Thursday, April 30, 2009

Down To The Bone


By Mayra Lazara Dole

I'm really excited about this Latina Teen Lesbian novel!!!

I couldn't improve on the great synopsis from the publisher:

Here's what it means to be a tortillera.

It means you're a girl who loves girls.

Which means you get kicked out of Catholic school faster than Mother Superior Sicko can say "immoral."

Which means your wacko Mami finds out.

Which means you're kicked to the curb with nowhere to go, and the love of your life is shipped off to Puerto Rico to marry a guy.

But this is Miami, and if you have a bighearted best friend and a loyal puppy at your side, and if your broken heart is still full of love, you just might land on your feet.

Mayra did a great interview with librarian KT Horning about her book - and they have both been kind enough to let me share an updated version of the interview with all of you - look for it next week!!!

Add your review of "Down To The Bone" in comments!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Josef Jaeger


By Jere' M. Fishback

Fact: For a time in Nazi Germany there were some very high ranking homosexuals.

From this kernel of history, Jere' creates "Josef Jaeger," a novel of historical fiction. Josef is a teen who after his mother's death is sent to live with his uncle, Ernst Roehm, the openly-homosexual chief of the Nazi brown shirts.

Josef thinks he’s found a father-figure in his uncle and a mentor in his uncle's lover - and when Roehm’s political connections land Josef a role in a propaganda movie, Josef’s sure he’s found the life he’s always wanted.

But while living in Berlin during the film’s production, Josef falls in love with a Jewish boy, David, and Josef begins questioning his uncle’s beliefs. Then he learns his mother's death may have been a murder by the SS - possibly on his uncle's orders!

Amid the chaos of the world around him, Josef needs to figure out who he trusts, and what he really believes in.

Add your review of "Josef Jaeger" in comments!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Blue Coyote


By Liza Ketchum

In this sequel to "Twelve Days in August," Alex goes to Los Angeles to try to find his lost friend, Tito.

He searches the worlds of surfers and tattoo shops to uncover the secrets of his friend's disappearance.

And while Alex races a canyon wildfire, he discovers that one of the mysteries he has to solve is who he is, inside.


Add your review of "Blue Coyote" in comments!

Monday, April 27, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: Gay Geography For Straight People - a new game!



I spent part of my Junior year in college abroad in France. Invariably, wherever I was, when I was talking to someone new in my grammatically "original" French, with my accent that I prided myself sounded "Parisian," it would come up in the conversation, mysteriously, that I was from America. "America?" They'd ask.

"Do you know Stephan B., he lives in Toronto?"


Um... well, it was the same continent.

I always felt a bit silly, but even today this happens a lot. You meet a new person, and you try to figure out how you might be connected. Who you might know in common.

It's like the 6 degrees of separation game, where the idea is that you can connect to ANYBODY on the whole planet in 6 steps or less. Like me to President Obama. I've never met him, but my friend and amazing author Jacqueline Woodson has. There. One degree of separation.

Okay, so Gay Geography for Straight people is a game where you try to figure out how someone is connected to anyone in the Gay (GLBTQAI) community. Try to help them realize that there is someone out there who is Gay, or Lesbian, or Bisexual, or Transgender, or Queer, or Gender Non-Conforming, or Questioning, or Allied, or Intersex that THEY CARE ABOUT.

For some people, the closest they're going to come is that their mother loves watching Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, and Ellen's a lesbian.

For others, they're going to realize that they DO have someone they know personally whom they care about that's part of our "rainbow" community. A sister. A grandfather. A cousin. A friend.

I bet that EVERYONE, if they're honest about it, has SOMEONE they care about that's part of the Gay community.

If Newt Gingrich can have a lesbian sister (Candace Gingrich), and Dick Cheney can have a lesbian daughter (Mary Cheney) and a granddaughter with lesbian moms, every single person at your school (students and faculty) has SOMEONE they care about who is GLBTQAI, too.

Now clearly from those last two examples, having someone you care about be part of the Gay community doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a supporter of Gay rights. But imagine the impact it would make if every single person in your school, or in our country, or in our world, had to stand up and say how they were connected to us:

"My brother John is gay. And I care about him."
"My second cousin Eden is gay. And I care about him."
"My little sister Suzy is gender non-conforming - a Tomboy. And I care about her."
"My friend's husband Brett is a cross-dresser. And I care about him."
"My friend Adam is questioning his orientation. And I care about him."
"My teacher Ms. Jackson is a lesbian. And I care about her."
"My grandmother Odetta is bisexual. She's awesome, and I care about her."
"My friend's father, Lee, is gay. I care about their family."

