Friday, March 29, 2013

How History Gets Re-Written: The USA's Civil War

I speak in schools and to community groups about how the history of gay, lesbian, bi and trans people has been erased, destroyed, hidden, re-written, and needs to be reclaimed.  How the stories of men who loved men, women who loved women, and people who transcended gender boundaries are there for us to discover.  And how knowing our true LGBTQ history empowers all of us, queer and allies and everyone.  History like...

Shakespeare being in love with a man.  (And how the sonnets that spoke so eloquently of that love were altered to make it seem like he was speaking of loving a woman.)

Gandhi leaving his wife to move in with the man he loved.  (And how the book that mentioned it, twenty years after the letters detailing their relationship were made public, was banned in parts of India.)

Even the recent reveal of Dr. Sally Ride living for 27 years with the woman she loved. (A fact only revealed in Sally's obituary last year.)

If you've ever wondered, like I have, the details of HOW history gets re-written, this Salon article "The South still lies about the Civil War" is fascinating reading.

From one reporter, John Herbers, remembering when he was growing up in Mississippi in the 1930s and 1940s,
“the lost cause was one of the main themes my grandmother used to talk about: ‘slavery was nothing to do with the Civil War—we had a cotton economy and [the North] wanted to dominate us.’ It was an undisputed topic.” At the time, he accepted this version, as children do; today, he is struck by the vigilance with which adults in his world implanted this story in the minds of their children. “They pushed themselves to believe that,” he said. “If [the war] had anything to do with slavery, they had no ground to stand on.”

To one longtime publishing executive telling the author

that when he got into the business in the 1960s, it was common to see two different versions of school history textbooks — one for in the Deep South and one for everywhere else, “and the difference was how you treated the Civil War.”

To this moment, where Dwight Pitcaithley, a professor of history at New Mexico State University who was chief historian of the National Park Service from 1995 to 2005, gave a talk to school educators in Mississippi in December of 2008. He included

this quote from the Mississippi Declaration of Secession: “Our cause is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery, the greatest material interest of the world.” That sentence is now prominently displayed on the wall of the National Park Service visitors’ center in Corinth, Mississippi, near the site of the battle of Shiloh. Pitcaithley took a picture of the display and used it in his presentation. After his talk, he was chatting with a thirty-four-year-old black school principal who had grown up in Mississippi, attended its public schools, and received his university education there. “I asked him if he’d ever seen that [quote] and he said no — he’d never even heard of that.”

The article is a powerful reminder of how we need to be more thoughtful when we read history, considering who's telling us the stories and what their agendas might be.

Go check it out.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Dream of Doctor Bantam - A Teen Lesbian Love Story In The Shadow of a Cult

The Dream of Doctor Bantam by Jeanne Thornton

Julie Thatch is a tough-as-nails, chainsmoking, wise-cracking 17-year-old Texan. On the day after her 17th birthday, her idol, her older sister, jogs headlong into the lights of an approaching car, and dies. Julie spends nights wrapped in Tabitha's paisley quilts and playing Tabitha's CDs as loud as she can, but is soon distracted when she falls in love with a girl who both is and isn't an echo of her older sister, a long-limbed Francophone named Patrice. But Patrice is also a devotee of the Institute of Temporal Illusions, a Church of Scientology-like cult...

Add your review of "The Dream of Doctor Bantam" in comments!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ranma ½ - An Action-Romance-Fighting Manga that Plays with Gender

Ranma ½ was written by the famous manga artist Rumiko Takahashi.

Ranma is a teenage martial artist betrothed against his will to the feisty and powerful Akane, whose family runs a dojo in Tokyo. When training in China, Ranma fell into a well which “cursed” him with the power to become female when covered with cold water and male when covered with hot water. This manga explores many interesting aspects of gender. It often challenges the world’s strict man-woman binary but sometimes subtly reinforces conformity to certain stereotypes. Clearly, the entire concept boldly plays with the idea of gender and argues that being male or female is not a static condition. In addition, despite the fact that Akane is pressured to act traditionally feminine, to fight less and date more boys, she stubbornly refuses. She is a strong woman dedicated to living life as she chooses.

