Monday, September 29, 2014

Friday, September 26, 2014

Disparate Youth - a new series of LGBTQ & Gender-Queer Flash Fiction

Disparate Youth by Alliah

Offered for free on the internet (and as an email subscription) these are short-format stories. In the words of the Brazilian genderfluid writer and visual artist:

"The only rule I impose myself when writing these particular stories is that at least one character must have diverse sexual orientation and/or diverse gender identity."

I read the M.A.R.K. story, "a sci-fi piece set in space, more specifically, inside a research facility on an exoplanet"and enjoyed it.

Add your review of Alliah's Disparate Youth stories in comments!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gender 101, Episode #23 Redux: Meet Nenu

Our Gender Queer Friend Lucy, a.k.a. Benji, continues the conversation about gender with Nenu Cruz, who explains their own journey with gender, and introduces us to the term "Maribri."

Here's that amazing image of Maribri again, and my thanks to artist Cindy Segura for allowing me to share it with you all!


"A Maribri is a hybrid that transforms into their own image without limits or expectations.  The mix of a Mariposa (butterfly) and Colibri (hummingbird).  The hybrid of masculinity and femininity and neither.  A third gender that wants to be liberated from the social construct roles and their own."
- Nenu

I'm so glad to have met Nenu!


ps- my apologies for the video quality being so inconsistent.

You can check out the original posting and comment here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banned Books Week Celebrates The Freedom To Read! September 21-27, 2014

You can find out more about Banned Books Week at the American Library Association's Website.

As explained in the American Library Association's list of the most challenged and banned books of 2013-2014,

This freedom, not only to choose what we read, but
also to select from a full array of possibilities, is firmly
rooted in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,
which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of
the press. Although we enjoy an increasing quantity and
availability of information and reading material, we must
remain vigilant to ensure that access to this material is
preserved; would-be censors who continue to threaten
the freedom to read come from all quarters and all
political persuasions. Even if well intentioned, censors
try to limit the freedom of others to choose what they
read, see, or hear.

So read a banned book. And talk about it.

And let's keep fighting for - and celebrating - our right to read!


Friday, September 19, 2014

My mother is dead. And I’m gay. But those aren’t causal.

1938 - 2014

My mom in 1974, when I was seven. Our relationship was great until I realized – around age 12 – that I couldn’t be honest with her about the feelings I felt for other guys (and that I didn’t feel for girls.)

When I finally came out to my parents at age 25, my mom acted like it was the big act-one finale of some grand opera – oh, the tragedy of her life, two gay sons (yup, my older brother is gay, too.) My truth meant, to her, a life of despair – no grandchildren, no joy, no hope.

Her reaction was incredibly hard to experience.

I’m 47 today, and when my mom died last week, after a three-and-a-half year battle with ovarian cancer, she had my brother, myself and our dad at her side, and so much had changed. The truth of my mom’s life had transformed, and somewhere in these last 22 years we went from living in a tragedy to living a joyous, if sometimes bittersweet, comedy.

My mom this past summer, age 76.

My mom still had two gay sons, but she also had a son-in-law (my husband) and a granddaughter (our amazing daughter.) The six of us had spent two separate vacations this summer together, cramming in the great memories – my mom and daughter making matzah-ball soup for an early holiday meal, my parents meeting the rest of us for lunch after we had walked the gay pride parade in Tel Aviv with some of our gay and allied Israeli family, and all of us slathering on the salty mud by the shore of the Dead Sea in Israel.

We’d had such tough times, but my mom and I had finally arrived at a really good place. (Even though there were always little things, like my mom never really visiting this blog, which hurt my feelings. But as I was pulling together materials for her obituary, it hit me that I never really visited her artist website, either. None of us are perfect, and we’re all just doing the best we can.)

And while it’s tempting to be angry about all the time we didn’t get now that we finally arrived at this good place – the fifteen, or twenty, more years I wish we had with my mother – I find myself focusing on how grateful I am.

I’m so grateful we were able to heal from our hurt on all sides, and move on to the comedy, and the joy.

I’m so grateful I was able to be there for her final days, that there was nothing left unsaid between us. That I was able to tell my mom that I love her, and have always loved her, and that after all this time I know – even though I didn’t always feel it – I know she loved me always, too.

I’m so grateful for the 47 years she was my mom.

I’m so grateful for the 11 years she was a grandmother to my daughter.

I’m so grateful that change is possible.

And while I’m so sad, that gives me great hope.

My mom, surrounded by her husband, two gay sons, son-in-law and granddaughter… all of us covered in mud!

So this post is for everyone who’s struggling with their relationship with a parent (or with a child.) And, of course, this post is for her.

I love you, Mom.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gender 101, Episode #22 Redux: Community Insurance

I'm very excited to continue the conversation about Gender with Frankie Palacios.

In this episode, Frankie shares about their fundraising efforts for their partner's top surgery… and the concept of "community insurance."

