Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Costumes and the Gender Line

This image from online retailer is pretty typical in how it presents the categories of costumes: Men: Creepy, Women: Sexy, Boys: Aggressive, Girls: Girly
Have you noticed the aisles of "boy" costumes separate from the "girl" costumes? 

In our culture that sees gender as binary, it's challenging to find a Halloween costume idea that transcends the boundaries of gender.

Last week, Fandango surveyed 1,000 people who were going to dress up for Halloween, and among the top 20 costumes - divided, of course, by top ten for men and top ten for women -  only ONE Halloween get-up bent gender at all:  For women, the fifth most popular classic character costume was The Mad Hatter.

There was a good discussion thread over at genderfork about Gender Neutral costumes, which brought up the frustration of how to be gender-neutral without being an object - like an undersea fiberoptic cable, or a bunch of grapes.

Some suggestions were fascinating, and androgynous:

An Angel

Dr. Seuss' Thing One and Thing Two

Genderbending burlesque Zombie

A Lord Of The Rings Elf

and, of course,

a Zombie Apocalypse Rescue Team member.

What about YOUR costume? How gender-conforming, or non-conforming is it?

Let me know in comments - and if you send me a picture (as long as it's appropriate) I'll share it here!

Happy Halloween!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics

Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics by David Kelly

From 1995 to 1998, David Kelly’s “Steven’s Comics” ran in LGBT and alternative newspapers around the country. This comic strip explored the world of a sensitive boy coming of age in the seventies, with all its joys, quirks, and heartbreaks. Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics collects the entire Xeric-Award-winning series with additional material created specially for this collection. The book also includes a foreword by advice columnist and It Gets Better Project founder Dan Savage.

Northwest Press will be making a donation to the It Gets Better Project with every copy sold.  You can add your review of "Rainy Day Recess: The Complete Steven’s Comics" in comments!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Gender Lesson for K-5

A blog reader shared this Gender Lesson from Darlene Tando's Gender Blog with me, and it's awesome!

I especially like the list of rules teachers can post in their classrooms:

In Our Classroom…

We are kind to each other.

All toys are for all children.

Colors are for everyone.

Everyone gets to pick their own style.

Being different is OK.

We stand up for others.


Friday, October 26, 2012

The US Presidential Election: The Pro-GLBTQ Choice is Clear

We'll be voting in the USA for our next president... one more term for Barack Obama, or bringing in Mitt Romney.

I liked this video - I thought it said it very well.


It makes a difference!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Flight of the Silver Vixen - An All-Girl Swashbuckling Sci Fi Adventure

Flight of the Silver Vixen
by Annalinde Matichei

A gang of seven teenage hoverbikers.

They're all girls, which is not unusual because there are only females on their planet – or rather feminine beings of two sexes: melini (“brunette”) and chelani (“blonde”).

Rather than steal a car to joy-ride, they steal an experimental space-craft.  And when they're about to be caught by the Navy, they enter a space-warp, leading them to an unknown galaxy.

The teen girls are crazy and irresponsible at first, but the very danger into which their recklessness leads them forces them to learn responsibility, loyalty, and a courage that is not just bravado.

The author plays a prominent role in the small press that published this book.  Add your review of "The Flight of the Silver Vixen" in comments!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hank Green Explains Human Sexuality

This is rather brilliant.

I love the idea of an infinite number of shiny boxes, enough for every one of us!


ps - and my thanks to Karol for sharing!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kamikaze Boys - Two Teen Guys Fall in Love... and Fight Back Against their Bullies

 Kamikaze Boys by Jay Bell

If the world is against you, don’t give up. Find yourself a kindred spirit.  Then you can start fighting back.

They say Connor, the one with the crazy eyes and creepy scar, tried to kill his old man. Lately he’s been seen hanging out with David, the gay guy who always eats lunch alone. They make an odd pair, the loser and the psychopath, and bad things happen to people who mess with them. Not that Connor and David are looking for trouble. Even when taking on the world, they seem more interested in each other than fighting.

