Cities around the world commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots every June with LGBT—Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender—Pride celebrations. Books with gay themes, both overt and hidden, are nothing new; however, the open place they have on mainstream bookstore and library shelves demonstrates LGBT culture's progress in the decades since Stonewall.
We're not above borrowing a good idea from another website, so when we saw the great pieceThe Good Men Project did asking LGBT authors (including Red Roomers Alexander Chee, Brad Gooch, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, and Adam Haslett) for their favorite gay-themed literary works, we knew we had to ask Red Room to blog about LGBT literature. Even writing not primarily considered “gay,” from Plato’s Symposium and Shakespeare’s sonnets to The Color Purple and the X-Men contain elements of LGBT themes. For Pride month, please blog about your favorite example. Please write about it on your Red Room blog (not in the comments below), and tag your entry favorite LGBT book (even if it's a play or screenplay).
A few featured bloggers will receive books from Red Room authors:
- Scars is Cheryl Rainfield's unforgettable story of one girl's frightening path to the truth. Kendra, fifteen, hasn't felt safe since she began to recall devastating memories of childhood sexual abuse. To relieve the pressure, Kendra cuts; aside from her brilliantly expressive artwork, it's her only way of coping. She's forced to look for support from a family friend who encourages her artwork, and from Meghan, a high school friend who might be becoming much more. Scars has generated recent fascinating controversy about the place dark themes have Young Adult literature.
- Lambda Award-winning Michael Thomas Ford's novel The Road Home deals with themes of middle age, injury, coming home, and exciting new love. When a car accident leaves photographer Burke Crenshaw in need of temporary full-time care, he finds himself back in the one place no forty-year-old chooses to be—his childhood bedroom in Vermont. Reconnecting with old friends and falling in love with a younger man, Burke takes a journey coming to terms with who he is, what he wants out of life, and where he belongs-and the complex, surprising path that finally takes him there.
- In Pay It Forward author Catherine Ryan Hyde's newest novel Jumpstart the World, 16-year-old Elle is dumped into her into her own Manhattan apartment by a neglectful mother. She has to sink or swim on her own, going to a new school and dealing with a problematic love with an older neighbor who is in a relationship and who, she discovers, is transgender. The feelings are a little more uncomfortable now. But they haven’t gone away. Instead, they stay on to force Elle to reexamine the meaning of friendship and, of course, herself.
- Blood Strangers is a captivating, multigenerational story of an alternative family. In her memoir, Katherine A. Briccetti writes about three generations of absent fathers and adoptions: her father's closed adoption in the 1930s, her own adoption by her stepfather in the 1960s, and finally, the "second-parent" adoption of her sons by her partner in the 1990s.
So post a blog entry today about Red Room's topic of the week
"Favorite work of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender literature"
For help on how to blog, please see the directions here. We'll choose one of these blog posts to be featured on Red Room's homepage next week. Post your entry by Friday at 10:30 a.m. PDT (GMT-08:00) for consideration, and be sure to tag it with the keyword term Favorite LGBT book (please spell "favorite" the American way) in the Blog Keyword Tags field so we can find it. (Please don't forget the exact tag. For more information about tags, click here.)
And don't forget to check out our most recent blog-topic-of-the-week, "What Would Shakespeare blog?" From a hilarious sonnet in the Bard’s voice describing the current Republican presidential candidates to an erudite essay on how and why he would post, Red Room put quill to parchment on the subject of Shakespeare and blogging.
All of Red Room's past blog topics are listed here. Thanks as always for blogging!
–Huntington W. Sharp, Senior Editor, Red Room