Category Archives: GLBT non-fiction

“After Love: Queer Intimacy and Erotic Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba” by Noelle Stout— Gay in Cuba

after love

Stout, Noelle. “After Love: Queer Intimacy and Erotic Economies in Post-Soviet Cuba”, Duke University Press, 2014.

Gay in Cuba

Amos Lassen

Noelle Stout, an anthropologist, went to Cuba in 2002 to study gay tolerance in the country but instead discovered that the sex trade was the main topic in the LGBT community. Sex work had been done away with after the Communist revolution in Cuba (this included same sex prostitution) became very popular when Cuba allowed tourism to return in the early 1990s. This lead to meetings with Cuban gays and lesbians as well as straight male workers and visitors to the island country. Within the male gay community, many gay Cubans in their 30s and 40s left relationships with other gay men in favor of sex with straight male sex workers. The results threw complications about ideas about true love for those men. Then hustlers who were openly homophobic began having sex with gay urban Cubans in exchange for room and board. Lesbian women  initiated relations with foreign men in exchange for cash and gay tourists

“espoused communist rhetoric while handing out Calvin Klein bikini briefs”. The economy of the country was shifting  and this of course caused questions about the boundaries between labor and love.

Concentrating on Havana, Stout shows that “middle class respectability, socialist rhetoric, consumer desire, and sexual elasticity both mesh and conflict with an increasingly free-for-all market economy, where sex work, foreign tourists, and the looming collapse of the socialist state have transformed life into a froth of difficulty, uncertainty, and possibility.”

This is a study of how love and desire meet socialism and capitalism in communist Cuba. Stout introduces us to men and women whose sexual and intimate choices have emotional and material prices and payoffs. This is not just a study of sexual habits. Etc but it is also a look at the after effects of “political rupture”. Here those after effects deal with economic opportunities, sexual identity and erotic desires. Below is the table of contents of the book:

 Acknowledgments  vii

Introduction. Can’t Be Bought or Sold? Love and Intimacy in the Aftermath of Crisis  1

1. Tolerated, Not Accepted: The Historical Context of Queer Critiques  33

2. A Normal Fag with a Job: The Complicated Desires of Urban Gays  57

3. Tell Me You Love Me: Urban Gay Men Negotiate Commodified Sex  85

4. Smarter Than You Think: Sex, Desire, and Labor Among Hustlers  111

5. Get Off the Bus: Sex Tourism, Patronage, and Queer Commodities  145

Conclusion. Love in Crisis: The Politics of Intimacy and Solidarity  171

Notes  187

Bibliography  207

Index  227

“The Essential Ellen Willis” edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz— Willis’ Voice

the essential ellen willis

Willis, Ellen. “The Essential Ellen Willis”, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz, University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

Willis’ Voice

Amos Lassen

When Ellen Willis published “Out of the Vinyl in 2011, a new generation was introduced to a new voice in music criticism. This was just the beginning and in the three years that followed, she wrote about pornography, religion, feminism, war, and drugs.

Now the University of Minnesota has issued “The Essential Ellen Willis”, a collection of her writings that spans forty years and they are as relevant today as when they were written whether they address the women’s movement, sex and abortion, race and class, or war and terrorism. Willis writes with a passion yet she is still ironic, focused and crystal clear. We might call her work “transcendence politics” and along with some of the previously published pieces, we also get a look at writings that was both unpublished and uncollected. The essays are organized by decade from the 1960s to the 2000s and a young writer who shares Willis’ thoughts introduces each section. These writers include Irin Carmon, Spencer Ackerman, Cord Jefferson, Ann Friedman, and Sara Marcus. The book also contains her unfinished book about politics and it is introduced by Willis’ longtime partner, Stanley Aronowitz. This is an invaluable look at American society since the 1960s and it is a testament to an iconoclastic and fiercely original thinker who said what she thought.

