by James Finn
Let’s shake up Prism & Pen’s weekly format! We’re running a writing challenge on the joys of queer parenting, and since response has been strong, I’m going to highlight parenting stories in a section just below our usual Editor’s Picks, which I’m reserving for stories NOT about parenting. Make sense? Who knows, but let’s go!
Readers: Stories in the P&P Digest are always free if you click the underlined links, but if you subscribe to Medium, you can help support your favorite writers.
Would you be surprised to learn Europe’s preeminent human rights watchdog Council of Europe just named the U.K. —with Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Turkey — as a primary driver of anti-transgender hate speech and hate crime? If you’re an LGBTQ person who follows trans news at all, you’re probably muttering, “No kidding!”
But if you’re an American who doesn’t closely follow LGBTQ news, even if you’re a politically engaged progressive Democrat, I bet you don’t know how bad things are on the U.K. left. You likely have not noticed how a cancer of leftist transphobia is spreading globally, threatening to…
In the first case, a federal district court ruled that the Catholic diocese of Charlotte, NC violated federal law when they ordered the firing of a “teacher of the year” after he announced his upcoming marriage to a man. The diocese, which runs at least 20 schools in 46 counties, isn’t taking the ruling lying down. They vow to keep fighting for the “religious freedom” to fire LGBTQ employees. Legal experts say they may well win in the end.
I stood in the kitchen stirring a bright glop of egg yolk into cocoa powder and sugar, transfixed by the sunflower swirl just before it all melted into mud. My eyes focused on my baking as my ears took in laughter, shouts, and bleeping from the next room.
Then I heard, “Come play, it’s your turn!”
A surge of joy flooded my body. “Hang on!” I shouted back, “let me get the brownies in the oven first!”
Joy? Nothing special had happened. My foster son Brent, my adopted son in all but legality, wanted me to hustle my flour-splattered self…
When my former partner and I agreed to foster an at-risk child, little did we imagine the hard work and moments of sheer terror that awaited us. (OK, maybe terror is over the top, but it’s not like kids come with owner’s manuals, and in all fairness, I did once ride in the back of an ambulance with him as blood poured out of a wound on his scalp. He was fine, but I wasn’t!)
by James Finn
Prism & Pen is fiction-rich this week! Your can check out two outstanding short stories in our editor’s picks, while down in fiction finds, Emma Holiday gives us a beautiful allegory. Plus, KP_the_writer starts a promising (chilling!) queer paranormal fantasy serial.
Fiction aside, don’t miss Eilís O’Keeffe’s provocative take on colonialism and queer Irish history. Mike Rosebush, PhD explains how he (theologically) maintains his strong Christian faith as a gay man, and late-transitioning trans woman Kitty Whitemore offers a painfully honest, sometimes amusing account of how she stayed married to her wife after transition.
P.S. For writers…
Do you think your consensual adult sexual behavior in your own home is nobody’s business but yours? Do you think The Scarlett Letter is a cautionary tale? Do you believe you enjoy the fundamental right to be free from state control of your sex life?
Jonathan Mitchell says you’re wrong. The architect of the Texas law that bans abortion at about six weeks after conception (before many women even know they’re pregnant) says the government should have the power to regulate your private sexual conduct.
He and co-counsel Adam Mortara just spelled that out in an amicus brief…
I got unsettling medical news Tuesday from my primary care physician. He presumed I already knew the worst, so his words lacked sensitivity to cushion what I received as a hammer blow.
“I’m afraid we’re already doing pretty much everything we can. I will try adjusting your meds again, but I cannot offer you the realistic expectation of living without significant pain or of resuming former levels of physical activity.”
Let me translate that. I woke up in agony at four this morning, jolted out of a nightmare about agony. It wasn’t a bad dream, it was real. I hobbled…
Warning: anti-transgender and homophobic slurs some people will find traumatizing appear in the text of this story. I’m including them to help readers appreciate the harsh reality of what a gang of violent bullies did to Tobi Yandle.
Can we get personal about bullying? Can we talk about how adults RIGHT NOW are encouraging children to behave as cruel bullies, then validating them when they follow through?
A 16-year-old transgender boy hurries through a crowded school corridor. He has to go, bad. You can see his urgency as he jiggles the handle of a single-stall faculty restroom he’s…
by James Finn
Prism & Pen this week offers a mixture of joyful celebration and somber self reflection. Plus, Chandler Myer returns with a comedic tour de force as he revisits one of the funniest pieces we’ve ever published.
Laurence Best gives us an incredible story this week. I know “you’ll laugh, you’ll cry” is horrible cliché, but you really will. Don’t miss his latest memoir chapter!