(CNSNews.com) – The federally funded Library of Congress held an event to mark Gay Pride Month on Thursday to showcase the publication of literature focused on the homosexual lifestyle, including a gay man’s photography of nude male subjects and poetry by gays and lesbians about their homosexuality.
“We believe that GLBTQ literature is fundamental to the preservation of our culture and that LGBT lives are confirmed when our stories are written, published and read,” William Johnson, managing editor at the homosexual publishing company Lambda Literacy, said at the event.
A one-hour lecture was presented by Stathis Orphanos, a homosexual photographer whose “work celebrates the male body,” including nude photos of men and photo essays of military men in various states of dress, according to Orphanos and to a description of his work on a website that includes biographical information about gay and lesbian celebrity figures.
Three other publishers of homosexual literature were featured in a panel discussion, including Bryan Borland, who explained how he started his publishing house, which produces “Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry.”
Borland explained that he started his journal after a homosexual mentor published some of his poetry in a journal called Ganymede, named for a mythical Greek figure. When John Stahle died, Borland said he wanted to continue his work but under a different title.
“My research showed me that in Greek mythology Ganymede had a bother Assaracus – his earthbound brother,” Borland said. “While Ganymede was swept up by Zeus’s eagle to serve at Zeus’ feet, there was Assaracus, and I thought what a perfect name for a journal of gay poetry.
“But I flipped it around a little bit -- I put an emphasis on the first syllable and changed the name to Assaracus, because I really wanted librarians across the country to have to say Assaracus, emphasize on a--,” said Borland, who publishes the journal and other gay literature with his homosexual partner through Sibling Rivalry Press.
“You’ve got to make a little splash,” Borland said.
Another panelist was Lisa C. Moore, a lesbian who named her publishing company Redbone Press after the expression blacks use to describe her skin tone.
Included in the display set up at the event featuring Orphanos’ nude photography and Borland’s Assaracus was Moore’s anthology of stories by black lesbians “coming out.”
Moore’s book is dedicated Terri Jewell, “who lit a fire in my heart and under my butt and kept me going.”
“Actually, my mother realized I was a lesbian first and told my father, who told me,” Moore writes in the book’s introduction.
Moore said she first saw women acting like men when she moved to Atlanta.
“I saw young black women passing as boys -- breasts bound, cigarettes in shirt pockets and pants hanging off their butts b-boy style,” Moore wrote. “It blew my mind.”
According the Congressional Budget Office, the Library of Congress’ mission is “to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.”
The Library of Congress budget for fiscal year 2014 was $618.8 million, according to its website.
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