That said, there are bland homophobic comments made once in a while. For example, people assume that Ranma cannot be engaged to Akane when Ranma is a woman. However, a subtle romance builds between Ranma and Akane, and key moments in the growth of their relationship take place during times when Ranma is both a boy and a girl. In addition, Ranma often expresses how he prefers being male to being female, which might reinforce a culture that values masculinity over femininity. However, a more queer-positive perspective is that this aspect of Ranma’s character reveals the frustration that comes with living in a body that does not conform to one’s gender identity. Ultimately, whether male or female, Ranma is always Ranma - strong, bull-headed, confident, and protective of loved ones. All of the characters are deep, loveable and fully-realized people that transcend static gender roles, ultimately making this manga an empowering achievement.

The series is composed of thirty-eight volumes. There is no explicit sexual content, but there are plenty of nude shots exposing Ranma’s body in both male and female form. In addition, there is light sexual humor, such as lecherous men sneaking peeks at women’s underwear. (My feminist impulses are screaming in rage!). All things considered, I would have wanted to be fourteen or older when I first read this manga.

Here are a few more Ranma ½ covers:


Review by Aaron.  Add your review of any (or all) of the volumes in "Ranma ½" in comments!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

One Gay American - A Memoir about Coming of Age and Growing Up Queer in Small Town America

One Gay American: A Memoir by Dennis Milam Bensie

Born in the 1960s and raised with traditional values in Robinson, Illinois, Dennis desperately wanted romance, a beautiful wedding, and a baby to carry on the family name. He denied his sexuality and married a woman at nineteen years old, but fantasized of weddings where he could be the bride. The newlyweds “adopted” a Cabbage Patch Doll and ironically witnessed a Cabbage Patch Doll wedding (a successful fundraiser staged by a local women’s club) where the dolls were granted the type of grand ceremony off-limits to gay couples.

In search of his identity as a gay man, Dennis divorced his wife and stumbled through missteps and lessons that still sting his generation: defending against bullies, “disappointing” his parents, and looking for love in gay bars, bath houses and restrooms. He helped his straight friends plan their dream weddings and mourned his gay friends dying of AIDS. Although true love has not yet come his way, Bensie has learned to love himself.

Dennis' story is told with parallels to gay history, decade by decade, with newspaper headlines and quotations.

Add your review of "One Gay American: A Memoir" in comments!

Monday, March 25, 2013

16 Year Old Ashley Makes Everyone In Her School Feel Beautiful For A Day

 Imagine if when you got to school today, there was a sticky note on your locker that read:

"You're beautiful."

And not just on your locker.  On every locker in the row.  Every locker down the hall.  Every locker in the whole school!

Well, Ashley did that at her school. 

 Her story of what happened is a great reminder that each one of us can make a difference.  And that sometimes the powers that be don't get it... but good can triumph anyway.  And sometimes, good and kind wins in ways you don't even realize.


My thanks to Karol for sharing this with me, so I could share it with all of you. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

12 Year Old Daniel, Raised by Two Dads, Has a Message For US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts as the Gay Marriage Case is About To Be Heard

This video is inspiring and remarkable, especially as gay marriage (what I think we should be calling same-love marriage) will be debated next week in the US Supreme Court.

Bravo, Daniel!

And cheers to you, your sister, and your dads!

You can read more about Daniel here at, and follow their family's story as they tell it on Youtube in their Gay Family Values video series!


ps- thanks to my husband for sharing this with me so I could share it with all of you!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder

Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder by Natasha Holme

A diary account of living as a lesbian with an eating disorder, this true story is set in 1989.

19-year old Natasha, obsessively in love with her former school teacher Miss Williams, struggles with her infatuations with women. Having sex with boys, she earns the condemnation of gay and straight worlds. Feeling too fat to deserve romantic involvement with another female, Natasha stops eating.

A coming out story and a love story, this book describes in detail Natasha's clumsy attempts at heterosexuality, the obsessive clinging to unrequited love, her embracing of sexual harassment, and her dysfunctional relationship with body image and food.

This book was published by the author.  Add your review of "Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder" in comments!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Love Sisters - A Lesbian Teen Manga Love Story

First Love Sisters' art was drawn by Mizuo Shinonome, the concept created by Mako Komao, and the design done by Reine Hibiki.

First Love Sisters is a gentle love story set at the prestigious Tsunokamizaka Girl’s Academy. From the moment they meet, sweet and enthusiastic Chika Matsuzato falls for beautiful and mysterious upperclasswoman Haruna Kizaki. Secrets and insecurities quickly arise to keep them apart, but Chika remains hopeful as she dreams of growing closer to her first love.