“Ellen Willis (1941–2006) was the first rock critic for the New Yorker, an editor and columnist at the Village Voice, and cofounder of the radical feminist group Redstockings. Her writing appeared in numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and the Nation. She established the Cultural Reporting and Criticism program at New York University and wrote Beginning to See the Light and No More Nice Girls as well as Don’t Think, Smile! Her award-winning posthumous collection of rock criticism, Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music, was published in 2011 by the University of Minnesota Press”.

Willis came of age in the 60s and she remained a cultural radical her entire life. Her book here is, in effect,  is an argument for a new political movement, one of liberation that takes its cultural demands seriously like it does its economic demands; a movement that not only recognizes but believes in “equality and freedom, [and that] class and culture as ineluctably linked.”

Willis wanted to see humanity deal with its messiest, wildest parts and do it kindly—and in public. “She wanted us to stop hiding behind prudish standards and voice our true desires, sexual, social, occupational, or otherwise. In her mind, the pursuit of pleasure is not a distraction from political movement but a powerful motivator for it”. She felt that the rise of the Christian Right was due to the left’s inability to accept, embrace, and welcome our desires as legitimate: “What if the left had consistently argued that the point of life is to live and enjoy it fully; that genuine virtue is the overflow of happiness, not the bitter fruit of self denial; that sexual freedom and pleasure are basic human rights?”

“Willis was a  thinker who could make decades-old ideas feel new. Her questions about the left’s tendency to follow the right’s lead on the tired tropes of bootstraps and sacrifice read like they could have been asked yesterday. No doubt we’ve made important progress in the realm of marriage equality and sexual freedom, yet the point is no less relevant. The gay marriage question has only moved toward resolution as it becomes increasingly framed as a question of family values; don’t gay people have the right to live in nuclear families like the rest of us?”

Willis was a great critic—she was sophisticated, learned and courageous and her writing is still as relevant as ever.

“Hustlers” by Eve Fowler— Los Angeles, Young Men

hustlers

Fowler, Eve. “Hustlers”. Capricious 2014.

Los Angeles, Young Men

Amos Lassen

“Hustlers” is a photographic series taken by Los Angeles-based artist Eve Fowler (born 1964) on the streets of the West Village in New York and Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles between 1993 and 1998. Fowler looks at “queerness” and “social otherness” as she explores the world of guys who get paid for sex. The models are not identified—the photos are not titled yet intimate and we see the ambiguities of identity, class, sexuality and gender. These come together to let us see the hustler as sexual outlaw, guys who seem semi dangerous. The photos are actually quite stark and this shows us why they seem so attractive as they are. We are forced to view the face as interpreted, vulnerable and masculine.

hust1

By the time of the late 1990s, hustlers were on the decline and those that were still “working” were less attractive than what was there once. The Internet changed the world’s oldest profession.

John Rechy introduces to hustlers in his autobiographical novel, “Numbers” and this opened the door for others to follow. Andy Warhol, Kenneth Anger, John Schlesinger, Bruce LaBruce, and Rick Castro brought hustlers or rent boys forward.

hust2

Along with the photos is an essay by Kevin Killian.

“The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy: How to Have Incredible Sex with Role Play, Sex Games, Erotic Massage, BDSM and More” by Violet Blue— Making Fantasies Come True

the ultimate guide

Blue, Violet. “The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy: How to Have Incredible Sex with Role Play, Sex Games, Erotic Massage, BDSM and More”, Cleis Press, 2014.

Making Fantasies Come True

Amos Lassen

Whenever you see the name Violet Blue on the cover of a book, you know that you are going to get a good and sexy read and what’s more that you are going to learn something that will improve your sex life. In this new volume we learn how to make sexual fantasies come true—ideas for an imaginative sex life. Blue gives us all we need to know to learn our

“lover’s secret fantasies; engage in hot, dramatic role-play without feeling silly; have a threesome-without jealousy; explore sex parties and swinging; have sex in public; create thrilling S&M scenarios; make their own porn and erotic photos; and strip, give lap dances, and talk dirty”.

