjective from the British—“moreish.”
GS: On a more serious note, the Social Media section of the book becomes a eulogy for your friend Faith Kleppinger. Did you know when writing that section that that’s what it would be or was it something that developed organically?
FLS: That came straight out of the journal that I was keeping at the time, writing about my quitting process and about the major events of my life. I loved her so much, and that loss permeated everything at the time.
GS: In the “Dignified and Old” essay, you wrote about the TV series “Absolutely Fabulous” in the most delightful way. I think you may be the first straight person I’ve encountered who enjoyed the show as much as me and my friends. Did it, perhaps, speak to your inner gay man?
FLS: Edina and Patsy forever [laughs]. And, yes, I totally have an inner gay man! When I was a teenager, I kept getting huge crushes on gay boys until I realized: it wasn’t that I wanted them, I wanted to BE them! I wanted their dance moves and their brilliant taste in music, I wanted their bravery and sense of identity, and I also wanted to resist gender stereotypes, convention, heteronormativity. I was—and am—attracted to she’s as well as he’s, and the LGBTQ+ people in my life emboldened me to identify as bisexual.
GS: Your mentions of Sir Elton John, Cher, and “Tootsie,” made me wonder if you were aware of an LGBTQ+ following for your various bands, and if so, what that means to you.
FLS: I’ve been told that Blake Babies had a significant LGBTQ+ following and that delights me. For much of the Blake Babies, I had short hair or a shaved head, and I was frequently mistaken for a guy behind the drums. Juliana and I refused to appear traditionally feminine in the band—
we wore no make-up, and our typical stage garb was men’s t-shirts and baggy jeans. I’ve told this story a lot—after one concert in North Carolina the promoter approached John Strohm, the guitarist in the band, and said “You’ve got to get those girls in some dresses.” We scoffed at that. We wanted to define womanhood on our own terms. This possibly contributed to our appeal to those who identified as genderqueer, gender-fluid, or gender nonconforming, all groups that I deeply respect.
GS: What would it mean to you if “I Quit Everything” became recommended reading for people in the recovery community?
FLS: I feel big love for the recovery community and have been thrilled to glimpse the ways in which that world is opening up, diversifying, allowing in myriad voices and approaches. I appreciate the nuance in language like “soberish,” “sober curious,” and “California sober.” It feels to me like there is more space for people to decide what they want their sobriety to look like; not everyone fits every program. It would mean the world to me if “I Quit Everything” were to help anyone to break a destructive habit, to take a good honest look within and decide what they can and can’t afford to mess with, and to trust themselves to make the right choices.
GoGuide Magzine caught up with our own Miss Christine (they/them) while on tour a couple of weeks ago. They were kind enough to do a Q&A with us for our new online magazine's inaugural issue.
According to Miss Christine's website, "The "Miss" has nothing to do with womanhood and everything to do with absence and longing. In this case, it's the longing for truth and freedom from misguided external perceptions.
Miss Christine attended the Berklee College of Music before gaining experience as a session musician in Nashville. Christine defied expectations again by leaving Nashville behind for a farm near Iowa City, where they write and record their original songs. Miss Christine released their debut solo album, Conversion, in 2019. The follow-up, Bittersweet, is out June 2023 on Bandcamp, vinyl, and CD
GoGuide Magazine (GGM): How would you describe your tour, and how has it changed over the years?
Miss Christine: The tour has been so much fun! Before the pandemic, I played close to 100 shows a year, so since 2020, my tour schedule has slowed down tremendously. It felt so good to be back on stage this summer, playing Pride festivals and shows around the Midwest to support the release of my second album, Bittersweet. The pandemic allowed me the space to become more comfortable with my queerness and performing in public as my genderqueer self. My audience has changed so much since my first tour. It is much more queer.
I've been performing under the moniker Miss Christine since 2010. In 2017, I began to pursue my original music much more seriously, and in 2018, I hit the road touring around the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast. I've been touring the last five years with different lineups of musicians in Miss Christine. A Miss Christine show is energetic and empowering with some introspective moments.
Fortunately, Miss Christine can be found in Iowa City performing at LA Wine Bar on November 16 and at Gabe's on November 24.
