Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cat Girl's Day Off - A Mystery with a teen who talks to cats and her gay friend

Cat Girl's Day Off by Kimberly Pauley

16-year-old Nat Ng comes from a super-Talented family. Her Class D (“as in dumb”) Talent of talking to cats is something she’d rather hide, but when a celebrity blogger is attacked by her own cat, Nat and her friends might be the only ones who can solve the mystery, and perhaps even prevent a murder. 

What's queer about it?  Nat's best friend Oscar, who pushes her to get involved and helps her solve the crime, is gay.

Add your review of "Cat Girl's Day Off" in comments!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In Her Skin - A Transgender Teen Novel

In Her Skin by Trina Sotira

Tirzah would do anything to cover up her girl body: duct taping her chest, dressing like a guy at the skate park, even changing her name. But two things are holding her back from transitioning into an all-male body: her best friend Heidi and a full-ride soccer scholarship. And when Heidi's family disapproves of Tirzah's transition into Troy, Heidi disappears.

This book was published by the author.  Add your review of "In Her Skin" in comments!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Donorboy: A Novel - A teen had two moms who died and now she's going to live with the sperm donor who gave her half her DNA (and nothing else!)

Donorboy: A Novel by Brendan Halpin
It's a story told entirely through e-mail, instant messaging, journal entries, and other random communications...

Rosalind had two mommies. Now, thanks to a tragic accident involving foodstuffs, she has none. And Sean, the sperm donor responsible for half her DNA (and nothing else), is taking custody. Rosalind finds herself adjusting to a new life that seems both hateful and surreal–she’s an orphan with a new father, surrounded by friends she is beginning to despise and well-meaning adults who succeed only in annoying her.

Sean made a donation fifteen years ago, and his life since has not gone according to plan. Thirty-five, single, and still grieving the loss of his own mother twenty-seven years ago, he decides to take on the overwhelming task of caring for an unhappy teenager he doesn’t know.

Add your review of "Donorboy: A Novel" in comments!

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Point Foundation Offers Scholarships and Mentors for LGBTQ Students!

Last week I spoke with two Point Foundation scholars to find out more about the scholarship and mentoring program...

My thanks to Mary Susman and Jacob Rostovsky for sharing about their experiences and for being such great representatives of what it means to be a Point Scholar!

Find out more about The Point Foundation here. Oh, and Mary and Jacob said this is the perfect time to start planning for applying in November 2013!

Help spread the word, and good luck!


Friday, February 22, 2013

21 Great Gay (and Lesbian and Bi and Trans) Moments in Music

One of the fun things I got to do over my blogging holiday was catch up on articles and emails... here's a great one from 2012.  Billboard ran this article, "21 Great Gay Moments In Music."

I knew about Adam Lambert and Chely Wright and Tom Robinson and Madonna and Glee, but there were some surprises, like Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford being gay, and Enrique Iglesias' embrace of a gay fan, and this music video from back in 1995: Jill Sobule's "I Kissed a Girl" (long before Katy Perry!)

I Kissed a Girl
Jill Sobule | Myspace Music Videos

Any surprises in the article's list for you?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

In Your Room - A straight teen romance where the guy has two moms

In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg
Molly and Charlie have fallen head over heels in love, even though they've never met.

Molly is a fashion-conscious city girl in L.A. Charlie is an earthy, mountain-biking dude from Boulder, Colorado. Each of them has big plans with their respective friends for the summer, until they discover that their parents decided to swap houses!

Luckily there's no amount of homesickness that a bit of snooping can't cure. Charlie and Molly begin crawling under beds and poking around in closets to find out a little more about each other, and they like what they find.

Can Charlie and Molly's long-distance romance survive jealousy, misunderstandings and the thousand miles between them?

What's queer about it?  Charlie has two moms, and they were "one of the first 'planned' nontraditional families in Boulder," using a sperm bank in order to conceive him.

Add your review of "In Your Room" in comments!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Gendercast: Our Transmasculine Genderqueery - A Fantastic Podcast About Gender

Gendercast is a podcast exploration of gender and what is means to live in, challenge and exist beyond the binary. It is a conversation between all those who identify along the transmasculine spectrum and our allies and supporters. It is a commentary on our culture and a reflection on where we have come from and where we are headed. 

I listened to podcast #34 and as an ally to the trans and gender non-conforming community found it fascinating and very informative.

