Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pulp - Two Teenage Girls, 62 years apart, and the Lesbian Pulp Novels That Change Everything For Them



Pulp by Robin Talley

In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, D.C. in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself―and Marie―to a danger all too real.

62 years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject―classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires, and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity.

Add your review of "Pulp" in comments!

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Transgender Story of Coy Mathis is Edited Out of the Russian edition of "Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls"

This was reported last week in Huffington Post's Queer Voices by Daria Litvinova, LGBTQ People Erased From Books In Russia Under ‘Gay Propaganda’ Law: A story written by trans activist Coy Mathis is missing from the Russian edition of a new children’s book.

Image from this beautiful post about the original "Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls" on MommyShorts

According to the article,

Liza Lazerson, a feminist blogger who owns a copy, said she was surprised to see that while the cover promised 100 stories the book contained only 99 and one blank page - supposedly for the reader to add their own.

“But then a follower sent me a photo of Coy Mathis’s story from the French edition,” Lazerson, who is based in Moscow, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in written comments.

Mathis, an 11-year-old transgender girl from the United States, won a landmark victory in a 2013 case against her school allowing her to use the girl’s bathroom.

Bombora, which printed the book in Russia, did not immediately respond to requests for comment....

Francesca Cavallo, one of the authors of “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls,” said she was “deeply saddened that Coy’s story has been left out.”
It's sad and frustrating that children and their families in Russia won't have access to this empowering story of a young girl who was born with a boy's body, and how her parents (and ultimately, a judge) were so supportive of her being allowed to use whatever bathroom she felt most comfortable using at school.

In these times where governments create darkness, every bit of light becomes more important, and more powerful. 

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


Friday, November 9, 2018

Drum Roll, Please - A Middle Grade Novel Where A Girl Finds Her Voice (and Romance With Another Girl) Playing The Drums at Summer Camp



Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods.

But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?

Add your review of "Drum Roll, Please" in comments!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Palm Springs Peeps! I'm speaking tonight (6:30pm Wednesday November 7, 2018) at the Palm Springs Public Library!

If you're in Palm Springs, California, I hope you can join me and our community for this "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" book event! We start at 6:30pm, and you can find all the details here.



It's also exciting to see how the word has gotten out in Palm Springs, with write-ups in The Uken Report,


Poets and Writers,


Gay Desert Guide,


and Palm Springs Life!



My thanks to Julie Warren, Library Services and Public Relations Manager of the Palm Springs Public Library for inviting me out to Palm Springs to speak about my debut teen novel, and to QTrading, who will be onsite for book sales following the presentation.

I hope to see you there!

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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Tomorrow, We VOTE!

For the past 98 days on twitter, facebook, and instagram I've been counting down my motivations for voting in tomorrow's midterm elections here in the United States.



Tomorrow, Tuesday November 6, 2018, we vote.

Do your part. If you can vote, do so. If you can't, do what you can to encourage and empower others to vote.

And let's stop Trump and his Republican enablers from moving even one more step on their hateful, selfish, terrible agenda.

The light in me recognizes and celebrates the light in you, and in times of darkness like right now, that's when light matters even more!

Lee

Friday, November 2, 2018

In Philadelphia This Sunday November 4, 2018? Join me at the Woodmere Art Museum for an Author Talk and Book Signing!

from the Woodmere website!

Philadelphia is my hometown, and the Woodmere Art Museum, in celebrating the art and artists from Philadelphia, is the perfect place to celebrate the publication of "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill"!

You can RSVP for this FREE event here!

CAN A SECRET FROM HISTORY CHANGE THE WORLD?

Join Author Lee Wind as he discusses his debut teen novel, Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill, that explores that very question. To fix his life, bullied and closeted fifteen-year-old Wyatt goes public with historical evidence that Abraham Lincoln was in love with another guy—triggering a backlash and media firestorm that might destroy everything he cares about.
This free event will include a talk, reading, Q&A, and book signing. Copies of the novel will be available to purchase and/or donate to LGBTQ and Allied teens.

DATE AND TIME
Sun, November 4, 2018
4:30 PM – 6:30 PM EST

LOCATION
Woodmere Art Museum
9201 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19118

RSVP here for this FREE event in Philadelphia, PA!