We also have “comprehensive lists of the most popular fantasies and fetishes complete and not only suggestions for props, toys, and costumes  but also where to buy them, racy sex games for lovers, expert help for deciding just how far to take your fantasies, and hot new stories by best-selling erotica author Alison Tyler.

One of the great pastimes of Americans is sexual fantasy—many of us fantasize every day. Here Violet Blue tells us how to make these fantasies become true and she maintains that some of the older books on the market don’t include all we need to do this. Every fantasy here can be copied or adapted for our own use. This is an encyclopedia of sexual fun that is also a pleasure to read and it makes you sit up and take notice. Below are the special points offered here:

• Learn your lover’s secret fantasies

• Role-play: hot, dramatic sex without feeling silly

• Comprehensive lists of the most popular fantasies and fetishes-complete with suggestions for props, toys, and costumes (and where to buy them)

• Expert help for deciding just how far to take your fantasies

If this is all it takes to improve our sex live, all of us should a copy right away.

“Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality” by David Boies and Theodore B. Olson— We Do!!

redeeming the dream

Boies, David and Theodore B. Olson. “Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality”, Viking Adult, 2014.

We Do!!

Amos Lassen

Here is the inside story of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on Proposition 8—by David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, the two lawyers who argued the case. There are several dates in history that we will always remember and just recently June 26, 2013 became of those dates. It was on that day that

the Supreme Court of the United States issued a pair of landmark decisions, striking down the Defense of Marriage Act and eliminating California’s discriminatory Proposition 8, reinstating the freedom to marry for gays and lesbians in California. I never thought that I would see that happen in my lifetime but the fact that it did was the reason for great jubilation in the LGBT community.

How this all happened is told to us by two men who argued against each other all the way to the Supreme Court. In Bush v. Gore, they joined forces so that they could forge the unique legal argument that would carry the day. As allies and not foes, they tell us the fascinating story of the five-year struggle to win the right for gays to marry, from Proposition 8’s adoption by voters in 2008, to its defeat before the highest court in the land in Hollingsworth v. Perry in 2013.

Legalese is not always an easy language to understand and all of us can benefit from knowing what went on as two of the main characters fought for our rights. Boies and Olson take us through the  legal framing of the case and do in a language that is easy for us to understand and in a way that everything is crystal clear. We finally are able to understand the constitutional principles of due process and equal protection in support of marriage equality. We get good explanations of the basic human truths  that the two men set out to prove by showing that state sanctioned discrimination exists in this country.  What we get here is an authoritative, dramatic, and up-close account of the most important civil rights issue—fought and won—since Brown v. Board of Education and Loving v. Virginia. For me, this book is very important—I consider myself an intelligent man but there is a great deal here that I did not understand before I read this book. I must admit that reading “Forcing the Spring” by Jo Becker confused me terribly so this book was a blessing.

The writers carefully considered the language and the audience as they sat down to write and they take us on a play-by-play visit over a period of four and a half years of legal battle about the rights of gays and lesbians to marry. Because of the clarity in which the material is presented, we are well prepared to follow “the subtleties of the discussion as individual states take on the gay marriage issue”.

Before I leave this review I am compelled to say this—I remember that when I came out, we were illegal and persecuted and prosecuted at every turn. We lived in the shadows of the dominant society and I lived in New Orleans where things were laid back. But we all heard almost daily stories of police entrapment, suicides, and guys losing their jobs and/or being thrown not just out of their family homes but also from rental apartments as well. Who would have dreamed back then that we would see what we have today? We owe everyone a debt of gratitude and to these two men who fought for us, we owe them so much more.

“Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” by Janet Mock—-A Self Revelation

redefining realness

Mock, Janet. “Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More”, Atria Books, 2014.

 A Self Revelation

Amos Lassen

 When Janet Mock was born, she was welcomed into her family as the first-born son. When she was young she decided that she would always be her own person. She was smart and he family did not really have the resources to help her and she did not have much parental guidance. It was only because of her own self determination and some close friends and mentors that she became an influential and outspoken public figure.