GGM: How many albums have you recorded? What songs are fan favorites?
Miss Christine: I've recorded two full-length albums and two EPs. My first album, Conversion, came out in 2019, and my second album, Bittersweet, in 2023. Fan favorite songs are Conversion, Google University, and Profound. My favorite song at the moment is My Brain, which is about the time I got a concussion. It is so much fun to play live. Someone deemed it Doom Pop, which makes me laugh.
GGM: How would you describe your musical and performance style? Who in the music influenced you the most?
Miss Christine: I call it punk rock doo-wop. There are lots of vocal harmonies, defiant punk attitude, soulful moments, and occasional guitar and keyboard solos. Since I am a singing bassist, my songs are often short and full of unexpected surprises. My biggest influences are Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, Carol Kaye, The Beatles, The Grates, and The Supremes. I often say that I'm stuck in the '60s. I love music from that decade, especially Motown.
GGM: What has been your biggest hurdle in getting to the point you're at now?
Miss Christine: I spent most of my life hiding behind my bass playing instead of listening to who I am outside of my musicianship. My biggest hurdle has been learning to respect myself enough to advocate for my self-worth. Even though people like me are often left out of the mainstream, we exist and are valid just as we are. Since being public with my genderqueerness and asexuality, my life and music career have blossomed in a new way I never thought possible.
GGM: You will be headlining the Third Coralville Pride Festival next June. What can the crowd expect, and do you have any surprises for the show?
Miss Christine: We are excited to play at the Coralville Pride Festival next year! The crowd can expect a fun and energetic show filled with self-compassion. You'll have to come to the show and find out about surprises. ;)
Visit the Miss Christine website for complete tour date listings and more information: https://www.misschristinemusic.com/
November 7, 2023
Special to GoGuide Magazine
Wilton Manors, FL - On Monday, October 30, 2023, the Stonewall National Museum Archives & Library and GayBarchives held a press conference at the Eagle Wilton Manors in Wilton Manors, Florida, to announce the launch of an exciting new initiative that will revolutionize the documentation of our LGBTQ+ history. The enthusiasm was palpable as business owners, journalists, and historians listened to the news.
Dubbed 'Raising the Bars', this project is designed to embrace and celebrate the vital role our gay bars have played [and continue to play] in the growth and development of our community. For decades, historians have focused on the events, activists, and laws that have impacted the LGBTQ+ world, often taking a passive role in collecting these stories. All too often, archives have depended on the posthumous bequeaths of historical documents to grow their collections.
This undertaking has been enthusiastically lauded by LGBTQ+ historians, bar owners, and authors alike. Dozens of endorsements are featured on their website, RaisingTheBarsProject.org.
'Raising the Bars' aims to take a more active role in the documentation of our rich and colorful history by creating programs to bring queer history front and center. 'Raising the Bars' will include traveling exhibits, videos, educational projects, and entertainment programs that will highlight the significance of queer bars and safe havens in our history. The initiative will also actively collect artifacts and ephemera from our bars and organizations to preserve them for posterity.
'Raising the Bars' will include:
- Active outreach to the owners of LGBTQ+ bars and safe havens [past &present]
- Creation of traveling exhibits focused on the history of LGBTQ+ bars
- Development of a gay trivia database
- Implementation of a national queer trivia competition
- Documentation of the history of the bars and community centers that serve us
- Recognition of long-standing queer safe spaces across the US
- Establishment of a 'GayBarchives' collection of bar ephemera & memorabilia
- Networking with NGLCC and local affiliated chambers
- Initiating a national LGBTQ+ bar passport program
- Building relationships with independent regional archival projects
- Partnering with related businesses in the LGBTQ+ entertainment space
- Assisting in the publication of LGBTQ+ history books and articles
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
ABOUT 'RAISING THE BARS': http://RaisingTheBarsProject.org
ABOUT STONEWALL NATIONAL MUSEUM ARCHIVES & LIBRARY: https://Stonewall-Museum.org
ABOUT GAYBARCHIVES: http://GayBarchives.com
Have a story idea for us? Would you like to write for us?
Send us a message and let us know what you are thinking about.