You can download Gendercast via itunes...just go to the itunes store and search Gendercast. Or you can download directly from their site.



Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Winter Garden and Other Stories - Fairy Tales for Gay Teens

The Winter Garden and Other Stories by Hayden Thorne

The Haunted Glade:

Rumors of mysterious music coming from the wood prompt a small group of adventurous young people from a tiny village to solve the puzzle of the haunted glade, not knowing that the music is meant only for one boy. Realizing this, the village potter tries to discover who is now marked by legend in hopes of helping him come to terms with his destiny.

Out of the Depths:

It has been a year since Konstancji’s lover passed away, but rather than move on with his life, Konstancji works obsessively on a statue, which is the means through which he hopes to bring his beloved back from the dead. “Out of the Depths” is a gothic retelling of the “Pygmallion” myth.

The Dollhouse:

A strange force is at work in a magnificent house filled with revelers. When midnight strikes to mark Christmas Day, guests find themselves in the wrong company. The answer to the riddle, however, is
simpler than they think.

The Winter Garden:

Nicholas’ fragile health forces him into a life of isolation in his family’s spacious and paradisial garden. His life changes when a bold young stranger not only befriends him but also dares to trespass into his quiet world. The boys’ friendship deepens, their connection strengthening in defiance of dangers posed by the winter on Nicholas’ health.

The Knight:

A dragon plagues a tiny kingdom ruled by a weak king and is pacified only through a monthly sacrifice of the kingdom’s young people. When Prince Caedmon’s lover falls victim to the dragon, an act of betrayal is discovered. The prince recklessly offers himself as sacrifice to balance the scales, but a knight appears and thwarts his plans.


Baltasar grows up in a world of absolutes, of black and white, right and wrong. In the countryside he stumbles across an enchanted land and its melancholy, ageless ruler -- a land full of color and magic, and a bond that defies everything he’s always known. "Erl-King" is a retelling of Goethe’s ballad by the same title.

Clouds' Illusions:

Five-year-old Simon, along with his parents and older sister Amy, go to a carnival one day. When a sudden deluge separates the family and leaves Simon alone and frightened, the child undergoes a journey of maturation as he searches for his parents and sister.

The Bridge:

Remy Pepin is orphaned, poor, and bullied by his employer. His only source of hope is a superstition about a lit candle sitting by a window, which is said to attract luck. Day after day, Remy lights his
candle and waits. One snowy evening, a boy appears at his doorstep, seeking shelter.

The Water-Irises:

Hugh LaCaille’s quiet, scholarly life is interrupted one day by a wealthy but obnoxious businessman who hires Hugh as a tutor to his young son, whom he wants to see grow up to be just as successful as
his father in commerce. When Hugh finally meets Aubin, he realizes there’s a great deal more than what meets the eye as far as the boy’s concerned ... particularly his curious and outlandish stories
involving a strange kingdom found at the bottom of a pond filled with water-irises.

Add your review of "The Winter Garden and Other Stories" in comments!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Forty To None Project - Cyndi Lauper's Campaign To End Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness

Ending Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness is wonderful project.  As Cyndi writes:

In our first five years, Forty to None will work to drive down the number of gay and transgender youth on the streets through a campaign that includes: education and awareness to raise the visibility of these young people and the direct service providers who work with them; advocacy at the state and federal levels; strengthening the network of services, advocates, community leaders and others working on the issue; training service providers to be more inclusive and understanding of the issues specifically affecting these kids; and empowering homeless gay and transgender youth themselves with valuable resources and information.

...There’s no shortage of organizations focused on ending homelessness or addressing the needs of homeless youth—but everything we’ve learned over the past year has made it clear that runaway and homeless gay and transgender youth are being left behind. These kids, even more than others, have not received the attention, resources and support that they so desperately need. There’s a void that needs to be filled. There are kids who are struggling and need real help, and my mission is to get them that help.  As I’ve said before—I can’t imagine any parent throwing a kid away. But when it happens, we need to make sure no kid is allowed to fall into a void. That’s why we started the Forty to None Project. Because I give a damn, and society should, too.

Check it out and get involved!

Friday, February 15, 2013

The WE DO Campaign: Standing Up For Marriage Equality in the American South

Watch this, it's very powerful:

Find out more about the Campaign for Southern Equality and the efforts being made to change the laws that in many states keep marriage for two men, and marriage for two women, out of reach.

