Friday, September 18, 2020

The Trevor Project's Guide to "How To Support Bisexual Youth: Ways to Care for Young People Who Are Attracted to More Than One Gender"

This is really cool...

It's Bisexual Awareness Week, and The Trevor Project has put out their first ever guide to support Bi and Pan Youth. As they explain,

The handbook is an educational resource that covers a wide range of topics and best practices for supporting bisexual youth, including: bisexuality, pansexuality, and other multisexual identities; romantic orientations; preventing bisexual erasure and biphobia; navigating gender and bisexuality; exploring different relationship types; and self-care tips.

Last year, nearly 50% of the youth who reached out to Trevor’s crisis services experienced multi-gender attraction. And while bisexual people make up the largest portion of the LGBTQ community, bi youth are often erased and their specific needs overlooked. Our research shows that bi youth are at higher risk than their peers for sexual assault and bullying, and almost half of bi youth seriously considered suicide in the past year.

We hope this resource will help people challenge biphobic assumptions in their everyday lives and foster the creation of safer, more affirming communities for bisexual youth everywhere.

Click here to visit the Trevor Project website and download the guide.

One stand-out moment in reading it was when the guide said:

Your bisexuality is real and valid. You deserve so much kindness, care, and celebration for being exactly who you are!

Yes! That kind of support and validation, for everyone who identifies as part of the Queer community, is so important. Especially for Bi and Pan people who struggle with sometimes feeling like their authentic identity is erased by others (who can see them as either heteronormative or queer, depending on the relationship they may be in at any time.) That's not cool. Bi and Pan folks should be honored for who they authentically are.

Happy Bi Awareness Week, everyone!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Stay safe,


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

More Happy Than Not - A New Edition Features a New Final Chapter

This is really cool.

The new edition of "More Happy Than Not" features a new final chapter, that "gives readers even more of Aaron Soto's unforgettable story."

I'm so intrigued.

And the idea of a new final chapter, of a book being changeable once it's been published, and lauded, is fascinating and inspiring.

Here's the info from the publisher:

Adam Silvera’s New York Times bestselling debut is back(!!!) in a new Deluxe Edition.

Features an introduction from #1 New York Times bestseller Angie Thomas, a new final chapter that gives readers even more of Aaron Soto's unforgettable story, and an afterword from Adam.

And the story:

In the months following his father's suicide, sixteen-year-old Aaron Soto can’t seem to find happiness again, despite the support of his girlfriend, Genevieve, and his overworked mom. Grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist won’t let him forget the pain. But when Aaron meets Thomas, a new kid in the neighborhood, something starts to shift inside him. Aaron can't deny his unexpected feelings for Thomas despite the tensions their friendship has created with Genevieve and his tight-knit crew. Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound happiness, he considers taking drastic actions. The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-altering procedure will straighten him out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

Want to learn more about Adam? Here's his website.

Monday, September 14, 2020

The September 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter

Click here or above to watch the September 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter.


Hi Community,

I'm Lee Wind. It's September 2020, and whoa - six months of sheltering in place. There are fires and smoke, and for the last week it's been really crazy, and there's still this ongoing sense that we have to do more than be allies. We need to be accomplices and help dismantle these systems that are so oppressive.

And in the midst of all of it, in the midst of all of it, some nice things have happened. And I find myself a little self-conscious, awkward, feeling like maybe I shouldn't be talking about the nice things that have happened, even though they're things that I've worked on for a very long time. And I've realized that when the sky is amber, (laughs), when things are difficult, it's important to still share good things, because it's hopeful, and it's nice, and so with your indulgence, I'll share a few nice things that have happened.

It's almost as if I'm a gardener - I'm a vegetarian and not much of a real gardener out in a garden – but I feel like there are projects I've worked on for so long that are flowering and bearing fruit, and that is a lovely thing to celebrate. And so, with your indulgence, I'm going to share three really lovely things that have happened.

My nonfiction book that's coming out from Lerner had its big cover reveal this past week on Betsy Bird's School Library Journal Fuse #8 blog.

Click through to see big cover reveal

She does an amazing job, and she does these great interviews with people, and she did this cool interview with me! So it's very exciting, you can go there, check out the cover, check out the interview, it says a lot about the book, and about why I wrote it, and the importance of putting this nonfiction, these true stories from history, stories of men who loved men, and women who loved women, and people who lived outside gender boundaries. Taking the primary sources and putting them in front of kids and letting kids read it themselves, and how empowering that can be, and that is. And I'm really really excited about that and very grateful to Betsy for the opportunity, and very excited that the book is coming out in April 2021.

So that's the first seed that was planted - oh my gosh - so many years ago. More than ten years ago I started on that journey, so it's very exciting to see that book slowly making its way out into the world with a big cover reveal this week and that interview.

