Monday, July 15, 2019

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out In The Streets - A Nonfiction History Told In Objects That I'm Really Excited About



The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out In The Streets by Gayle E. Pitman

The Stonewall Riots was a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects.

In this interview over at the Children's Book Council Diversity Site, Gayle shares the research challenge and how she approached it:

“Researching Stonewall was incredibly difficult, because it’s hard to find accurate and credible information about it unless you know where to look. Fred Sargeant was so helpful in this endeavor. He pointed me towards the Craig Rodwell papers at the New York Public Library and the Foster Gunnison papers at the University of Connecticut library, and even went so far as to advise me on which folders in the collection held specific items. I also combed through archival materials at the New York LGBT Center, the ONE Archives at USC, the Museum of the City of New York, and other places. I interviewed people like Margot Avery, who was ten years old when the riots occurred, and watched them from her apartment building’s fire escape. I read books and watched documentaries. I visited New York City and went to the Stonewall Inn. I explored various sites, including where the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, the Village Voice offices, STAR House were originally located. I even walked the route of the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March. In order for me to share history authentically, it helps if I can get as close as I can to the experience.” —Gayle E. Pitman

Read the full interview here.

And add your review of "The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out In The Streets" in comments!


Friday, July 12, 2019

Today: Be a Light For Liberty and Speak Out Against the Mistreatment of Migrants and Asylum Seekers at America's Borders

We must speak up. We must not be bystanders. We must be upstanders.

Stand up with me.

On Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps, will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to concentration camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by migrants.



Raise your voice. #lights4liberty #dontlookaway #endusconcentrationcamps

If you can't attend a protest in person, consider doing this:

At 9pm, please hold a candle and share a moment of silence. Together we will light up the world (and social media) to demand an end to human detention camps.


Find out more at LightsforLiberty.org

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Me Myself & Him - A Gay Teen Lives Two Separate Futures



Me Myself & Him by Chris Tebbetts

When Chris Schweitzer takes a hit of whippets and passes out face first on the cement, his nose isn’t the only thing that changes forever. Instead of staying home with his friends for the last summer after high school, he’s shipped off to live with his famous physicist but royal jerk of a father to prove he can “play by the rules” before Dad will pay for college.

Or… not.

In an alternate time line, Chris’s parents remain blissfully ignorant about the accident, and life at home goes back to normal—until it doesn’t. A new spark between his two best (straight) friends quickly turns Chris into a (gay) third wheel, and even worse, the truth about the whippets incident starts to unravel. As his summer explodes into a million messy pieces, Chris wonders how else things might have gone. Is it possible to be jealous of another version of yourself in an alternate reality that doesn’t even exist?

With musings on fate, religion, parallel universes, and the best way to eat a cinnamon roll, Me Myself & Him examines how what we consider to be true is really just one part of the much (much) bigger picture.

What's queer about it?

Author Chris Tebbetts explains that the main character (also named Chris) is gay, ”and while the inciting incident of the book is autobiographical, the rest of the book splits into two parallel and fictional outcomes from that same incident (parallel realities, a la “Sliding Doors”).” Author Chris shared further that the story isn't about the main character being gay, but that fictional Chris ”does confront a somewhat autobiographical issue for me—becoming the gay third wheel to his two straight best friends who hook up in their last summer before college.” Author Chris also let us know that fictional Chris does get a romance of his own.

Add your review of "Me Myself & Him" in comments!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah - Twin Teens Throw a High School Graduation Party (With LGBTQ Characters!)



Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Siblings Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing parties for their friends--and now they've prepared their final blowout, just before graduation.

The rules are simple: each twin gets to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn't know who's coming until the partiers show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.

One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right, as well...in rather surprising ways.

In the book, Sam is gay, and there's more LGBTQ goings-on, too.

Add your review of "Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah" in comments!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Learning Seventeen - a Teen Girl Trapped in a Baptist Reform School Falls For a Gorgeous Bad Girl



Learning Seventeen by Brooke Carter

New Hope Academy, or, as seventeen-year-old Jane Learning likes to call it, No Hope, is a Baptist reform school where Jane is currently being held captive.

Of course, smart, sarcastic Jane has no interest in reforming, failing to see any benefit to pretending to play well with others. But then Hannah shows up, a gorgeous bad girl with fiery hair and an even stormier disposition. She shows Jane how to live a full and fulfilling life even when the world tells you you're wrong, and how to believe in a future outside the "prison" walls. Jane soon learns, though, that Hannah is quietly battling some demons of her own.

Add your reviews of "Learning Seventeen" in comments!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I'm Quoted In The Philadelphia Inquirer!

It's a wonderful article by Abbey White, Why LGBTQ bookstores, such as Philadelphia’s Giovanni’s Room, are a lifeline for queer teens.




It speaks about the importance of LGBTQ bookstores for teens who need bookstores like Philly's Giovanni's Room as affirming community centers, as safe spaces... and that's where my quote fits in, talking about how the big online retailers aren't concerned with making their spaces safe for Queer people, especially Queer youth. (Which, not incidentally, is what motivated my starting this blog more than twelve years ago!)

You can read the full article here.

On a personal note, this is the newspaper I grew up seeing on the kitchen table every day... so being quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer is particularly exciting.

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

Monday, July 1, 2019

Ruse - a Sci Fi Thriller in a Near-Future Shanghai with a Lesbian Teen Main Character



Ruse by Cindy Pon

In this sequel to Want, the team of teens fighting Jin Corp for a future where everyone—not just the rich—can breathe clean air are back. This time, Lingyi is one of the point of view characters! Here's the official synopsis:

Jason Zhou, his friends, and Daiyu are still recovering from the aftermath of bombing Jin Corp headquarters. But Jin, the ruthless billionaire and Daiyu’s father, is out for blood. When Lingyi goes to Shanghai to help Jany Tsai, a childhood acquaintance in trouble, she doesn’t expect Jin to be involved. And when Jin has Jany murdered and steals the tech she had refused to sell him, Lingyi is the only one who has access to the encrypted info, putting her own life in jeopardy.

Zhou doesn’t hesitate to fly to China to help Iris find Lingyi, even though he’s been estranged from his friends for months. But when Iris tells him he can’t tell Daiyu or trust her, he balks. The reunited group play a treacherous cat and mouse game in the labyrinthine streets of Shanghai, determined on taking back what Jin had stolen.

When Daiyu appears in Shanghai, Zhou is uncertain if it’s to confront him or in support of her father. Jin has proudly announced Daiyu will be by his side for the opening ceremony of Jin Tower, his first “vertical city.” And as hard as Zhou and his friends fight, Jin always gains the upper hand. Is this a game they can survive, much less win?

Add your review of "Ruse" in comments!