This discrimination will change, but as the video says,

"People change, and laws change, and our country can change, but it never ever happens on its own."


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jacob, A High School Senior, Comes Out In A Speech... and it's posted to Youtube by his proud father!

This video is really lovely and encouraging, and it is a perfect Valentine's Day gift. Because really, in this life, the first person we need to love and respect is ourself!

I also love that Jacob's father loves him so much that he proudly shares this online!

The sound is a bit rough, so here's what Jacob says:

"So, I would like to thank everyone for voting me Class Actor.  Sure, I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly I've been acting every single day of my life.  You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not.  When most of you see me every day, you see me acting the part of "straight Jacob," when I'm in fact an LGBT teen.  (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender.)
Unlike millions of other LGBT teens who have had to act every day to avoid verbal harassment, physical violence, I'm not going to do it anymore.  It's time to end the hate in our society and accept the people for who they are regardless of their sex, race, orientation, or whatever else may be holding back love and friendship. So take me or leave me, or move me out of the way, because I am what I am, and that's how I'm going to act from now on."
Cheers from the crowd!


Happy Valentine's Day - may it be full of love and pride for you, too!


ps - My thanks to Karol for sharing this with me, so I could share it with you!

pps- There's a follow-up interview Jacob did on MSNBC, where they ridiculously get the acronym Jacob used wrong, thinking he said LGBTT, when he said "LGBT Teen."  But his explanation of WHY he identified as LGBT rather than gay or bisexual was really interesting.  You can watch that video here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Thunder In His Head - A Novel About A Gay African-American Teen

The Thunder In His Head by Gene Gant

Kyle Manning is a tall, strong, openly gay sixteen-year-old who makes decent grades and plays on his school's basketball team. He's a good kid who cares deeply about his family and friends. But his life is becoming a mess. His mom, Lela, has finally had enough of her husband Joe's serial cheating. Kyle's parents are headed for divorce, and the collapse of their marriage torments him. Divorcing parents is bad enough, but Kyle also has to deal with new people in his parents' lives. He likes Stephanie, his father's girlfriend, but he finds himself increasingly attracted to his mother's handsome boyfriend, Reece. Then he meets Dwight Varley, a buff, attractive athlete from another school who takes an instant liking to him. Having Dwight around doesn't solve all Kyle's problems, but it does make life more bearable. As their relationship develops, Dwight becomes a bright oasis in Kyle's harried life. But Dwight's life is more complicated than Kyle ever imagined, and just when things start to get better, Kyle discovers the truth about Dwight-and about his father.

Add your review of "The Thunder In His Head" in comments!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Obscura Burning - A Bi Sci Fi Thriller

Obscura Burning by Suzanne Van Rooyen

Kyle Wolfe's world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle's two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle's friends aren't all that dead anymore.

Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it's Shira who's alive...and now they're friends with benefits. Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he's not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He's pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents' marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world...

Add your review of "Obscura Burning" in comments!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Troll or Derby - Lesbian Crushes and Roller Derby and Fairies!

Troll or Derby by Red Tash

15-year-old Roller Deb is singled out by town bullies for both her skates, and her sexual orientation. When her popular homecoming queen of a sister is kidnapped by a scuzzy drug dealer, Deb must flee the trailer park in which she's grown up, and rescue her. Along the way, Deb becomes enmeshed in the magical realm of trolls and fairies, and the blood-thirsty version of roller derby at which these beings excel. But spending too much time among the fairies comes with a price. Will Deb choose to save her sister, with the aid of a mysterious troll? Or will she be lost to the lures of roller derby, and the blonde temptress April, forever?

This is a title published by the Author.  Add your review of "Troll or Derby" in comments!

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Michigan Middle School Teacher Is Suspended For Three Days For Playing This Growing Up Gay Song In Her Classroom

Susan Johnson says this song is exactly what she thinks her students need to hear - and yet instead of praising her, the South Lyon's Centennial Middle School suspended her for three days in November 2012!

Hear Susan explain what happened:
Fox 2 News Headlines

And watch the video of the Macklemore song - by the way, Susan didn't show the video, only let her student play the song...