Kamikaze Boys is a story about breaking the chains that bind you and using them to beat down anyone that gets in your way. Better yet, it’s about holding hands with the guy you love while doing so.

"Kamikaze Boys" is self-published by the author.  Add your review in comments!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rainbow Chronicle - A Resource For Gay-Friendliness

It's something GLBTQ people and our allies want to know - just how friendly is that box store, or that Cafe, or even that cable company?

Travis Lowry (a straight ally, originally from an "evangelical Texan household") started Rainbow Chronicle

"which allows users to rate any person, business or event according to its gay friendliness..."  

The site

"highlights those acting in an open and accepting manner and calls out those who are acting out of bigotry."

It's a cool idea, and similar to Yelp, the more people contribute, the better resource it will become. 


Friday, October 19, 2012

Yorkie - It's Not For Girls. Um, WHY?

Was in the store and saw this candy:


My daughter was offended.  Me, too.  And I'm thinking, HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

Look, I don't want to be all 'there's no difference between women and men' but I do think stuff like this - the girl in the crossed out red circle - isn't helping with treating everyone equally.  It isn't helping with people understanding gender is more expansive than just male and female.  It isn't helping at all.

If you believe wikipedia,

Special versions for use in British Ministry of Defence ration packs read It's not for civvies.  In 2006 a special edition that was for girls was sold, wrapped in pink. 

Which I think makes me even MORE offended.

Aside from the original milk chocolate bar, several variants are available, such as "raisin and biscuit" flavour, "honeycomb" flavour, and Yorkie Ice Cream.  So I'm curious - since when has liking a particular flavor been gender-determined?

How about defining ourselves by ourselves and our likes, rather than what we're not or what we don't like?

Am I making too much of this - or do you, too, want to call this out as wrong?


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jesus Would Back Gay Marriage - an excellent article by Bishop Gene Robinson

Check out Jesus Would Back Gay Marriage, on, by Bishop Gene Robinson.

It reviews the history of marriage from the Old Testament to the New through the Reformation, Slavery, to Today... and makes an excellent argument that

Marriage for gay or lesbian couples is not an undoing of the meaning and purpose of marriage but rather its natural and appropriate evolution.

It's an excerpt from "God Believes In Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage" by Gene Robinson


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gender 101, Episode #35: Lucy, Nenu, Emmi and BJ on Misconceptions About Being Gender Queer

Gender 101 is back!

I'm very excited to share with you this latest installment (#35) of our series about Gender!

Lucy (a.k.a. Benji), Nenu, Emmi and BJ discuss some of the misconceptions they've faced being Gender Queer...

My thanks to Benji, Nenu, Emmi and BJ for sharing so honestly.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Radiant Days - Time Travel connects two artists

Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand

She is a painter. He is a poet. Their art bridges time.

It is 1978. Merle is in her first year at the Corcoran School of Art, catapulted from her impoverished Appalachian upbringing into a sophisticated, dissipated art scene. It is also 1870. The teenage poet Arthur Rimbaud is on the verge of breaking through to the images and voice that will make his name. The meshed power of words and art thins the boundaries between the present and the past - and allows these two troubled, brilliant artists to enter each other's worlds.

Add your review of "Radiant Days" in comments!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our Family Coalition's resources for teachers and educators!

Our Family Coalition offers trainings, programs and resources to support over 750 GLBTQ-headed families with children in the San Francisco bay area.

Their website has a lot to offer, including this page of Teacher Information resources!

They also have an information/referral section by topic, including gender non-conformity in children, Bisexual parenting, and more.


Friday, October 12, 2012

A Father Finds His Understanding... Travelling to his Lesbian Daughter's Wedding

This three minute mini-documentary from Expedia is really moving:

My wish for everyone brave enough to come out (Yesterday was National Coming Out Day in the USA!) and live their authentic life...

moments like this one, when you are embraced and loved for being just who you are. 

And remember, the first person that has to love you is you. The rest will flow from that.


ps - love to my husband, who made sure I saw this.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Coming Out LIVE and 50 Brave Blog Posts About Coming Out - For National Coming Out Day!