Mock’s memoir is a powerful look at the struggle to find her identity from the time she was a teen when she self-medicated with female hormones and through her flight, at eighteen, for sex reassignment surgery. There were rocky periods but she received a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned a master’s degree, succeeded in her career and kept her past hidden, But then she fell in love with a man who respected her and regarded her as the woman of his dreams. She was then able to tell her story   and she became the spokesperson for her community. As we read we learn about an entire new kind of woman and what it takes to be real and unapologetic. Her personal story is also about the transgender livelihood. She has the ability to discuss incredibly complex and personal issues with style and elegance.

In 2011, Janet Mock, editor of People.com came out as transgender and in just over 2000 words she became an influential spokesperson for the transgender community. Since that time, she has put a face on transgender issues that is positive. Her life had not been easy and she had to cope with her identity. She reminds us that when she was growing up being trans was not something one spoke about or took pride in. Then it was a world of depictions they carried laughs and/or shock values. Let’s face it, even today it is not a subject openly discussed although it is moving in that direction.

Mock shares some painful memories with us—being caught wearing a dress when she was 13, telling her mother that she was gay (she did not realize that at that early age there is a difference between gender identity and sexuality. Just to think that a 13-year-old boy had a trans identity seemed to be a fantasy. Back then she shared what she knew about herself with Wendi who was the first person to do Mock’s eyebrows and makeup and who is still her makeup artist today. When she was 15, she informed her family that she wanted to be called Janet and then told the same to her classmates and teachers and further informed them that she would be coming to school wearing dresses.

Mock was fifteen when she told her family that she declaring to her teachers and classmates at school. By and large,  her acceptance at school was positive, but there were challenges, such as the chemistry teacher who continued to refer to Janet as ‘him’ and as ‘Charles’ at every opportunity, and the principal who scolded her for dress code violations.

But Janet triumphed over the challenges she faced and never let them dictate her life. She demanded that her mother take her to the doctor for hormone treatments, she came out to her first boyfriend and she came out to her father (who was estranged from the family) in a letter in which she enclosed her yearbook picture. He wrote back that she looked nice.

Mock had her dark periods especially when she worked as a prostitute. She admits that with sensationalism. Her journey was one of discovering who she is inside and then taking steps to fix the outside. The story is raw and very honest.

Mock doesn’t try to make herself t to be the perfect woman and she never planned on being a role model.  Rather than do so, she shares her past and looks forward to a bright future.

“Stephen Crane: A Life of Fire” by Paul Sorrentino— THE Biography

stephen crane

Sorrentino, Paul. “Stephen Crane: A Life of Fire”, Belknap, 2014.

THE Biography

Amos Lassen

Stephen Crane’s life has been an enigma to those who have wanted to write about him. He lived a short and compact life and we still are missing a lot of information about him— there are myths and half-truths, distortions and outright fabrications. Because of this, earlier biographies suffered. Now Paul Sorrentino has re-examined the chronologies and eyewitness accounts that are contradictory. He has also returned to the Crane archives and walked where Crane walked. What he gives us the most complete and accurate account of the poet and novelist to date.

Crane was the kind of person who would dress as a hobo to write about the homeless of the New York Bowery or would defend a prostitute who suffered because of the corrupt laws of New York City. He covered the charge at San Juan Hill during the Spanish-American War and many of his adventures were on the front pages of newspapers. Through Sorrentino’s clear and beautiful prose and narrative, Crane’s life is slowly seen. Crane was a paragon of contradictions—he was” garrulous and taciturn, confident and insecure, romantic and cynical. He rebelled against tradition yet was proud of his family heritage; he lived a Bohemian existence yet was drawn to social status; he romanticized women yet obsessively sought out prostitutes; he spurned a God he saw as remote yet wished for His presence”.

