Monday, June 29, 2020

Join me Tuesday June 30 for a FREE online presentation: "Empowering Kids and Teens with LGBTQ History (Okay...Adults, too!)"

The lovely people at the Broward County Library system in Florida are hosting me online tomorrow, Tuesday June 30 from 1-2pm Eastern/10-11am Pacific to present this inspiring (and yes, empowering) discussion.

The program flyer

Here's the description:

The anniversary of the Stonewall Riots may have just hit 51 years, but LGBTQ history did not start in 1969. Join author and educator Lee Wind and discover Queer lives that were hidden and loves that were secret, going back hundreds, even thousands, of years and from all over the world. Unlock the secret histories of Abraham Lincoln, Sappho, the Pharaoh Hatshepsut, and so many more...

Together with Wind, you will crack the false facade of history as it has been taught and let the rainbow light of true history—the stories of men who loved men, women who loved women, and people who lived outside gender boundaries—shine through.

Click here to register! Update: here's that link again:

Hope to see you virtually!

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

Friday, June 26, 2020

Jason Reynolds, Ibram Kendi in Conversation from SLJ Day of Dialog 2020

This keynote video, Jason Reynolds and Ibram Kendi, co-authors of Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, kicking off SLJ's Day of Dialog on May 27, 2020, is well-worth watching.

So much was important in their discussion, including:

The invention of racism

Racism as a virus and Anti-racism as a vaccine.

Racism and Anti-racism as states of being.

"There's something about the documenting of a thing that makes it real. Even if it's not true." —Jason Reynolds

and the erasure of the history of Black women.

There's even a discussion of how Jason took his own style, "the irreverence of a teenager," to re-mix Dr. Kendi's academic book into a book for teens.

Watch it here.

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

P.S. - Members of the Trans community are protesting Library Journal for awarding the Seattle Public Library (SPL) as the 2020 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, when that library had allowed the Women’s Liberation Front, an anti-trans group, to rent a meeting room for an event in February. You can read LJ's statements here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Everyone Should Read This: ”Policing Is Doing What It Was Meant to Do. That’s the Problem. Blaming racist violence on ‘bad apples’ misses the point.”

From the June 21, 2020 edition of the New York Times, this piece by philosophers Todd May and George Yancy was so powerful.

“That is the question we should be asking of the police. Not why do they regularly fail to perform their duties correctly and thus need reform, but rather, what duties are they succeeding at?

Once we ask that question, the answer is entirely clear. They succeed in keeping people in their place. They succeed in keeping middle-class and especially upper-class white people safe, so long as they don’t get out of line. They succeed in keeping people of color in their place so that they don’t challenge the social order that privileges middle- and upper-class white people. And, as we have recently witnessed in many violent police responses at protests, they succeed in suppressing those who would question the social order.

If we look at individual police officers divorced from the structure in which they operate — if we simply look for the ‘bad apples’— we fail to see the role of the police as a whole. Whether individual police officers are racist is not the fundamental issue. The fundamental issue is whether the police — the institution of policing as it exists in the United States — is racist. And once we look at this clearly, we understand that the answer must be yes.”


And as Todd and George conclude:

“To truly confront problems of racist violence in our society, let’s not once again begin with the question of how to reform the police. Let’s instead start with the question of how to build healthy and safe communities of mutual respect and see which institutions we need to reach that goal. If anything that is to be called policing emerges from that inquiry, it should be at its end rather than assumed at the outset.”

Read the full opinion piece here.

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

Monday, June 22, 2020

Teens Rock Their Power on TikTok to Impact US Politics - Even If They're Not Old Enough To Vote

So the current occupant of the White House held a political rally for his reelection. In Tulsa (injury), originally scheduled for June 19, 2020, or Juneteenth (adding insult). They pushed it one day back, and were crowing about the biggest reservation requests... But the crowds didn't show.

So what happened to the giant crowds the President and his team predicted?

I like how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it:

"Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok who flooded the Trump campaign w/ fake ticket reservations & tricked you into believing a million people wanted your white supremacist open mic enough to pack an arena during COVID
Shout out to Zoomers. Y'all make me so proud." —Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

You can read the full report on it in the New York Times here, under the headline "TikTok Teens and K-Pop Stans Say They Sank Trump Rally":

And from the New York Times newsletter, here's a screen shot of empty seats at that Trump rally.