The second lovely thing, is something that came about because of these video newsletters. After the video newsletter I think back in January or February, I was contacted by an editor of the English Journal, uh, journal (laughs) which is published by the National Council of Teachers of English, and they asked me if I would be interested in writing the “Bookended” column, it's sort of like an essay that happens at the end of each of their journal issues, that talks about something about the author's experience in English classes in either middle school or high school. And so I got to write this essay, and it came out this past week, in September.

The first page of my three-page essay in the English Journal September 2020 issue, called "Who's the Monster? (Hint: It's not the whale.)"

So that's something where the seed was planted in February, I guess, and that is flowering now. And that's very exciting because 16,000 middle school and high school English teachers will read that. And so I'm very excited, and it just feels very nice, to reach both librarians - school librarians in particular - and to reach English teachers at this moment feels very very exciting.

And then third thing I want to share is that I have been blogging at I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? for thirteen years. September 15th, 2007 was my very first post, and now it is 13 years later. And that is amazing, and exciting. And actually, I looked it up, Google counted for me, and this post that's going up, is post #2,700. I've done two thousand seven hundred posts on my blog about LGBTQ kid and teen books and culture and politics, and so much more, and you've been here as part of the journey, and I'm so grateful for that.

And just last week we passed three million page loads!


BOOM! (mind blown sound)

Wow! It's very exciting. I'm very very grateful, and very humble[d], trying to come at this from a place of humility, too, because oh my gosh there's so much going on in the world, and that you would allow me to take a little time to share with you some good news that's happened for me, in the midst of all this, is very lovely.

So thank you so much. Stay safe, be kind to yourselves and others, and we're all in this together, and thank you for letting me share.

Until next time, the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you.

Friday, September 11, 2020

The Queer Love Story Behind "Goodnight Moon" - Or, How I Learned To Love A Children's Classic

So recently I had this revelation from the SCBWI 2020 Summer Spectacular Online conference about Goodnight Moon, this perennial favorite board book/picture book that we were gifted multiple copies of when our daughter was born, that I never really understood.

I mean, there's not much plot. Not to diss author Margaret Wise Brown, or Illustrator Clement Hurd, but it's really just a bunny settling into bed, saying "Good Night" to the things in their big green room. Like the comb, and brush, and bowl of mush by their bedside.

On August 2, 2020, in that online SCBWI conference, when talking about the heart-message of a book being either explicit or implicit, editor and author Jill Santopolo explained that for Goodnight Moon, the heart message is "everything is as it should be, and it's safe to go to sleep."

And suddenly the popularity of the book made more sense to me. That's the storyline. Implicitly there.

Then just last week, Lambda Literary published this article by Lizzy Lemieux, ‘Goodnight Moon’ and the Queer Love Story of the Great Green Room.

Turns out, Margaret Wise Brown had a real green room:

“Brown’s New York City apartment, gifted to her by her lover, actress, and poet Blanche Oelrichs, who was known by her nom de plume, Michael Strange. While Brown was writing her magnum opus of children’s literature, she painted her own gifted bedroom green and yellow and covered her poster bed in red velvet.”

It's information from Amy Gary's 2017 biography In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown, and it's fascinating. The article includes this bit:

“The relationship was never truly a secret. During her divorce from John Barrymore, an exposé even dubbed Michael the ‘Sappho of Long Island’, forcing her to go temporarily ‘incognito’ for fear of social ostracization. External and internal homophobia coloured the couples relationship. In letters, Michael ‘insisted’ they use coded language. As Gary writes, ‘At times, they attached emotions they had for each other to their dogs or had imaginary characters speak for them in their letters. Michael’s was Rabbit and Margaret’s, Bunny.’”

Look at the brush!

Oh - My - WOW!

Suddenly, there's a whole other reason to love this story of Bunny (Margaret's stand-in), lovingly seeing all the things in their great green room (gifted to her by the woman who loved her), and knowing that everything is as it should be, and it's safe to go to sleep.

And in that one-two revelation, I love a children's classic.

As Lizzy put it so perfectly in the final line to her article,

“Goodnight stars. Goodnight air. Goodnight women loving women everywhere.”

I loved learning this bit of Queer and Kid Lit history!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

You're Invited To My Friend Lori's FREE Online "Writers Happiness" Writing Retreat (Sept 11-13, 2020)

I've done two of these before, and it's been awesome, both in terms of the sense of community gathered, and in my getting some writing done!

If writing's your thing, you might consider joining.

Here's the scoop, and the link to register:

Join Lori and me

"...and other writers in a free, communal writing weekend, Friday evening through Sunday lunch (with an optional Friday daytime component). You are welcome to attend for all or just parts here and there, whatever works for your time, brain, or life right now.

