Friday, December 18, 2009

Unplugged: Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Filling The Well!


I'm Going UNPLUGGED!

So there's this awesome metaphor about writers needing to fill their creative well, so they have lots to draw from.

And it's time.

After a full year (50 weeks) of non-stop blogging (This is my 260th post in 2009) I'll be taking a two week break. I'll be resting up, thinking, reading, dreaming, hiking, swimming, spending time with my husband and daughter, and filling my creative well.

Then, starting Monday January 4th, I'll be back in full force - and this blog will be bursting with amazing and wonderful things!

In fact, just in January alone, there will be THREE gigantic things to look forward to:

1) THE COMMENT CHALLENGE - The return of this Annual Kidlitosphere-wide event!

2) THE SCBWI 2010 WINTER CONFERENCE IN NY and SCBWI Team Blog's LIVE BLOGGING and Tweets from the conference floor!

3) A ZEN SURPRISE... (something I've been cooking up for the last year!)



That all starts in January!


But for now, I'm going unplugged.

I wish you all wonderful holidays, a Happy New Year, and fun filling YOUR well!

Namaste (the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you),

Lee

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Laurent Linn: An Exclusive SCBWI Team Blog Pre-Conference Interview!



Another wonderful reason to attend the upcoming SCBWI 2010 Winter Conference in New York City (January 29-31) is the opportunity to meet and learn from Laurent Linn.



Laurent will be giving a workshop (three times!) on Saturday January 30th.

He's funny. (For anyone who hasn't seen Laurent in the SCBWI Tribute video by Kimberly C. Baker, check it out now!)

He's smart.

He's designed books across all genres. Picture books like Chaucer's First Winter, by Stephen Krensky, illustrated by Henry Cole:



Chapter books, including the Melvin Beederman Superhero series by Greg Trine, art by Rhode Montijo:



And even Young Adult novels. Check out this incredible cover he did for Joyce Sweeney's Headlock!



Especially for illustrators, it's an amazing opportunity to meet and learn from an Art Director who, in his own words, "works with artists all the time and is always on the lookout for fantastic illustrators of various styles and experience." And the bonus - Laurent is an artist himself, so he has insight into the process from all sides!

Here's our interview:


Lee: Hi Laurent! First of all, since it's a season of gift giving and being grateful, let me thank you for the gift of agreeing to this interview in the run-up to the upcoming Winter SCBWI conference in New York City.

Laurent: Hi Lee, I’m so happy to get the chance to chat with you about books and what we’ll be diving into at the NY Conference. This conference is always a fun one, if overwhelming, so getting the opportunity to think about things in advance is great.


Lee: I want to start off with asking, what advice do you have for illustrators and writers who are planning to attend the Winter Conference?

Laurent: No matter if this will be your first conference or your 25th, it’s always overwhelming and fun. The overwhelming part can be daunting -- after all, so many people are interested in doing what you want to do. But that’s the great part, too! It’s a vibrant community of creative people with the same interests and passions. While there are so many others there, I think it’s also true that each voice and vision is unique. So, while you may experience a bit of a reality check, let that be a time for reassessment of your direction and strategy, as well as a great big energy boost! There’s nothing more exciting than one of these conferences. Plus, it’s a great way to network and meet new people who speak the same creative language.

And, more than anything else, just relax and have a good time. If you soak up the good energy, it’ll keep you going for a long time.

Oh, and bring warm clothes!!! It’s freezing here in NYC!


Lee: There's a lot of talk for writers about finding the "voice" of a project, the "voice" of a character. What are the things that make an artist's visual "voice" stand out?

Laurent: It’s truly the artist’s overall style, really. The medium, the color palettes, composition, character and scene design . . . All these elements, put together with the artist’s personal vision and talents, add up to one’s unique “voice” or “style.” Because it’s visual, it’s a bit tricky to describe. And, as with writing, we each see things differently, so one reader’s reaction to an illustrator’s style will be different from another reader’s. That’s what makes it art!


Lee: That's a good point, that everyone responds differently. Can you share the story behind the cover design for Joyce Sweeney's Headlock? - it's amazing!

Laurent: Designing teen novel covers is always tricky, because so many people are involved in approving them on the publishing side. And, unlike with picture books that already have an illustrator as a part of the book, novel covers are truly a blank slate, which is actually a lot of fun for the designer!

The book you mention, Headlock, by Joyce Sweeney, was a big challenge. It’s a wonderfully written, multi-layered novel for teens, especially boys, about a boy who wants to be a professional wrestler, costume and all, but is dealing with some very complex issues at home and socially.

In trying to figure out how to approach the cover design (should it be photographic, illustrated, simple image, complex images telling aspects of the story, type only, a combination?), I must have done about 45 concepts — no joke. We didn’t want it to look like just a book about wrestling, which it’s not, nor did we want it to look too lofty/literary — we were trying to appeal to a lot of different potential audiences, which is why it was tricky. Plus, the sales and marketing groups had a lot of input, so there were a lot of eyes on it. In the end, I have to say, everyone was thrilled with the final cover, as was I. And, I should add, so was Joyce, who was such a fantastic trooper through the whole process. Once I found the right image I was able to compose the other elements in the right way. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a lot like solving a math puzzle . . . it’s instinct and experimentation.


Lee: Is there some homework you'd like to give - a couple of books that people should read before they attend your "Real Deal About Visual Storytelling" Workshop, so they can get the most out of your session?

Laurent: Interesting thought. I can’t think of any particular books, but I think that it’s always a good idea to revisit your absolute favorite picture books from when you were a kid and go through them with the eyes of an illustrator. Step back and analyze if it really flows and works as visual storytelling, and, if so, how? Sometimes you’ll be surprised that some classic books really do work so well, but others don’t. Of course, kids lead much different lives now than when we were kids, and their way of seeing art is quite different — they see in camera angles and quick transitions — but good storytelling doesn’t go out of fashion.

In my workshop, I’ll have lots of visuals to show, so no real prep work is needed. But the more picture books you read in general means the more you know!


Lee: Great advice! Okay, here's a Bonus Holiday Question: Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?

Laurent: Oh, hot chocolate — anything with chocolate wins out over anything else as far as I’m concerned!


I'm excited to see Laurent at the SCBWI Conference - and I hope you grab this opportunity as well! Remember, the discount for early registration ends on January 4, 2010.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rainbow Books 2009: The ALA's 2009 list of Good Kid and Teen Books With GLBTQ Content!




The Rainbow Project is proud to announce the 2009 Rainbow List, a joint undertaking of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and Social Responsibilities Round Table. Featuring well-written and/or well-illustrated titles with authentic and significant gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered/queer/questioning (GLBTQ) content for youth from birth through age 18, this year’s bibliography presents 34 outstanding titles, published in the last eighteen months and representing a broad range of GLBTQ experience.


