Center for Sex & Culture intern Marilyn Roxie shares their experience with CSC! If you have participated in, conducted, or been an audience member at an event at the Center, been an intern, or been otherwise involved with the Center, we would love to hear your stories – submit them here: http://centersexculture.tumblr.com/submit
My name is Marilyn Roxie and I have been an intern at the Center for Sex & Culture since the summer of 2011. Through doing social media and work with the Center’s library collection, I have come to be even more passionate about my fields of study at City College, where I am pursuing a double major in LGBT Studies and Library Information Technology, and my efforts at education and activism at Genderqueerid.com. I feel I have already learned so much in this short span of time, keeping abreast of the current climate of sexual expression in a variety of arenas, and, importantly, the people involved in bringing about positive openness and change, and through getting familiar with the impressive sexological and erotological library collection. The Center is such a fantastic, welcoming place to explore these topics and although I have only recently become a part of it, I am sure to remain connected and interested beyond the length of my internship.
I first found out about the Center for Sex & Culture from interviewing Carol Queen in March 2011 for my LGBT American History class. Carol was one of the first people that came to mind when this oral history assignment came up, as she has been very inspiring to me. The book PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality (edited by Carol Queen and Lawrence Schimiel) was instrumental in helping me finally come to accept my own identity as a queer, non-binary trans* person who didn’t fit any of the dominant narratives available. Reading this work was a springboard to exploring her other written works, particularly Exhibitionism for the Shy (I’m still personally working on the “shy” bit, as anyone who encounters me in person will quickly learn!), and finding out about her role as Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations and founder of the Center for Sex & Culture. When seeking out an internship over the summer, after such a good and insightful experience with Carol and her partner Robert who was also present and participated in the interview, I decided to look into the Center, found out about their internship program, and have been working with the fabulous Library Vixen since.
Since I am in the midst of making an inventory of what’s in the Center’s library that is shelved so far -there are many more boxes of treasures left to uncover!- I thought I would share my top three favorite finds of books in the collection so far that you can look forward to accessing in the future (open hours are not far off!):
- Taschen art and photography books: I was familiar with Taschen’s The Big Book of… series from encountering them at Good Vibes but it wasn’t until recently that I became aware of the scope Taschen has covered, especially the exquisitely packaged multi-volume sets The Complete Reprint of Physique Pictoral and The Complete Reprint of Exotique.
- Gay Sunshine/Leyland Publications: A stack of brightly colored, smuttily titled books stood out to me in particular the first time I shelved books at the Center. LUST introduced me to the Straight to Hell (“S.T.H.”) chapbooks and a world of hot vintage erotica I hadn’t known about before.
- Kate Bornstein – Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws: This isn’t so much a discovery since I already knew about and admired Bornstein (My Gender Workbook is on par with PoMoSexuals for the impact it had in my life), but seeing Hello Cruel World on the shelf reminded me that I needed to read it. How warmly, frankly, and often with a dash of humor Bornstein deals with this serious topic! Highly recommended.