Stone Butch Blues – By Leslie Feinberg

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Goodreads Synopsis: Woman or man? This internationally acclaimed novel looks at the world through the eyes of Jess Goldberg, a masculine girl growing up in the “Ozzie and Harriet” McCarthy era and coming out as a young butch lesbian in the pre-Stonewall gay drag bars of a blue-collar town. Stone Butch Blues traces a propulsive journey, powerfully evoking history and politics while portraying an extraordinary protagonist full of longing, vulnerability, and working-class grit. This once-underground classic takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride of gender transformation and exploration and ultimately speaks to the heart of anyone who has ever suffered or gloried in being different.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon. 

I read this book at the recommendation of a friend, and I am so glad that I decided to take her up on it.

Stone Butch Blues is probably one of the best books I’ve read all year. I’ve been trying to write this review all week, but it’s been really hard because I’m not sure how to sum it all up. This book really brought home to me how much the queer community has been through. I haven’t really known a lot about our history, though I’m trying to read more about it, and this book was very educational in that subject.

Stone Butch Blues will break your heart, just a fair warning. The amount of hardship that Jess goes through is just astounding, and at the end of the day she makes it through it.  I found myself crying throughout the entire read. Also trigger warning, this book deals with rape and abuse a lot.

Even if you’re not apart of the LGBTQA+ community I highly suggest reading this book. There’s so much of queer history that isn’t talked about, that we don’t know. And this book will begin to show what it was like to not be straight in the 50’s.

When I look at the world today it’s easy to get discouraged. But Stone Butch Blues gave me hope.  The queer community has come a long way, we’ve survived a lot. And we will continue to survive. Someday we’ll make the world a better place, where no one has to fear coming out, or loving whom they love.

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

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World Coming Out Day – A Letter To You

Yesterday was World Coming Out Day, I would have written this post then but I was tired and decided just to do an easy post.

I’ve already come out, I did it last year in honor for this same day! You can read that post here.  So today I wanted to write a post for people who haven’t come out yet, for one reason or another, but especially those who haven’t come out because of religious backgrounds.

Dearest Closeted LGBTQA+ Sibling,

I know how hard it is to be in the closet, I know how this secret weighs so heavily on your heart. How you wish you could be out, how you wish you could just live your life the way that makes you happy and that it wouldn’t affect people.  If you’re like me you don’t really want to make a fuss about it, you just wanted to fucking live. And living with a secret can only be a half life. I see you, I feel your pain.  I was once Catholic, it dictated every part of my life. And even though I knew I was bisexual as a young teenager I didn’t fully come out until I was 21. There were so many people in my life that I didn’t want to anger, or push away with my coming out.  Eventually though I was able to be in a safe place, and I felt free to tell the world about my sexuality.  

Today I just wanted to let you know that you matter. You mean so so much to me and to the queer community. We want so much to make the world a better place, a place where it’s safe for you to come out someday. Until that day, don’t give up.  Remember that there are people you can talk to, people who will keep your secret safe.  Please remember that I am always here for you.
If anyone needs a friendly ear shoot me a message at whimsywriter3 at gmail dot com. 

Maybe next year you’ll be celebrating World Coming Out Day loud and proud. Maybe you won’t.  But always remember that I love you. Always remember that you are amazing, fantastic and wonderful.  You matter. 

-Abi 

 

Promoting Creativity – Ashley Story

Thank you all for stopping by to read another Promoting Creativity, today I have a fellow writer and Tarot card reader Ashley! Be sure to check out the links I’ve put in here and follow her wherever you can. 🙂

1) Tell us a little bit about what you do.

Mmmm. Such a hard question! Let’s see.

For fun: I read fantasy and classic novels (classic retellings are my absolute favorite), I journal, write book synopsis of books I’ve not yet written. I am a full time auntie for a precious 2 year old Leo. I make wishlists on Amazon, create To-be read lists on Goodreads, and curate Spotify playlists.

For society: I am a full time front desk guest service agent at a hotel. When I’m not on my feet, I’m lounging on the floor slinging cards as a Tarot reader or working behind the scenes as a virtual assistant. I’m also a writer and queer femme witch dedicated to using my words to talk about social justice.

2) When and why did you start writing?

I started writing as a child in elementary school. I liked to re-imagine my favorite stories with girls and women as the lead characters (Sherlock as a woman was my favorite story I ever penned). My writing love continued through middle school creative writing lessons, in high school I wrote poems, songs, and scripts.

I continue to write because I can’t help it.

3) Tell us about a project that you are currently working on that has you really excited.

I am currently on a cozy mystery and/or urban fantasy series feature a queer lady couple. I’m honestly just playing around with the characters and plots, just to see what feels right. I don’t know that I intend to share or not?

For public sharing, I’ve been working on a newsletter. Trying to find my voice again as I navigate the world as a queer femme, witch, and with a handful of mental illnesses.

4) What are some of your goals for the future?

Hmmm. At this point, my goal is to have a website again where I can share my writings. Offer mini journaling courses for people with mental health issues. One on one personalized rituals and care for queer witches. I would also love to start creating some e-zines or free PDF downloads with my writings.

5) How can we support you?

If queer magic, journaling, and mental healthy talk is of interest to anyone, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter.

If tarot readings interest you, feel free to email me at Ashley.e.story@gmail.com

Also, if my words inspire or help educate you in any way, I would love for you to consider dropping some cash into my PayPal. I have a lot of debt, can’t work the hours and wage I would like to, and every little bit helps.

Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten LGBTQA+ Characters

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog event hosted by The Broke and Bookish. 