There's lots of great stuff to check out - many of the books on the 2009 Rainbow List have already been featured on this blog, and the remainder will be - early in 2010!

The Rainbow Project's blog and annual Book lists (2009, 2008) are a wonderful resource, and I'm so happy to share it with you.

Namaste,
Lee

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One Thing That Makes It Hard To Make The World A Better Place: Wanting To Be Liked. A Guest Blog By Tracy Tai

Tracy is a good friend who shared this story with me. It was so moving, I asked her to write this to share with all of you...



On Tuesday, I received an animated Christmas joke email from my cousin. It was a titled, "Your First Gay Christmas Card".

My first instinct was just to delete the email. I delete lots of emails. I don't enjoy chain emails that are forwarded. I love the fact that a friend is thinking of me but I don't feel the need to read and respond.

But this email made me think of my dear friends who are a two dad family. So I decided to be polite yet a tiny bit brave and respond to the email.

Here's what I said

Dear .........,

Hello. It is nice to hear from you. I hope your Christmas lights are up and the tree is decorated.

Please don't send me any gay jokes. We have very close friends who are a two dad family. And I just don't see the humor in gay jokes.

Thanks very much,

Tracy


As minor as this may seem it was hard to do. WHY? Because I want people to like me.

I certainly don't want to offend or hurt anyone's feelings. I try my best to be as kind and compassionate a human being as I know how. And I know my cousin is a really great person. Devoted husband, father and grandfather. Hard working and happy to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. Just the sort of person you don't want to offend.

But as a mom of two young boys - I often tell them that doing the right thing and having everyone like you at the same time seldom works out. So I took my own advice.

I responded with kindness and I'm glad I did. Perhaps if more people said - "hey that's not funny" even when the joke is unrelated to them the world would truly become a more compassionate place.

Happy Holidays to everyone,

Tracy


"Perhaps if more people said - "Hey that's not funny" even when the joke is unrelated to them the world would truly become a more compassionate place."


Now you know why Tracy is my friend. More than that, you know why she's one of my heroes.

Namaste,
Lee

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Blog To Know About: "Gay-Themed Picture Books For Children"

I love it when all this technology (like blogging) makes things easier. When people see something they can do to help others, and they do it.

Well Patricia Sarles has done just that with this new blog resource, GAY-THEMED PICTURE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN: Picture Books for Children About the Experience of Knowing or Having a Gay Parent, Family Member, or Friend.

There are books I've never heard of, like 1983's Jenny Lives With Eric and Martin, by Susanne Bosche, and with photographs by Andreas Hansen



Books I own and love, like "The Family Book" from 2003, by Todd Parr



It's a gathering of (so far) 88 picture books with GLBTQ content (the most comprehensive list I've seen!) It's super-fun to browse, and is a wonderful addition to our on-line community!

My thanks to Yapha for sharing Patricia's putting the list together - which gave me the chance to share with Patricia my "Picture Books I Wish Had Been Read To Me When I Was A Little Kid" bookshelf. Thanks as well to Rilla for making sure I knew about the list's debut, and finally, a *STANDING OVATION* to Patricia for putting together such a great new resource for all of us!

Namaste,

Lee

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jacqueline Woodson: An Exclusive SCBWI Team Blog Pre-Conference Interview!


Jacqueline Woodson has written seven picture books, six middle grade titles, and ten Young Adult novels. Four of her books have significant GLBTQ content, and are included on this blog's lists. She has won major awards in every genre, including the Newbery Honor (THREE TIMES!!!), the Caldecott Honor, the Coretta Scott King Award & Honor, was a National Book Award Finalist & Honoree, and on and on...



She is wise, and amazing, and I had the privilege of seeing her speak at the 2009 SCBWI Golden Gate Conference. Among the many pearls of wisdom she shared was the idea of being "emotionally autobiographical" when you write for kids. She also said, to some vigorous head-nodding from a rapt audience, including me:

"the great thing as a writer, you get to go back and fix things you jacked up as a kid."

I was inspired, and I learned so much.

Jacqueline is another incredible reason to attend the upcoming SCBWI 2010 Winter Conference in New York City. (Early registration ends January 4, 2010...) She will be giving the Saturday Luncheon Keynote on January 30, 2010, “Locking the Door Upon Ourselves: The Importance of Writing In Today’s World.”

In the run-up and excitement of the upcoming SCBWI Conference, Jacqueline was kind enough to answer a few questions to get us rolling...

Lee: Hi Jacqueline!

There are so many ways to tell a story – I often say that in a room full of writers, we could all write the same “story” – like “The Ugly Duckling,” but each version would be vastly different.

How much is experimentation part of your process?

Jacqueline: I just start writing and hope no one interrupts me. I guess that's the experiment -- to see if I can write for an hour without something 'urgent' needing to be taking care of.


Lee: When you set out to write Peace, Locomotion did you know it was going to take the form of letters, or did that evolve?

Jacqueline: Nope. What I DID know is that it WASN'T going to be poetry. The novel in verse [Locomotion] was because Lonnie was just discovering his writer's voice in school. In Peace, Locomotion, his 'voice' has been silenced by a lame teacher so it wouldn't make sense to have it written in poems. The whole 'show don't tell' rule.


Lee: Getting all choked up is an emotional peak moment in life, and in reading the best writing. Your books have made me tear up more than once: Feathers, After Tupac & D Foster, and on multiple readings Our Gracie Aunt, and Show Way. Do you find yourself going back on revisions to make something more emotionally powerful, or less? How do you know when you’ve hit it just right?

Jacqueline: I know it's right when *I* get choked up reading it. My editor never intervenes in that way. She's amazing.


Lee: Do you have a piece of advice for writers and illustrators who are planning on attending the conference?

Jacqueline: This is my first time coming to SCBWI in NYC so I'm as much of a neophyte as the next person.


Lee: Do you want to assign any homework – any books (of yours or others?) we should read ahead of time to get the MOST out of your keynote presentation?

Jacqueline: Probably just my website -- I don't sell books on it but it has a lot of info about my books and who I am so that people don't confuse me with Angela Johnson or Rita Williams Garcia - both amazing, amazing writers but I'm not them. If one person hands me a copy of Jumped or The First Part Last to sign, I'm going to be so, so cranky.


Lee: (laughing.) Okay, Bonus Holiday Question: Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?

Jacqueline: Hot Chocolate. Not to, in the words of my daughter's teacher "yuck anyone's yum" but I really, really, really don't like eggnog.