The idea behind this writing retreat is simple: community and time. Time to write, to brainstorm, to clear your psychic space from distractions. To sit with your manuscript. To revise. To remember why you love this. To finish something. To start something. To feel refreshed. To be supported. To remember that your writing matters in the midst of all of this, and that it’s also totally okay if it’s not coming easily at the moment.

There are no critiques, no readings, no workshops. Just a chance to work on or think about your project in a supportive community of other writers working on and thinking about their projects as well. [Lori will] also be leading optional writer-centric yoga and guided meditations. All writers of anything are welcome, whether it’s a book or a blog, a dissertation or a business plan."

Get all the details here.

Hope you'll be able to join!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

P.S. - Lori didn't ask me to share this, but I am because it's just so good, and it's free, and I'm delighted to spread the word!

Monday, September 7, 2020

#ShowThemYouCARE #SuicidePrevention - September is National Suicide Prevention Month

According to The Trevor Project’s research, 40% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months, with more than half of Trans and Nonbinary youth having seriously considered it.

Check out this video from The Trevor Project, explaining how to Prevent Suicide with CARE: which stands for Connect, Ask, Respond, and Empower

As Patricia says in the video,
"Acceptance from at least one adult can decrease the risk of LGBTQ youth suicide by 40%."

Learn more about how to help LGBTQ youth in crisis here:

Stay safe, 

know that the world needs your light,

and that the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you.


Friday, September 4, 2020

The New Queer Conscience - Adam Eli Argues That Queers Anywhere Are Responsible For Queers Everywhere

The New Queer Conscience by Adam Eli, Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

Voices4 Founder and LGBTQIA+ activist Adam Eli offers a candid and compassionate introduction to queer responsibility. Eli calls on his Jewish faith to underline how kindness and support within the queer community can lead to a stronger global consciousness. More importantly, he reassures us that we're not alone. In fact, we never were. Because if you mess with one queer, you mess with us all.

I love the description of this book, and can't wait to read it! Add your review of "The New Queer Conscience" in comments!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe (An ALA Alex Winner, Naming It a Book for Adults That Will Have Teen Appeal)

Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia's intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears.
Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity--what it means and how to think about it--for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

The School Library Journal starred review said, "It's also a great resource for those who identify as nonbinary or asexual as well as for those who know someone who identifies that way and wish to better understand."

Add your review of "Gender Queer: A Memoir" in comments!

Monday, August 31, 2020

I Was on Faculty at a Writer's Conference This Weekend and... I Didn't Even Attend?

I didn't miss it. It's just that the UCLA Extension Writers' Program YA Symposium, The Young and the Reckless: Writing For Teens was all pre-recorded.

The good news is you didn't miss it, either. The sessions, the panels, it's all online through September 5, 2020. Along with the amazing Karol Ruth Silverstein (who I'm proud to call my friend), I co-lead two breakout sessions, Checking Privilege at the Door


Creating the Complex Character.

I was also on a great panel discussion with Sherri L. Smith, Aminah Mae Safe, and Cindy Lin that was moderated by Nutschell Windsor.

It's not the same as being in person, but there are definitely some upsides. The conference is only $50 to attend, and is available not just one day, but over eight days, and virtually, which makes it more accessible. And this way, I can attend the sessions my fellow faculty members gave because I'm not busy doing my own!

So I miss hanging out, and checking out my fellow faculty's books in the conference bookstore, but I remind myself that there's a pandemic going on. And the fact that Charlie, Nutschell, Carrie, Ashley, Jennie, and the whole UCLA Extension Writer's Program team were able to pivot and still make this amazing event happen is pure awesomeness.

I'm very grateful to have been - to be - part of it.

So, if writing for teens is your jam, check it out.


The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

Friday, August 28, 2020

Beyond The Gender Binary - Alok Vaid-Menon Shows Us The Only Limit To Gender Is Our Imagination

Beyond The Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon

Poet, artist, and LGBTQIA+ rights advocate Alok Vaid-Menon deconstructs, demystifies, and reimagines the gender binary.

In this book, Alok "challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. The only limit is your imagination."

Love these blurbs about the book:

"Thank God we have Alok. And I'm learning a thing or two myself."--Billy Porter, Emmy award-winning actor, singer, and Broadway theater performer

"When reading this book, all I feel is kindness."--Sam Smith, Grammy and Oscar award-winning singer and songwriter

"Beyond the Gender Binary will give readers everywhere the feeling that anything is possible within themselves"--Princess Nokia, musician and co-founder of the Smart Girl Club

"A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Add your review of "Beyond The Gender Binary" in comments!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

NO WAY, THEY WERE GAY? (My Middle Grade Nonfiction Coming April 2021) Gets a Shout-Out In Publishers Weekly!