This manga is uplifting and adorable. It explores various relationships between women - sisterhood, friendship, rivalry, and romance - by revealing the depth of quiet moments in daily life. Chika is endearing and relatable. She courageously faces her fears about seeming childish and unlovable as she pursues Haruna. A notable element of this manga is that, at least in the first volume, the story isn’t about issues surrounding the discernment or revelation of one’s sexual identity. It is a pure story about two people fighting through their brokenness to find each other. It’s about love, plain and simple.

The series is composed of three volumes. The remaining two volumes have not been officially released in English. (Who wants to start a letter-writing campaign?) Fear not, for the first volume closes in a satisfying way.

I do not understand why the publisher suggests this manga for readers sixteen and up. So far, the characters do nothing more physical than holding hands and kissing. Honestly, when I have children, I plan on reading this manga to them as a bedtime story.

Review by Aaron Walsh. Add your review of "First Love Sisters" in comments!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Growing Wishbones - Two Young Women deal with Coming Out, Surviving Abuse, and Growing Up

Growing Wishbones: An American Tale by T J Askren

Jodi can’t figure out why she’s always felt different. Maybe it’s because she’s being raised in a conservative Midwestern town by a single mother and has no idea who her father is. Or maybe it’s something else entirely. Her mother tries to give Jodi the best life she can while working the night shift as a nurse. Jodi lacks nothing, including fatherly support from her beloved Uncle Teddy, but she longs to know the identity of her real father. As she embarks on her own nursing career, Jodi begins to understand what makes her different and realizes the true meaning of family.

Melanie’s family seems perfect to the outsider, but behind the walls of her suburban Florida home she endures life with an abusive father. Her cries for help go unnoticed until she escapes by marrying a good-natured young businessman. But marital bliss can’t keep her personal demons at bay as she struggles with the aftershocks of her childhood. Her downward spiral is interrupted by a lifelong friend and Melanie discovers things she never thought possible.

They each face their own challenges until a web of lies and secrets brings them together.

This book is published by the author.  Add your review of "Growing Wishbones: An American Tale" in comments!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration helps LGBTI refugees worldwide

Refugees fleeing persecution due to sexual orientation or gender identity have an organization advocating for them!

The Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM) is the only organization focused exclusively on helping vulnerable LGBTI refugees worldwide find safety and rebuild their lives in welcoming communities. ORAM increases global support for refugees and asylum seekers through advocacy and education, as well as technical assistance to people and groups interested in working with refugees, asylees, and asylum seekers.

They've also put together a publication, Rainbow Bridges

which is a "Community Guide to Rebuilding the Lives of LGBTI Refugees and Asylees," designed for US LGBT and accepting communities to support increasing numbers of LGBT refugees.

I was really happy to learn about ORAM so I could share it with all of you.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

UnEarthed and UnEarthly - Two Sci Fi Teen Lesbian Adventure Novels

UnEarthed by Rebecca Bloomer

If you’re going to colonise a planet, you’d better be willing to fight for it.
Within Anphobos, there grows a new race.  The first generation of humans never to set foot on Earth.  They are pale skinned, large eyed and worship no god but science.  They possess technological skills and processes Earth has refused to acknowledge.  Until now…
“We are Martian. Your religion isn’t ours. Our god is Mars. Our religion is science. Anything we do in the service of Mars, is good. Make no mistake, Earth girl, we are both right and good.”
Fresh off Earth, Jodi Scarfield doesn’t really care for Mars or its politics. Still, accusations of treason will get a girl’s attention...

UnEarthly by Rebecca Bloomer

Jodi and Astrid discover more about Mars as a planet and themselves as people on it.  The Fearless have triumphed. Astrid and Jodi survive unincarcerated and gainfully employed. Most have forgotten that Jodi was once 'Scar' or what that meant. Life on Mars is in danger of becoming routine. Then noobs arrive, a tunnel collapses, Astrid becomes a walking fossil and everyone discovers the real meaning of life on Mars.

What's queer about these books? The author writes "When my sci-fi books began, I didn't know my girls were lesbians. I didn't realise until I kept throwing them at the new male characters and they simply refused to show any interest! As such, my girls' sexuality evolved as naturally it might have in reality."