Sorrentino researched Crane for many years and with this biography he raises the bar for those who will follow him. Crane described his own life as “a sincere, desperate, lonely battle.” Sorrentino takes us to the intensely personal battlefields that test Crane’s artistic sincerity while exposing his desperation and loneliness.

We first read about Crane’s difficult childhood and how it affected him in his private struggles later. His Methodist-preacher father leaves him resistant  to religious discipline yet it still shaped Crane; his older sister taught him self-understanding and irony but she died young. The Crane that comes out of this manages to rise above his private demons. Crane was unable to leave the world of hack journalism behind him and his personal life was also filled with defeat. Crane’s romantic behavior ran the gamut from callousness to chivalry. As for his health, Crane was not lucky and tuberculosis took him from us. Below is the table of contents so that you can see just how much this book covers:

  • Introduction
  • Prologue: Final Days, January–June 1900
  • I. The Wrenches of Childhood
    • 1. Roots and Beginnings: 1635–1871
    • 2. Childhood: 1871–1884
    • 3. The Holiness Controversy: 1874–1879
    • 4. Onward to Port Jervis: March 1878–February 1880
    • 5. Schooling at Asbury Park, Pennington, Claverack: March 1880–Spring 1890
    • 6. College at Lafayette and Syracuse: September 1890–May 1891
  • II. Learning the Craft
    • 7. Fledgling Writer: 1887–December 1891
    • 8. Satirist in Asbury Park: Summer 1892
    • 9. Maggie: September 1892–March 1893
    • 10. Genesis of The Red Badge of Courage: 1893–February 1894
    • 11. Struggling Artist, Poet at Work: February–March 1894
    • 12. Frustrated Artist: April–December 1894
    • 13. On the Verge of Celebrity: January–October 1895
  • III. Fame, Notoriety, an Altered Point of View
    • 14. International Fame: Fall 1895–Spring 1896
    • 15. Price of Fame: January–September 1896
    • 16. The Dora Clark Incident: Fall 1896
    • 17. Jacksonville: November–December 1896
    • 18. The Commodore Incident: January 1897
    • 19. The Greco–Turkish War: January–May 1897
  • IV. New Start, Old Habits
    • 20. Ravensbrook, Harold Frederic, Joseph Conrad: June–October 1897
    • 21. Creative Outburst: October 1897–April 1898
    • 22. Prelude to War: January–May 1898
    • 23. War in Cuba: June–July 1898
    • 24. New York City, Adirondacks, Puerto Rico: July–August 1898
    • 25. Havana: September–December 1898
  • V. Search for Respectability, Country SquireAbbreviations
    • 26. Brede Place, Return to Childhood, Another Potboiler: January–June 1899
    • 27. Brede Place Visitors, Return to Ancestry: June–August 1899
    • 28. Trips to Europe, Final Celebration, Badenweiler: September 1899–June 1900
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments

Index

26th ANNUAL LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNERS

26th ANNUAL LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNERS

(those books with an asterisk are reviewed here).

GAY GENERAL FICTION

LESBIAN GENERAL FICTION

LGBT DEBUT

  • Descendants of Hagar, Nik Nicholson, AuthorHouse

BISEXUAL FICTION

  • My Education, Susan Choi, Penguin Group/Viking

TRANSGENDER FICTION

  • Wanting in Arabic, Trish Salah, TSAR Publications

LGBT NONFICTION

TRANSGENDER NONFICTION

BISEXUAL NONFICTION

  • The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television, Maria San Filippo, Indiana University Press

GAY POETRY

LESBIAN POETRY

  • Rise in the Fall, Ana Bozicevic, Birds, LLC

LGBT GRAPHIC NOVEL

LGBT CHILDREN’S/YA – TIE

  • If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan, Algonquin Books
  • Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers*

GAY MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY

LESBIAN MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY

GAY MYSTERY

  • The Prisoner of the Riviera: A Francis Bacon Mystery, Janice Law, MysteriousPress.com/Open Road Media

