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The 20 Best Young Adult Novels For Queer Girls

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NPR recently polled its readers for their favorite teen novels of all time and published the results in their Top 100 Choices for Best Teen Novels. Unsurprisingly, very few queer books made it onto the final list, so Autostraddle came up with their own list of 20 awesome queer young adult novels.

20. Shockproof Sydney Skate, by Marijane Meaker (1973)

The gay lady in this underrated YA novel is actually the protagonist's Mom, but it's a fascinating look at her world through the eyes of her son, Sydney, chock-full of punchy dialogue, wry observations and classic pop culture references, shot through with a smart, fast-paced plot. Sydney decoded his agent mother's power-lesbian-girlfriend gossip at age eight but has never told her that he knows she's gay. Then he falls in love with Alison Gray, his Mom's newest client... who subsequently falls for his Mom. Hijinks ensue.

19. Letters in the Attic, by Bonnie Shimko (2002)

Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls and Betty DeGeneres blurbed this Lambda-Award-Winning young adult novel (and crossover success), which takes place in the early 1960's and follows 12-year-old Lizzy McMann, a teenager forced to move from Arizona to upstate new York with her "unstable" mother when her father leaves them for a hatcheck girl. There, she falls for an eighth grader "who looks like Natalie Wood and smokes," meets her grandparents for the first time, and experiences fun things like "puberty."  Emily Saliers notes: "Letters is a biting and compassionate look at the vulnerabilty of coming of age and the triumph of coming into own's own."

18. Girl Walking Backwards, by Bett Williams (1998)

Skye lives in Southern California with a psuedo-New Age enthusiast for a mother and a giant crush on Jessica, "a troubled gothic punk girl who cuts herself regularly with sharp objects," who Skye catches fucking her boyfriend in the bathroom at a rave. Following that unwelcome encounter, Skye switches up her life, acquiring a new pagan best friend and an athletic love interest. This book has been described as "a post-Catcher in the Rye roman à clef."

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Zanele's Equipment Replacement Campaign

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In Solidartiy with Zanele we would like to encourage you to support from the global community to help replace her equipment. Most of us might not be able to do anything towards recovering the works stolen, but we can make sure that her future work continues to be produced and shared. In order to contribue, visit her project on indiegogo.com

Please read Zanele's words below and help out however you are able.

"We are LGBTQ Nigerians who believe that human rights and dignity are our birthrights. We have created this space to collect and document our individual and shared stories in the hope that we can build authentic relationships with ourselves and each other, heal from our generational cycles and patterns of isolation and oppression and envision a future that embraces us all.“

"I’ve dedicated my entire life to documenting queer lives. I wanted to make sure I document (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) lives. All my major projects are gone.”

Photographer Zanele Muholi is devastated after more than 20 external hard drives were stolen from her Vredehoek flat. She believes her work in which documents the lives of black lesbians, may have been targeted because little else was stolen.

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Black Men in Dress Exhibition opens at Stevenson in Johannesburg

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Black Men in Dress is part of a solo show by Sabelo Mlangeni which opens at the Stevenson in Johannesburg today. It comprises a series of portraits photographed at the Johannesburg and Soweto Pride, a yearly event for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. These portraits remind Mlangeni of a childhood where, as he describes:

"Most communities had what we call 'uSis'bhuti'. This is a term used to describe a boy who behaves like a girl. Why then do we hate these boys when they have grown up to be men who dress as women? Why do we turn and call them names, pretending that we've never seen it? These are some of the issues I try to bring to the fore in this series."

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'Beefcake Heroes': Joe Phillips Brings Gay Superheroes Out Of The Closet

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Comic book artist Joe Phillips says there has long been a gay subtext in superhero comics and now he wants to out it with a series of illustrations called "Beefcake Heroes" that features iconic characters like Iron Man, Batman and Captain America in provocative poses.

Read more and check them out.

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Uncensored Gay version of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" published for first time

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An uncensored version of Oscar Wilde's only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, has finally been published more than 120 years after it was first released.

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Woman who attacked Gauguin painting for displaying homosexuality has a "radio in her head"

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54-year-old Susan Burns, former assistant to the president of the Wilson Centre, was quoted in the police report as saying: "I feel that Gaugin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it's very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you."

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The Bechdel Test

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The Bechdel Test is a simple way to gauge the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films and just how well rounded and complete those roles are. It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. It is astonishing the number of popular movies that can't pass this simple test.

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What Does Queer Mean?

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary.In the context of Western identity politics the term also acts as a label setting queer-identifying people apart from discourse, ideologies, and lifestyles that typify mainstream LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual) communities as being oppressive or assimilationist.