VERY cool.

You can see the original posting here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Elephant of Surprise: Book 4 in the Russel Middlebrook Series

The Elephant of Surprise by Brent Hartinger

Geography Club’s Russel Middlebrook and his friends Min and Gunnar are back, and they’re laughing about something they call the Elephant of Surprise—the tendency for life to never turn out the way you expect. Sure enough, Russel soon happens upon a hot, but mysterious guy named Wade—even as he’s also drawn back to an old flame named Kevin. Meanwhile, Min learns her girlfriend Leah is keeping secrets, and Gunnar just wants to be left alone to pursue his latest obsession, documenting his entire life online.

But the elephant is definitely on the move in all three of their lives. Just who is Wade and what are he and his friends planning? What is Leah hiding? And why is Gunnar taking naked pictures of Kevin in the shower?

The Elephant of Surprise, the latest entry in Brent Hartinger’s groundbreaking gay teen Russel Middlebrook Series, is a story of humor, romance, and danger. Before it’s over, Russel and his friends will learn that the Elephant of Surprise really does appear when you least expect him—and that when he stomps on you, it really, really hurts.

Add your review of "The Elephant of Surprise" in comments.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Shadowplay - LGBTQ Teen Fantasy with Phantom Wings, A Clockwork Hand, and the Delicate Unfurling of New Love

Shadowplay: Micah Grey, Book Two by Laura Lam

The circus lies behind Micah Grey in dust and ashes.

He and the white clown, Drystan, take refuge with the once-great magician, Jasper Maske. When Maske agrees to teach them his trade, his embittered rival challenges them to a duel which could decide all of their fates.

People also hunt both Micah and the person he was before the circus–the runaway daughter of a noble family. And Micah discovers there is magic and power in the world, far beyond the card tricks and illusions he’s perfecting…

A tale of phantom wings, a clockwork hand, and the delicate unfurling of new love, Shadowplay continues Micah Grey’s extraordinary journey.

Look for short stories and novelas by the author set in the same world as these books, as mentioned on the author's blog here. And add your review of "Shadowplay" in comments!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pantomime - Fantasy, Gender and Bisexuality as a Teen Runs Away To The Circus

Pantomime: Micah Grey, Book One: by Laura Lam

R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimeras is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

This book was named one of the 2014 Rainbow List's Top Ten LGBTQ Kid and Teen Books that were published in 2013. Add your review of "Pantomime" in comments!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

Lesbian Crushes At School - A Memoir In Diary Form

Lesbian Crushes At School: A Diary by Natasha Holme

In 1983 thirteen-year-old Natasha is in love with her French teacher, Miss Williams. When Natasha is cruelly banished from Miss Williams's class forever, the love develops into obsession ... stalking ... unhealthy behaviour ... and painfully misguided cries for attention.

This uncomfortable yet light-hearted memoir in diary form is primarily a record of obsession.

Natasha is a love-sick lesbian teenager in an all-girls school in the eighties, juggling her Latin homework, Bible study, a crush on Elaine Paige, and her suppressed sexuality. How can she make sense of it all?

But more importantly ... tormented by unrequited love ... how can Natasha make Miss Williams love her back?

This is the prequel to the author's also self-published "Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary On How I Acquired My Eating Disorder." Add your review of "Lesbian Crushes at School: A Diary" in comments!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Gender 101, Episode #20 Redux: Gender Queer People Of Color

In this episode, Frankie Palacios talks with Lucy about being a Gender Queer Person of Color, and they discuss the 2012 Queer People of Color Conference at Cal State Northridge.

Thanks, Frankie and Lucy!

(The 2014 Queer People of Color Conference was in San Diego.)

Here's a comment from the original post:

Kelly Robinson said...
Always such useful posts. I almost always end up sending a link to someone! Thanks!
February 29, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Monday, September 1, 2014

Back To School - Show Your Pride, And Show Your Support!

It's a new school year, and now is a great moment for each of us to ask ourselves:

How am I standing up in support of LGBTQ Kids and Teens?

Whether we ourselves are LGBTQAI, Questioning or Ally, how do others in the rainbow of our community know that we are a safe person?

Do we stop others from putting down Queer people?
Like calling someone on it if they say 'that's so gay' in a negative way?

Do we speak up and include LGBTQAI subjects, news, culture, history and books when we can?

Is there a GSA at our school?
If not, can we be part of creating one?
If yes, how can we get involved?

Do we have Safe Space identifiers for the spaces we control?
For teachers and librarians, this can be a Safe Space Sticker or other materials from GLSEN or HRC displayed in your classroom, or on your car.
For youth (and adults, too), this can be as simple - and powerful - as wearing a rainbow bracelet.

Here's my new rainbow bracelet, made for me by my awesome daughter...

Here's to a great 2014-2015 school year ahead: and let's all of us show our Pride and Support!