I can't wait to see Jacqueline Woodson at the 2010 SCWBI Winter Conference... and I hope you seize the opportunity to see her, too!

Namaste,
Lee

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lucky


By Eddie De Oliveira

Sam's 19, bi, and plays soccer.

He falls for Toby, who also likes guys and girls.

Their romance rockets... then spins out of control when Emma, a girl they both are attracted to, enters the picture.

Because Toby starts hanging out with Emma, leaving Sam... Out.


Add your review of "Lucky" in comments!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

GSA Party-Time: Why Your Gay-Straight Alliance Should Celebrate

There is something really powerful about standing up as individuals, and then exponentially more powerfull to stand up, as a group in support of GLBTQ Teens.

At this holiday time of year, it's really important to celebrate that so many of us are there/here for these kids and teens today.

So in between finals, and holiday preparations, for your next GSA meeting grab some M&Ms, some gummi bears, some jelly beans, some sprinkle cookies and see if you can talk someone into helping you make a 10 layer jello rainbow centerpiece, like this one:







Celebrate with YOUR GSA. Or celebrate here, with your virtual GSA.

Because being there for your peers if you're a Teen, and for ALL kids if you're an adult, whether they're Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender-Non-Conforming, Queer, Questioning or Straight Allies... is worth celebrating.

Pass the jello!

Namaste,
Lee

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The GLBTQ Middle Grade Bookshelf!

Middle School. Junior High. Can you imagine the Gay Pride flag flying proudly over the middle school YOU went to?



6th, 7th, and 8th grade can be tough.

Especially with no books to read about anyone else like you. Anyone who thinks they might be Gay. Or Lesbian. Or Bi. Or doesn't really act like a boy "should." Or a girl "should." Or whose parent, or family member, or friend, is GLBTQ.

But wait!

There ARE some books out there... And here's a list to get you started:

Books About & Where the Kid is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning or Gender Non-Conforming:

House of Hades (part of Rick Riordan's NYTimes Bestselling series)

Better Nate Than Ever

Five, Six, Seven, Nate!

The Boy In The Dress

Letters In The Attic

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park


If You Believe In Mermaids... Don't Tell

From Alice To Zen and Everyone In Between

50 Ways of Saying Fabulous

The Boys and The Bees

The Misfits

Totally Joe

Choir Boy

Blue Boy

Wandering Son, book 1

Wandering Son, book 2

Drama (graphic novel)

Marco Impossible 

So Hard To Say

Sam & Aaron (a wordless online graphic short story that’s free)

Gracefully Grayson

Jacob, King of Portalia

George

Freak Camp

Learning To Kiss Girls

Husky

The Other Boy

Lily and Dunkin

Books About & Where someone in the Kid's life is GLBTQ

The Popularity Papers (series)

No Big Deal

Box Girl

The Manny Files

Hit The Road, Manny

Holly's Secret

Luv Ya Bunches *

My Mixed-Up Berry Blue Summer

The Skull Of Truth

Sonny's House Of Spies

Royally Jacked (a.k.a. Royally Crushed)

The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket

Double Play

Best Friend Next Door

Two Weeks With The Queen

Riding The Rainbow

The Marvels

The Lotterys Plus One

(*5th grade characters, one of whom has Two Moms, so it's elementary school, really. And, controversy aside, it's not really ABOUT the Two Moms.)



Did I miss any YOU know of? Help me make this GLBTQ Middle Grade Bookshelf comprehensive!

And hey, now you have over 25 books to check out!

Namaste and Happy Reading,
Lee

**last update: May 2017**

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coming Out In Middle School! What Can Your GSA Do To Help?

I wasn't brave enough to come OUT as Gay when I went to Welsh Valley Junior High
(when I would have worn this T-shirt.)
But that's not true for a lot of Junior High and Middle School Kids Today!

Have you read this amazing cover story in the New York Times School Section that ran in September?

I think it's taken me much of this time to wrap my mind around it - the idea of Today's kids being so ready to be REAL about their same-sex attractions in Junior High is awe-inspiring, and empowering. And the fact that the photos with the article weren't redacted silhouettes - but actual photos of the kids, many of whom used their real names and spoke proudly about being OUT!

The article by Benoit Denizet-Lewis cited the research about when gay and lesbian youth

"first report an awareness of same-sex attraction. Though most didn't self-identify as gay or lesbian until they were 14, 15 or 16, the mean age at which they first became aware of that attraction was 10. Boys tended to be aware about a year earlier than girls. (Of course, not all kids with same-sex attractions go on to self-identify as gay.)"

And just like for the Teens in High School, we need to be there for the kids who have these feelings and are living through the challenges of junior high and middle school. The teasing. The harassment. The same-sex crushes. Dating!

I wonder about the ways we can be there for these kids...

Can your High School GSA reach out to the kids in the junior high or middle schools where you went? Can you go visit and speak to the students in their 7th grade health (or other) class?

Can you help organize a Day of Silence observance at your junior high/middle school?

What about the school library at the junior high/middle school? Do they have ANY middle grade titles that include GLBTQ characters and themes? Can you talk with the librarian there about getting some titles for the collection? What about letting students know the books are there?

Look for the GLBTQ middle grade bookshelf coming tomorrow, with a list of all the titles here on this blog that are either written for Middle Graders and/or have GLBTQ characters in 6th through 8th grade.)

What are some other ways we can be there for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning kids in Middle and Junior High Schools?

Coming Out In Middle School... Wow, the world sure is changing, and for the better!

Namaste,
Lee

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How Do Dinosaurs Learn How To Write For Children? They Go Hear Jane Yolen's Keynote at the Winter SCBWI Conference!

A Special Sunday post to share with you all exciting News about the 2010 Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators Winter Conference in New York City...

Jane Yolen,



author of over 300 books (Including Fantasy and Picture Books like "How do Dinosaurs Go to School?") and winner of The Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, a National Book Award nomination and SCBWI's own Golden Kite Award (among a ton of others...) will be the closing Keynote speaker on Sunday, January 31st, 2010!

It is an amazing opportunity to hear a legend in the world of Children's Literature!

Early Registration for the Conference ends January 4, 2010
- and if you are a writer or illustrator for children and Teens, it would be a wonderful Holiday present for yourself - and a great way to start off the 2010 leg of your career!




Stay tuned at this blog for more pre-conference scoops as well as exclusive interviews with the Awe-inspiring Author Jacqueline Woodson - who will be presenting the Saturday Lunchtime Keynote and the multi-talented Laurent Linn, Art Director, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, who will be leading a break out session called "The Real Deal About Visual Story Telling." All that and much more from me and the rest of SCBWI Team Blog...

