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Posts Tagged ‘gay’

Like Me – A Review

Posted on July 24th, 2013 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

like me

Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer by: Chely Wright

Read by: Anna/Central Library Teen Room

Like Me is  Chely Wright’s memoir/autoboigraphy. She explains how she grew up, how she got into singing country music, how she rose to the top of the charts with a number one song, and most of all, how she dealt with being a lesbian in an anti-LGBTQ atmosphere before gaining the courage to come out of the closet.

I admit to being a country music fan. I might not always remember who sings which song, but I do love the music. About two years ago I went to Book Expo America and had the opportunity to meet Chely Wright who was there signing her book. I was star-struck, of course. She wasn’t popular at the time, but I remember when she was and I knew she had good songs out there. Standing in line, I was amazed that she seemed very down to earth as I knew virtually nothing about her except her music. She’s naturally pretty (as her cover shows) and she doesn’t do anything to change that. Sure she’s got money, but she doesn’t fling it around and buy expensive things just because she can. She’s smart and hard working too, definitely things to admire in anyone you meet. I don’t think I said anything other than ‘thank you’ to her when she signed my copy, though I wish I could have unglued my mouth for more than that.

Reading her memoir, I truly understood how difficult it was for her to stay in hiding for nearly 30 years before she told a single person she was gay. She had relationships with men, hoping each time that things would change and she would fall in love and be straight. She prayed at least once a day for God to take away the gay that was inside her. And she had several relationships with other women that she kept hidden from the world. The pain was evident every time someone cracked a gay joke, or told her there were rumors she was a lesbian and that if it was true she was going to hell. She’s Christian through and through and she had the strength to hold onto her beliefs, even when her church continually spoke against her. She has to be admired for that strength. Even when she hit rock bottom, when she thought about committing suicide, she was able to use her faith and hold on just a little bit longer until she was strong enough to go back out into the world.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is struggling with coming to terms with being LGBTQ, coming out of the closet, or anyone who simply wants to know more about what it’s like struggling with these issues. She writes in a conversational tone that makes her words easy to understand and before you know it, you’ve reached the end, amazed at the long journey you’ve taken with her.

Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution – A Review

Posted on June 25th, 2013 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

Victory

Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution by Linda Hirshman

Read by: Anna/Central Library Teen Room

This is the story of the gay revolution in America starting over one hundred years ago, long before the famed Stonewall Riots in 1969. This non-fiction narrative covers every gay and lesbian organization and seemingly every single person involved in helping them gain equal rights. It chronicles how the movement started out with a small number of underground activists to large numbers of people taking a full political stand for what they believe in. Many organizations that were created over the years died out because their tactics didn’t work any more. New organizations were born of the old. Those people simply picked up and carried on in a new fashion. Each group had its own way of combating the issues they faced, be it police who wouldn’t let them innocently congregate in a bar, people who were afraid of what they didn’t know and made it illegal for an entire population to have consensual sex, to a government that withheld important medication that could have saved thousands of lives during the AIDS epidemic. Slowly the gay community fought back and gained the rights they deserved. There is still more work to be done, but when you look at how far we’ve come, we’ve certainly accomplished a lot in the last one hundred years.

This was a very good, very interesting read. I learned a lot I didn’t know about the history, and a lot about current matters I was unaware of. I would highly recommend this book for someone who’s very interested in the topic, already has at least a basic understanding of the past, and is looking for more. This is the book for you. It is very in depth and covers a lot of ground. However, do keep in mind, that until very recently Transgender equality wasn’t much of a priority, thus it is rarely mentioned in this book.

Despite all the good information in this book, there was one thing I had a problem with. There are a lot of names that come up over the course of history, many repeatedly, others not so much. There were a lot of organizations that came and went, along with their acronyms. And towards the end, when things turned political, there are a lot of court cases that get mentioned on the fly. How is one to keep all these things straight? I felt there needed to be a list of people, organizations, and a list of court cases at the end, all with a brief, one to two line description of who that person was or what the point of the case was. That would have helped a great deal. This is the reason I do not recommend this book to a beginner. If you don’t know much about gay history, read an easier book first before you tackle this one.

My best suggestion is a wonderful book called Gay America: Struggle For Equality by Linas Alsenas. There is a lot of information given without overwhelming the reader with names of people, court cases, or organizations. Everything is nicely laid out in an easy to read manner, and there are a lot of great pictures, helping to put faces with names.

Gay America

If I Lie – A Review

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

if i lie

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

Before he leaves for Afghanistan, Carey comes out to his girlfriend of two years, asking her to keep the secret he’s told her from everyone in their small military town. Including his parents and his best friend, Blake. But when an accidental picture of Sophie and Blake kissing gets posted on Facebook, the entire town errupts into accusations that Sophie is cheating on her Marine boyfriend. Just like her mother did to her father six years ago. Sophie’s tough military dad orders her to work at the VA hospital three days a week until she graduates to keep her from getting suspended from school over the picture. While at the VA hospital, she comes to befriend George, the grumpy old guy interviewing and photographing veterans for the Veteran’s History Project. He recognizes a professional photographer in her and begins teaching her all he knows. Then Carey goes MIA and the other students begin tormenting Sophie even more than ever before. Friends ask her to explain what happened the night she kissed Blake, but she vowed she wouldn’t, and their tormenting continues, calling her every horrible name in the book from Slut to Traitor. Her life is a living hell, and she doesn’t even know if Carey, the boy she still loves despite everything, will ever return to set the town “straight”. His secret is not hers to tell, and she knows that well.

This novel is extremely gripping. And Kleenex is required toward the end. It’s also realistic in everything that happens to the un-Disney-like ending. George is such an awesome character. The humor he shares with Sophie and their good times are little rays of sunshine in her thunder cloud world. The characters are 3-D, the setting is 3-D, and the author leaves you wondering how the book will end. Will Carey make it home? Will he tell the truth? This book keeps you reading to find out. If you’re wondering what the effects of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell are on the civillians left behind, this is a great, heartfelt example.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the military and what it’s like keeping secrets that could easily destroy or save a life.

The Time Has Come

Posted on March 22nd, 2012 by Anna in News

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon gave a recent speech telling the world that we all need to speak up for Human Rights. There are many places around the world where gay, lesbian, transgender, questioning, and gender neutral people (LGBTQ) are hurt or even killed just for being who they are. Ban Ki-Moon is calling for an end to the hate. Check out his moving speech here:

 

Don’t Let Me Go – A Review

Posted on February 28th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

Don’t Let Me Go by J.H. Trumble   

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

 This is the story of a gay teen, Nate, who forces himself to say goodbye to the love of his life when his boyfriend, Adam, takes on a position at an off-Broadway theater far away from the town they grew up in. Adam moves in with roommates, and suddenly doesn’t have the time to talk to Nate as much as he used to. Nate gets jealous when Adam’s naked roommate keeps walking into their Skype conversation and touching Adam, making references to things that might or might not have happened.

 Lots of emotion is flung around in this novel. Nate makes new friends, and attempts to gain a new boyfriend, even though he can’t get Adam out of his head. I truly enjoyed this story for the real raw emotions it portrayed. There were a lot of tears, a lot of anger, but it was all worth it for the happy ending. If you like reading gay romance novels, I would highly recommend this well written novel! Plus, there’s a playlist at the very end if you’re interested in that kind of thing.