Imagine what that would be like.

The idea is to show that there really isn't such a line between "us" and "them."

Our world is really made up of "we."

Try out a game of Gay Geography in your GSA this week. And see where it takes you!

Namaste,
Lee

ps- I found the gay globe image here in this article on Gay life in Shanghai!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sappho celebrates LOVE - LESBIAN LOVE - and we celebrate with her for National Poetry Month!


Sappho Portrait from Pompeii

There are those who say
an array of horsemen,
and others of marching men,
and others of ships, is
the most beautiful thing on the dark earth.
But I say it is whatever one loves.

It is very easy
to show this to all:
for Helen,
by far the most beautiful of mortals,
left her husband
and sailed to Troy
giving no thought at all
to her child nor dear parents
but was led...
[by her love alone.]

Now, far away, Anactoria
comes to my mind.
For I would rather watch her
moving in her lovely way,
and see her face, flashing radiant,
then all the force of Lydian chariots
and their infantry in full display of arms.

(LP 16; Groden 7)


I found this poem on page 225 of "Myths and Mysteries of Same-Sex Love" by Christine Downing. Christine's commentary on this piece is really powerful. It reads, in part:

"Valuing personal love above heroic glory separates Sappho not only from the epic tradition but from her only important lyric predecessor, Archilochus. The first woman poet is the first poet to give love this central place. Though she takes the figure of Helen from the epic tradition, she refuses to castigate her as the woman who betrayed her husband. Rather, she honors her as a woman strong enough to be led by love, by her own feeling."


And I believe in this day it is being true to ourselves and our queer love that is OUR heroic glory.

For me, this poem is all about honoring our loves. Sappho, and her place as the "Tenth Muse" as Plato called her, is perhaps so famous due to this shift she pioneered, of daring to put love (including her own queer love) above all the other wonders of the world.

Truly a poem, and a woman, to celebrate!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Sweet In-Between: A Novel


By Sheri Reynolds

Kendra Kenny Lugo is 17 and her life is... complicated. Her mother's dead, her father's in jail, and she's living with her dad's girlfriend, Aunt Glo. She's afraid she's going to be kicked out, her "siblings" in this situation make things even more difficult, a local college girl is murdered, and Aunt Glo is addicted to pain-killers.

Oh, and Kendra has cut off all her hair and started binding herself up.

Call her Kenny.

Add your review of "The Sweet In-Between: A Novel" in comments!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On Being a "HOT" celebrity: If Kris Allen Can be Openly Married, why can't Adam Lambert be Openly Gay?

Once again American Idol (much as I love the show) allows us to look at the heterosexist machinery of FAME. And I'm not talking about Paula's comments about Kris shopping in the women's department - uh, Simon, I think she meant for SONGS, not for underwear. But thanks for taking it to that awkward place. Kudos to Kris for laughing it off! What I DO mean is this:



Kris Allen can be "HOT," even though the masses of women (and men who are Gay and Bi) in America know they can't have him. They want to believe that Kris is singing to them, and they fantasize they are the object of his affection. BUT HE'S NOT REALLY AVAILABLE.

So if Adam Lambert came out as GAY and talked about his boyfriend like Kris talks about his wife (not a lot, but enough to let everyone know what's what), what calamity would befall him?



Suddenly, I suppose, all the masses of women (and gay and bi men) in America would know they can't have him. They want to believe that Adam is singing to them, and they fantasize they are the object of his affection. BUT HE'S NOT REALLY AVAILABLE, EITHER.

What's the difference, exactly? So are women watching Kris thinking,


I'll make him leave his wife for me!


Is that much more realistic than watching an OUT and gay Adam and thinking,


I'll make him leave his boyfriend for me!


Is the disappointment of fans that Kris is unavailable different than the disappointment of fans that Adam is unavailable?

I'm sure I can't be the only one who's noticed the show's soft-pedal on Kris' wife. Heck, they're practically NEWLYWEDS, and it's not something that comes up a lot on the show. I'm thinking that's on purpose. They wouldn't want to ruin anyone's fantasy now, would they?

Would actually saying
"I'm Gay"

cost Adam the Title of "American Idol," because then people couldn't pretend they might someday get it on with him?