Great stuff ahead, and hope to see you at the Winter Conference!

Namaste,
Lee

Friday, December 4, 2009

Money Talks... Spend it Wisely. Or, put another way, Let's Reward Gay-Friendly Companies!


The Human Rights Campaign has put out their annual BUYING FOR EQUALITY 2010 guide.

It's like a report card for companies, letting us consumers know who's a "friend" to the Gay (GLBTQ) community, and who is not.

Businesses are rated on a scale from 0 to
100, based on whether or not they have
policies that support LGBT people. These
include anti-discrimination protections,
domestic partner benefits, diversity train-
ing, transgender-inclusive benefits and
external practices.


It's a guide to let us know which companies we want to encourage to continue to stand by us, and which don't really deserve our money.

Like when you get gas for your car, it's good to know that BP (Arco, Castrol), Chevron (Caltex, Texaco) and Shell Oil all scored 100%.

And that Exxon Mobil scored 0. Yup, Zero. Why would you fill up there? Why would you let your family members or friends fill up there?

Costco scored 100%.

Walmart 40%. Where are you going to get that stuff for the party?

Mattel 95%.

Hasbro 50%. (Hey! Barbie turns out to be more politically correct than G.I. Joe!)

This is not about boycotting companies - it's about supporting companies that are Gay-friendly.

And when the Gay-friendly companies start to do better than their Gay-unfriendly competitors because so many of us are choosing to spend our money with the Gay-friendly companies, the tide toward justice will become seismic. Because then, in addition to the issue of fairness for Gays (which doesn't hold that much sway in many low scoring bottom-line obsessed boardrooms) there will be a financial incentive for companies to do the right thing by the Gay community. And that's a goal to work towards!

So get the guide. And spend your money wisely.

It's a way each of us can make a difference!

Namaste,
Lee

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Big Deal


By Ellen Jaffe McClain (Ellen Jaffe-Gill)

Janice is in Junior High. She's picked on for being overweight (mainly by Kevin, the bully.) But she has a best friend Holly, and Mr. P for social studies.

Rumors start that her favorite teacher might be gay. For Janice it's "No Big Deal." But even her own mother joins the movement to get Mr. P fired.

Then Janice catches Kevin spray-painting Mr. P's car with an anti-gay slur. And she discovers that Kevin's brother is gay, and HIV+.

Suddenly, Junior High is so much more complicated!


Add your review of "No Big Deal" in comments!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Now That I Know

By Norma Klein

Nina's parents are divorced. She's 13, and kind of uptight.

Her friend Dara tries to get her to open up, maybe even date a boy.

And Nina's ready to change. She's going to change herself and her Mom. But then Nina finds out her Dad is Gay. And that his boyfriend is going to move in with him!


Add your review of "Now That I Know" in comments!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jack


by A.M. Homes


Jack's 15. His folks are divorced.

Then, on a weekend trip with his Dad, Jack finds out his dad is Gay.

But Jack's plate is full enough - after all, he's dealing with dating. And driving lessons. And now he's supposed to deal with this?

It was also released with this cover:



Add your review of "Jack" in comments!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Is Simulated Oral Sex too much for night time TV? Or was it that it was GAY Simulated Oral Sex?


So a week ago Sunday, on the American Music Awards, Adam Lambert (Out Gay Rocker from American Idol's last season) performed a dressed S&M version of his new single, "For Your Entertainment."

He gyrated, led a dancer around by a leash, simulated oral sex with another male dancer, and kissed his male keyboardist. Oh, and he sang it like a rock star.

As you might expect, ABC got "flooded" with 1,500 complaints the next morning, much of it orchestrated by the Parents Television Council, whose Melissa Henson said their protest wasn't about Adam's gay kiss. It was about the simulated oral sex.


"The gender has nothing to do with it," Henson said. "It would be true if it had been a woman's face that was thrust into his crotch."

As for Adam, he said:

“People are scared and it’s really sad, I just wish people could open their minds up and enjoy things, it’s all for a laugh, it’s really not that big of a deal.”


Good Morning America canceled Adam's scheduled appearance last Wednesday in response, but Adam was picked up by its rival The Early Show on CBS.

So I ask you - Did Adam go too far? If it had been a girl dancer he "stimulated oral sex" with, would anyone have cared?

What about that Gay kiss? Do you buy that they didn't mind it? If so, was Adam a genius by making the issue the "simulated oral sex" and having everyone accept the gay kiss?

What do you think?

Talk about it with your GSA, or share your point of view with our virtual Gay-Straight Alliance, here in comments!


Adam's quote and the photo above are from here
.

Friday, November 27, 2009

"From Here To Eternity" Was a Whole Lot Gayer!

One of the most famous scenes in movie history, this passionate make-out session on the beach, is from the Hollywood version of "From Here To Eternity." Bert Lancaster and Deborah Kerr can't control themselves. Turns out, neither could some soldiers with other guys. But that didn't make the movie. Heck, much of it didn't make the book.

There's this incredible article by Kaylie Jones, over at The Daily Beast. Kaylie is the daughter of James Jones, who wrote the book From Here To Eternity. It was published in 1951, but Kaylie reveals in the article her father's battle with his publisher about a whole gay sex plotline, of soldiers having sex with men for money, and in one case, enjoying it.

You can click on the image in the article and see two of the actual pages where cuts were made, and still read the original type-written scene underneath the crossed out lines.

It's nothing more salacious than in any YA novel these days. But still, because it's Gay, there would probably be a furor over it, even Today.

And that's one of the more poignant moments of the article, because Kaylie says of her father,

He also believed also that homosexuality was a natural condition of men in close quarters, and that it in no way affected a soldier’s capabilities on the battlefield. What would have amazed him is that the discussion still continues to this day, cloaked in the same hypocrisy and silence as it was 60 years ago.


The story of her father's fight to keep some of the Gay content in what became an iconic historical novel is a powerful statement about censorship and our culture's lack of maturity and honesty when it comes to homosexuality.

We're still talking about Don't Ask Don't Tell.

And this just shows how antiquated and ridiculous that is.

Huge thanks to my twitter friends, @heatherwpetty and @EllenHopkinsYA for sharing this article with me, so I could share it with you. This is a great example of what makes twitter so powerful.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

There's this old prayer in the Jewish tradition, called the She-he-chi-ah-nu.

It's about being grateful. Taking a moment to acknowledge where you are in your life. To recognize the blessings you have, and not take them for granted.

My Maternal Grandmother used to say it every time she ate the first plum of the season.



I mean, you can walk by a pile of rocks. Or you can see the art in it, like the artist who stacked these at the beach the morning before I went walking there. I had to stop and look at it. Rocks were everywhere on the ground, but these rocks had a purpose. They made me stop and pay attention to the beauty all around me.

This Thanksgiving, amid all the feasting, and the feelings of guilt about having, uh... stolen this country from the Native Americans, and the shopping frenzy Corporate America and our Government seem to be hoping we all go on starting Friday morning, take a moment.

Think about some of the things that make you happy in your life. The people who make your days brighter. The music that makes you want to get up and dance. The art - or artful pile of rocks - that you find where you least expect it. The plums that get baked into pie.

And add a sense of gratitude to the holiday. And then share that good, happy, grateful thought with someone else. Someone you care about.

And maybe gratitude can be the emotion that travels the world over the next few days.
It would make for a nice change of pace.

I'll get us started: I'm grateful for my husband and daughter. And as soon as I finish writing this, I'm going to go tell them.

And I'm also grateful to you - for being part of this enormous virtual community that cares about empowering Gay Teens (and everyone else, too!)

Now it's your turn. What are you grateful for? Share that part of you with people you care about.

Happy Holiday, and Namaste,
Lee

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brazil Advertising For Children's Cereal Shows A Boy Playing With Barbie Dolls!

Check out this ad running in Brazil for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes (called "Sucrilhos" there.)



It's part of their Leo Burnett Brazil advertising campaign "The Important Thing Is To Be Healthy"

And while I agree with many who have qualified the tag-line before me "As healthy as you can be eating a sugary breakfast cereal every morning," (Nutritional data here),

I love the vision of kids just being themselves with no shame imposed on them.

The strict gender roles about what boys can do, wear, and play with still seem more rigid than those for girls. After all, girls wear pants, but you don't often see boys in skirts or dresses (and if you do, it's a BIG deal.)

This ad moves us forward. All of us.

And that's a great thing.

Our world is changing!

Namaste,
Lee

Thanks to Suzanne for the heads-up on this one!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Eagle Kite


By Paula Fox

Liam is a freshman in high school when he finds out his father is dying.

Of AIDS.

But beyond that, his Mom and Dad don't want to tell him much.

And Liam realizes his comfortable life is suddenly full of lies, and secrets, and loss...


"The Eagle Kite" was published as "A Gathering Darkness" in the U.K. Add your review of this novel in comments!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jon Stewart Adds A "Gay Watch" Segment to his show: Wrestler Mick Foley's Got 10 Year Old Gay Activist's Back!

Check out this amazing segment, with an interview of an idiot, an interview with one of my heroes, and a Pro Wrestler vowing to kick some homophobic butt!



The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
colspan='2'Gaywatch - Peter Vadala & William Phillips
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


And when you've stopped laughing, discuss...

Namaste,
Lee

My thanks to Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, for keeping it Real (and funny!), and to Andy Towle of Towleroad for getting this clip out there!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two Gay Teens MURDERED in the last week: Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado & Jason Mattison Jr. We have to STOP this anti-gay violence!


Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, left, and Jason Mattison Jr.
Jorge was murdered in Puerto Rico. He was 19. He wanted to be a fashion designer. He was well known in the gay community of Puerto Rico, and "very loved."

"The police agent that is handling this case said on a public televised statement that 'people who lead this type of lifestyle need to be aware that this will happen.' As If the boy murdered (Jorge Steven Lopez) was asking to get killed."

Jason was murdered in Baltimore. He was 15. A Sophmore in High School. He was out, gay, popular, and flamboyant.

Their murders were violent, horrible, nightmare-inducing.

We have the Matthew Shepherd and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act as the Law of this country, and yet this homophobic violence has not stopped.

There's been talk of how these murders haven't gotten the type of national media attention Matthew Shepherd's murder did - and discussion about whether that's because the victims this time round were Latino and Black.

But the blood of all these murdered gay teens is the same color. As is yours. As is mine.

"WE MUST FUNNEL OUR SADNESS INTO AN OUTPOURING OF RIGHTEOUS OUTRAGE."

That quote is from an e-mail calling for vigils around the country to stand up and say NO MORE!

There are a number of candlelight vigils happening this Sunday Nov 22.

In Oakland

In Los Angeles

In New York City

In Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

But even if you can't attend one, light a candle in your heart. Kindle the fire of your commitment to CHANGE our world. To make it a safer place to grow up, and BE yourself. To be Gay.

We need the anti-gay murders to STOP.

No more!

Shout it with me:

NO MORE!

Now let's go out and change this world of ours!

And remember,

Our Love is stronger than their hate.


My thanks to Mayra Lazara Dole who gave me the heads-up, and Andy Towle at Towleroad who got the word out about this.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Absolute Brightness

By James Lecesne

Phoebe's cousin Leonard is 13. And he's OUT. Gay. Flamboyant. Weird.

So when he comes to stay with them in small town New Jersey, 15 year old Phoebe's not thrilled.

And just Leonard has won most of the town over... he disappears.

Everyone else assumes he ran away. But Phoebe can't let go. She has to find out what happened to him, and why.


Cool fact about the author: James' short film "Trevor" won an Academy Award. He also co-founded the Trevor Helpline, a 24-hour suicide-prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning teens.

There's a review of "Absolute Brightness" by Daisy Porter here. Add your review of this book in comments!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Twilight Gods


By Hayden Thorne

A Coming Out/Historical/Ghost story!

London. 1851.

Norris Woodhead is 15. His family is poor.

And then, one day, Norris notices shadows moving in the streets. They're moving independently of the people around them.

And he understands. They are ghosts.

But no one else can see them.

With the help of the strange widow who rents a room in his family's house, Norris comes to terms with the shadow's secrets. And his own.


Add your review of "The Twilight Gods" in comments!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Uncle Bobby's Wedding


By Sarah Brannen

Chloe's worried that when her Uncle Bobby gets married, she won't be his favorite person... er... guinea pig any more.

As she hangs out with Uncle Bobby and his boyfriend, the man... er... guy guinea pig he's going to marry, Chloe starts to think it might be cool to have TWO uncles that she gets to do special things with.

She even gets to be their flower girl!


"Uncle Bobby's Wedding" was the #8 most challenged book in the U.S.A. last year - and the entire reason it's been challenged so much is that the wedding is between two guys... er... guy guinea pigs.


That "homosexual" content that so many people protested and said makes it unsuited to the age group is the very reason why this book makes my list of "Picture Books I Wish Had Been Read To Me When I Was A Little Kid." It would have made me see the world more fairly. It would have expanded my view of what was possible. It would have made me feel so included, to see in a book what I dreamed: I could grow up and find love with another guy, and get married.

I'm so glad kids can grow up reading this today (at least where it hasn't been banned!)

Oh, and check out this interview with the author discussing her book being challenged, as part of my banned books week "So Your Book Has Been Challenged" Author Roundtable.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Power Of A Ten Year Old: A GSA Monday Inspiration

I think a lot of the frustrating part about being a kid, and about being a Teen, is the sense of being disempowered.

There are all these HUGE issues going on in the world around you, and yet, what can you really do to help solve them? Adults rarely listen to kids, and all too often dismiss an idea not based on its merits, but instead on whose idea it is.

A great example of this is the study that showed a birds eye view of how people in a museum didn't walk from painting to painting, instead they walked from label to label. As if it were more important for them to know WHO painted it rather than WHAT they painted. They wanted to see if it was a Van Gogh, or a famous artist's work, rather than simply looking at each painting and judging it for themselves.

And on top of that frustration of feeling not heard, if you're under 18 you can't vote yet. For many Teens, and I remember this feeling vividly, it can feel like all you can do is wait until you're older until you can join in the game of life.

But that's completely bull-you-know-what.

Let's say you're 10 years old. You're in 5th grade. And you think it's unfair that Gay people don't have full legal equality in the USA.

You can't vote for Gay equality.

You don't really have your own money to donate to the fight for Gay equality.

What can you do?

Well, look at what Will Phillips is doing.

Will is 10 years old. In 5th grade. And he's refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag in school, as long as Gay people in the USA don't have legal equality. Here's what Will said in an interview:

"I really don't feel that there's currently liberty and justice for all."


People are talking about what Will is doing - and not just in West Fork, Arkansas. Will's stand has made people all over the country take another look at how our pledge's promise of

"...liberty and justice for all."


has not yet been delivered. That we GLBTQ Americans don't have liberty and justice for us.

Will's getting some flak for his stand, with students calling him names (including those that label him 'gay') but there are also a lot of people who are proud of him. Like me.

In fact, I'm completely inspired by him. And the power of a 10 year old.


I love this image, the American flag on the 41 cent stamp,
and how it says "USA First-Class."
Because when it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance,
when it comes to what our country stands for,
I don't think ANY American should be second-class.
I think we should ALL be First-Class Citizens.



Back in May I wrote about another kid who inspires me. Ethan is a 3rd grader who put together a rally of hundreds of people to support Gay marriage.

So Will took a personal stand.

Ethan organized a rally.

What are other ways kids and teens can harness their power to weigh in on the issues of our day? Leave your ideas and inspirations in comments!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Conservatives call for a Boycott of Scholastic's Book Fairs & Book Club Catalog because of the Lesbian Moms in "Luv Ya Bunches"

I'd say it was hard to believe, but then, it's really not.

As reported in School Library Journal, The conservative Illinois Family Institute is calling for a boycott of Scholastic's Book Fairs and Book Club Catalog because the company is including the elementary level book "Love Ya Bunches" by Lauren Myracle in its middle school book fairs and in its catalog.

Why? Because one of the book's four main characters has two moms.



The IFI is urging parents to call and email Scholastic to inform them

"that as long as they are carrying books that affirm homosexuality as moral, you will not purchase books from them."


And so Scholastic has what it initially feared. But from both sides.

We Liberals are upset with them that they tried to censor the book in the first place, and then tried to mollify us by saying they'd include the book with the lesbian moms intact in some of their fairs (only not for the target age range.)

Conservatives are upset that Scholastic is carrying the book anywhere with the two mom characters intact.

And here is where it gets to be such a wonderful opportunity for Scholastic to STAND UP FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE, rather than simply being reactive to angry protests from one side or the other.

At the end of the day, it's all about character. And I don't mean the two mom characters. I mean the character of Scholastic as an organization.

What do they stand for?

If Scholastic supports freedom of expression, and author's rights, and the reality of hundreds of thousands of children being raised by Gay parents, they'll stand by the book - conservative boycott or not. I hope they do.

It will be interesting to see what Scholastic does next.


(And if I can suggest: an apology for asking for the de-gaying, as part of a statement of support for the Gay Parenting community, would be a wonderful first step.)


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The World's A Stage


By Gail Sterling

Orphaned young, William is taken in by a company of actors in Elizabethan London. Since women are forbidden on stage, William plays the girl parts.

But now he's growing out of being able to play those roles... and growing into something less professional (and more romantic) with his co-star, Jack.

But, just like Lysander says in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream,"

"The course of true love never did run smooth"


Because to complicate matters with Jack, William has to deal with the return of a sister who needs him, and the mysterious (and intriguing) son of Lord Evering, the company's patron.


Thanks to Erastes for the recommendation! Add your review of "The World's A Stage" in comments!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Out of the Shadows

By Sue Hines

Australia. High School. Rowanna (Ro) is 16, and her Mom was a lesbian. After her Mom got killed by a drunk driver, Ro has had to live with her Mom's partner - who she's spent years hating.

Ro's best friend at school is Mark, and when the new girl, Jodie, comes into their lives, Mark completely falls for her.

Only... Jodie falls in love with Ro!


"Out of the Shadows" won the 1998 Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature.

Add your review in comments!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Today is National Mix It Up Day! So Mix It Up! In School. At Lunch. In What You Read...

So there's this cool project of the Teaching Tolerance organization called "Mix It Up," happening Today.

This video is from last year, but it's awesome:




The idea is that kids tend to sit with the same friends, in the same cliques, day after day. And that schools, and by extension, kid's lives, are "hotbeds of exclusion."

But Today, "Mix It Up at Lunch Day," kids are challenged to go outside of their usual patterns. To sit with different kids. To eat lunch at a different table. To go beyond their normal "group" of friends. Over 2,800 schools are participating with Mix-It-Up events and activities.

I think it's a great idea, and I'd like to suggest we take the challenge one step further. Let's mix up what we READ, too.

So many of the stories of our culture are majority stories - so I challenge you to choose a story about someone of a background you don't really know much about. Read a book you wouldn't normally choose.

If you're straight, read a great Gay book (there are lots to choose from, check out the lists in the left hand side-bar of this blog!)

If you're Caucasian, how about reading "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian?")

If you're thin, how about reading "Fat Kid Rules The World?"

If you're a girl, read a "boy" book.

If you're a boy, read a "girl" book.

Get the idea?

Let's all Mix It Up.

Because the more we know people we think of as "other," the more we can see our shared humanity. And the more we see how much we share, the better world we can all create.

It's National Mix It Up Day. How are YOU going to mix it up?

Namaste,
Lee

Monday, November 9, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: Mattel's newest doll is "Sugar Daddy Ken!"