Hope to see you there!

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

Lee

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"I hope that 'Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill' becomes a bestseller" - Lyn Miller Lachmann Shouts Out To My Novel in her Blog Post, "Rebellious Books"!



This essay, and the very kind things Lyn says about "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill", were really amazing!

Highlights:

courageous small presses and individual writers publishing themselves will be the source of most stories of resistance in the future, and that reviewers, educators, librarians, and book buyers need to take a far more open-minded attitude toward these upstarts.

and

While many look down on self-published books as inferior in terms of writing and production quality, I found Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill to be superior on both counts.

and

One of the key tasks of allies is to amplify marginalized voices not only by broadcasting those voices on social media but also by creating original works such as reviews and blog posts in support. Amplification often has more effect when it comes from someone who can introduce own voices work to the outsider’s community. This is especially true when a marginalized author has been shut out of mainstream publishing and has had to go it alone to have their voice heard. And it is even more true today, when a would-be dictator and his collaborators seek to erase transgender people who have also lived in every society in every period of history. I hope that Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill becomes a bestseller and have been heartened by the reaction I’ve received so far to my review on The Pirate Tree. I hope it encourages others to explore the hidden histories and bring those stories to all of us.

Thank you, Lyn!

You can read the full piece here.

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


Lee

Monday, October 29, 2018

The Prince and The Dressmaker - A Graphic Novel about a Prince with a Secret Life: An Alter-Ego Named "Lady Crystallia"



The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride—or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia—the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances—one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?

Add your review of "The Prince and The Dressmaker" in comments!

Friday, October 26, 2018

There's an article on me and "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" in my local newspaper: "Palisadian Author Pens Historical Deep Dive"


This is very cool!

Here's the text of the article:

Palisadian Author Pens Historical Deep Dive

“What if you knew a secret from history that could change the world?”

Palisadian Lee Wind poses that striking question on the front cover of his debut novel, “Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill.” As we all know, pictured on the $5 bill is 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. This particular secret concerns the possibility that he was in love with close friend, Joshua Fry Speed, as alluded to in their written correspondence.

“I went to the library and read ‘The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln,’” Wind said on the phone with the Palisadian-Post, adding that he related to the sentiments expressed by Lincoln in his affectionate letters to another man.

The impetus for this research expedition and subsequent literary pursuit was the fact that Wind said he was troubled by the false façade of history that school children are taught: Everybody important was white, male and cis-gender.

Not only is that simply not true, Wind recognized, but it’s so wildly inaccurate that it’s actually providing a disservice to the youth of today whom are navigating their sexuality with trepidation.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Wind felt compelled to “introduce the idea that history is complicated and people are complicated.”

Crowd-funded on Kickstarter in six days, “Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill” follows 15-year-old Wyatt as he steers through the “treacherous waters of his sexuality.” Providing an authentic voice, he was written as a version of Wind himself. “Wyatt is a lot braver than I was—he comes out at 15, I didn’t come out until I was in my 20s,” Wind admitted.

Among the supporting characters is an African-American attorney with an openly gay son, who, like any “diverse” character on screen, shouldn’t stand out for being unusual, but in this day and age still does.

“The book is a tool for empowerment for kids, not just LGBTQ+ kids,” Wind emphasized. “Every reader is faced with the same question [that Wyatt happens upon].” It’s already a semi-finalist in the BookLife annual writing contest.

In addition to Wind’s literary activities, he is the director of marketing and programming at the Independent Book Publishers Association and the official blogger for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Wind’s role is to “help empower the voices of independent publishers,” reinforced by his profound belief that books should be judged on the quality of the writing, not who the publisher is. “That’s my Clark Kent job,” Wind said with a laugh, clarifying that his superhero job is writing stories inspired by our untold history.

Spare moments in Wind’s schedule are spent working on his personal blog, “I’m Here, I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?” which serves over two million readers.

Toward the end of our chat, Wind noted that there are countless examples of historical figures who lived outside traditional gender boundaries. Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok could be jumping off points for challenging research that can only result in the reward of accurate knowledge.

“The resistance that people have to diversity might be because people are worried about losing their seat at the table,” Lee hypothesized. “So, let’s get a bigger table and add more chairs.”