And here's the artist Macklemore talking about why he wrote this song, and how he believes in GLBTQ equality:

Love the video, the artist's heart, the teacher's desire to help her students and make them all feel safe...

and so frustrated that the system in Michigan is still on the wrong side.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Have You Seen Me - A Gay/Bi Novella

Have You Seen Me by Katherine Scott Nelson
High School Seniors Chris and Vyv have always been close -- as the only two 'weird' kids in their small Midwestern town, they've often depended on each other to survive. But their friendship will be put to the test when Vyv runs away and continues to communicate with Chris in secret. All summer, as the search for Vyv mounts, Chris tries to avoid the pressure by working for Albert, an off-the-grid survivalist writer building an anarchist compound from an abandoned house and barn. But as Albert's plans for the future grow more apocalyptic, and Vyv's emails gradually become more terrifying, Chris will face the complete upheaval of everything he's ever known.

This title was a finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Awards in two categories - Debut Gay Fiction and Bisexual Fiction.

Add your review of "Have You Seen Me" in comments!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tiger Lily - A Transgender Teen Historical Supernatural Novel

Tiger Lily by K. Bird Lincoln

Lily isn't supposed to hunt game in the Daimyo's woods. It isn't her place to talk to nobility, and she definitely isn't supposed to sing forbidden Jindo songs.

But Lily was born in the year of the Tiger, and can't ever be like other village girls. In the woods snaring rabbits one day, she finds instead the Daimyo's son, Ashikaga, wounded. When the Pretender Emperor's men arrive to kill Ashikaga, Lily, desperate, sings a forbidden song.

The song wakes a powerful spirit - as well as Ashikaga's interest. The prickly lord has hidden secrets of his own and a burning desire to prove himself to his father. He will stop at nothing to defeat his father's greatest enemy.

All Lily wants to do is take care of her sisters. But the Pretender-Emperor's forces are drawing near, and now the Daimyo's son knows she communes with Jindo gods. Lily's heart is leading her down a dangerous path. She may have to defy her father, Ashikaga, and even the spirits themselves in order to defeat the Pretender-Emperor's magic and keep safe all that she loves.

What's queer about it?  There is a transgender twist in "Tiger Lily" - but I can't tell you exactly what it is without spoiling it!

This novel was published by the author.  Add your review of "Tiger Lily" in comments!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sunblood - a Gay Teen Sci Fi Novella

Sunblood by Maria Mora

Caleb, sub-citizen 45201, is a psychic slave in the massive biodome known as the City—the only civilized community left on his wasted planet. He can’t remember his life before he was taken to the City and experimented on by scientists trying to control his unusual gift.

Despite having no rights, Caleb’s life isn’t all that bad. His Keeper, Daniel, secretly allows him to play in the minds of the City’s inhabitants. Caleb likes Daniel—probably more than he should—and once in a while the cafeteria has some delicious cookies.

Caleb’s small freedoms don’t seem like all that much until even those are threatened. When Caleb is targeted by those who fear his powers, he discovers exactly how much he has to lose.

Add your review of "Sunblood" in comments!

Monday, February 4, 2013

On God's Campus: An Education Campaign To Connect the thousands of Queer Students at the more than 150 Christian Colleges that Discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

On God's Campus: Voices from the Queer Underground  is a very cool project.  Here's the gist, from their website:

Currently, over 500,000 students attend more than 150 Christian colleges that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ students and allies at these institutions face social isolation and a constant flow of negative messages concerning their identities. And yet, over the last few years, students and alumni are coming out of the closet in record numbers and are challenging their institutions.

On God’s Campus (OGC) is an education campaign featuring the voices of these students and alumni. Its goal is to foster Christian campus communities that respect and listen to their LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Each week, OGC will feature a new video of a current student, alumni, or faculty member from one of these institutions who will share their firsthand experiences and answer questions like: Why would an LGBTQ person attend (or stay at) a Christian college? How can someone be gay and a Christian? What can local churches do to help LGBTQ students on these campuses?

Here's a video (and a fundraising plea) from the project's founder, Paul Southwick, who attended a conservative Christian college himself as a gay student, and was sent to conversion therapy as a result:

Check it out!


Saturday, February 2, 2013

The 2013 ALA Youth Media BEST Queer Book Award!

The Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience, goes to...

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division!

Artistotle and Dante also won the Pura Belpré (Author) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience!

And it was named a Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book!

