Manual TypewriterEssays, Reviews, and Commentaries

By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev

Queer Families

| June 30, 2009

Queer Families By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev In some very basic way being a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered parent is really not much different than being a heterosexual parent. You still have to get up for the 4 a.m. feeding, or deal with teenagers who don’t clean their rooms. You still have to deal […]

Queer Family Statistics

| June 30, 2009

Queer Family Statistics By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev I was just asked to speak in a university class by two different students in the same class, each unaware that the other had asked. One wanted me to speak on being a "lesbian adoptive mom"; the other wanted me to speak on being a "a trans-racially […]

All of our Families

| June 30, 2009

All of our Families By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev These are heady times to be in queer families. Both locally and nationally lesbian and gay couples, same-sex marriage, gay adoption, transgender civil rights, are making the news. Perhaps it is easy for those without children to ignore issues like the recent controversy regarding Postcards from […]

Parenting in the War Years

| June 30, 2009

Parenting in the War Years By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev I haven’t written a column since September 11th and I’m finding it a very difficult prospect. I have, like many of you I suspect, spent a good deal of the last few weeks watching more news than I have in the last ten years, although […]

School Daze I

| June 30, 2009

School Daze: A short series of columns on American Education By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev A note on our National Tragedy: New Orleans is a city with a huge LGBT population. Let us all keep in mind that some of the victims and survivors of this national tragedy are LGBT people, who may experience additional […]

School Daze II

| June 30, 2009

School Daze: A short series of columns on American Education Part II By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev A digression on the need to discuss homophobia in the school system Well, a few months back I wrote a column about homophobia, expressing how, in ten years of parenting, none of the negative experiences that we had […]

School Daze III

| June 30, 2009

School Daze: A short series of columns on American Education (Part III) As some of you may remember in my last column I talked about an experience I had on a local (Albany NY) parenting listserve, where the list owner refused to let me post an announcement about an LGBT Parenting Conference. You may also […]

The Marriage Bed

| June 30, 2009

Marriage Bed By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev Both of us had lived lives outside of the mainstream. We traveled with our thumbs out throughout much of the Northeast delayed only by border searches routinely done for all long-haired types. We shared a bed whenever we could throughout high school and then lived together in college. […]

Election Day Blues

| June 30, 2009

Election Day Blues By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev I have had a terrible time writing my column this month. I was emotionally frozen before the election, deer-in-the-headlights type of thing. I have been completely immobilized since the election, wearing black and trying to figure out how to sustain a family on the windy edge of […]

Breaking Up is Hard to Do Well: The Best Interest of the Children

| June 30, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do Well: The Best Interest of the Children By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev Perhaps it is just in my corner of the world, but it seems that while the media and the religious right are struggling with the idea that some of us want to marry, in the real lived […]

Trans parenting

| June 30, 2009

Trans Parenting By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev In my work in the transgender community, I often have the experience of people cozying up to me at social events (in and out of the queer community) and, in hushed voices, asking me questions or disclosing information to me about themselves or family members who are crossdressers […]

Homosexuality and American Politics

| June 30, 2009

Homosexuality and American Politics By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev Are you all breathing more freely having that damn elephant off your chest? That really was a heady election, wasn’t it! Hopefully, portend for good things to come and a good opportunity to examine the role of Homosexuality and American Politics. My older son is way […]

Do I?

| June 30, 2009

Do I? By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev As I sit down at my computer, I click open a new email. “Marry me?” It’s the twentieth time my partner has proposed. Our friends have been racing for flights to San Francisco, speeding up to New Paltz, and booking their caterers in Massachusetts. My email box is […]

Pride

| June 30, 2009

Pride By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev In 1969, on the eve of the Stonewall Rebellion, while the streets of Greenwich Village filled with dykes and faggots demanding their liberation, Linda and I hung out in the attic of her parent’s home in Brooklyn, listening to the Jackson Five on a transistor radio, smoking cigarettes, and […]

Facing Homophobia

| June 30, 2009

Facing Homophobia By Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev I find that every time I answer a research questionnaire on gay parenting I am asked how I deal with the homophobia my kids face. There is a not-so-subtle assumption that my children will experience homophobia and I would like to not-so-subtly challenge that assumption. I mean, of […]