Friday, July 10, 2020

You Should See Me In A Crown - Liz Needs The Scholarship that Comes with Being Prom Royalty, But She Might be Falling for Her Biggest Competition

You Should See Me In A Crown by Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty has always believed she's too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it's okay -- Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.
But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz's plans come crashing down . . . until she's reminded of her school's scholarship for prom king and queen. There's nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she's willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.
The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She's smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

Add your review of "You Should See Me In a Crown" in comments!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

New Affiliate Relationship with - A great way to buy LGBTQ kid and teen books online AND support Indie Bookstores AND support Lee and this blog

I'm really excited about starting as an affiliate with I love that they're a B-corporation, meaning they see success as a business as more than just making money - they're also looking at the impact they have on society!

And they, like me, believe indie bookstores are community hubs that should be supported.

So, as an alternative to the dominant online marketplace, Bookshop has launched in just the past few months with a model that supports indie bookstores in two ways. The first, individual bookstores can make 30% of the cover price if someone buys from their online store. And the second, an affiliate program where 10% of the purchase goes into a pool of money that is then distributed by shares to all indie bookstores (even the ones who don't have stores on Bookshop!) For those affiliate sales, there's also 10% that goes to the affiliate (in this case, to me to help run this blog), and 10% to bookshop to help them keep it all running.

It's an exciting new model, and already, since their launch earlier this year, they've raised over $4.8 million for indie bookstores here in the U.S.!

Official disclosure: As of July 5, 2020, if you click on a book here on this blog and it takes you to, there is an affiliate relationship in place where 10% of that book order will come back to me, Lee Wind. I hope that works for you. And if it doesn't, no worries. I hope you buy your books somewhere that feels good to you. Thanks!

Here's the link for MY book: Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill,

And here's what this blog's store page looks like, with lists of LGBTQ Teen Books and LGBTQ Middle Grade Books that were featured on this blog in 2020.

You can also search for books on here:

What a cool way for online book shopping to help keep indie bookstores strong community centers!

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

Monday, July 6, 2020

I'll Be Part of UCLA Extension's Online YA Symposium: The Young And The Reckless: Writing For Teens - August 29 - September 5, 2020

I'm really honored to be one of "today’s most exciting YA writers" in this program!

I'll be doing two breakout sessions with my friend Karol Ruth Silverstein, one "Checking Privilege at the Door," and the other "Creating Complex Characters."

I'll also be part of a panel discussion with Sherri L. Smith, Aminah Mae Safi, and Cindy Lin:

From Desire to Draft: Writing Your First Novel
Once you have your great idea, you need to put words on paper to render the world, characters, and events you’ve imagined. How do you go from an idea to a story? What different techniques can you use to bring your story to life? Writers on this panel will discuss how they completed their first draft, how they approached revision, and how they knew they were ready to send the book out to agents and editors.

You can find all the details and register here.

Thanks for letting me share,

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

Friday, July 3, 2020

Listen to this Book of Life Podcast Where Heidi Rabinowitz and I Interview Each Other About Jewish Kidlit and LGBTQIA2+ Kidlit

I loved this discussion, and was so honored to partner with Heidi as part of the Through the Window diversity exchange.

Here's the description of that program:

Through the Window is a diversity exchange created by the Association of Jewish Libraries to fight antisemitism and other forms of bias through education and allyship. Jewish organizations swap content with other marginalized communities to give both groups a look through the window at our common humanity.

I'm also really delighted that Heidi created an opportunity for us to "use our privilege constructively to boost Black voices," and we've both done so with some recommendations of powerful works by Black creators, which starts the episode off.

Listen to the podcast here, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Camp - A Queer Teen Hides His True Self To Get The Guy... But is it worth it if he loses himself in the process?

Camp by L.C. Rosen

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim — who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.

This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ — buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.

But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself: How much is he willing to change for love? And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?

Add your review of "Camp" in comments!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Join me Tuesday June 30 for a FREE online presentation: "Empowering Kids and Teens with LGBTQ History (Okay...Adults, too!)"

The lovely people at the Broward County Library system in Florida are hosting me online tomorrow, Tuesday June 30 from 1-2pm Eastern/10-11am Pacific to present this inspiring (and yes, empowering) discussion.