It's a great reminder that voting isn't the only way to have your voice heard, no matter your age.

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

Friday, June 19, 2020

What is YOUR Sphere of Influence? - Danielle Coke Illustrates It For Us

Love this post by Ohhappydani on Instagram:

A close up of the image Danielle created.

Danielle wrote, "This is not at ALL an exhaustive list, but hopefully it serves as a simplified overview and starter guide for those of you who are ready to move from performative to productive action!"

It's brilliant, and helpful.

Thanks, Danielle.

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

p.s. Giant thanks to my friend Tracy who shared this with me, so I could share it with you.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

More than 30,000 March and Protest in Los Angeles for ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER

The ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER protest and march in Los Angeles 
(Hollywood and West Hollywood) on June 14, 2020. 
Image is a screen shot from this news report.
"We are here to amplify Black Queer voices and come together in solidarity."

That's a quote from the All Black Lives Matter LA website

30,000 plus strong. In my town. Something good to share.
And I really love how the street mural has the word ALL
in the Transgender Flag colors and the word MATTER
in the rainbow flag colors.
The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The June 2020 Lee Wind Video Newsletter

For me, being an ally to the Black community right now means 7 things...

This video was recorded around 5:30pm Pacific on Friday June 12, 2020. Just hours later, Rayshard Brooks was murdered by a police officer in Atlanta. Enough! BLACK LIVES MATTER.

While there's no need for a transcript this time, there are a bunch of links to share:

There's lots of media coverage of the police murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, but not every article helps us know who they were as people. Look for those.

One story that didn't get as much attention was the police murder of Tony McDade. This was largely because Tony was Trans. You can read more about Tony in this Advocate article:

Watch Trevor Noah speak about our society's broken contract with Black people: The quote I cite is from 11:09.

Watch Kimberly Latrice Jones spell out the injustice done to Black Americans so eloquently here: The quote I cite is from 3:28.

Watch Jacqueline Woodson speak about being Anti-Racist (and some of the microaggressions she's faced) in the Kid Lit Rally 4 Black Lives: The quote I cite is from 24:48.

Watch this conversation with President Obama: Reimagining Policing in the Wake of Continued Police Violence: The President Obama quote I cite is from 1:09:07.

Learn more about the diversity pride flag with the added brown and black stripes to recognize, celebrate, and advocate for LGBTQ people of color here:

Check out this "Anguish and Action" page at with "resources to create a more just and equitable world":

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

Friday, June 12, 2020

Wisdom from Bayard Rustin, a Black Gay Hero of the Civil Rights Movement

Most people don't know about Bayard Rustin, the Black Gay man who taught Martin Luther King, Jr. the tactics of nonviolent protest and organized the famous 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King gave his amazing "I Have a Dream" speech.

Bayard Rustin at a 1963 news briefing on the Civil Rights March on Washington in the Statler Hotel. Public Domain.

In 1987, Bayard wrote,

"History demonstrates that no group is ultimately safe from prejudice, bigotry, and harassment so long as any group is subject to special negative treatment."

A year earlier, when he was asked if he had any advice for other Black Gay activists who maybe hoped to follow in his footsteps, Bayard said:

"I think the most important thing I have to say is that they should try to build coalitions of people for the elimination of all injustice. Because if we want to do away with the injustice to gays it will not be done because we get rid of the injustice to gays. It will be done because we are forwarding the effort for the elimination of injustice to all. And we will win the rights for gays, or blacks, or Hispanics, or women within the context of whether we are fighting for all."
Bayard inspires me, and I hope you as well.

We must stand up, each of us as best we can, for all of us. #BlackLivesMatter. #BlackTransLivesMatter

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Kimberly Latrice Jones Spells Out the Injustice Done to Black Americans So Eloquently.


From Instagram, on Trevor Noah's feed.  This impassioned video by Kimberly Latrice Jones is less than 7 minutes long.

We need to listen.

And then do more to help Black and Brown people in our communities and our country.

The emotion. The monopoly metaphor.

And the recognition that I need to get better educated about Tulsa and Rosewood, the places where Kimberly speaks of the Black community building economic wealth only to have it burned down and taken away.

There's so much more for all of us who have privilege to do.