 This video of Daniel coming out  to his mother - filmed live - is amazing -

And this list of 50 blog posts about coming out is a very cool resource.

It includes gems like this:

About coming out later in life


Ryan's transgender coming out

and even this poem I posted a while back by a gay teen, Ethan.

Go check out the wealth of coming out stories...

and be inspired!

Namaste with Pride,

My thanks to author Hayden Thorne for the coming out live link!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A powerful coming out story from a Children's Book Author... about their child being Transgender

Ann Whitford Paul is a wonderful author of picture books, with titles like "Word Builder" and "Tortuga In Trouble" as well as the picture book craft book, "Writing Picture Books: A Hands-On Guide from Story Creation to Publication."

And in an op-ed piece "A Transgender Story: My Daughter, My Son" in the Los Angeles Times this week, Ann writes about her child's journey from Sarah to Finn... and her own challenging journey of acceptance.

Go read it.

It brought me close to tears, and I'm so proud of Ann for sharing her story and standing up for her child!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm in School Library Journal!

Recently at KidLitCon 2012 at the New York City Public Library, my friend Greg Pincus mentioned me (and this blog) in his talk "Avoiding the Echo."

I knew about it because I saw the tweets, but now a very nice article by Mahnaz Dar, KidLitCon 2012: Expanding the World of KidLit Blogs, has come out in School Library Journal about Greg's lecture,

It reads in part,
“Pincus advised bloggers to turn into trustworthy experts in their fields by publishing high-quality content and establishing a reliable online presence. Pincus brought up Lee Wind, whose blog I’m Here, I’m Queer, What the Hell Do I Read, which examines books with LGBTQ themes geared toward young people. Wind often moderates comments for hateful speech and provides a safe space for teens. Since his site is often used as a resource for young adults questioning their sexuality, Pincus also cited him as a blogger who’s succeeded in reaching audiences far beyond fans of children’s literature.”

I'm honored to be mentioned by Greg, and delighted to be featured in the SLJ article!

Just had to share.


Monday, October 8, 2012

California's New Law To Protect Youth from Therapists Who Claim They Can "Cure" Them of Being Queer!

Very historic news -

(San Francisco, CA, September 29, 2012)—California Governor Jerry Brown made history today by signing a landmark bill that will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth from psychological abuse by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able to change their sexual orientation or gender expression. With Governor Brown’s signature, California becomes the first state in the nation to protect LGBT young people from these dangerous practices, including the use of shame, verbal abuse, and aversion therapy, that place youth at high risk of depression and suicide. The law, which goes into effect January 1, 2013, prohibits state-licensed therapists from engaging in these practices with minors. 
Governor Brown (at microphone) and State Senator Ted Lieu (the Bill's sponsor)

The press release from the National Center For Lesbian Rights continued with this,

Ryan Kendall, a survivor of the practice who testified in the Perry v. Brown legal challenge to Proposition 8, described his experience earlier this summer to the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee: “As a young teen, the anti-gay practice of so-called conversion therapy destroyed my life and tore apart my family. In order to stop the therapy that misled my parents into believing that I could somehow be made straight, I was forced to run away from home, surrender myself to the local department of human services, and legally separate myself from my family. At the age of 16, I had lost everything. My family and my faith had rejected me, and the damaging messages of conversion therapy, coupled with this rejection, drove me to the brink of suicide.”

Senate Bill 1172 becoming law is a big step towards a better world. As Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president said of the new law when it was signed on September 29, 2012,

"Governor Brown today reaffirmed what medical and mental health organizations have made clear: Efforts to change minors' sexual orientation are not therapy, they are the relics of prejudice and abuse that have inflicted untold harm on young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Californians... We thank Senator Ted Lieu and Governor Brown for their efforts in making California a leader in banning this deceptive and harmful practice."


Friday, October 5, 2012

Casual Homophobia on Twitter

Check out this new website,

They're tracking four terms on twitter...


No Homo



So Gay

showing how often each term comes up so far today, last week, and since they started counting on July 5, 2012.  They're also displaying the current stream of tweets with those words. 