The program flyer

Here's the description:

The anniversary of the Stonewall Riots may have just hit 51 years, but LGBTQ history did not start in 1969. Join author and educator Lee Wind and discover Queer lives that were hidden and loves that were secret, going back hundreds, even thousands, of years and from all over the world. Unlock the secret histories of Abraham Lincoln, Sappho, the Pharaoh Hatshepsut, and so many more...

Together with Wind, you will crack the false facade of history as it has been taught and let the rainbow light of true history—the stories of men who loved men, women who loved women, and people who lived outside gender boundaries—shine through.

Click here to register! Update: here's that link again:

Hope to see you virtually!

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

Friday, June 26, 2020

Jason Reynolds, Ibram Kendi in Conversation from SLJ Day of Dialog 2020

This keynote video, Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi, co-authors of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, kicking off SLJ's Day of Dialog on May 27, 2020, is well-worth watching.

So much was important in their discussion, including:

The invention of racism

Racism as a virus and Anti-racism as a vaccine.

Racism and Anti-racism as states of being.

"There's something about the documenting of a thing that makes it real. Even if it's not true." —Jason Reynolds

and the erasure of the history of Black women.

There's even a discussion of how Jason took his own style, "the irreverence of a teenager," to re-mix Dr. Kendi's academic book into a book for teens.

Watch it here.

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

P.S. - Members of the Trans community are protesting Library Journal for awarding the Seattle Public Library (SPL) as the 2020 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, when that library had allowed the Women’s Liberation Front, an anti-trans group, to rent a meeting room for an event in February. You can read LJ's statements here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Everyone Should Read This: ”Policing Is Doing What It Was Meant to Do. That’s the Problem. Blaming racist violence on ‘bad apples’ misses the point.”

From the June 21, 2020 edition of the New York Times, this piece by philosophers Todd May and George Yancy was so powerful.

“That is the question we should be asking of the police. Not why do they regularly fail to perform their duties correctly and thus need reform, but rather, what duties are they succeeding at?

Once we ask that question, the answer is entirely clear. They succeed in keeping people in their place. They succeed in keeping middle-class and especially upper-class white people safe, so long as they don’t get out of line. They succeed in keeping people of color in their place so that they don’t challenge the social order that privileges middle- and upper-class white people. And, as we have recently witnessed in many violent police responses at protests, they succeed in suppressing those who would question the social order.

If we look at individual police officers divorced from the structure in which they operate — if we simply look for the ‘bad apples’— we fail to see the role of the police as a whole. Whether individual police officers are racist is not the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is whether the police — the institution of policing as it exists in the United States — is racist. And once we look at this clearly, we understand that the answer must be yes.”


And as Todd and George conclude:

“To truly confront problems of racist violence in our society, let’s not once again begin with the question of how to reform the police. Let’s instead start with the question of how to build healthy and safe communities of mutual respect and see which institutions we need to reach that goal. If anything that is to be called policing emerges from that inquiry, it should be at its end rather than assumed at the outset.”

Read the full opinion piece here.

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

Monday, June 22, 2020

Teens Rock Their Power on TikTok to Impact US Politics - Even If They're Not Old Enough To Vote

So the current occupant of the White House held a political rally for his reelection. In Tulsa (injury), originally scheduled for June 19, 2020, or Juneteenth (adding insult). They pushed it one day back, and were crowing about the biggest reservation requests... But the crowds didn't show.

So what happened to the giant crowds the President and his team predicted?

I like how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it:

"Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID
Shout out to Zoomers. Y'all make me so proud." —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

You can read the full report on it in the New York Times here, under the headline "TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally":

And from the New York Times newsletter, here's a screen shot of empty seats at that Trump rally.

It's a great reminder that voting isn't the only way to have your voice heard, no matter your age.

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

Friday, June 19, 2020

What is YOUR Sphere of Influence? - Danielle Coke Illustrates It For Us

Love this post by Ohhappydani on Instagram:

A close up of the image Danielle created.

Danielle wrote, "This is not at ALL an exhaustive list, but hopefully it serves as a simplified overview and starter guide for those of you who are ready to move from performative to productive action!"

It's brilliant, and helpful.

Thanks, Danielle.