Today I’m going to a mixture of my favorite LGBTQA+ characters, and some characters that I desperately want to read about. Hope you all enjoy!

1. Of course on this list has to be Monty from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. It’s so hard to find books with bisexual males, but you guys this book is fucking amazing. Funny, well written, fantastic!

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2. This list would be dismal without at least one mentioning of Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. The last few issues have been focusing more closely on the trans character Petrichor, and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorites.  She’s smart, badass and super sarcastic.

3. This book didn’t have a have a huge LGBTQA+ plot, it was more subplot, but I still loved it.  It’s about grief and moving on and friendships, and it’s really well written.

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4. Weird Girl and What’s His Face was not only a great book about figuring out your attractions, but also was a great book for X-File lovers. 😀

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5. I wrote a review of this book earlier this year, you can check it out here.  Despite not liking some of the religious themes, I still recommend this book and did enjoy reading it a lot.

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6. This is a book I have not read yet, but I’d really like to! It has a bisexual main character so what more could I want? 😉

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7. This book has an asexual main character! Plus also I’m a huge fan of Tolstoy.

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8. If I Was Your Girl is a book I’ve been wanting to read for ages, but haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet. The main character is trans, and it sounds like a really well written story.

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9. I enjoyed Adam’s first book, so when I heard he was publishing a second one I immediately put it on my list!

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10.  And last but not least, I’ve been dying to read the to  read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life. I’ve enjoyed Saenz’s first book and I think this one will be just as great!

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So there you go! That’s my list, let me know if you’ve read any of these books and enjoyed them. Also be sure to leave a link to your TTT and I’ll stop by your blog! 🙂

We Are Okay – By Nina LaCour

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Goodreads Synopsis: Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart. 

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

We Are Okay is one of my favorite types of stories. I love books about relationships, books with beautiful writing, and books were all the emotions of the characters feel as real as my own.

The story follows Marin whose going through some hard times in life, she’s moved away from her home to go to school and she hasn’t talked to anyone she used to know.  Right away I felt like I could sympathize with her because I’ve known what it feels like to just want to run away and never look back.  As I read more I found the rest of the characters to be understandable and relatable as well. Mabel is such a great friend, and I loved how she never gives up on Marin, even when she’s hurt and angry at Marin.  The character of the grandfather was also adorable, sweet and the plot twist with him and Marin was heartbreaking.   I was sucked into the story from page 1. And even though I was able to guess some of the ending, I was never pulled out of the story by my guessing.

I throughly enjoyed reading We Are Okay.  I gave it four stars on Goodreads, and I totally recommend it to you all.

Has anyone else read We Are Okay? I’d love to discuss it in the comments! 

Weird Girl and What’s His Name – By Megan Brothers

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Goodreads Synopsis: In the tiny podunk town of Hawthorne, North Carolina, seventeen-year-old geeks Lula and Rory share everything—sci-fi and fantasy fandom, Friday night binge-watching of old X-Files episodes, and that feeling that they don’t quite fit in. Lula knows she and Rory have no secrets from each other; after all, he came out to her years ago, and she’s shared with him her “sacred texts”—the acting books her mother left behind after she walked out of Lula’s life. But then Lula discovers that Rory—her Rory, who maybe she’s secretly had feelings for—has not only tried out for the Hawthorne football team without telling her, but has also been having an affair with his middle-aged divorcee boss. With their friendship disrupted, Lula begins to question her identity and her own sexual orientation, and she runs away in the middle of the night on a journey to find her mother, who she hopes will have all the answers. Meagan Brother’s piercing prose in this fresh LGBT YA novel speaks to anyone who has ever felt unwanted and alone, and who struggles to find their place in an isolating world.

Find on Goodreads and Amazon. 

Another LGBTQA+ read! Weird Girl and What’s His Name is an easy read. It’s 336 pages, it has quirky characters who love the X-Files and it’s about finding yourself in life.

I found myself liking the first half it more than the second half. Rory is the narrator for the first part and I really liked his character. He lives with his alcoholic mother and his main friend is the funny but selfish Lula. His character really grows over the story. You understand why he’s in the unfortunate relationship with his boss, but the book does a good job of never condoning what happened. It was wrong and he begins to see that. He also learns that he wants to be with someone who loves being with him. And that was my favorite part. Rory really begins to love himself by the end of the book.

I didn’t like Lula’s character. And thus I didn’t enjoy the last part of the book where she’s narrating. Her whole running away escapade was so selfish. And I didn’t feel like she ever took responsibility for her actions like she should have. I think if not for her I would have given this book a full four stars. Also some of the characters in this book were biphobic, and all though they apologized for it I just don’t see why it’s necessary to say biphobic things. Let’s just stop with the whole “Bi people are confused” shit. It’s 2017 people!

I did feel for Lula despite it all. She goes in search of her mother, who abandoned her as a young kid. Her mom is seriously a terrible person. And it was hard to see Lula be rejected by her mom. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the treatment of the mom.  It didn’t feel supportive of women who can’t/don’t want to be mothers.  Lula’s mother is portrayed as a huge bitch through the story, like the mom literally doesn’t care about Lula at all. And I wanted it to be more positive, some people just don’t make good parents. It’s not that they’re messed up or anything.  Still it was good for Lula to grow up and realize that she had a great life being raised by her grandparents.

The overall plot was great, now I really want to watch the X-Files and see what all the fuss is about. 😀  I gave this book 3.5 stars on Goodreads.  It’s a cute book, and if you can get over Lula you’ll enjoy the story.