Doesn't this blow away the whole "reasoning" for why someone shouldn't come out on the show?

Or am I missing something here?

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Miss California LOSES the Miss USA Pageant because of her anti-same gender marriage answer. Go Perez Hilton!

Okay, this past Sunday night, April 19, 2009. The Miss USA Pageant - Live, from Las Vegas.

Perez Hilton, one of the judges, asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, who was arguably in the lead, whether or not she thinks every state should have same-sex marriage.

Listen to her answer, and why Perez thinks it cost her the crown, here. (The video is of Larry King's interview with Perez Hilton about what happened, hosted on Perez Hilton's site.)

Congratulations to the winner,


Miss USA 2009 Kristen Dalton, Miss North Carolina

Kristen had to answer a different question, but I hope she's learned that to be Miss USA, you had better represent ALL of the USA, and that includes us Gays!

It's fascinating how because of the controversy over her answer, Miss California is getting MORE attention in the news than the winner. How about a statement of support for the gay community, Kristen? You might just get a bit of your own thunder back!

your thoughts?

Namaste,
Lee

Monday, April 20, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: What's the opposite of Silence? How can YOUR GSA make your school a "safe" space for Gay Students?

If Friday was about Silence, What's the best way to effect change?

Here are 7 ideas to get you started:

1. Show the 7 minute (or even just the first 4 minutes) of the newsclip video about Carl Walker-Hoover's bullying-provoked suicide in your classes. Then talk about it.

2. Organize a short film screening during a lunch-hour. What movie would you want everyone to watch?

3. Put up posters around the school campus. What would they say?

4. Create an anonymous survey asking kids in your school what they'd say to a friend if the friend came out as gay to them, and then share the statistical results with the whole school.

5. Figure out what are penalties and consequences for bullying? How does your school not tolerate racial slurs but allow slurs based on perceived sexual orientation? See if that can be changed by talking to school administrators.

6. Bring in a speaker or a panel. Who would you choose? Someone with a personal connection to a student or the school, or someone famous?

7. How do you break down stereotypes? You can tackle them head-on. Pick one stereotype a week or a month and de-bunk it with reality. (Like the myth that "gay men are no good at sports" - and then giving the examples of Billy Bean (an out gay man who played Major League baseball) Esera Tuaolo (an out gay man who played in the National Football League) and John Amaechi (an out gay man who played in the National Basketball Association) and Matthew Mitcham (who won a gold medal for diving in the Olympics in 2008!)

Add your ideas for how to make your school a "safe" space for Gay (GLBTQA) students in comments, below!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Today is The National Day Of Silence. Remembering Carl Walker-Hoover.



The idea is to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.

I've often wondered if I agree with the premise of "The National Day Of Silence," for I feel that we, as individuals and as the Gay (GLBTQA) community are TOO silent most of the time.

But Today I see silence differently.

Carl Walker-Hoover, an 11 year old in 6th grade in Massachusetts, endured eight months of daily taunting and bullying and threats and slurs and being called "gay" at his school. Last monday, April 6th, 2009, he hung himself. He would have been 12 years old today.

Carl Walker-Hoover

Carl's story reminds us: we still have work to do.

Watch this news report to learn more:



So Today I'm going to have moments where I'll be silent in honor of Carl, and of Eric Mohat, and of Lawrence (Larry) King. I'll be silent to remember all those Teenagers and Kids that didn't make it through the gauntlet of their school years.

And EVERY OTHER DAY OF THE YEAR, to honor those same kids, I'm going to be LOUD AS HELL to make sure we change the culture of our world, so schools can be a safe place for every kid to grow up, no matter if they're Gay or Straight.

So join me in moments of silence today.

And join me in CHANGING THE WORLD tomorrow and every day after that!

Namaste,

Lee

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sixteen Candles


By Tia Williams

The drama and quest for fame continue in this sequel to Tia's "It Chicks."

What's hot? There's an episode of MTV's "My Super Sweet Sixteen" happening, and everyone wants a piece of the spotlight.

And Regina, the lesbian character, is back in this book as well. And she's on her own journey to come out...

Add your review of "Sixteen Candles" in comments!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's Taxing. A Eulogy for Two: The Loss of Los Angeles' Gay Bookstore "A Different Light," and a dream... And how to SAVE Independent Bookstores!


Los Angeles' "A Different Light" Bookstore, 2 weeks ago.


The sign in the window...

Los Angeles' Gay bookstore, "A Different Light," is dying. It is, in fact, already dead as an institution, and were the cliched machines of soap opera hospitals hooked up to monitor the store's heartbeat and breathing, we'd all hear a loud steady beeeeeeeeeep. No signal.

Sigh.

This makes me so sad.

As with any death, there are stages of grief to go through. There are questions to be asked. And a future to look forward to, armed with lessons hopefully learned and hope restored.

I'm sad. Angry. Disappointed.

Why couldn't the second largest city in the USA keep a single bookstore serving the Gay (GLBTQ) community vibrant and financially viable? Was there anything that could have been done to save it? Is there any hope for the remaining independent bookstores?

I feel the loss.

I think the biggest loss is for our community. A Different Light was one of the few places to go in West Hollywood and congregate that wasn't about drinking or dancing. It was a destination, and its loss further polarizes our community in this gigantic sprawling metropolis. How many places really cater to the whole GLBTQ community, and not just a specific letter of our alphabet soup?

For me personally, it's the loss of a dream. I've been to readings at the store (Like this amazing one I saw Alex Sanchez do), and I had always envisioned having my turn to do an author signing and reading from my book there. I'm sure, when my time comes, there will be SOME bookstores and places out there who would be enthusiastic about my doing an author signing and reading, but I'm sad that my local gay bookstore won't be around anymore for that milestone in my career.

What could have been done?

I wish, as opposed to the store leaning more and more heavily on the adult sexually oriented material, that it had taken a different tack into the prevailing winds. (Interestingly, I could never link to their website to send you, my readers, their way to buy the books I'm talking about because their site is so completely adult and sexually-oriented.) What if they had offered internet access and charged a small fee for it? Make it a cafe/bookstore? Hosted writing groups, and book clubs and events (like open mike nights) beyond the ones they had - truly make themselves a social and community gathering spot? Might they have been able to have classes there (they had a greeting card moment, they could have taught how to make your own cards, or hosted a class on blogging) - it was a great, safe environment to meet other GLBTQ people and our Allies and I wish they had been able to capitalize on that more. They could have stayed open past the clubs, become a 24 hour a day HUB of community and ideas. Poetry slams, Beatnik revivals, a calendar of events that would approach community building not like the non-profit Gay and Lesbian Community Center, but in a leaner, swifter, more dynamic and responsive style. A vision for a new kind of bookstore.

"A Different Light" did do some things right - they had funny t-shirts, fun music playing, and the store DID function for a time as an alternative gathering space - at one point even staying open until 11pm. But the overall vision didn't materialize.

And here's the bottom line, and why I'm blogging about this today, TAX day:
They couldn't make enough money to stay in business.


What A Different Light and many of the remaining, struggling independent bookstores are doing wrong is that they are trying to ignore the changing landscape of bookselling. They're trying to pretend that Amazon and other online ways for people to get most of the same books for less money and more conveniently delivered to their homes doesn't exist, or will go away...

Independent bookstores need to think about how they can make coming to their stores SO VALUABLE that the experience CAN'T be replaced by clicking a mouse.

It's all about the experience - now that purchasing the book has become a commodity, available at the lowest cost, the EXPERIENCE of the book - of hearing about it, listening to it read by the author, seeing the other books on the shelf next to it, buying it, reading it, discussing it in a group with others who have read it, talking about the issues it brings up, getting to know about the story behind the story, getting other recommendations for amazing books from people that are experts in what they carry... all of that becomes King.

But with no experience, A Different Light became just a few bare shelves, a handful of books on each one.

And I found myself walking in. Silently walking the large circle of the store. And walking out again. I hadn't purchased anything. Even though I saw one or two titles I've been meaning to read. It was just too sad. Too overwhelming.

In it's final clearance sale, A Different Light betrayed the very thing that might have saved it earlier. It commodified everything it was selling. And there was no sense of community.

I'm so sad at it's passing.

But I'm also hopeful that some kind of new renaissance of community spirit, of gathering around literature and books, can rise again. Maybe in coffeeshops like LA's Literati, or maybe here on the internet in some kind of virtual GSA meeting space, or somewhere real or virtual or both that I've yet to discover.

But I think there's a power in gathering around ideas, around stories. An undeniable power of experience, internalized and shared.

We had it around stone-age fires, long ago.

We used to have it in local and independent bookstores.

I wonder where it will go next. For as fantastic as the blogosphere and the internet are, there's no replacing BEING somewhere in person - meeting others who share your passions and affiliations, and witnessing these stories as a community.

So today, as we send in taxes, I offer this Eulogy for what's past. A store. A dream.

And I acknowledge a sense of Hope for what's to come. Stories will always be with us. And we, as humans, will always want to share those stories.

And someday, I'll have my reading and author signing at some great location - maybe a library. And I'll think about "A Different Light" in West Hollywood. And the reading that never happened there. And I know that moment, as much as I've dreamed of it, will hold a piece of this lost dream. A bittersweetness that will travel through time. The dream that can't come true anymore in exactly the way I'd envisioned.

But it will come true.

Thanks for letting me share.

Namaste,

Lee

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

#amazonfail - Amazon Goes Homophobic, then says it's a glitch. Or maybe it's a conspiracy AGAINST Amazon??? The Power of Bloggers and Twitter

Okay, here's the scoop:

Over this past weekend, Amazon Went Homophobic: They removed the rankings from MANY books with GLBTQ content, even children's & YA, saying the books were too "adult"

It actually started on Thursday, when suddenly all these authors of GLBTQ books discovered that their Amazon sales ranking had disappeared.

One author of a book featured on this blogsite, Mark Probst (who wrote "The Filly") contacted Amazon and was told that

In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.


(see the full story on Mark's blog, here)

Mark's book "The Filly" isn't "adult." It's a YA book with Gay characters. But for Amazon, their new "filter" excluded it!

Jane, over at the Dear Author blogsite has a great rundown of how this was shaking out, showing that some books, Like a Playboy Bunny Centerfold book (pornography) was NOT excluded, while "Heather Has Two Mommies" (a children's picture book), WAS excluded! Another great blow-by-blow with commentary is here at Hayden Thorne's blog.

Outraged like me?

Ben Rattay started an online petition to send a strong and clear message to Jeff Bezos (CEO, Amazon.com) and Amazon Customer Service!

I signed it here! And wrote them this letter:

Policies of giant companies like yours set the tone of our culture. Deeming ALL books with GLBTQ content as "adult" disenfranchises millions of children and Teenagers from seeing any reflection of their own GLBTQ lives - and robs them of a sense of hope. There are over 200 books on my blogsite, "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?" that are books with GLBTQ characters and themes written FOR Teens and children. Don't participate in a homophobia that helps keep these books in the dark. Please re-visit this new policy and prove that Amazon doesn't discriminate against the GLBTQ community!


People began twittering about this over the weekend with the tag #amazonfail and momentum built... Bloggers ran with it, newsgroups and listserves fired up, I got a bunch of emails from friends and colleagues (Thank you, Tricia and Greg and everyone else!) to let me know what was going on, and on Sunday critical mass seemed to have been reached...

Amazon, in a article in the online Publisher's Weekly that ran on Sunday, said that what had happened was a programming "glitch" and denied there being any new policy. Another statement came later, which you can read here on Wired's blog.

A new Twitter stream, #glitchmyass, started up, for those doubting the truth behind Amazon's denial.

When I searched Amazon Monday Morning, most of the egregious cases seeemed to have had their rankings restored (including "The Filly") yet there were others that still didn't have their rankings back.

WOW. The power of the net, of blogs, and of twitter. It's great to see how so many mobilized so fast to stop this in its tracks. The power we have as a community is impressive.

But there's a conspiracy theory here, saying that Amazon itself fell prey to an internet attack, designed to destroy the trust the Gay community had in the giant online retailer... (that some conservative group used a complaint loophole to target certain books and get Amazon's system to automatically de-list them since they'd passed a certain number of complaints that their content was too "adult." It's a fascinating theory, one that reveals another, darker, side to the power of the net.

What do YOU think happened? Was it a conspiracy? A Homophobic policy that backfired? Or just a "glitch?"

Monday, April 13, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: A 5 minute Poetry Challenge! Let's Celebrate National Poetry Month with a GLBTQ POEM of YOUR OWN!

Here's a fib I wrote for you, and yes, I only gave myself 5 minutes, too!

1/1/2/3/5/8/13

"Same
Sex
Marriage."
"Sex - Sex - Sex"
That's all people hear.
"Same Gender Marriage" lets them hear
"Commitment. Kids. Broken Dishwashers. And our Love, too."



(check out my friend Gregory K.'s amazing site for more fibs here!)

See if in your GSA meeting this week, you can have everyone write a poem for 5 minutes. Even if you don't share them aloud, taking the time to write and be creative can be really powerful! And remember, if the word "poetry" feels old and out of touch, every single SONG - including rap and hip-hop - is really a poem, set to music.

So go ahead, don't just celebrate other people's poems... BE A POET YOURSELF!

Go ahead and share YOUR fibs, haikus, sonnets, and all the rest in comments!

Fib structure for syllables per line:

1/1/2/3/5/8


Haiku structure for syllables per line:

5/7/5


Enjoy the poems!

Namaste,
Lee

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gay Poetry! Our GLBTQ Celebration of National Poetry Month Continues... with Steven Reigns and his heartachingly beautiful poem "100%"




Steven Reigns is a friend and one HECK of a poet. Here, to help us celebrate the GAY in National Poetry Month, is his poem, "100%"


100%

My grandfather pulls me aside,
shows me his cardigan,
baits me for a compliment.
I’m hooked.
I comply.
He tells me it is wool,
opens the right side, shows me the tag
100% virgin wool.
He brings out his charming smile,
“You know how hard it is to find a virgin these days.”
I laugh at his joke
and keep laughing as a reward to him
because I like that he has shared this with me.
I enjoy the role of grandson,
he is the only man who can take me there.
I fear my other relationships with men could end what we have together.
A man
whose 78-year-old body carries him through his weekly routine;
3 games of golf, 2 games of bocce ball,
and dancing on the ballroom floor.

His comment only to me,
his humor was not lost on his 20-year-old gay grandson.
He must know.
I’ve never said it;
I’ve never not said it.
The joke – universal.
Is that why he told it?

He had told me of times in the army,
his valued possession a photo of the green-eyed blond beauty with thin lips.
Who would become
his wife,
the mother of his children,
my grandmother.

He had told me of when he was 13 and understood why women were to be respected.
He saw a mare giving birth.
Stood there for hours
as blood, embryonic fluid, and water
poured out of her.
Finally a foal
and my grandfather was never the same.
“Stevearino, after that I never talked back to my mom, I always held the door for the ladies, I vowed to be a good husband. You see I realized that women create miracles.”

His life has been centered around women,
this is something we do not have in common.
We laughed over virgins
but thought of different ones.

My grandfather,
a man
who pats my head,
rubs my back,
kisses my cheek,
tells me he loves me,
and hopefully
isn’t ashamed that other men do the same.

WOW. I love poetry. I love gay poetry that speaks to me and speaks to who I was and who I am... I love this poem.

Steven's said that
"Some of the most powerful poems are mined from personal experience."
and I think he's proved that with "100%"

Thanks to Steven for letting me share this with all of you, and for being part of the celebration! (You can check out his website here!)

And for any of you lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area on April 15th, 2009, Steven's leading a free two hour "Poetry as Memoir" Workshop (for poetry enthusiasts to those who have never penned a poem before) at the West Hollywood Public Library! Here's some more info on that:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009 from 6-8 p.m.
West Hollywood Library
[in West Hollywood Park]
715 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Please call (310) 652-5340 for further information
It's sure to be amazing!

Keep celebrating Poetry...

Namaste,
Lee

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Twelve Days In August


By Liza Ketchum

Todd is 16 and on the soccer team.

But when soccer star Alex and his beautiful twin sister Rita move to town, suddenly Todd and his teammate Randy's positions on the squad are in danger.

So Randy starts a name calling campaign, trying to get everyone to call Alex a "fag" - so he'll quit the team.

As their team splits apart over which side people are on, Todd has to figure out what he's going to do. Does he join in, and save his spot on the team? Or does he do what is much harder... what is right?


Add your review of "Twelve Days in August" in comments!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Boy2Girl


By Terence Blacker

Sam is 13, newly orphaned, and moves to London to live with his aunt, uncle, and his cousin Matthew.

Sam's a tough guy, and immediately gets into trouble. So Matthew and his friends come up with an initiation "hazing" of sorts for Sam - he has to attend his new school AS A GIRL for the first week.

Sam does it, attending school as "Samantha" and fools everyone - teachers and students alike!

Suddenly, Samantha is heading for huge popularity as a liberated, everyone-wants-to-be-like-her young woman, and Sam - by pretending to be a girl who is on her way to becoming a woman - starts to learn how to be a boy growing up to be a man.