Start right now by listening.

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

Monday, June 8, 2020

KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives - So Important - Watch The Recording!

In two parts, the first for kids, and the second for adults, this online KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives is a must-watch.

A screen shot showing Jacqueline Woodson (right) speaking to young viewers at about 25 minutes into the recording. (One of many sign language interpreters who helped make the even more accessible is shown at left.)

The Kid-focused rally starts at about 10 minutes in, and the adult part starts about 1:13:00 in.

The event features Jacqueline Woodson, Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, and so many more important voices...

Raul the Third shares his drawing of George Floyd with viewers at 1:29

Go watch it now.

And here's a link to the organizing The Brown Bookshelf's KidLit Rally 4 Black Lives: Anti-Racist Resources for Children, Families, and Educators.

I'm so glad I watched this - and recommend you watch it as well.

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

Friday, June 5, 2020

A Reminder of What Leadership Looks Like and Feels Like: Barack Obama's article: "How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change"

If you haven't yet read this piece,
How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change
by our last President on Medium yet, do so now.

The article includes these highlights:
“So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.”
“And if you’re interested in taking concrete action, we’ve also created a dedicated site at the Obama Foundation to aggregate and direct you to useful resources and organizations who’ve been fighting the good fight at the local and national levels for years.”

“...watching the heightened activism of young people in recent weeks, of every race and every station, makes me hopeful. If, going forward, we can channel our justifiable anger into peaceful, sustained, and effective action, then this moment can be a real turning point in our nation’s long journey to live up to our highest ideals.”

Inspiring, hopeful, and reminding us that people in positions of power can both care and help direct our collective energy toward creating lasting change and impact: Oh, hey! That's called leadership.

Thank you, Barack!

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

138 LGBTQ Organizations "join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require."

This was posted on Friday May 29, 2020 on the Equality Florida website:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Those words, written over 30 years ago by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, remind us that indifference can never bridge the divide of hate. And, today, they should serve as a call to action to all of us, and to the Movement for LGBTQ equality.

This spring has been a stark and stinging reminder that racism, and its strategic objective, white supremacy, is as defining a characteristic of the American experience as those ideals upon which we claim to hold our democracy — justice, equality, liberty.

We listened to the haunting pleas of George Floyd for the most basic of human needs — simply, breath — as a Minneapolis police officer kneeled with cruel indifference on his neck.

We felt the pain of Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend as he called 9-1-1 after plainclothes Louisville police kicked down the door of their home and shot her eight times as she slept in her bed.

We watched the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery by white vigilantes in Brunswick, GA, aware that they evaded the consequence of their actions until the video surfaced and sparked national outrage.

We saw the weaponizing of race by a white woman who pantomimed fear in calling the police on Christian Cooper, a Black gay man bird-watching in Central Park.

We have heard and read about the killings of transgender people -- Black transgender women in particular — with such regularity, it is no exaggeration to describe it as an epidemic of violence. This year alone, we have lost at least 12 members of our community: Dustin Parker, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Layla Pelaez Sánchez, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, and Tony McDade.

All of these incidents are stark reminders of why we must speak out when hate, violence, and systemic racism claim — too often with impunity — Black Lives.

The LGBTQ Movement’s work has earned significant victories in expanding the civil rights of LGBTQ people. But what good are civil rights without the freedom to enjoy them?

Many of our organizations have made progress in adopting intersectionality as a core value and have committed to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. But this moment requires that we go further — that we make explicit commitments to embrace anti-racism and end white supremacy, not as necessary corollaries to our mission, but as integral to the objective of full equality for LGBTQ people.

We, the undersigned, recognize we cannot remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action. The LGBTQ community knows about the work of resisting police brutality and violence. We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, in part, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected. We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refused to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.

We understand what it means to rise up and push back against a culture that tells us we are less than, that our lives don't matter. Today, we join together again to say #BlackLivesMatter and commit ourselves to the action those words require.

Affirmations, Dave Garcia, Executive Director
AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Aisha N. Davis, Director of Policy
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director
Arkansas Transgender Equity Collaborative, Tonya Estell, Board of Directors
A Wider Bridge, Alan Schwartz, CEO & Board Chair
BAGLY, Inc. (Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth), Grace Sterling Stowell, Executive Director
Basic Rights Oregon, Nancy Haque, Executive Director
Bi Women Quarterly, Robyn Ochs, Editor
Campaign for Southern Equality, Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director
Campus Pride, Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director
Capital Pride Alliance, Ryan Bos, Executive Director
Cathedral Of Hope UCC, Rev. Dr. Neil G Thomas, Senior Pastor
Center on Halsted, Modesto Valle, CEO
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Denise Spivak, CEO
Community Education Group, A.Toni Young, Executive Director
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, Sharon Kleinbaum, Senior Rabbi
Curve Magazine, Merryn Johns, Editor-in-Chief
Diocese of Southern Ohio, Rev deniray mueller, Legislative Liaison
Equality Arizona, Michael Soto, Executive Director
Equality California, Rick Chavez Zbur, Executive Director
Equality Delaware, Mark Purpura and Lisa Goodman, Board Chairs
Equality Federation, Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director
Equality Florida, Nadine Smith, Executive Director
Equality Illinois, Brian Johnson, CEO
EqualityMaine, Matt Moonen, Executive Director
Equality Nevada, Chris Davin, President
Equality New Mexico, Adrian N. Carver, Executive Director
Equality New York, Amanda Babine, Executive Director
Equality North Carolina, Kendra R Johnson, Executive Director
Equality Ohio, Alana Jochum, Executive Director
Equality Texas, Ricardo Martinez, CEO
Equality Virginia, Vee Lamneck, Executive Director
Fair Wisconsin, Megin McDonell, Executive Director
Fairness Campaign, Tamara Russell, Board Member
Family Equality, Denise Brogan-Kator, Chief Policy Officer
FORGE, Inc., Loree Cook-Daniels, Policy and Program Director
Freedom for All Americans, Kasey Suffredini, CEO & National Campaign Director
Freedom Oklahoma, Allie Shinn, Executive Director
FreeState Justice, Mark Procopio, Executive Director
GAAMC, Gordon Sauer, President
Garden State Equality, Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director
Gay City: Seattle's LGBTQ Center, Fred Swanson, Executive Director
Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), Kelsey Louie, CEO
Gender Rights Maryland, Sharon Brackett, Board Chair
Gender Spectrum, Joel Baum, Senior Director
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (GSA Network), Geoffrey Winder & Ginna Brelsford, Co-Executive Directors
Georgia Equality, Jeff Graham, Executive Director
GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO
GLBT Alliance of Santa Cruz, Gloria Nieto, Board Member
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Janson Wu, Executive Director
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Hector Vargas, Executive Director
GLSEN, Eliza Byard, Executive Director
GLSEN Southern Nevada, Trevor Harder, Co- Chair
GSAFE, Brian Juchems, Co-Director
Henderson Equality Center, Chris Davin, Executive Director
Hetrick-Martin Institute, Thomas Krever, CEO
Hetrick-Martin Institute: New Jersey, Lillian Rivera, Executive Director
Hudson Pride Center, Elizabeth Schedl, Chief Operations Officer
Human Rights Campaign, Alphonso David, President
Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, Kathy Ahearn-O'Brien, Executive Director
Immigration Equality, Aaron C. Morris, Executive Director
Ingersoll Gender Center, Karter Booher, Executive Director
It Gets Better Project, Brian Wenke, Executive Director
Lambda Legal, Kevin Jennings, CEO
Lesbians of Color Symposium Collective, Inc., Shaunya Thomas, Co - Founder / President
LGBT Caucus of the California Democratic Party, Tiffany Woods and Lester Aponte, Co-Chairs
LGBT Community Center of the Desert, Mike Thompson, CEO
LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, Phyllis Seven Harris, Executive Director
LGBT Life Center, Stacie Walls, CEO
LGBTQ Center OC, Peg Corley, Executive Director
LGBTQ Victory Fund & LGBTQ Victory Institute, Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO
Los Angeles LGBT Center, Lorri L. Jean, CEO
Louisiana Trans Advocates, Peyton Rose Michelle, Director of Operations
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Tre'Andre Valentine, Executive Director
MassEquality, Tanya V. Neslusan, Executive Director
Matthew Shepard Foundation, Jason Marsden, Executive Vice President
Movement Advancement Project, Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director
National Black Justice Coalition, David Johns, Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights, Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director
National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling, Executive Director
National Equality Action Team (NEAT), Brian Silva, Founder & Executive Director
National LGBT Bar Association and Foundation, D'Arcy Kemnitz, Executive Director
National LGBTQ Task Force, Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Glenn D. Magpantay, Executive Director
New York City Anti-Violence Project, Beverly Tillery, Executive Director
NMAC, Paul Kawata, Executive Director
North Dakota Human Rights Coalition, Barry Nelson, Organizer
North Jersey Pride, C.J. Prince, Executive Director
Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, Joe Hawkins, CEO
OCTOPUS LLC (Organizing Communities Transgender Outreach Promoting United Support), Kimberly Sue Griffiths, Executive Director
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Erin Uritus, CEO
One Colorado, Daniel Ramos, Executive Director
One Iowa, Courtney Reyes, Executive Director
One Orlando Alliance, Jennifer Foster, Executive Director
Our Family Coalition, Sam Ames, Interim Executive Director
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, Erin Uritus, CEO
OutFront Minnesota, Monica Meyer, Executive Director
OutNebraska, Abbi Swatsworth, Executive Director
Pacific Center for Human Growth, Michelle Gonzalez, Executive Director
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, Rand Hoch, President and Founder
PFLAG National, Brian K. Bond, Executive Director
Point Foundation, Jorge Valencia, Executive Director & CEO
PRC, Brett Andrews, CEO
Pride at Work, Jerame Davis, Executive Director
PROMO, Stephen Eisele, Executive Director
Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, Kiku Johnson, Executive Director
Reformed Catholic Church, Chris Carpenter, Presiding Bishop
Resource Center, Cece Cox, CEO
Sacramento LGBT Community Center, David Heitstuman, CEO
San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Joe Hollendoner, CEO
San Francisco Community Health Center, Lance Toma, CEO
SF LGBT Center, Rebecca Rolfe, Executive Director
SAGE, Michael Adams, CEO
SAGE Jersey City , Gordon Sauer, Affiliate Leader
San Diego LGBT Community Center, Cara Dessert, CEO
Sero Project, Sean Strub, Executive Director
Silver State Equality, André C. Wade, State Director
Stonewall Columbus, Gerry Rodriguez, President of the Board of Trustees
Stonewall Democratic Club, Ryan Basham Vice President
Tennessee Equality Project, Chris Sanders, Executive Director
The Diversity Center, Sharon E Papo, Executive Director
The Gala Pride and Diversity Center, Michelle Call, Executive Director
The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, Glennda Testone, Executive Director
The LGBTQ Center, Long Beach, Porter Gilberg, Executive Director
The LGBTQ Center, NYC, Reg Calcagno, Senior Director of Government Affairs
The Pride Center of Maryland, Mimi Demissew, Executive Director
The Pride Network, Jacob Rudolph, Executive Director
The Source LGBT+ Center, Brian Poth, Executive Director
The Trevor Project, Amit Paley, CEO
Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT), Emmett Schelling, Executive Director
Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Andy Marra, Executive Director
TransOhio, James Knapp, Chair & Executive Director
True Colors United, Gregory Lewis, Executive Director & CEO
Truth Wins Out, Wayne Besen, Executive Director
Uptown Gay & Lesbian Alliance (UGLA), Carl Matthes, President
Waves Ahead & SAGE PR, Wilfred Labiosa, Executive Director
Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Ricci Levy, President & CEO
Wyoming Equality, Sara Burlingame, Executive Director


I'm a guy with a blog for kids and teens, one book out, and a few more on the way. I'm not an organization. But I'm adding my name to this call for justice and action. #BlackLivesMatter, and I commit myself to the action those words require.

I hope you'll add your name and commitment, too.

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

Monday, June 1, 2020

Trevor Noah on our Society's Broken Contract with Black People

This 18 minute video by Trevor Noah, speaking from his heart about the events of the last week, George Floyd's murder, Amy Cooper's villainy, the disproportional toll of Coronavirus on Black communities, and the protests that have risen up around the country (and the world), is so important.

"Try to image how it must feel for Black Americans when they watch themselves being looted every single day. Because that's what's fundamentally happening in America. Police in America are looting Black bodies." —Trevor Noah

Watch the full video here.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you. Stay safe,