LESBIAN MYSTERY

GAY ROMANCE

  • Into This River I Drown, TJ Klune, Dreamspinner Press*

LESBIAN ROMANCE

  • Clean Slate, Andrea Bramhall, Bold Strokes Books

GAY EROTICA

  • The Padisah’s Son and the Fox: an erotic novella, Alex Jeffers, Lethe Press

LESBIAN EROTICA

LGBT ANTHOLOGY

LGBT DRAMA

  • Tom at the Farm, Michel Marc Bouchard, Talonbooks

LGBT SF/F/HORROR

  • Death by Silver, Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold, Lethe Press

LGBT STUDIES

  • Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence, Christina B. Hanhardt, Duke University Press*

 

- See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/06/03/winners-of-the-26th-annual-lambda-literary-awards-announced/#sthash.SEPwUZJT.dpuf

“Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community” edited by Laura Erickson-Schroth— Understanding Gender

trans bodies

Erickson-Schroth, Laura (editor). “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community”, Oxford University Press, 2014.

Understanding Gender

Amos Lassen

There are many different ways to be transgender and those who are non-conforming gender people have various ways of understanding their gender identities. It has really just been of late that sex and gender are seen as separate and both gender and sex are variable. Sex is now seen as biological/physical and gender is now seen as social. Like any other community there is tremendous diversity among trans people. Today we estimate that there are about 700,000 trans people in the United States and about 15 million universally. However, organization is lacking.

“Trans Bodies, Trans Selves” is a comprehensive reader-friendly guide for transgenders and each chapter was written by transgender or genderqueer authors. We immediately see the inspiration for this book—it was inspired by “Our Bodies, Our Selves”, the classic text written by and for women. It provides authoritative information and is a representation of the collective knowledge of experts in the field.

Each chapter deals with an important issue—race, religion, employment, surgery, mental health and others. We also have quotes and testimonials from transgender people about the very same issues and in this way the book becomes that much more personal. This is a welcoming book and a wonderful addition to the canon. It is a wonderful resource not only for transgender and gender-questioning people but also for their partners and families, students, professors, guidance counselors, and others to look for up-to-date information on transgender life. The book is large—672 pages and is something of an encyclopedia but conversational in tone and candid about the issues. The fact that is so comprehensive makes it that much more important. Here are what people are saying about it.

“The comprehensiveness of this book is a major strength that can be applied to transgender individuals, their loved ones, and those who are in fields that impact transgender individuals. I have yet to have seen a book that incorporates information for individuals who identify on the gender spectrum-most books focus on one specific identity, whereas Trans Bodies, Trans Selves allows for the breadth of applying to many different individuals. This book appears to carry on the tradition of affirming many different transgender identities and the identification process.” -Stephanie L. Budge, PhD, Assistant Professor, Counseling Psychology, University of Louisville

 ”Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is the answer to the wishes of many trans individuals and their therapists and counselors for a comprehensive resource of critical information that is both accurate and reliable, on the one hand, and written in a respectful way that is addressed to trans and questioning readers rather than at them or about them. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.” -Michael L. Hendricks, Ph.D., ABPP, Clinical Psychologist, Washington Psychological Center

 ”…a community of people who are the best experts on themselves has come together to create a resource of information, mutual support, and political advocacy that will strengthen many. Thanks to Trans Bodies, Trans Selves and all the transgender folks who have been writing and teaching over the past many years, we, a group of cisgender women, now know that we can no longer say ‘a woman’s body’ and mean only one thing.” -From the Afterword by Wendy Sanford, author of Our Bodies, Our Selves

 ”The many voices raised in the pages of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves are the vanguard of a rising tide. If you are new to transgender, transsexual, or trans* experience, prepare to be swept away.” -Jamison Green, President of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), co-director of the Transgender Law & Policy Institute, and author of Becoming a Visible Man