Four Stonewall Honor Books were also selected:

“Drama,” written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier and published by Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.;

“Gone, Gone, Gone,” written by Hannah Moskowitz and published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division;

“October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard,” written by Lesléa Newman and published by Candlewick Press; and

“Sparks: The Epic, Completely True Blue, (Almost) Holy Quest of Debbie,” written by S. J. Adams and published by Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.

I've read two out of five so far... and I can't wait to read the other three!

You can see the full list of all the 2013 ALA Youth Media Award Winners and Honorees here.


Friday, February 1, 2013

The 2013 ALA Rainbow List Is Announced! 49 Books with Queer Content are Recommended for Children and Teens!

The Rainbow Book List presents an annual bibliography of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content, which are recommended for people from birth through eighteen years of age.  This year's list includes 49 books from 31 publishers, and includes self-published titles, too.

Here are their top ten (in alphabetical order):

*Bigelow, Lisa Jenn.  Starting From Here.  2012.  292p.  Amazon Children’s Publishing, $16.99 (9780761462330).  Grades 9 & Up.

Colby can’t seem to get any love.  Her mom died a few years ago, her trucker dad is always on the road and her girlfriend just dumped her for a guy.  When she rescues a stray dog who has been hit by a car, Colby starts to piece her life together with lots of help from her friends.

*Cronn-Mills, Kirstin.  Beautiful Music for Ugly Children.  2012.  288p.  Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., $9.99 (9780738732510).  Grades 8 & Up.

Music geek Gabe has just come out to his family as transgender but is still known as Liz at school.  He uses his late night community radio show to try on his male identity and encourage listeners to explore their own “b side.”  Will the show’s growing popularity expose his secret?

*Danforth, Emily M.  The Miseducation of Cameron Post.  2012.  480p.  Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9780062020567).  Grades 9 & Up.

When Cam’s conservative aunt discovers her niece is a lesbian, she sends Cam to God’s Promise, a church camp that promises to “cure” young people of their homosexuality.  Cam’s engaging voice tells her story with wry humor, intelligence, and a strong sense of place in eastern Montana.

*King, A.S.  Ask the Passengers.  2012.  304p.  Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316194686).  Grades 9 & Up.

There’s only one thing Astrid Jones can do when a growing attraction to her co-worker Dee becomes too big and too confusing: send her love to airplane passengers flying overhead while she tries to figure out who she is down here on the ground.

*Lo, Malinda.  Adaptation.  2012.  400p.  Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316197960).  Grades 9 & Up.

Something strange has been going on with Reese Holloway since her car accident and her top secret medical treatment- but will she be allowed to figure it out, or will others take her apart to figure it out first?

*Miller, Madeline.  The Song of Achilles.  2012.  384p.  HarperCollins, $25.99 (9780062060617).  Grades 9 & Up.

Stirring and memorable, this novel is a reimagined retelling of the Homeric story of the love between Achilles and Patrocles.

*Moon, Sarah, editor.  The Letter Q:  Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves.  2012.  288p.  Scholastic, $17.99 (9780545399326).  Grades 6 & Up.

Looking back on what they wished they knew when they were younger, 64 of today’s award winning GLBTQ authors write and illustrate letters to their former selves in a way to reach out to those who are in the shoes they once filled.

*Rice-Gonzalez, Charles.  Chulito:  a Novel.  2011.  275p.  Magnus Books, $14.95 (9781936833030).  Grades 10 & Up.

After sharing a secret with his best friend, a Latino teen’s ideas about what it really means to be a man are challenged.  Should he play ‘straight’ and keep his standing among his peers in the neighborhood, or come out and be his true self?

*Saenz, Benjamin Alire.  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  2012.  368p.  Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (9781442408920).  Grades 9-12.

Dante and Aristotle are opposites in almost every way but, nevertheless, the two boys are best friends, almost like two halves making a whole.  Saenz’ lyrical novel examines the bonds of friendship and the uncertainties and saving graces of love.

*Telgemeier, Raina.  Drama.  2012.  240p.  Scholastic Graphix, $23.99 (9780545326988).  Grades 6 & Up.

Callie is a passionate theater geek who plunges into her middle school’s production of “Moon Over Mississippi” with enthusiasm for all things theater: sets, props, lighting – you name it, she’s on it.  When twins Justin and Jesse join the cast, Callie quickly develops a crush on one, and a friendship with the other, who is gay.

Check out the full list of recommended reads here!

My thanks to the wonderful children's librarian Yapha for the link!