Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Wonderland Holiday... See You In The New Year!

So we're arrived at the end of another calendar year of blogging: This is my 260th blog post in 2010, and "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?" just passed a quarter of a million readers! Thank you all!

I'll be taking a two week holiday from blogging, with time for us all to look back at some of the coolest posts of the year:

My "It Gets Better" video

My Speaker Visit to Palisades High School in California

The Rudolph the Gay Reindeer essay

A love letter to a banned book: "Annie On My Mind"

Was "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" racist?

Gay History with Tom Robinson's "Glad To Be Gay" at the Secret Policeman's Ball

Our First Summer Intern Hannah's completion of the GLBTQ Short Story Bookshelf

Back To High School: A letter from a High School Freshman

My SCBWI Team Blog interview with M.T. Anderson

The letter written by a Gay WWII veteran

Our week-long celebration of Queer poetry for April 2010, National Poetry month

And books, Books, BOOKS! (check out the lists on the left hand column of this blog - we're over 350 GLBTQ teen books!)

Taking a holiday also lets me (and all of us) regroup, recharge, and set our sights on the year ahead! 2011 is going to be AMAZING, with three incredible events just in January:

The Annual Comment Challenge

The launch of my new speaker visit website

The 2011 SCBWI Winter Conference in New York City!

I'm excited, and hope you are, too! So until January 3, 2011, I wish you all Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and Happy being YOU!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The End: Five Queer Kids Save The World

By Nora Olsen

Time Travel.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Teen Heroes.

Saving the World...

Here's the author talking about her debut novel:

Congratulations, Nora! It's exciting when a devoted reader of this blogsite becomes one of our featured authors!

And add your review of "The End" in comments!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Homophobia Smack-Down! A California High School's GSA and Their Varisty Flag Football Team Play A Game... And Help Change The World!

Here's a short video I made of the event:

My favorite moment of the game, outside watching all those teens dancing together, the jocks and the GSA-ers, was when a F.L.A.G. kid slipped during a play and fell to the grass. After the whistle blew, one of the varsity players hoisted him up with a smile. It was so natural. So friendly. So amazing.

They really all were playing for the same team!

Adam Waters (Crossroad School's GSA, or F.L.A.G., sponsor) and the F.L.A.G. club even had Adam Shankman and Jamal Sims, two nationally famous choreographers, come and prepare their players for the dance. Adam Shankman is a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, produced the Academy Awards this year, and recently directed the Rocky Horror episode of GLEE. Jamal Sims is another amazing choreographer who has worked on all the Step Up movies.

The event raised a lot of money for The Trevor Project, it built community, and for me, it gave me so much hope for the future.

I felt really honored to be there, and I'm so happy to get to share it with all of you.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aaron Huey's Remarkable TED Talk on America's Native Prisoners Of War

This is harrowing. Fascinating. So important.

Watch it.

Turns out, like GLBTQ history, Native People's histories until now have told by the winners. The majority. The oppressors.

The people that take the best part of the meat.

This is not the history I learned in school, but I'm glad I'm finally learning it now.

Who wrote the history you've learned?

Thanks to Pat Kahn for sharing this with me, so I could share it with you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Rudolph The Gay Reindeer - On Bullies, Forgiveness, and the Holidays

So Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer is a staple of the Christmas season here in the U.S.A. Written by Johnny Marks in 1949, the lyrics go:

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose
and if you ever saw it
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names
they never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

I've been thinking a lot about how Rudolph's red nose is really a stand-in for being gay, or being fat, or being Jewish, or being short, or Asian, or Black, or Latino... for being different.

So you have Rudolph, the Gay Reindeer, who was teased and bullied by all the other reindeer. Why? He was different. His difference was seen by the other reindeer as bad, and as a way to bond themselves - hold themselves up as better, "normal," reindeer.

They didn't let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Rudolph, exiled from the community of his peers, for being different. Alone with just the light from his nose. His Gay red nose.

But then, Christmas Eve is foggy, and Santa won't be able to fly to deliver toys to the children of the World. It's a problem for everyone, until...

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say,
"Rudolph with your nose so bright
Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"

Suddenly, Rudolph's very difference - that nose so shiny you would even say it glows - saves the day, and with the light of Rudolph's difference, Santa can see through the fog and the whole celebration of Christmas is saved.

Rudolph embraces the special gift of his difference and no longer sees it as a burden, but as a gift - and a gift not just for himself, but for the world.

That's the moment I want Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning teens to get to - that same moment that changed MY life forever - when I realized my being Gay, my being ME, wasn't a curse or a punishment or a burden, but a GIFT, and that I have so much to share with the world - not in spite of my difference, my being Gay, but BECAUSE of my being Gay, because of my shiny red nose!

What I struggle with are next lines,

Then how the reindeer loved him
and they shouted out in glee,
"Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer,
you'll go down in history!"

I'm still pissed off at those other reindeer. They only liked Rudolph once they saw how he could help them. If his light burned low, or changed color, and couldn't cut through fog anymore, and he couldn't save Christmas again, they'd probably tease him again. Or would they? Can reindeer really learn how to accept and celebrate differences? Can we?

Can we forgive bullies? Perhaps. But I can't forget they didn't like Rudolph until he proved useful.

Is that reindeer nature or human nature?

My wish for this holiday season, going into 2011, is that we all work to get to the place where we go beyond tolerance. Beyond acceptance. That we create a world where we celebrate our differences and as we go there, we GLBTQ Red Nosed reindeer will keep saving the world, one gift of ourselves at a time.

So sing along to the Gayest, most diversity-celebrating Christmas Song of All..

And celebrate YOUR own difference!