Add your review of "UnEarthed" and "UnEarthly" in comments!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tokyo Babylon - A Gay Teen Supernatural Manga

Tokyo Babylon written and illustrated by CLAMP

CLAMP’s classic drama, Tokyo Babylon, follows sixteen-year-old onmyoji (exorcist) Subaru Sumeragi as he helps tortured spirits find peace amid the suffering and destruction of modern life. From the beginning, Subaru is pursued by another man, Seishiro Sakurazuka, a seemingly kind-hearted veterinarian with spiritual powers who often shows up to save Subaru from certain death. At first, Subaru’s shyness and strict demeanor make him reluctant to accept Seishiro’s affections, but Subaru’s rambunctious twin sister, Hokuto, constantly encourages him to open his heart to Sei-chan. Over time, as Subaru discovers his true feelings, mystery builds around Seishiro’s dark side, which always lurks just beneath the surface. This series is deep, emotionally-compelling, and heart-breaking. It explores the purpose of life, the nature of love, and the struggle of maintaining one’s ideals in an oftentimes harsh and broken world. The characters are so real that they haunt the reader long after the last page is turned. Thankfully, their story doesn’t truly end here, for they return years later in CLAMP’s X/1999.

My one hesitation in suggesting this manga is that I’m afraid for some, it may romanticize violent or abusive relationships. As we discover the depths of Seishiro’s depravity, the reader is led to hope for his redemption, to dream that he and Subaru can find a way to be together. In the world of manga, fervent dreams of unconditional love and forgiveness are wonderful. But in real life, this kind of thinking can lead to social isolation, black eyes, and murder. Remember that Tokyo Babylon is ultimately a tragedy, not a map for living one’s life. If you’re a romantic like me, then by all means, never give up hoping for Seishiro’s salvation, but also hope that Subaru finds the strength to let him go and find love someday in a healthy relationship. Remember that sociopaths never make good boyfriends. Trust me on this one.

Tokyo Babylon is composed of seven volumes. This series has no explicit sexual content, but there is plenty of violence and creepy occult goings-on. I didn’t read Tokyo Babylon until I was over sixteen. If I had tried it at a younger age, there’s a good chance I would have been plagued with nightmares and general trauma.

The team of authors, who name themselves CLAMP, are a fascinating and prolific team of manga artists. To learn more about these four incredible women, check out their Wikipedia site here.

Here are the other covers:

Review by Aaron Walsh. Add your review of "Tokyo Babylon" (any or all of the books in the series) in comments!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dr. Morbid's Castle of Blood - Gay Superheroes Trapped!

Dr. Morbid's Castle of Blood by Hayden Thorne

Part of Hayden's Masks Gay Superhero series...

Following the attacks on Vintage City by the Deathtrap Debutantes, life quiets down, and the superheroes are temporarily without work. Unfortunately, unemployed superheroes mean bored superheroes, and with Peter's birthday just around the corner, Eric asks for help in coming up with the most creative gift he can give a boy who's got everything. Tapping into everyone's fondness for computer games, Eric enlists the heroes' help in experimenting with a video game in a desperate bid to amaze Peter with something unique.

What they don't expect is a game that's been sabotaged by an old nemesis. Eric and the heroes suddenly find themselves trapped in a horror game, forced to advance against the clock or be stuck in it forever. With three of their friends vanishing from the group, Eric and Ridley are forced to use their wits and their limited abilities to fight their way through monsters that are meant to keep them from finding the others. Outside, Althea as Spirit Wire, along with unexpected allies, scrambles to keep a delicate connection with her friends as she tries to save them all.

Add your review of "Dr. Morbid's Castle of Blood" in comments!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beyond Labels: Aaron Swartz's other legacy is well worthy of discussion

Aaron Swartz, famed Internet activist, hacker, author, and programer who created RSS and co-founded the company that became Reddit as well as developed the Internet architecture for the Creative Commons licensing system, committed suicide in January.  You can read more about Aaron here

In addition to being an internet genius, Aaron had a different view of defining one's sexuality.  Here's how he explained it on his blog (the quote's from here.)

"Having sex with other people of your gender isn’t an identity, it’s an act. And, like sex in general among consenting adults, people should be able to do it if they want to. Having sex with someone shouldn’t require an identity crisis....People shouldn’t be forced to categorize themselves as 'gay,' 'straight,' or 'bi.' People are just people. Maybe you’re mostly attracted to men. Maybe you’re mostly attracted to women. Maybe you’re attracted to everyone. These are historical claims — not future predictions. If we truly want to expand the scope of human freedom, we should encourage people to date who they want; not just provide more categorical boxes for them to slot themselves into. A man who has mostly dated men should be just as welcome to date women as a woman who’s mostly dated men.So that’s why I’m not gay. I hook up with people. I enjoy it. Sometimes they’re men, sometimes they’re women. I don’t see why it needs to be any more complicated than that."