Add your review of "Boy2Girl" in comments!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dare Truth or Promise


By Paula Boock

Louie and Willa are both in High School in New Zealand, but besides that they don't have much in common.

Louie is doing great in school. She's a prefect, runs the comedy club, and is starring in the school's production of "Twelfth Night."

Kicked out of her last school, Willa just wants to finish High School and move on to her dream of becoming a chef.

But both girls' plans change when they meet and are instantly attracted - and they fall in love.

Willa's single Mom is accepting, but Louie is suddenly lying to her parents, and struggling to reconcile her faith and her feelings for Willa.

Will Willa and Louie find a happy ending? You'll have to read "Dare Truth or Promise" to find out!


Add your review of "Dare Truth or Promise" in comments!

Monday, April 6, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: Passover. Easter. Rebirth. Resurrection. Spring!


The air is changing.

Celebrations at this time of year fill the calendar from our pagan past to the organized religious pagentry of Jews and Christians today, from matzah to chocolate bunnies, all to ritualize and acknowledge that a new springtime is upon us.

What about each of us, inside?

How can we take the opportunity to celebrate this renewal for ourselves?

Each day is a new chance to be the person we truly want to be. A new chance to, as Mahatma Gandhi said, be the change we want to see in the world. A new chance to be authentic.

So while you're admiring the crocuses poking out of the snow, or smelling the shift in the air, or looking at the buds on the trees, or eating fried matzah, or hunting for those easter eggs...

Think about what makes it spring inside you?


As for me, I'm going to be trying something new here on this blog... (stay tuned, I'll be announcing it in May!)

How about you? It's Spring! How are YOU going to bloom?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gay Poetry! A Celebration of Poetry around the Kidlitosphere, and here, too! Sir Philip Sidney's "My True Love hath my heart, and I have his..."

It's April! That's National Poetry Month here in the USA, where we enjoy every excuse to celebrate things we already love.

There are some wonderful Childrens and Teen poetry celebrations happening around the Kidlitosphere that you should know about:

Check out Greg Pincus's 30 Poets/30 Days celebration at GottaBook. Greg's lined up some LUMINARIES in the world of children's poets, and will have a new, previously unpublished poem by some AMAZING poets every day of the month. It will be on my do-every-day-in-April list!

Also, Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect will be celebrating with Poetry Makers, 38 interviews with FAMOUS and FABULOUS children's poets throughout the month!!!

Facinatingly enough, there will be moments when you can read a new poem at Greg's site, and then read an interview with the author at Tricia's blog! How cool is that???

Anastasia Suen is launching a new blog, Pencil Talk, which invites students from K-12 to submit their own poems and she'll pick one a day to post on the Pencil Talk blog throughout the month of April.

And here, on a smaller scale but with no less enthusiasm, we'll be sharing some new and some classic Gay (GLBTQ) poems, a new one each Friday for the whole month of April. In fact, if you've written a Gay (GLBTQ) poem that you think would "click" with readers of this blog, add it in comments... and maybe YOUR poem will be one that gets featured here!

So, stay tuned, and get ready to dive into the language, the visions, and the raw, sparkling emotions of some wonderful poems...

Here's one to kick off our celebration, by Sir Philip Sidney:



'My true love hath my heart, and I have his..."

My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given.
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss:
There never was a better bargain driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one;
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
He loves my heart, for once it was his own;
I cherish his, because in me it bides.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still, methought, in me his hurt did smart;

Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss:
My true love hath my heart, and I have his.


As found on pg. 13 of "Gay Love Poetry," edited by Neil Powell.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ironside


By Holly Black

In the realm of faerie, Kaye declares her love - and in return is forced to go on a quest that seems impossible.

And Kaye soon discovers that she's battling Silarial, queen of the Seelie Court, for control of Roiben's throne.

Once again, Gay Teen Corny plays a major role as the faerie / human drama unfolds...


Thanks to Jacob for the recommendation. Add your review of "Ironside" in comments!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Project Sweet Life


By Brent Hartinger

Dave, Curtis and Victor are 15, and they've been told by their parents that they have to get summer jobs.

But, they're not particularly interested in working their summer away, so they come up with a bunch of get-rich-quick schemes...

like catching a bank robber.

and finding buried treasure.

There's some helpful gay uncles along the way, as the three friends try to figure out "Project Sweet Life."

Add your review of "Project Sweet Life" in comments!