Thursday, May 31, 2012

LGBT Pride Month

On June 1, 2009 the President proclaimed June LGBT Pride Month:

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 1, 2009

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Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

The full proclamation can be found here:

We here at the Cotton Patch would like to show our support to the LGBT community by sharing some of our favorite LGBT literature.

Here is a wonderful YA coming of age novel that I gave 4 out of 5 stars.

Sebastian the Great


Inspired by Les Miserables and The Cider House Rules, this serious coming-of-age story of a Jesus loving gay teen athlete will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions— from laughter to crying and back again.

This one is on the other end of the age spectrum but it is my absolute favorite love story that received a 5 star rating.

Henry and Jim


A bittersweet short story about a lifetime love affair. Henry and Jim have spent a life in love, from the very first date arranged by Henry's sister, through the rocky times they worked to make ends meet, and into their twilight years. Old men now, Henry reminisces about the love they've shared as he learns to cope with Jim's fading memory and his own fear of being forgotten by the only man he's ever loved. This story appears in the anthologies "Best Gay Romance 2008" published by Cleis Press and "Best Gay Stories 2009" published by Lethe Press, as well as in my print collection "So In Love."

There are two books that I love in the Sci Fic catagory. One is a classic by Ursula K LeGuin. This is the first work in her Hainish Cycle series. This book I also rated 5 stars as I found it so original.

The Left Hand of Darkness


Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

The other is a bit more recent but just as powerful. This book I gave a 5 star rating as well. I found it so moving and thought that it touched on so many issues.

Amaranth & Ash


Amaranth is a vasai, born with both male and female characteristics, and a soul that can reach out and touch the souls of others in order to heal them. But a vasai's services are only for the Elai, and they demand sexual satisfaction as well as healing from their beautiful servants. Frustrated with these constraints, Amaranth wants to use his talent to help those who really need it.

Ash is a chel. Considered devoid of souls, chel are the lowest of the low. Not content with his lot, Ash steals from the middle class pel. One night he's caught and brutally punished.

A soul in agony calls out to Amaranth from across the city. When he discovers that it belongs to a chel, it only confirms his worst suspicions about the lies of the Elai. Amaranth takes Ash home and heals him, an act of rebellion that could cost both their lives.

This last book is a wonderful work of historical fiction. I gave it 5 stars as well, I love the journey of the main character to find herself and come to love who she is.

Tipping the Velvet


"Lavishly crammed with the songs, smells, and costumes of late Victorian England" (The Daily Telegraph), this delicious, steamy debut novel chronicles the adventures of Nan King, who begins life as an oyster girl in the provincial seaside town of Whitstable and whose fortunes are forever changed when she falls in love with a cross-dressing music-hall singer named Miss Kitty Butler.
When Kitty is called up to London for an engagement on "Grease Paint Avenue", Nan follows as her dresser and secret lover, and, soon after, dons trousers herself and joins the act. In time, Kitty breaks her heart, and Nan assumes the guise of butch roue to commence her own thrilling and varied sexual education - a sort of Moll Flanders in drag - finally finding friendship and true love in the most unexpected places.
Drawing comparison to the work of Jeanette Winterson,Sarah Waters's novel is a feast for the senses - an erotic, lushly detailed historical novel that bursts with life and dazzlingly casts the turn of the century in a different light.

These are just a few examples of the wonderful literature from the LGBT community that covers all genre and age groups. What are some of your favorites?

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