Saturday, September 15, 2007


Welcome to my new blog!

In fact, welcome no matter your personal sexual or gender identification. Honestly. Even if you’re, well, straight – welcome with open arms.

We (the GLBTQ community - that's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Queer community) need our straight allies to join us not just in our struggle for equality, but as friends and fellow adventurers in our journeys – even our adventures into books!

So, even though it’s called “I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell do I Read?” I hope you’re here even if you’re not queer. No, really.

So who is this blogsite for?

I think it's for teens (queer or not), for librarians, for teachers, for booksellers, for people with teens in their lives and for anyone interested in YA books with GLBTQ characters and themes. What books are already out there? What's new? Your answers are here.

"I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?" also offers a chance for readers to post reviews of the GLBTQ YA books and to read each other's reviews. Every book will eventually have its own post and listing in the column on the right. Click on the title and you'll go to the post on that book. There will be a brief summary, a photo of the cover, and of course whenever possible a link to the author's website. The "comments" for each book post will be the place for you to review the book yourself, and check out what other people thought of the book.

This blogsite is also for those interested in fascinating quotes and poems from GLBTQ history. Every week I'll be sharing one of my favorites, helping to show you all what a rich and varied tapestry of queer written culture already exists - some of it modern, and some of it ancient!

Oh, and "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?" is also for those interested in discussing some intriguing and complex social and writing issues - better known as Lee's Musings. I'll post my take, and then you can tell me what YOU think in the "comments." Presto! It'll be a dialog!

So, Books. Quotes and Poems. Musings. We're going to have so much fun!

And I suppose those interested in this humble blogsite also include my personal allies (friends and family!)

Which is a perfect segue to give them a HUGE “Thanks!”

Thank you to my Allies, who helped me launch this blogsite:

Mark (my love)

Sara Wilson Etienne

Rita Crayon Huang

Greg Pincus

Tony Etienne

Ellen Wittlinger

Brent Hartinger

and all my supportive colleagues at the Yahoo glbtqYAwriters group!

I'll end this post in the way yoga classes end, with the word "Namaste."

It means something along the lines of: "the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you."

And I do.

Namaste, and welcome to my blog!


ps- If you're wondering what's with the photo of the waterfall up top, here's the scoop: It's a picture I took of Akaka Falls on the big Island of Hawaii, right after Mark and I hiked up behind the waterfall and up along the rain forest riverbank to a pristine waterhole. It was rainy, and muddy, and we wore these funny frog-shoes but it was still slippery and scary... and exhilarating! It was one of the most challenging and amazing adventures of my life, and this photo reminds me that I can jump in there and take risks and come out wet and muddy -- and proud and happy, too. So this blog is kinda like that. It feels scary and exciting at the same time, and I hope it proves to be a great adventure for us all!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the blog.

I've been to Akaka Falls too. And the other falls behind them where you can go swimming. Looking forward to your plunge into blogging an to reading some interesting comments on the glbqttq books

Anonymous said...

YAY! I am so glad you've begun.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic, Lee, and such a wonderful niche. I can't wait to share this journey - congratulations!

many peaces,
Thalia Chaltas
(one of those straight gals)

Laini Taylor said...

Hi Lee! Great resource -- glad you've got it up and running! Hope the writing is going well too :-)

I'll link to you on my blogroll. Cheers!

Mary Hershey said...

Dear Lee,

Fabulous site! What a marvelous resource. Thank you! Graci!

And my light is recognizing yours as well. :-] NamaSTE!

Your fan,
Mary Hershey

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Hi Lee,
So glad you're on the net! Thanks for this info! It was cool meeting you and your lovely shirts in LA.

Disco Mermaids said...

What up, Lee? I've been reading your blog all week...can't remember how I found it, but somehow I did!

I've enjoyed reading your reviews and thoughts, and I'm expecting your blog to be as entertaining as you are in person. No pressure!

Welcome to the blogosphere. Hope to see you soon!


Anonymous said...

Found your blog through Worth the Trip. It's great to see a gay YA writer whose stories focus on adventure, not sexuality. I look forward to reading more about your books!

Rita said...

This blog rocks! What you've created is amazing. I can't wait to read all these great books--and everyone's reviews!


dp said...

Lee -- This is BIG. I am so excited to link you, and to direct my students here. Congratulations for doing something I only dream about. You must be way more organized than I am.


Anonymous said...

Lee, I'm blown away by your major new undertaking--Wow! I really admire your commitment to sharing, mentoring, educating, and increasing tolerance in the world. I also really enjoy your writing style and the tone of this blog. And I'm not just saying all this because I'm your brother and I love you, but that's true too! Congratulations!
love John

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blog! As a librarian and avid reader of young adult lit, I will be returning frequently. And a million *thanks* for listing Strings Attached by Nick Nolan in the column on the right hand side! It is his first novel and a great beginning for him. A sequel, Double Bound, is in the works.
Keep up the great work!
Pam C., NM

Anonymous said...

Hey. You might wanna checkout Voodu Dawgz and Tyger Tales by Jess Mowry. They have cool gay characters. You said you liked Babylon Boyz so you might like these too. Cool site! :)

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Thanks for the kind words about this blogsite! I checked out "Tyger Tales" and "Voodu Dawgz" on a few websites, including Jess Mowry's, but I didn't see any references to gay characters in them. I haven't read these books yet, so can you help out and let me know what's/who's GLBTQ about them? Thanks for being part of this community!

