A Restricted Country - Joan Nestle in college, in the late 80s and early 90s, i discovered that i had two aunts. this is one (and this is another). aunt Joan was kind, amiable, flirty, sweet-tempered, clear-eyed. she was filled with gentle strength; her spirit glowed. a generous aunt, one who loved the world around her and who shared that love with me. she loved women, she loved life. she told me stories of that life and those stories were filled with poetry and passion. she told me about her jewish identity; she told me what it felt like to be a lesbian. she told me about the birds and the bees and how to be a person and how sexuality and identity can be of my own making, can be many things. she showed me how to make my own world, to invite others into it, to connect my world with other worlds; she showed me how to make myself my self. she challenged me to move past the restrictions, the fences and barriers, that this mundane world will try to put around me. she laughed and she sang and she widened my spirit. i fucking love you, Joan Nestle! such a guiding influence.