In San Francisco on June 24, thousands marched in the annual Pride Parade--a wonderful splashy show of love in all its forms.
Started more than 40 years ago, many longtime gay activists said the next generation gives them hope--for a better future.
Even with the strides made, bullying of gays or even kids who don't fit the mold continues to be a problem. Middle school is the worst, with almost everyone suffering a consuming and terrible desire to fit in. For those who can't, the school days are miserable. Too many hope to remain invisible. I was lucky; too bookish, I stared aloofly off into space, fooling no one into believing I wanted to be alone.
So yes, it's great to see the kaleidoscope colors of Pride. Hooray for a celebration of difference!
And for those who want to know what to read, check out Lee Wind's excellent website "I'm here, I'm queer, what the hell do I read?"
So here's to standing on the side of love, always.
If you've been keeping up with the news, Lake Champlain has risen higher than ever--three feet above flood level, all due to snow melt and unusually heavy spring rains. I've been worried about friends, and thinking about the lake I love.
It's not the lake but politics that gets things riled up in My Mixed Up Berry Blue Summer, and as I reviewed first pages, this month I thought about the seed that started me writing June's story. The emotional core of this story comes from a young teenager in San Francisco, who was bullied by grownups -- something that should never happen. I was outraged then, and it fueled my desire to write an answer to "What if..." (The scene that recalls that moment is on page 54.)
One step of first pages -- when your story is typeset, and you get a chance to fix bad line breaks and sentences you hate now -- is to think about the dedication. So I reached out to a friend, who gave me the name of that young teen who I witnessed encountering prejudice.
I'm emailing one of her two dads, but I'm a little nervous. What will she say? Will she want to erase the memory, have nothing to do with me? Or will she be excited that June's story may help some other kid like her?
Whatever happens, June is more real then ever, thanks to Julia Denos. I'm loving the cover.
Here's what I've been thinking and writing about. I love getting email, too!