Anonymous said...

In Voodu Dawgz there is a boy called Arlan with a genetic thing where you can't go out in the sun. He makes money by posing as a vampire boy. The story is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans so there are a lot of tourists. Arlan is bi and likes another boy named Matt who dances for money. Their relationship is a sub plot in this book and they are like supporting characters but both of them are brave and strong like Pook in Babylon Boyz and they get together at the end. A str8 dude doesn't like them at first but he does at the end. In Tyger Tales there is a gay dude named Jamie who most people won't like at first but he turns out to be cool at the end.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Great info!
I added "Voodu Dawgz" and "Tyger Tales" in the list of books still to come.

Anonymous said...

Did you think about dong interviews with the writers of the books on your list? Like by email?

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

I'm definitely interested in developing more great stuff for this blogsite - check out the "Alex Sanchez: Notes From A Reading" Post in "More On Authors" as an example of the additional stuff about the authors of these great books that I'm trying to do. Doing interviews by e-mail is a great idea for me to explore. Any authors you know, send them my way! Thanks for your participation in this community!

Stacy Dillon said...

Lee: Thanks so much for this amazing resource. I work at a school in the village that celebrates all kinds of families, and extra resources on lgbt books are always a good thing! Good luck with the blog! To add to your gns - Plain Janes by Castelucci has an out gay character, and it's a great read! Cheers!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...


Thanks for the praise and recommendation! (I added "The Plain Janes" to the list of posts still to come - I'm really excited it's a graphic novel!)

And for everyone's info, as of October 22, 2007, We're up to 31 books with posts up, ready for you to add your reviews, and 113 books in the list still to come...

That's a running total of 144 Teen novels with Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and/or Queer Characters and Themes!

And as I find out about more, and new ones are published, the list (and this blog as a resource) will continue to grow!

Thanks to you all for being part of this community!


K L Richardsson said...

Hi Lee,

This is a great site here. And I was happy to see a mention of Pierce's Will of the Empress. Daja's a wonderful character, and I'm glad Pierce has let her grow into such a well-balanced woman.

I have a YA fantasy novel about a gay hero, Katjin, dealing with the ins and outs of a telepathic empire. It's called Heart Sense, and it's being published by Prizm Books. I'd be pleased to see it added to your list.

Thanks again for such a wonderful site! I'll be sure to check the reviews, since I'm always in a mood for something new to read. :)

K L Richardsson

Emily said...

Love this! Thank you for writing this blog. I'm going to post a link from my blog (hope this is okay).


Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

MLE - of course! Thanks for your kind words, and for spreading the word!

Unknown said...

I think what you're doing is really great. I love reading lgbqt books because they're so much more interesting and realistic than the run-of-the-mill cliche love story. I have a big issue with stereotypes and ignorant generalizations, and through reading these books one finds how unique all of our stories are.It's awesome that you've created a place where people can go to find these books. What's your favorite book on this site? Mine is "Keeping You A Secret" by Julie Ann Peters.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Thanks, Emma. It's lovely to have a comment over here once in a while. I'm glad you appreciate the site - I really want it to be a safe and welcoming space!
... But I can't tell you my favorite book - It's why I leave the reviews up to my readers - I ultimately don't want this site to just be a list of the books *I* like, but to be a comprehensive listing of the MG and YA novels with GLBTQ characters and content. As for picture books, there I'm less shy (and also less interested in being comprehensive) - so I have a section "Picture books I wish had been read to me when I was a Kid" They're all amazing, and I recommend those highly!
Thanks for your kind words,

Anonymous said...

So glad I found your blog! It's always nice to meet another book lover.

Kelsey said...

As a future young adult and/or children's librarian (I'm still deciding, ok?! Stop pressuring me!) I look forward to the wonderfully inspiring and insightful posts that you provide--and I hope to provide reviews, too. I hope you don't mind that I add you to a (class project) resource guide for Young Adult LGBTQ Protagonists. I hope to use it soon!

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

thanks srgaissert and Kelsey,
it's lovely to know that 3 years in new people are still finding this blog so welcoming. Welcome!

stefan said...

I think this Is a good web site for students because it gives them many variety of books to choose from and can relate to. Also It helps lgbqt reader to read something they are Interested In such as love,romance,or something
realistic. And I recommend this site to LGBT youth community beacuse It helps you find great books. Also you can give you perspective of what you think also about what's on the site. I think this site Is very helpful to me because I founf great books.

Ali B said...

Just found your blog while taking the 21 Day Blog Challenge. I think you're familiar with it. ;-) I love what I'm reading on your site. I just sent it to my friend who is a counselor for teens in our city's LGBT community. What a great resource! Thank you!!!

Ali B.

pamlovesbooks said...

Hi Lee,
I, too, am a new stalker, er subscriber. THANK YOU for helping to make the world a better place for my son, who came out at age 18. To be sure, this is not a perfect world for a gay black 19 year old, it is at the very least a teeny bit better and you and others like you help calm his worried mama. Cuz after all is said and done, he's still my little boy. i'm sure other mamas feel the same. and if they dont, screw em and i'll be their surrogate mama!

thanks again

Shanay Goodwin said...

Hi!I was reading through some of your post and I am so glad that this blog exist. I think it's great to make everyone feel comfortable with who they are and being true to their-self. I hope by reading some of the books and poems posted on here can make someone who is not sure of their sexual identity feel welcomed and comfortable living their best and true life.