 ”Trans Bodies, Trans Selves comes at a moment in our history when transgender people are in the spotlight, but we are not yet the authority on our own lives. This critical resource will provide a beacon of hope for the transgender person in crisis who is facing a barrage of negative messages, life-threatening discrimination, and a lack of support and validation. We now have a volume that speaks to our lived experiences and provides the message that our lives matter, we are powerful in ourselves and our bodies, and we demand political, social, and legal equality.” -M. Dru Levasseur, JD, Director of Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project and Co-Founder of the Jim Collins Foundation, providing financial assistance to transgender people for gender-confirming surgeries

“One of the most grassroots, comprehensive transgender and gender noncomforming (TGNC) community-based literary projects I have ever seen. Lots of great people with diverse perspectives brought together to provide a truly holistic look at what is to be a TGNC person in all the various ways one may define that for themselves. A great resource that respects the immense intersectionality of trans and gender nonconforming people’s lives. Finally a literary project that sincerely deserves the use of the term ‘Groundbreaking’.” -Imani Henry, Staff Organizer at the International Action Center (IAC), focusing on national organizing of LGBT people and communities of color

 ”For years I wondered how to create a one-stop-shop book for the trans community with all the basic info trans people would need. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves has done it!” -Riki Wilchins, founder of GenderPAC and The Transexual Menace, and author of Queer Theory, Gender Theory: An Instant Primer

Trans Bodies Trans Selves is a remarkably timely and much needed book that brings together collaborators across the spectrum of transgender health, culture, and history. At no other time has the transgender community been so poised to break out of its collective closet than now. It is vitally important to our communities of transgender people, advocates, and health care providers to have this volume of expertise at our fingertips. Dr. Erickson-Schroth has done us a great service by bringing together thoughtful thinkers and writers in the social and biological sciences to share complex knowledge that will empower each reader of this volume in new ways. Whether you are transgender, genderqueer, cis, scholar, health-care provider, social service provider, policy-maker, loved one, or other interested ally, you will find mind-opening and practical information and perspectives in this groundbreaking collection.” -Jack Pula, MD, co-chair of the APA NY District Branch Committee on LGBT issues

“It’s impossible to make informed decisions about one’s life in the absence of information. Happily, trans people now have a wealth of information in the form of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves.” -Dallas Denny, Founding Director of the American Educational Gender Information Service (AEGIS), past editor of Chrysalis Quarterly and Transgender Tapestry, and former director of the Fantasia Fair

 “There has never been a book just like Trans Bodies, Trans Selves. More than a medical textbook, much more than any individual’s autobiography, this anthology of transgender health and history is personalized with interviews covering every point on the spectrum of transgender experience. Transgender and gender nonconforming persons will read this book and see stories directly relevant to their own lives. Others who read with a desire to learn about the experience of transgender life – for that is the correct term, ‘life’ not ‘lifestyle’ – will not be disappointed. People who said ‘I have never met a transgender person’ may feel they have met many of us in the pages of this book. [R]recommended for everyone who wants to understand this wonderful, brave, diverse group called ‘transgender.’” -Rebecca Allison, MD, past President of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality

“Confessions of a Motion Addict” by Stephen Petronio—- Life on the Edge

confessions of a motion addict

Petronio, Stephen. “Confessions of a Motion Addict”, CreateSpace, 2014.

Life on the Edge

Amos Lassen

Stephen Petronio is the son of an Italian family living in Nutley, New Jersey and as he was growing up he was always aware that he was an outsider. He lived his life on the edge and in the worlds of art, sex and compulsion. He was later educated at an elite small school and it was there that he became himself. He not only discovered himself there but he discovered dance and it changed his life forever. His dance career spans thirty years and he is still going strong. Today he is considered to be the leader in  American contemporary dance and his works have been performed all over this world.

It seems to me that it is all about creativity and that is what Petronio has plenty of. The book has many themes and among them are dance, journeys recovery,  addictions, and sex. Author Petronio fuses dance, art, fashion and pop culture.  He writes with rhythm—as if he were dancing– and he gives us a history of dance. There were times that I felt I was speaking with the writer and not just reading what he wrote. He weaves his life story that is filled with adventure.