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Nerd Nite #72 - Exploring Nonconformity Through Graphic Novels

Mon, 02/15/2021 - 3:16pm

I used to think that comics were about stereotypical heroes who saved the day in spandex and capes. Then I discovered graphic novels, a more “niche” category of comic books that often defy traditional storytelling and explore unique perspectives: From quirky girls who hunt monsters at summer camp to badass lady-warriors who defend their castle with care and compassion, rather than with violence. I want to highlight some of these stories that rebel in their nonconformity, and how we can embody that in our everyday lives.

About Julie Cruz: Julie Cruz has lived in Ann Arbor for 8 years, but is a New Yorker at heart. Even though she has only visited twice. You may have seen her speeding past you on the street on her lime-green racing bike, flower-patterned leggings, and bright yellow backpack. She makes her living as a UX designer for a local startup, and does some writing on the side. Follow her on Twitter at @julieoncruise or check out her work at bit.ly/juliecruz.

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 5 - Carol E. Anderson

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 4:00pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we get to know Ann Arbor's own Carol E. Anderson. You will hear about her experiences growing up in a fundamentalist Baptist home, what it was like to live in Ann Arbor during the freewheeling 70's , and how to make your relationship last. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

We want to give a special thank you to Carol for speaking with us. Be sure to check out her memoir, "You Can't Buy Love Like That: Growing Up Gay in the Sixties."

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 4 - Maxi Chanel

Wed, 10/14/2020 - 1:38pm

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we get to know Washtenaw County drag legend Maxi Chanel. We’ll hear about her experiences growing up in Nigeria, what it was like to be a part of Ann Arbor’s soon-to-be-forgotten gay club scene, and the purpose of drag, which is all the more important during these grim times. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

We want to give a special shout out to Maxi Chanel and the Boylesque drag troupe. To keep up with their events, be sure to follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/boylesque.michigan.

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 3 - Bob Enszer and Rick Farrand

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 10:06am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we sit down with Bob Enszer and Rick Farrand. We’ll hear about what it is like to be a closeted parent raising a lesbian child, the magic of falling in love later in life, and how small town communities came together to support those suffering with HIV/AIDS. Due to adult situations and language, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

Special thanks to Bob and Rick, as well as everyone who makes The Gayest Generation a reality. 

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 2 - Randy Hasso

Wed, 09/09/2020 - 9:07am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where we hear LGBTQ Elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where there is silence and that silence has lived for far too long. It is time we let their voices fill the room.

In this episode, we speak with Randy Hasso. He shares his experiences in Tunisia as a member of the Peace Corps, growing up on a pickle farm, and what it was like to care for AIDS patients in small town America during a time where even the President wouldn’t say the word AIDS publicly. Due to adult language and situations, viewer discretion is advised. This is the Gayest Generation.

This episode features the following music:
Prospects by Chris Juergenson

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The Gayest Generation Ep. 1 - Pat Buerkel

Thu, 08/13/2020 - 11:25am

Welcome to The Gayest Generation, where hear LGBTQ elders speak for themselves. Every episode, we sit down with a different member of the LGBTQ community who laid the foundation for the freedoms we have today. Stories—their stories—make noise where silence has lived for far too long. What if who we call The Greatest Generation, also happens to be the gayest?

In this episode, we speak with Pat Buerkel. She shares her experiences working on the line at GM in the 70’s, her lifelong friendship with a transgender trailblazer, and crossing “going to jail” off her bucket list. Viewer discretion, due to adult language and situations, is advised. This is The Gayest Generation.

This episode features the following music:

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Legacies Project Oral History: Ben Helmke

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 9:42am

Ben Helmke grew up on a farm in Pratt County, Kansas in the 1930s. He served as an organist in the Army chaplain’s office at Camp Schimmelpfennig (now Camp Sendai) in Japan. Helmke graduated from Hastings College and McCormick Seminary and got his masters in social work from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Polly raised three children and he started his own mental health clinic. Late in life, he came out as gay to his wife and children. He lived happily with his partner Len Quenon for 25 years.

Ben Helmke was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2016 as part of the Legacies Project.

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Author Event | jessica Care moore - "We Want Our Bodies Back"

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 8:20am

jessica Care moore, an internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist, and producer from Detroit, previews her newest work: "We Want Our Bodies Back."  Moore first came to national prominence when she won the “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition a record breaking five times in a row.  She is the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts, and her poetry has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts.  She is the CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven Jess Care Moore Foundation.

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Author Event | Cecile Richards Discusses Her Book "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead"

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 11:48am

Cecile Richards has been an activist since she was taken to the principal’s office in seventh grade for wearing an armband in protest of the Vietnam War. Richards had an extraordinary childhood in ultra-conservative Texas, where her civil rights attorney father and activist mother taught their kids to be troublemakers. She had a front-row seat to observe the rise of women in American politics and watched her mother, Ann, transform from a housewife to an electrifying force in the Democratic party.

As a young woman, Richards worked as a labor organizer alongside women earning minimum wage, and learned that those in power don’t give it up without a fight. She experienced first-hand the misogyny, sexism, fake news, and the ever-looming threat of violence that constantly confront women who challenge authority.

Now, after years of advocacy, resistance, and progressive leadership, she shares her “truly inspiring” (Redbook) story for the first time—from the joy and heartbreak of activism to the challenges of raising kids, having a life, and making change, all the while garnering a reputation as “the most badass feminist EVER” (Teen Vogue).

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Future is Female: Advice to Young Women in Male-Dominated Fields

Thu, 08/30/2018 - 6:03pm

Young adult women with experience working in male-dominated fields, including science, math, and engineering discuss the real experiences of women working in male-dominated spaces and how they have overcome adversity relating to gender.