The White Maiden is a German tale about a thirsty hunter who wishes for ancient wine to drink. His wish is granted by the White Maiden who then plagues him with a sense of wanting and an inability to take satisfaction in anything. Morin used this tale to explore the real life narrative of a man, Rudolph Brazda, imprisoned by Nazi’s because of his homosexuality and forced to wear a pink triangle. The story begins with Rudolph finding love and being arrested for violating Paragraph 175, which made homosexual acts a crime. After they were both sentenced, they lost each other, and his partner ended up dying in the war. Rudolph is released and soon finds another partner and is rearrested. This is now during the beginnings of the Nazi concentration camps, and Rudolph is later transferred to Buchenwald. He became prisoner 7952, and remained in Buchenwald from August 1942 until April 1945 when it was liberated. With the help and sympathy of others, he was able to survive in the camp. After his release, he again found love and they lived happily together until 2003 when his partner died. Rudolph died in August 3, 2011 and their ashes were placed together.
Jan Morris was born James Morris and began her transition in 1964. She is a an historian, travel writer and author. One of her books, Conundrum: An Extraordinary Narrative of Transsexualism, recounts her memories of her transition and explores ideas about gender binaries and the psychological aspects of being a man or a woman. The book was originally written in 1974, shortly after her transition was complete. The first line in the book beings, “I was three or perhaps four years old when I realized that I had been born into the wrong body, and should really be a girl. I remember the moment well, and it is the earliest memory of my life.” She maintains an honesty throughout the book that allows readers to really get a sense of her life journey becoming the person she always was but could not be.
Andrew Sullivan was a editor of The New Republic and has written six books. Born in England, he earned his degree at Oxford and later came to America where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. He is an openly gay man, and has married since he wrote Virtually Normal. In the book he tackled many of the arguments in the debate about homosexuality. It is not a book necessarily for or against homosexuality, but it discusses the main arguments and points out their strengths and weaknesses. It is divided by four groups: prohibitionists, liberationists, conservatives, and liberals. Virtually Normal was part of the booknotes series and the interview with Andrew Sullivan can be found here.
June is LGBT Pride Month. For more information: