Friday, December 20, 2019

See you in January 2020!

Hello, community!

Thank you so much for coming along for the ride this past year. We've covered so many books, cultural moments, LGBTQ History discoveries, and much, much more! We even shared some fun moments about my own writing...

I'm grateful for it all, and for you! And now, for the next couple of weeks, I will be unplugging. No emails. No social media. No blog posts.

And then, I'll be back on January 6, 2020, for a new year of blog posts!

Until then,

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year 2019 is "THEY"

The next time you hear someone argue that you have to choose he or she to be grammatically correct, even though you know the subject identifies as gender non-conforming or non-binary, please share this link with them about the evolution of the word and the current accepted meaning of the word THEY:

“More recently, though, they has also been used to refer to one person whose gender identity is nonbinary, a sense that is increasingly common in published, edited text, as well as social media and in daily personal interactions between English speakers. There's no doubt that its use is established in the English language, which is why it was added to the dictionary this past September.”

It's nice to see the "official" language catch up with how language is already being used!

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

Monday, December 16, 2019

Reading Tamora Pierce's beloved The Song of the Lioness Quartet Through a New Lens - The Author Says Alanna is Gender-Fluid!

This is pretty exciting!

Tamora Pierce recently tweeted that
"Alanna has always defied labels. She took the best bits of being a woman and a man, and created her own unique identity. I think the term is 'gender-fluid', though there wasn't a word for this (to my knowledge) when I was writing her."

Fan response has been enthusiastic, and heartening. Check out the twitter thread, and this article by Jessica Mason at The Mary Sue. As Jessica writes,
“So the fact that Alanna lived as a man by necessity and did typically “masculine” things doesn’t necessarily make her gender fluid…but then again, if her creator wants to identify her that way and allow people to claim her as a gender fluid icon, that’s great! And anything that gets us talking about societal constructs around gender is awesome.”
If nothing else, it's a great excuse to discover (or re-visit) these YA fantasy novels, especially as the character of Alanna and her (their?) story is being adapted for television!

Alanna: The First Adventure, Book One

From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Disguised as a girl, Thom heads for the convent; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page. But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies. Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins—one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and make her a legend in the land.

In the Hand of the Goddess, Book Two

Disguised as a boy, Alanna of Trebond becomes a squire, to none other than the prince of the realm. But Prince Jonathan is much more to Alanna; he is her ally, her best friend, and one of the few who knows that she’s really a girl. Now it will take all of Alanna’s awesome skill, strength, and growing magical powers to protect him from the mysterious evil sorcerer who is bent on his destruction, and hers!

Here continues the story of Alanna, a young woman bound for glory who is willing to fight against enormous odds for what she believes in.

The Woman Who Rides Like a Man, Book Three

Newly knighted, Alanna of Trebond seeks adventure in the vast desert of Tortall. Captured by fierce desert dwellers, she is forced to prove herself in a duel to the death—either she will be killed or she will be inducted into the tribe. Although she triumphs, dire challenges lie ahead. As her mythic fate would have it, Alanna soon becomes the tribe’s first female shaman—despite the desert dwellers’ grave fear of the foreign woman warrior. Alanna must fight to change the ancient tribal customs of the desert tribes—for their sake and for the sake of all Tortall.

Lioness Rampant, Book Four

“I’m not sure I want to be a hero anymore.”

Having achieved her dream of becoming the first female knight errant, Alanna of Trebond is not sure what to do next. Perhaps being a knight errant is not all that Alanna needs….But Alanna must push her uncertainty aside when a new challenge arises. She must recover the Dominion Jewel, a legendary gem with enormous power for good — but only in the right hands. And she must work quickly. Tortall is in great danger, and Alanna’s archenemy, Duke Roger, is back — and more powerful than ever. In this final book of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Alanna discovers that she indeed has a future worthy of her mythic past — both as a warrior and as a woman.

Add your review of any or all of the Song of the Lioness books in comments!

Friday, December 13, 2019

LGBTQ2 - Have You Seen the "2" and Do You Know What it Means?

Language evolves, and so does the acronym representing the Queer community.

One of the latest shifts has been to include the numeral 2, taking us from LGBTQ to LGBTQ2. The number 2 stands for Two-Spirit, to embrace and include indigenous Queer people.

Watch this InQueery video, What Does "Two-Spirit" Mean?, for a great six-minute explanation by Geo Neptune:

"In recent years, many native people are returning to the Two-Spirit traditions as a way to heal from the injustices the American colonial project has vitited upon their ancestors and traditions...

Two-Spirit identity is resilient and precious. It has survived centuries of colonial violence and prejudice. These sacred ways of knowing live on amongst native youth seeking to know more about themselves, elders who have kept the traditions alive despite the odds, and anyone in between." - Geo Neptune.

As Geo explains further in this article about them in Maine the Magazine,
A two-spirit, Neptune says, is “both male and female, yet neither female nor male.”

I'm really glad to have learned this, and happy to share.

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Homophobia Smack-Down: Indigenous People Champion the LGBTQ Community When a City Council Wouldn't

I love this story over at Upworthy by Annie Reneau, A city council voted down a rainbow crosswalk. Now residents have painted 16 of them.

In September of 2019, a proposal to install a rainbow crosswalk in the city of Chilliwack, British Columbia was voted down by the city council. Dissenters argued that such a crosswalk would be seen as a "political statement" and would be "divisive," but according to Yahoo! News, that hasn't stopped people from installing 16 of them on privately owned property...

"The city does not have jurisdiction over our lands so we are free to paint them to demonstrate our support for being an inclusive community," Dave Jimmie, president of the Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe, told Maple Ridge News.

How amazing is that?

The article shows lots more photos of rainbow crosswalks on private property, along with messages of support by the folks who painted them.

Read the full article here.

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

Monday, December 9, 2019

The December 2019 Lee Wind Video Newsletter

Hi Community!

Here's the latest...

Watch the under six minute video by clicking the still frame above or clicking here:


Hi Community,
It’s December 2019, and this is my video newsletter.

I’m Lee Wind, and the whole point of this is to educate, inform, and hopefully inspire YOU.
Let's get started...

Queer History is Everywhere!

So this month, the thing I'm really excited about is this whole idea of the Statue of Liberty actually being a guy.

The sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was supposed to have modeled the sculpture after his mom. But author and journalist Elizabeth Mitchell has a completely different theory. She looked at photos of the sculptor's mom and then photos of his brother, Jean-Charles, and was like... wait a minute! This Lady Liberty looks a lot more like Jean-Charles. Which is really cool!

It lets us think that gender can be many things. And the idea that Lady Liberty is this gigantic, hundreds-of-foot tall sculpture of a drag queen is pretty amazing. And it's the thing I can't get out of my head.

Really, Queer History is Everywhere!

Lee Wind Author Update

This month I'm really excited because Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill has actually won two pretty significant prizes.

One was in the BookLife Prize competition put on by Publishers Weekly, it was selected as a semi-finalist in the children's and young adult category, which made it one of the top five independently published books of 2018, according to Publishers Weekly, which was really, really cool.

And then, it won another prize. It was actually the Winner in the [LGBTQ Books for] Children's and Young Adult category for the National Indie Excellence Award. And for those, there's actually a sticker, like a seal, and this month I'm getting it put on my book. So you'll start to see it for the ebook and the audiobook, and the print – both paperback and hardcover editions. All that stuff is happening now, but here's a sneak peek!

I'm really excited about it. It's really important for an indie published book, for it to be vetted in a lot of ways. I do have a lot of great blurbs and really nice reviews, but having the award sticker on the cover is something I'm really excited about.

Readers Say

So recently I got an email from somebody I didn't know, in Jerusalem, and they were writing to say 'thank you.' Here's what they wrote:

" I came across your blog today, and read the entire "Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill" in one sitting. I cried a bit, and it truly gave me a sense of hope, peace, and the strength and commitment... to dream of a brighter future.

Thank you so much for all of your work on behalf of queer, questioning, and allied people, and for deciding to put your inspirational book on your blog for all to read." - a reader from Jerusalem.

I thought that was really cool. Not only is it being read on the other side of the world, in the country my parents are from, but also that it's making an impact, and it's giving people a sense of hope and a vision for a better life for themselves, and that's very, very gratifying.


December is not a month where I'm running around doing a lot of speaking. Which is kind of cool. You know there's this balance between Introvert and Extrovert, going out in the world and being really public and doing stuff, and... kind of just having time for yourself, to be creative, to spend time with  your family. It's nice to have some balance, and this is the time when we hunker down and get the work done. And I'm grateful for that opportunity.

Reading In, Writing Out

This month, the book I'm most excited about is...

Cursed by my friend Karol Ruth Silverstein. This is a YA that's #OwnVoices. Kind of pulled from her own life experience of being a teen and being diagnosed with a chronic illness, also with a lot of chronic pain, and when I was a young teen, when I was 13, I was diagnosed with something different, but it was also really horrible and painful and totally shitty and totally difficult to figure out how to be a teen and figure out how to get through it with a sense of hope and there's no miracle cure and Karol did such a beautiful job, and I'm super proud of her. And I can't recommend it highly enough. So read it! Cursed!


“A word after a word after a word is power.” —that's from Margaret Atwood

I love that quote. And I think a lot about how some days, all I get is twelve minutes to write. and it's a word after a word. And then the next day is another word after another word, and it builds up over time. And I love this idea, that “A word after a word after a word is power.” Because we're storytellers. So I'm very grateful to Margaret for that word – for those words – for her inspirational quote. And I hope it inspires you, too.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy holiday season.

And if you'd liked more, please visit my blog,  I’m Here. I’m Queer. What The Hell Do I Read? at

Until then, the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Super Late Bloomer: Early Days in Transition - A YA Trans Comic Memoir

Super Late Bloomer: Early Days in Transition by Julia Kaye

Instead of a traditional written diary, Julia Kaye has always turned to art as a means of self-reflection. So when she began her gender transition in 2016, she decided to use her popular webcomic, Up and Out, to process her journey and help others with similar struggles realize they weren’t alone.

Julia’s poignant, relatable comics honestly depict her personal ups and downs while dealing with the various issues involved in transitioning—from struggling with self-acceptance and challenging societal expectations, to moments of self-love and joy. Super Late Bloomer both educates and inspires, as Julia faces her difficulties head-on and commits to being wholly, authentically who she was always meant to be.

You can watch this episode of Nerd Out with Jessie Gender where Julia spoke with Jessie about the web comic and the book, as well “the forgotten nuances and everyday struggles of transitions that are never discussed by the general public, as well as what it means to be transgender once you finish the major steps in your transition.”

Add your review of "Super Late Bloomer: Early Days in Transition" in comments!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Heavy Vinyl - A Lesbian Teen Stumbles Into a Teen Girl Vigilante Fight Club (A Middle Grade and Up Comic Book Series Opener)

Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin Illustrated by Nina Vakueva and Irene Flores.

New Jersey, 1998. Chris has just started the teen dream job: working at Vinyl Mayhem, the local record store. She’s prepared to deal with anything—misogynistic metalheads, grunge wannabes, even a crush on her wicked cute co-worker, Maggie.

But when the staff’s favorite singer mysteriously vanishes the night before her band’s show in town, Chris finds out her co-workers are doing more than just sorting vinyl…her local indie record store is also a front for a teen girl vigilante fight club!

Add your review of "Heavy Vinyl" in comments!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Moonstruck, Vols. 1 – 6 - A Middle Grade Lesbian Fantasy Comic Book Series

Moonstruck, Vol. 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle.

Volume 1:
Werewolf barista Julie and her new girlfriend go on a date to a close-up magic show, but all heck breaks loose when the magician casts a horrible spell on their friend Chet. Now it's up to the team of mythical pals to stop the illicit illusionist before it's too late.

Volume 2:

Julie, Selena & third-wheel Chet go on a werewolf-y date to a shady magic show. Something TERRIBLE happens, and for once it's not Mark or Lindi's fault!

Volume 3:

Poor Chet. Their centaur butt is missing, and on the day of the homecoming parade, no less! But don't worry: Julie and Selena are on the case (as long as Mark and Lindi don't ruin everything [again]).

Volume 4:

Julie and the gang go on the offensive to track down those horrible magic tricksters by going undercover. But can they outfox a fox? Like a literal fox? A literal fox who is a DARK MAGICIAN?? Oh man, honestly, I would cross my fingers for them if I were you.

Volume 5:

Wait, really? This is the end of the arc? No way, you can't possibly wrap this up in one issue! Julie and Selena are in a fight! Chet doesn't have their centaur butt back! Don't tell me that horrible fox magician is getting away with this!! These must be an action-packed 22 pages, I'll tell you that much.

Volume 6:
Welcome to the beginning of the second arc of Moonstruck, that popular middle-grade/all-ages lesbian-werewolf-barista romance adventure you've been hearing so much about! Fresh off their latest hijinks, Julie and the gang try to unwind at a fraternity party hosted by a group of fairy bros. But like everything else in Blitheton, things are not as they first appear, and before you can say, "hey don't drink that or you'll be trapped in the fairy circle for all eternity," another round of magical hijinks has begun!

Add your review of any or all of the volumes of “Moonstruck” in comments!