It's a fascinating take on pride, and worth talking about.


Friday, March 8, 2013

The Children's Book Council Diversity Committee Addresses Transgender Kid and Teen Fiction

In Diversity 101: The Transgender Perspective, Author Cris Beam explores issues of speaking out / speaking for, transgender stereotypes, and suggested titles.  Here are a couple of gems from the article:

"One of the most common lines I hear (and one that’s perpetuated by well-meaning books and documentaries) is that transpeople are “born in the wrong body.” (Or worse: they’re “trapped.”) Bodies aren’t wrong. While some transpeople may feel this way, others believe that men and women (and boys and girls) should be allowed to have different body parts even when they identify as the same, or similar, genders. In other words, it’s society that’s “trapped” in rigid, binary thinking."


"...the truth is, there aren’t just two genders—there are many shades of expression and identity and the earlier we can support kids who experience this, the better. And they do experience it early. Unlike feelings of homosexuality, which tend to sneak up on us around puberty (I still remember those first terrifying crushes in seventh grade), kids start understanding their gender at around age two or three"

It's well worth reading.  I'm so glad to see attention brought to including more transgender and gender variant and gender queer characters in children's and teen lit.

My thanks to Greg for sharing this with me so I could share it with all of you!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Totally Fabulous - Two Gay Romantic Comedies

Totally Fabulous by Chad Wilde

Just out of college, Sebastian finds himself caught between hunks when his former flame and a new heartthrob both go in hot pursuit of Sebastian's heart.  In a second story, Sebastian finds out that introducing your boyfriend to your family never gets easier as a trip home turns into relative insanity.

This title was published by the author.  Add your review of "Totally Fabulous" in comments!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Our New Intern Aaron Will Explore LGBTQ Teen Manga!

Aaron raises one eyebrow in true Manga style to say, "hello."

Hello, everybody! My name is Aaron and I am thrilled to be reviewing manga as a guest intern. Good manga is like poetry - every word and image is heavy with meaning and beauty, and each story has the power to save your life. I spent all of my adolescence and young adulthood trying to deny and hide the truth that I was gay. But over time, simple love stories between people of the same or non-conforming genders kept finding me in the pages of Japanese comics and young adult novels. These stories opened my eyes to the truth that love is always deep and meaningful and sacred, and it can happen to anyone, even someone as goofy and weird as me. In case you’re curious, when I’m not reading manga or teen lit, I can be found teaching little ones (so cute… and so funny!), social working (I still can’t really explain what a social worker does, even though I am one), playing drums (poorly), or walking in the forest (while searching for werewolves).

Here’s a list of the titles we’ll be exploring together:
Tokyo Babylon by CLAMP

First Love Sisters by Mizuo Shinonome, Mako Komao, and Reine Hibiki

Ranma ½ by Rumiko Takahashi

Voiceful by Nawako

Silver Diamond by Shiho Sugiura

Cardcaptor Sakura by CLAMP

Cain Saga by Kaori Yuki

Hero Heel by Makoto Tateno

Maiden Rose by Fusanosuke Inariya

Rin! by Satoru Kannagi

X/1999 by CLAMP

Off beat by Jen Lee Quick

Same Cell Organism by Sumomo Yumeka

Meeting You by Tennouji Mio

Girl Friends by Morinaga

I Give to You by Maki Ebishi

The Caged Miko and the Whimsical Witch by Fujieda Miyabi

Stop Bullying Me! by Natsuho Shino

The Day I Became a Butterfly by Sumomo Yumeka

Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi

I’m super excited! See you soon!

Aaron Walsh's posts will run most Wednesdays, so keep an eye out for his wonderful reviews of LGBTQ teen Manga stories!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Popularity Papers - A Middle Grade Series Where A Main Character Has Two Dads

The Popularity Papers: Research for the Social Improvement and General Betterment of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang by Amy Ignatow

Told in a scrapbook/cartoon/graphic novel style, here's the scoop on book one:

Lydia and Julie are best friends with one goal: to crack the code of popularity.  Lydia’s the bold one: aspiring theater star, stick-fighting enthusiast, and human guinea pig.  Julie’s the shy one: observer and artist, accidental field hockey jock, and faithful recorder.  In this notebook they write down their observations and carry out experiments to try to determine what makes the popular girls tick.  But somehow, the harder Lydia and Julie try to imitate the popular girls, the farther they get from their goal—and each other.