Visit leewind.org to learn more about Wind and his new book.

My thanks to Reporter Trilby Beresford, and the editorial staff at the Palisadian-Post for this very kind coverage! It's so exciting that more people will find out about this secret from history, and my book!

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Pirate Tree Reviews "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill", calling it "engaging and thought-provoking" as well as "honest, powerful, and well-written"!



This review by Lyn Miller Lachmann was amazing, and this part especially got me:

"I expect that countless teens and adults will appreciate Wind’s courage and the generosity of his supporters who made this book possible."

It's so amazing to have my book out in the world, being read! Because that makes it OUR book. And that's wonderful.

Read the full review at the Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children's Literature blog here.

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

Monday, October 22, 2018

Discover LGBTQ History Handouts

Hello community!

I had a great time presenting my "Discover LGBTQ History" workshop at Models of Pride this weekend, and the room at Cal State Los Angeles was packed with over 70 LGBTQ and Allied Teens -- in fact, I didn't have enough of these handouts to go around...

As promised, here they are! Click here to download them.





For more information, you can email me at leewind (at) roadrunner (dot) com.

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



Friday, October 19, 2018

A Scary Time - a brilliant song performed by the artist, Lynzy Lab

This!




Amplifying as an ally to women everywhere...

Share it, raise our collective voices, and VOTE on November 6, 2018.

Thanks to Lynzy Lab for the brilliant message and catchy song!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Just Julian - the other side of the "Romeo For Real" Gay Teen Coming Out Story



Just Julian by Markus Harwood-Jones

After years of bullying at school, 19-year-old Julian is depressed. He sees a glimmer of hope after meeting the similarly out-of-place Romeo at a party and sharing a kiss with him. The only problem: Romeo has always identified as straight and he hangs out with a group of intolerant guys. But as the two begin to fall in love, Julian finds strength he never knew he had.

When Romeo’s old friends come after the couple, a vicious fight puts both Julian and Romeo in the hospital. The two boys decide to take a stand for their right for respect.

The companion novel to the author's "Romeo for Real." 

Add your review of "Just Julian" in comments!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Photos from My Amazing Book Launch Party Weekend!

What a wonderful launch weekend here in Los Angeles!

Friday night in Pasadena:

Signage at Pasadena's Art Night!
scenes from a panel - left to right: Brandy Colbert, me (!), and C.B. Lee

More scenes from a panel

Each of us with our queer YA books!

What a great conversation!
Just one of the amazing posters celebrating LGBTQ athletes that filled the teen room at the Pasadena Public Library

Saturday morning in West Hollywood:


The West Hollywood Library event, with their YA librarian Dione Surdez

scenes from a signing
new friends


tried and true friends

Mid-day in Pasadena:

The San Gabriel Valley Pride authors tent

More signing fun

books for all!

The evening event in Santa Monica:
Waiting backstage while I was introduced

Me on stage at Highways

Reading!




The evening's mascot


Celebrating with good friends!



Thanks to all my family, friends, and community that joined in the celebration, and to everyone who send good vibes!

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


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Today's My Book Launch Celebration - All Day, All Over L.A.!



Hello Community!

It has been a quite a journey to get to this amazing moment, and I'm hoping you can join me at one or more of these events today, Saturday October 13, 2018, to celebrate the publication of my debut teen novel, "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill".

The day will start at 10:30am-11:30am in West Hollywood, with a Teen Reads Week event at the West Hollywood County Public Library's West Hollywood Room. I'll talk a bit, read from the book, answer questions, and do a signing. Address: West Hollywood County Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90064.

Then at 1:00pm - 2:00pm in Pasadena I'll be part of the San Gabriel Valley Pride celebration with a time slot at the author's tent, where I'll once again talk a bit, read from the book, answer questions, and do a signing. Address: Pasadena Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Aveneu, Pasadena, CA 91105

The day's big finale is at 7:00pm-10:00pm, with a Party at Highways in Santa Monica. We have the entire theater for a talk, reading, Q&A, signing... and a BIG DANCE PARTY! There will be fruit, and desserts, and sparkling apple cider to toast to this book that is heading out into the world to make a difference in LGBTQ teen lives. Address: Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404.

If you're local, or are in Los Angeles, I'd love to see you!

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


Lee