Here's the song from the closing credits of the awesome animated special - the song starts about 1:28 seconds in...

What do YOU think? Should Rudolph forgive his former reindeer tormentors? Did those other reindeer really change and learn something?

Namaste, Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Ten Year Old's Dream Comes True... In The Heights

This was inspiring. Enjoy...

If Nicholas' dream can come true, how about YOUR dream?


ps - thanks to my husband for sharing the video with me, and for helping me make my dreams come true!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In Keisha's Shadow - A Teen Lesbian Romance

By Sandra Barret

Tori's dumped by her high school girlfriend for not being out and proud enough.

She's eighteen and trying to deal with college, her mom, and the legacy of her dead sister, Keisha.

The only ways she can get through is by drinking, cutting, and riding her horse.

Then Ashley shows up at the stables, shaking Tori's world to the core.

Note: In Keisha's Shadow does go erotica.

My thanks to Nora for the recommendation - it's exciting to have a bi-racial main character in a lesbian teen romance! Please share your reviews of "In Keisha's Shadow" in comments.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Spirit of Community ROCKS! Readergirlz and First Book team up to help Teens get great books to read!

I do love those Readergirlz divas! Once again Readergirlz does an amazing community project - this time teaming up to deliver more than 125,000 new books to low-income teen readers! Among the three dozen choices donated by publishers are the P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast's "House Of Night" series, which has Gay Vampyres as part of the ensemble!

So, as the Readergirlz suggest,

"Get in touch with every group you can think of that works with young adults - schools, after-school programs, church youth groups, community centers, etc. - and let them know that these books are available now."

Organizations serving low-income Teens can register here.

And a tip of my virtual hat to First Book and Readergirlz - it's a great project. Thank you!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Friend Of Dorothy - A Gay Teen Comic Book Adventure!

By Brian Anderson

It's OZ, as in "The Wizard of Oz." Only gayer.

Here's Brian's summary, which is so awesome, I can't improve on it:

Visited by a sexy, shirtless Gorlindo the Good Witch, some evil, soul-eating Scrows (scarecrows), and a smarty-pants, rude dog named Dodo, Scott-John of Earth must accept the mantel of the "Friend of Dorothy," Oz's first every superhero champion, and save the world. No pressure or anything!

You can check out the free 8 page preview of "Friend of Dorothy" here. And once you've read the whole thing, add your review in comments!

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Article, "Blog Your Way From Hobby To Career" is published in Bruce Hale's amazing newsletter

I'm pretty excited. The incredible children's author (of Chet Gecko mystery fame), storyteller, and writing teacher Bruce Hale has this great monthly newsletter, and my article is the FEATURE of the November 2010 issue. Here's a teaser:


By Lee Wind

Ring. Ring.
"He-hello?" I stammer, having seen the New York area code on the
caller ID.
Can I speak with Lee Wind?
Heart pounding too loud to hear well, I switch the handset to my
other ear. "Speaking."
Lee, we love your book and- *record scratch*

Okay, that hasn't exactly happened to me. Yet.

But there is a line that I've managed to cross: from hoping to
someday be a writer to feeling like I am a professional writer
*today* - and having most people (including my tax guy) agree with
me on that.

I did it by blogging. Interested? Here's what you need to know:

Did I hook you? For the full article, sign up for Bruce's newsletter here!

And thank you, Bruce, for the platform and the opportunity!


Friday, December 3, 2010

GLBTQ Spirituality - I've Got 50 Blogs Posts For You To Check Out!

Tim Dalton compiled this list of 50 Very Insightful Posts on GLBTQ Spirituality.

There are some fascinating articles, including a Black lesbian's journey to convert to Judaism, a Transwoman's experience of taking communion, and a letter from a Hindu Gay Man.

Go browse, read, and look through fifty windows into the diversity of GLBTQ-Spirituality.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Secrets Of Truth And Beauty - A Teen Novel with a Homophobia Theme

By Megan Frazer

Dara is 17 and she's big. Really BIG.

Back when she was little, Dara won a pageant. But now she's struggling with a control-freak mother and the fact that she had an older sister who her parents tried to erase from their lives.

When her parents pull her out of school after a disastrous report she does for English on society's obsession with thinness, Dara realizes she can keep following the rules and being misunderstood, or she can finally reach out to the sister she's never met - a sister who lives on a collective goat farm in Massachusetts for queer teens and other kids rejected by their families.

Dara goes to spend the summer with her sister - and realizes she may have to let go of everything she's taken for granted in order to figure out who she really is, and what family really means.

Add your review of "Secrets of Truth and Beauty" in comments!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah - And Some GLBTQ Biblical Hidden History

Tonight's the first candle. But, what if you don't have a menorah on hand? No worries:

A Banana Menorah always works.

So does a granola menorah.

Candles will stick up in bowls of ice, or M&Ms, or even snow... hey, the possibilities are endless.

So have fun with it. And you can always make a Gay Pride rainbow out of the candles to have it to feel more GLBTQ.

Something else you can do to make the holiday feel a lot more Gay? Read about:

The Hidden GLBTQ History in the BIBLE!

Ancient Gay LOVE Story Discovered: David and Jonathan

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor... DRESS? Cross-Dressing in the Bible


The Homoerotic (and Naked!) Ecstacy of the Prophets of Ancient Israel


More Biblical Homoeroticism: The Prophet Elisha and his Resurrection of a boy/youth


Even More Biblical Homoeroticism: The Love Story (and Lesbian Marriage!) of Ruth and Naomi


Ruth and Naomi - What Happened Next to our Favorite Biblical Lesbians?

Happy Hanukkah, and Namaste,