Inspired by oppression
What was once a Kickstarter project is now a solemn tome thumbing its nose at homophobes.
Named after the derogatory term used by the Christian right referencing the advocacy of cultural acceptance of non-heterosexual orientations and relationships, The Gay Agenda is a who’s who of the LGTBQ+ community, both past and present. Manifesting itself in the form of an actual 52 week planner (agenda), the book focuses on history, people, and terminology.
Functionally, the book’s layout dedicates two pages per subject: the first is a wonderfully hand drawn headshot (or image), and the other is a small biography or essay of the person (or term). Each essay has a different writer, but the images are masterfully drawn by Oakland native Terry Furry.
The idea for the book started off as a bit of a joke. The project’s editor Kasper Koczab says in a release, “It was a silly idea to parody the crazies claiming that the gays had an ‘agenda’ to make their kids gay. But what we ended up with is more like a Queer Life 101 CliffsNotes written by, and about, those who’ve lived it.”
The book is an easy read—easy meaning accessibly consumable. That doesn’t mean that is stays away from difficult content. From those who faced oppression because of their sexuality, to those who were persecuted for being an ally, to the modern-day advocates existing in a intolerant world, each page is a testament to the human spirit.
A sample tale focuses on Second World War hero, Alan Turing. Turing had a role in saving countless lives via deciphering Nazi codes, but when the war was over, he was charged with ‘gross indecency’ for admitting to a homosexual relationship. He chose chemical castration over jail and later, supposedly, committed suicide.
While Turing’s tale is tragic, there are also stories of hope, perseverance and grace in the face of hate.
Koczab has hopes The Gay Agenda shows “gay is good, and good will always trump evil.” What it will definitely do, though, is educate. Within the ironic pages are un-ironic sentiments that embrace the great destroyer of ignorance: knowledge.
The Gay Agenda
Edited by Kasper Koczab, $25