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

p.s. Giant thanks to my friend Tracy who shared this with me, so I could share it with you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

More than 30,000 March and Protest in Los Angeles for ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER

The ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER protest and march in Los Angeles 
(Hollywood and West Hollywood) on June 14, 2020. 
Image is a screen shot from this news report.
"We are here to amplify Black Queer voices and come together in solidarity."

That's a quote from the All Black Lives Matter LA website

30,000 plus strong. In my town. Something good to share.
And I really love how the street mural has the word ALL
in the Transgender Flag colors and the word MATTER
in the rainbow flag colors.
The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The June 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter

For me, being an ally to the Black community right now means 7 things...

This video was recorded around 5:30pm Pacific on Friday June 12, 2020. Just hours later, Rayshard Brooks was murdered by a police officer in Atlanta. Enough! BLACK LIVES MATTER.

While there's no need for a transcript this time, there are a bunch of links to share:

There's lots of media coverage of the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, but not every article helps us know who they were as people. Look for those.

One story that didn't get as much attention was the police murder of Tony McDade. This was largely because Tony was Trans. You can read more about Tony in this Advocate article:

Watch Trevor Noah speak about our society's broken contract with Black people: The quote I cite is from 11:09.

Watch Kimberly Latrice Jones spell out the injustice done to Black Americans so eloquently here: The quote I cite is from 3:28.

Watch Jacqueline Woodson speak about being Anti-Racist (and some of the microaggressions she's faced) in the Kid Lit Rally 4 Black Lives: The quote I cite is from 24:48.

Watch this conversation with President Obama: Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence: The President Obama quote I cite is from 1:09:07.

Learn more about the diversity pride flag with the added brown and black stripes to recognize, celebrate, and advocate for LGBTQ people of color here:

Check out this "Anguish and Action" page at with "resources to create a more just and equitable world":

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

Friday, June 12, 2020

Wisdom from Bayard Rustin, a Black Gay Hero of the Civil Rights Movement

Most people don't know about Bayard Rustin, the Black Gay man who taught Martin Luther King, Jr. the tactics of nonviolent protest and organized the famous 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King gave his amazing "I Have a Dream" speech.

Bayard Rustin at a 1963 news briefing on the Civil Rights March on Washington in the Statler Hotel. Public Domain.

In 1987, Bayard wrote,

"History demonstrates that no group is ultimately safe from prejudice, bigotry, and harassment so long as any group is subject to special negative treatment."

A year earlier, when he was asked if he had any advice for other Black Gay activists who maybe hoped to follow in his footsteps, Bayard said:

"I think the most important thing I have to say is that they should try to build coalitions of people for the elimination of all injustice. Because if we want to do away with the injustice to gays it will not be done because we get rid of the injustice to gays. It will be done because we are forwarding the effort for the elimination of injustice to all. And we will win the rights for gays, or blacks, or Hispanics, or women within the context of whether we are fighting for all."
Bayard inspires me, and I hope you as well.

We must stand up, each of us as best we can, for all of us. #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackTransLivesMatter

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Kimberly Latrice Jones Spells Out the Injustice Done to Black Americans So Eloquently.


From Instagram, on Trevor Noah's feed.  This impassioned video by Kimberly Latrice Jones is less than 7 minutes long.

We need to listen.

And then do more to help Black and Brown people in our communities and our country.

The emotion. The monopoly metaphor.

And the recognition that I need to get better educated about Tulsa and Rosewood, the places where Kimberly speaks of the Black community building economic wealth only to have it burned down and taken away.

There's so much more for all of us who have privilege to do.

Start right now by listening.

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

Monday, June 8, 2020

KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives - So Important - Watch The Recording!

In two parts, the first for kids, and the second for adults, this online KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives is a must-watch.

A screen shot showing Jacqueline Woodson (right) speaking to young viewers at about 25 minutes into the recording. (One of many sign language interpreters who helped make the even more accessible is shown at left.)

The Kid-focused rally starts at about 10 minutes in, and the adult part starts about 1:13:00 in.

The event features Jacqueline Woodson, Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, and so many more important voices...

Raul the Third shares his drawing of George Floyd with viewers at 1:29

Go watch it now.

And here's a link to the organizing The Brown Bookshelf's KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives: Anti-Racist Resources for Children, Families, and Educators.

I'm so glad I watched this - and recommend you watch it as well.

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