So it turns out that Barbie, the iconic toy, has a new Palm Beach edition coming OUT (get it?) and among them is her friend Ken. Sugar Daddy Ken. Here he is, in his
"dashing jacquard-patterned jacket with a light pink polo shirt and crisp white pants."




Okay, technically, Mattel has called the new doll "Sugar's Daddy Ken" (Sugar being, I suppose, the dog.)

The doll is sold for $81.99 which means it's pretty much for collectors. And while I have to admit that it's pretty GAY GAY GAY, it does make me think.

Why not? Why shouldn't there be the "Gay" Ken doll? Just like kids have always been able to pretend that their leather jacketed, two-toned hair Ken and their muscle-bound G.I. Joe doll were having a Happily-Ever-After romance, I suppose kids could pretend that Sugar's Daddy Ken is... um... a meterosexual. A very swankily dressed, tanned straight guy, in love with Barbie. Not with her wardrobe. Or with her hair. With Barbie.

Yeah. Sure.

While it's fun to come up with ideas for what the next Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and Queer Ken and Barbie dolls might be, (Dykes On Bikes Barbie, anyone?) I wonder if these kinds of iconic pieces of plastic reinforce stereotypes that we might be better off without.

At least Sugar's Daddy Ken doesn't have custom bendable wrists.

Does being "included" in this way - as an iconic child's toy that screams "GAY!" - move us forward, or backwards? What do you think?

Namaste,
Lee

Friday, November 6, 2009

Progress And Pressure: The Mechanics Of Winning Gay Rights. Lessons From Scholastic, Maine, And President Obama.

Three recent events have really highlighted for me the mechanics behind how things change. In particular, how we achieve Gay Equality and Rights.

Scholastic's De-Gaying.

Maine's De-Marriaging.

And President Obama's D...well, "D" for Disappointing.

Scholastic's De-Gaying



Scholastic was caught asking "Luv Ya Bunches" author Lauren Myracle to change the two mom parents of a character in the book to a one-mom-one-dad family, in order to have her book included in their book fairs. When the author refused (Go, Lauren!) they told her they wouldn't carry her book in their fairs. When School Library Journal reported on this episode of censorship on October 21, 2009, there was a lot of pressure and complaint letters and a petition with over 4,000 signatures in just a few days... in short, a heap of bad publicity - and Scholastic responded.

Scholastic told the world they won't judge a book based on character's sexuality. But to this date they have not admitted that they were in error in requesting the de-gaying of the book. Nor have they apologized.

Scholastic also said that they would carry the book in their middle school book fairs.

In response to this, many progressive voices inside and outside of the gay community declared victory. However, no one (except School Library Journal, thank you!) seemed to notice that "Luv Ya Bunches" is a book about 5th grade girls, and it should be carried in the elementary school book fairs.

And yet, the letter writing stopped. The petition stopped collecting signatures. The "storm" of bad publicity passed...

and progress on achieving our Gay equality stopped.

Moving forward, I'm sure Scholastic will be more careful with what changes they request of authors in order to accept their books into their school book fairs.

But I wish Scholastic had gone the full distance on this. Publicly apologize to the author and to our community. And carry the book with lesbian moms for 9-13 year olds with all the other books for 9-13 year olds - in their Elementary School Book Fairs.

I think the reason they didn't go the full distance was that the pressure stopped. The fire seemed mostly out, and it seems they're just trying to move on and hope everyone forgets it happened.

The problem is, there's unfinished business. And Scholastic needs to find the courage (or feel the pressure) to finish it.


Maine's De-Marriaging.



On Tuesday, Maine voters decided that their legislature was wrong in passing a law that allowed Gay men and Lesbians to marry. 53% of Maine voters decided that Gay people should not be allowed the right to civil marriage. It's the 31st time a state has voted that. Millions of dollars are being spent, on both sides, in this continual assertion - state by state - that somehow, in this one instance, the majority should decide on the rights of a minority.

But without the grass roots pressure, without the millions of dollars to get our voices heard, and without the untold number of people standing up and talking about what it means to be denied your rights because of who you love, we would have lost it... even worse.

Every time, with Prop 8 in California, and with Tuesday's vote in Maine, we seem to be closer and closer to a majority who "approve" of our rights (I can't even begin to convey how much that very premise rankles...), and it's not because we're sitting back passively. It's because we're showing courage. Those of us who are in Gay and Lesbian relationships are standing up and demanding our rights - and our friends and families and fair-minded allies are often standing and marching and canvassing with us.

Without that effort... it's clear that we'd have even less rights than we do today.


President Obama is Disappointing.


Looking through my files I found this image from the day after Obama was elected President. I remember I felt so much hope...


From having President Obama choose anti-Gay Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration to his allowing servicemember after servicemember to be discharged under Don't Ask Don't Tell when he has had the power to stop it from the minute he took the oath of office, our newest President has shown us that while he talks the talk (and the talk is amazing) when it comes to walking the walk, pressure (and political cover) seem necessary.

Happily, President Obama signed the Hate Crimes Law.

And yet, President Obama seems so interested in building consensus for everything he does that it seems to preclude him from acting without it. We see that plainly in the Health Care reform (I was going to write "process" but I'm going to try to be more accurate and call it a "mess.") Democrats are falling all over themselves to compromise away everything that would truly reform the system - like a single payer option - all to appease the Republican minority who won't vote for it anyway.

This systemic lack of LEADERSHIP by our President and by the Democrats who are - at least by the numbers - in charge of both the House and Senate, leaves the Gay community and our allies frustrated that our elected leaders are not standing up for us. That President Obama is not being PROACTIVE in making the changes he promised to make. Where's the courage of his convictions?

Defense Of Marriage Act? Still the law of the land. My legal California marriage isn't recognized by the federal government.

Don't Ask Don't Tell? Still the law of the land. It basically says that you can be gay and in the military, but you have to lie about it. But of course, no one wants someone who they have to trust with their life to lie to them. Honor and all that. So these soldiers are honest. And then they get fired. At the rate of Two PER DAY! President Obama has let hundreds of valiant Americans be FIRED for being honest about who they love. That's shameful, and so disappointing.

"Every civil rights battle in the past 60 years has been fueled by strong presidential leadership," said former U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant David Hall, one of the Cook v. Gates plaintiffs seeking reinstatement. "And that same leadership is also needed now to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly. It's time the President begins fulfilling his campaign promise by publicly endorsing HR 1283 and working with Congress to find the votes."

The Employment Non Discrimination Act? Still NOT the law of the land. Yesterday they started discussing it (hearings, again) in Congress. Until it passes,

In 29 states, it's legal to fire someone because they're lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 38 states, it's legal to fire someone for being transgender.