It's overwhelming.  And infuriating.  And should make us all pause and think.  As the site says,

"Homophobic language isn't always meant to be hurtful, but how often do we use it without thinking?"

It's hard to watch the numbers climb, but the idea behind the "social mirror" website, created by the University of Alberta's Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (in Canada), is to call out this homophobia so we can change it.

"The use of homophobic language only serves to hurt, stereotype, and further isolate sexual minority students and we need to take a stand; ignoring such language is not an option." - Dr. Fern Snart, Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta.

Want to help them?  If you see or experience casual homophobia on twitter, use the #nohomophobes hashtag and encourage everyone you know to stop the casual homophobia out there!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Resilience - Stories, Poems, Essays, Words for LGBT Teens

Resilience edited by Eric Nguyen

To be queer and young is to be STRONG. To be queer and young is to be RESILIENT.

Collected in this anthology are over 20 inspiring stories, poems, essays, and other writings made for you - our queer youth.

Started in 2010 in a time of crisis for the queer community, these are the works of artists who wanted to show the world the power of words. While eclectic in style and form, what unites these works is a message of hope: it doesn't just get better, you grow stronger and wiser.

Money from the sale of this book will be used to help fund The Make It Safer Project, which aims to bring LGBT-related books into schools and homeless shelters and into the hands of LGBT kids. For more information on the Make It Safe Project, visit

Featuring work from: Anne Johnson, Christopher Stephen Soden, James R. Silvestri, Emma Eden Ramos, Dan Stone, and many more!

"Resilience" is a self-published anthology of stories, poems, and essays for LGBT Teens. Add your review in comments!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October is LGBTQ History Month in the USA!

Let's celebrate LGBTQ history!

A great resource is the 31 days of queer icons highlighted by equality forum.  I particularly love their pdf information sheets on each icon - like this one on Katharine Lee Bates, the songwriter who wrote "America The Beautiful" ... and a woman who loved another woman!

And here's the one on Transgender Pioneer Christine Jorgensen!

It's 31 days of history - past and present - and it's a wonderful resource... and a great reason and way to celebrate our LGBTQ history!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

No More "Not Gay" At UVA (University of Virginia)

So here's the University of Virginia 'Good Ol' Song'

What you don't hear is that students have been inserting "not" before the word "gay" in the chant for years. Here's the lyrics:

The good ol' song of wah-hoo-wah
We'll sing it o'er and o'er
It cheers our hearts and warms our blood
To hear them shout and roar.

We come from ol' Virginia
Where all is bright and gay
Let's all join hands and give a yell
For the dear old UVA.

Good news is that last week the student council

"unanimously approved a resolution condemning the insertion of the “not gay” chant into the “Good Ol’ Song,” commonly sung at athletic events. The chant has come under scrutiny several times in the past decade and has become increasingly unpopular as support for gay rights has increased across the country."

With the resolution,

"Council seeks to take a stand against the chanting of the unscripted phrase — a phrase that members see as contrary to the safe and welcoming environment the University seeks to provide to all its students. Council members said they hoped the legislation would be a step toward ending disrespectful or derogatory acts toward LGBTQ communities and supporters."



ps- my thanks to Karol for giving me the heads-up on this story!  It's also been reported on the Huffington Post and at Outsports.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Banned Books Week! Sept 30-Oct 6, 2012 ... Read a Banned Book!

There are lots of ways to celebrate Banned Books Week.

One way is to check out the banned books week virtual read-out channel on youtube here.

Another is to get involved in your school or community and do a community reading of parts of different banned books - ask your librarian to help!

And still another is to get your hands on a great - and banned - book yourself, and read it!  (You can see the top banned books as compiled by the American Library Association here - the top ten for 2011 list includes the ttyl series by Lauren Myracle, The Hunger Games series by Susanne Collins, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, What My Mother Doesn't Know by Sonya Sones and more great reads!)

You can find out more about Banned Books Week's Virtual Read-Out here, and there's a 50 states salute where each of the USA's 50 states has a video celebrating the freedom to read.

Let's celebrate our freedom to read by exercising it!