What's queer about it?  Julie has two dads.

Here are the covers (and synopses) of the next four books in the series:

The Popularity Papers: Book Two: The Long-Distance Dispatch Between Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang

After spending all of fifth grade studying popularity together, Julie and Lydia are finally ready to put their hard-earned lessons to use in junior high. But before they can, disaster strikes: Lydia’s mom gets a job in London for six whole months! Before Lydia can say “Fancy a cup of tea?” she’s thrust into a new school, where she earns a reputation as “the Violent American.” Meanwhile Julie’s stuck navigating the cliques of American junior high on her own and is adopted by a group of troublemaking eighth graders known as the Bichons. The two best friends will have to learn to keep in touch and stand on their own, assisted as always by their trusty notebook.

The Popularity Papers: Book Three: Words of (Questionable) Wisdom from Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang

After spending six months apart in Book Two, best friends Julie and Lydia are reunited at last! Julie has said good-bye to the mean girls, and Lydia is ready to apply her hard-earned friendship lessons to founding their own crew. But bad news interrupts their reunion: their friend Sukie’s mother, ill for many years, has passed away. This shakes Lydia and Julie, who reevaluate their goals and decide to focus more on being supportive of the friends they have. Unfortunately, their well-meaning schemes almost immediately start to go awry, and everyone seems to be mad at them for reasons beyond their control. How can they be better friends when no one seems to want to give them the chance?

The Popularity Papers: Book Four: The Rocky Road Trip of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang

It’s summertime, and Julie and Lydia are going on a road trip! After all the ups and downs of their first year in junior high, they’re looking forward to seeing the sights and getting some new perspective on their quest for popularity. Papa Dad and Daddy will provide the transportation, and they’ll provide the entertainment.
At first Julie and Lydia use their Powers of Observation to catalog the traditions and oddities of each new location they visit, but soon their attention turns to parents and family and negotiating sensitive family dynamics.

The Popularity Papers: Book Five: The Awesomely Awful Melodies of Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang

Fresh off their epic summer road trip, Lydia and Julie are back and ready to take seventh grade by storm. Well, Lydia is: She wants to start a band, and she’s convinced Julie to join her. The Macramé Owls are joined by Roland (expert at the hardingfele) and Jane (expert at drama). None of them, unfortunately, are experts at rocking out. The band needs more practice, but instead Lydia and Julie find themselves riding an unexpected wave of popularity to their own belated birthday party. The girls may have accidentally stumbled upon the secret to popularity—if only the secret weren’t so completely humiliating.

My thanks to the wonderful staff at Children's Book World in Los Angeles for the heads-up about this series!

Add your review of any of the five books so far in The Popularity Papers series in comments!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Teen's Facebook Bully Button Campaign - End Cyberbullying on facebook!

This is a cool project.

I just voted.

Add your voice to mine and to Emily-Anne Rigal's (the 19-year old who came up with this great idea) to change the landscape and make Facebook a safer space where cyberbullying isn't tolerated.

Go to Stop Bullying: Facebook Bully Button Campaign to learn more.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Gabriel Arana shares about his own experience with Ex-Gay Conversion Therapy and the Doctor that published the article saying gays could change RETRACTS his study - saying he was wrong!

"My So-Called Ex-Gay Life" is a remarkable article, that includes an important twist in the story of the continuing efforts being made to change the sexual orientation of young people.

In the words of AFER's Brandon Hersh,

In it Gabe shares his experiences as a gay teenager and patient of one Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, the outspoken leader of the ex-gay "movement." Nicolosi and his nearly bankrupt organization NARTH promote "reparative therapy" that is not only universally discredited and scientifically dubious, but is in fact harmful to gay and lesbian patients.

Within the story Gabe breaks MAJOR news - Dr. Robert Spitzer repudiated his much-criticized 2001 study that claimed some “highly motivated” homosexuals could go from gay to straight. This is a significant blow to “ex-gay” programs and anti-gay organizations . Spitzer’s rejection of his own research, which was originally published in the prestigious Archives of Sexual Behavior, severely undermines “ex-gay” organizations because it decisively eliminates the unproven claim that homosexuality can be reversed through therapy and prayer.

Well worth reading.