You can have marches on Washington, but marching on a non-business day where pretty much anyone can ignore the march if they want to doesn't really apply PRESSURE for change. And the latest gay rights march on Washington did not create change.

So where does Progress, especially in moving Gay rights forward, come from?

In the case of Scholastic, it was Pressure from bad publicity (and being shamed.)

In the case of Maine, even though we lost, we were close because of Courage. People coming out - not being ashamed - and sharing their stories... but maybe not enough of us.

In the case of President Obama, it seems he'll act when there's a consensus-delivered bill on his desk... but how can we get him to be the "fierce advocate" for Gay rights he promised us he'd be?

In case after case, it all seems to boil down to this. If we want people, or companies, or governments to change, we need them to either:

Find the courage. Or feel the Pressure.

I don't have all the answers.

But I think the questions are good ones to examine.

How do we encourage courage?
What forms of pressure actually result in progress?
Where's the line between pressure that works and pressure that alienates?


It's a discussion we really need to have, as individuals, and as a community.

What do you think?


Namaste,
Lee

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Boy In The Dress


By David Walliams

Dennis is 12.

He's a star soccer player.

Oh, and he likes wearing dresses.

One day, he wears a dress to school...


This book has been nominated for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, which honors the funniest books for children.

Add your review of "The Boy In the Dress" in comments!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gay Fantasy Bookshelf (Teen Sci Fi and Fantasy Books with GLBTQ Characters and Themes!)


These awesome symbols actually stand for, from top to bottom: Gay Humans, Gay Aliens, and Gay Robots. It's from the wikipedia page on Gay speculative fiction here.

Fantasy is arguably my favorite genre (see my article here in Crossed Genres Magazine for why) and I've long wished that there were stories I could have read when I was a Gay Teen that included a reflection of me.

One of things I love best about doing this blog is that I've discovered so many Teen books with GLBTQ characters and themes - and I'm always a little extra excited when I get to share the Gay Sci Fi and Fantasy ones with you.

But with over 400 books on this blog, it can be hard to find the ones that you absolutely MUST read ASAP! So, taking a page from bookstores and libraries who sometimes re-organize their titles to showcase a particular collection, here's a fun take on our GLBTQ Teen Book Collection:

THE GAY FANTASY BOOKSHELF!

Each book listed links to its original post with synopsis and reader reviews...

Superheroes! (Hero, Masks: Rise of Heroes, Masks: Evolution, Masks: Ordinary Champions, Curse of Arachnaman, Ultimate X-Men, So Super Duper, Gotham Central Vol. 2 - Batman , Not Your Sidekick)

Ghosts and Witches! (Banshee, Vintage, Behind You, The Skull of Truth, Tripping To Somewhere)

Magical Realism! (Boy Meets Boy, Cycler, Fly On The Wall: How One Girl Saw Everything, Every Day)

High Fantasy! (The Emperor's Library: The Flight From Kar, Tritargon, The Game, Kirith Kirin, Of Fire And Stars)

Fantasy Worlds of Magic & Telepaths & Mages! (Carry OnHeart Sense, Heart Song, Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise, Magic's Price, The Tenth Man, The Will of the Empress,
The Obsidian Man, The Legend of Becka Cooper Series (Terrier, Bloodhound and Mastiff, The Department of Magic series, Stray, Jacob, King of Portalia, The Kitsune Trilogy,

Fantasy World Heist (Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom)

Swords and Sorcery! (The Legend of Bold Riley)

Faerie! (Tithe, Ironside, Valiant, Troll or Derby, The Darkest Part of the Forest)

Fairies, Vampires, Witches (Charm School Graphique)

Dragons! (Eon: Dragoneye Reborn)

Steampunk Dragons! (Havemercy)

Werewolves! (The Frenzy - though the gay character isn't the werewolf, it's his best friend) and Hungry Ghost , Lunatic Fringe (college age lesbian werewolves) and Hungry Ghost (Lunatic Fringe's sequel) and Awakened )

Vampires! (Unnatural: An Archangel Academy Novel, Unwelcome - #2 in the series, and Unafraid #3)

Werewolves and Vampires! (Twice Bitten)

Werewolves and Vampires and Faeries and more... (The Mortal Instruments Series, City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels...)

Zombies and Werewolves and Vampires! (Smorgasbord)

Zombies (Toe Tag Riot)

More Paranormal Horror (Helleville, The Coldest Girl In Coldtown)

Dystopias! (A Strong and Sudden Thaw, Nightsiders (short stories), The Chaos, Obscura Burning, Blue Magic, OUT, The Culling, Diverse Energies (Anthology), The Culling , The Colony: Book 1: Rebellion and Book 2: Revolution, Superior, The Summer Prince, Replica, Lizard Radio)

Time Traveling To Save Earth From Apocalypse (The End)

Time Traveling and Psychics and Mayan Curses (Cursebusters!)

Time Traveling To The Past (Radiant Days, A Darkly Beating Heart)

All-Girl Worlds with Pixies, Spacecraft and Swashbuckling Sci-Fi (Goldenhead: Or Bodies Or Avatars, The Flight of the Silver Vixen)

Fairy Tales, Myths and Mythology Re-told (Ash, Huntress, The Dark Wife, In Stone: A Grotesque Faerie Tale, The Seventh Pleiade,

Historical Romance (Renfred's Masquerade, Rose and Spindle )

Urban Fantasy (Above)

Other Fantasy (Love in the Time of Global Warming, Pantomime, Shadowplay, Wollstone)

Historical Supernatural (Tiger Lily, Night Creatures)

Science Fiction/Fantasy (Outlander Leander series, The Melody of the Gears: His Brother's Keeper)

Science Fiction (Sunblood, Debris Dreams, Awakening (with multiple main characters of color!), Artifice, Willful Machines)

More Science Fiction... with a Bi Main Character! (Adaptation, Inheritance and Natural Selection and The Elected Series)

Bi Fantasy (sharing minds) Otherbound

Fantasy Adventure with Dæmons, Armored Talking Bears and Gay Angels (His Dark Materials: Northern Lights (a.k.a. The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass)

Pirate and Sea Monsters (The Abyss Surrounds Us and Edge of the Abyss)

A re-imagining (and even Gayer) Wizard of Oz, Over The Rainbow

A re-imagined Wonderland, Mad About The Hatter

Gods and Goddesses of Olympus (and their half-human kids!) House of Hades (part of Rick Riordan's NYTimes Bestselling series)

Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthologies (Kaleidoscope, Zombies vs. Unicorns)

If I missed any you know of, make sure to let me know in comments... and Happy Reading!

***List last updated May 2017***

Namaste,
Lee