This was exciting!

Publishers Weekly did a feature last month called "Spring 2021 Children's Sneak Previews" where they go publisher-by-publisher, imprint-by-imprint, and highlight just a few (two or three) stand-out upcoming titles for kids and teens for the readership of Publishers Weekly (over 68,000 booksellers, publishers, public and academic librarians, wholesalers, distributors, educators, agents and writers.)

and there, in the listing for LERNER/ZEST...

"No Way, They Were Gay?: Hidden Lives and Secret Loves by Lee Wind, which examines primary source letters, poems, and more to rethink the lives and loves of historical figures."


We've been waiting a looooooong time for this to finally come out. This is one more exciting step on that journey.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

Monday, August 24, 2020

Flex Your Vote!

I didn't know that 1 in 5 Queer People in the US are not registered to vote. We need all hands on deck this November to get the current occupant of the White House out of power.

As photographer Mike Ruiz put it in his Instagram Post,

Be like Eric and Flex Your Vote! 20% of LGBTQ+ people are NOT registered to vote! That 20% could help keep us protected for the next 4 years. Please vote like your life depends on it! WWW.VOTE.ORG @erictastic #flexyourvote #doordie #register #vote #MIKERUIZ

An article on the campaign at Socialite Life explains further, "Eric Wainwright [the model shown above] devised the “Flex Your Vote” slogan and the campaign was born. In it, the eight photographers are posting images to their Instagram and Facebook accounts and encouraging fans to share them with the hashtag @flexyourvote."

Here are a few more images from the campaign, that hopefully will get our community inspired to register to VOTE!

Of course, we don't all need to be buff and beautiful to inspire voting... or vote!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

Stay safe,

Friday, August 21, 2020

My New Gender Workbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity

My New Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein

Cultural theorists have written loads of smart but difficult-to-fathom texts on gender theory, but most fail to provide a hands-on, accessible guide for those trying to sort out their own sexual identities. In My Gender Workbook, transgender activist Kate Bornstein brings theory down to Earth and provides a practical approach to living with or without a gender.

Bornstein starts from the premise that there are not just two genders performed in today's world, but countless genders lumped under the two-gender framework. Using a unique, deceptively simple and always entertaining workbook format, complete with quizzes, exercises, and puzzles, Bornstein gently but firmly guides readers toward discovering their own unique gender identity.

Since its first publication in 1997, My Gender Workbook has been challenging, encouraging, questioning, and helping those trying to figure out how to become a "real man," a "real woman," or "something else entirely." In this exciting new edition of her classic text, Bornstein re-examines gender in light of issues like race, class, sexuality, and language. With new quizzes, new puzzles, new exercises, and plenty of Kate's playful and provocative style, My New Gender Workbook promises to help a new generation create their own unique place on the gender spectrum.

Here's just a bit of this book's brilliance, from page 125 of the first edition:

Did you know that in most countries, your gender is recorded as a matter of law? That from the moment of your birth, you're classified into an identity you haven't had the time or experience or intelligence to figure out? There you are, newly born, dealing with all this birth stuff; you don't know the language and can't get your needs and wants articulated, and the first social thing that happens to you is that you're fixed into a legal identity that will determine the course of your life. And did you know that in most countries, it's against the law to change that gender once it's been assigned? Is it just me, or does that strike you as a little weird? Does it sound like that sort of legal system is truly representing your best interests as a complete being, capable of some wonderful growth in your life?

And just because I love the cover of the first edition on my shelf, here's that:

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Falling in Love Montage - Two Teen Girls Agree To A Summer of Rom-Com Cliche Dates With Each Other, With a Binding Agreement To End Their Romance Come Fall

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth
Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.

But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.

Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

Add your review of "The Falling in Love Montage" in comments!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Stay Gold - An #OwnVoices Novel Where Trans Guy Pony Moves To A New High School And Goes "Stealth"

Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith

Pony just wants to fly under the radar during senior year. Tired from all the attention he got at his old school after coming out as transgender, he’s looking for a fresh start at Hillcrest High. But it’s hard to live your best life when the threat of exposure lurks down every hallway and in every bathroom.
Georgia is beginning to think there’s more to life than cheerleading. She plans on keeping a low profile until graduation…which is why she promised herself that dating was officially a no-go this year.
Then, on the very first day of school, the new guy and the cheerleader lock eyes. How is Pony supposed to stay stealth when he wants to get close to a girl like Georgia? How is Georgia supposed to keep her promise when sparks start flying with a boy like Pony?

Here's a really touching video from the author, talking about their book, their journey, and how

"Books are the ultimate safe space." 

Add your review of "Stay Gold" in comments!