Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Welcome to the Archive of "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What The Hell Do I Read?"

Hello, and welcome!

It's been 2,776 posts.

More than 13 years.

Over 3.1 million page views.

And now, LeeWind.org is moving to a new website!



The changeover happens this week... so keep an eye out! (And yes, it will still be LeeWind.org)

If you're here to check out the archive, it's all here for you... (on mobile, switch to "view web version" to see the side columns and search bar.) If you want to stay updated, consider signing up for my email list here.

I'm grateful, and excited to continue blogging about books, culture, and more to empower LGBTQ kids and teens and their allies.

See you at the new website!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee

Monday, March 22, 2021

Countdown to "No Way, They Were Gay?" Launch: Day 17, Day 16, and Day 15

17 Days Away...


When Booklist wrote it will "inflame passions" they were warning librarians about possible controversy. But what about lighting the passionate fire of all the #LGBTQ youth who will at long last see themselves in history? It does that, too. Flame on!

16 Days Away...



A new tally... 28 copies preordered so far to donated to LGBTQ Kids and Teens through Brave Trails.

15 Days Away...


I felt the same way when I discovered this amazing Queer secret from history! Thrilled to include it in the book, and so fun to see this early buzz on Twitter.

There's an online launch party, and you're invited!

bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty

Hope to see you there. The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee

Friday, March 19, 2021

Countdown to "No Way, They Were Gay?" Launch: Day 19 and Day 18

 


Bruce Coville wrote the groundbreaking short story "Am I Blue?" as well as "My Teacher is an Alien" and more than 100 other books for kids and teens. He's a brilliant storyteller, taught me (and about 1,000 other SCBWIers) the meaning of numinous, and his praising my book – and how it will help young readers – is humbling and awesome. 


I'm with Jenny, Anne Lister's secret code was thrilling to discover, and to share. (It's in the introduction to the book.

There's going to be a launch party on April 6, 2021, and you're invited! Details bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty
Hope to see you there. The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Countdown to "No Way, They Were Gay?" Launch: Day 21 and Day 20

 


Linda Sue Park is an amazing writer. I've learned SO much from her (her 12 minute writing sprints changed my creative life), and her books are this brave and powerful poetry... having her blurb my book made my year.


Getting an editorial review from Foreword Reviews, when they only review books they love and recommend, is a big deal. Having them praise my book's "sense of joyous wonder" is thrilling. 

Monday, March 15, 2021

Countdown to "No Way, They Were Gay?" Launch: Day 24, Day 23, Day 22

 


Loved doing this short (under 7 minutes) interview with TeachingBooks.net


I'm sad that the world of children's literature has lost Kathleen, and at the same time I'm so grateful for her kind words about my book. That someone whose nonfiction for kids I admired so much saw the value in what I wrote... that was (and remains) awesome.



Yeah. Susan really is that funny in real life. Super grateful she read my book, saw the power of it, and was willing to give it such a kick-ass blurb!

There's going to be a launch party April 6, 2021, and you're invited! Details: bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty
Hope to see you there. The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee

Friday, March 12, 2021

Countdown to "No Way, They Were Gay?" Launch: Day 26, Day 25

We're building momentum...

Day 26 and Day 25:





There's an online launch party, and you're invited!

bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty

Hope to see you there.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Countdown to "No Way, They Were Gay? Launch: Day 28, Day 27

Day 28 and 27...




There's an online launch party, and you're invited!

bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty

Hope to see you there.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee

Monday, March 8, 2021

Countdown to "No Way, They Were Gay?" Book Launch: Day 31, Day 30, Day 29

 Okay, these countdown graphics are so fun, you're getting Day 31, 30 and 29 here...








There's an online launch party, and you're invited!

bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty

Hope to see you there.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,
Lee

Friday, March 5, 2021

Casting Call For Mx. Potato Head

What's in an honorific?

Mr. Potato Head – the brand, not the character – is being re-branded as, simply, "Potato Head."

As reported on CNN and beyond,




"Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion," the company said. The rebranded toy launches this fall.

It's interesting that the reporting at first kind of freaked people out, with the fear being that the characters of Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head had changed their genders. So much so that Hasbro tweeted:
Hold that Tot – your main spud, MR. POTATO HEAD isn’t going anywhere! While it was announced today that the POTATO HEAD brand name & logo are dropping the ‘MR.’ I yam proud to confirm that MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD

The photo included in the tweet says volumes about how binary the Potato Head universe still is, with the art still showing Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head, each on their respective box, under the new more gender neutral brand name, "Potato Head."


I guess rebranding the overall thing to be gender neutral is a step in the right direction. 

But if Hasbro really wants to be gender inclusive, perhaps the next step is for them to come up with a character who is part of the Potato Head Universe, who is also gender non-conforming, or Two-Spirit, or gender fluid. And maybe give that Gender Queer character their own box.

Casting call for Mx. Potato Head, anyone?

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you, no matter your gender.

Stay safe,
Lee

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Greatest Superpower - 13 Year Old Jorge's Dad Comes Out as Transgender, Prompting Jorge's Re-Thinking Gender, Power, Loyalty, and Conformity.



The Greatest Superpower by Alex Sanchez

It's the summer before eighth grade, and thirteen year-old Jorge Fuerte wants nothing more than to spend his days hanging out with his fellow comic-book-obsessed friends. But then everything changes. Jorge's parents announce they're divorcing for a reason he and his twin brother, Cesar, never saw coming--their larger-than-life dad comes out as transgender.

Jorge struggles to understand the father he's always admired, but Cesar refuses to have anything to do with him.

As Jorge tries to find a way to stay true to the father he loves, a new girl moves into the neighborhood: cool, confident, quirky Zoey. Jorge must face his fears and choose between being loyal to his brother or truthful about his family's secret. Although he's no superhero, Jorge already has the world's greatest superpower--if he decides to use it.
I'm a big fan of Alex's work, and so excited that we'll be having a virtual conversation as part of the April 6, 2021 launch party for my No Way, They Were Gay?

Add your review of "The Greatest Superpower" in comments!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

No Way, They Were Gay? Launch Party and Pre-Order Donations To Empower LGBTQ Youth - The March 2021 Lee Wind Video Newsletter

Hello Community!

Want the scoop on the upcoming virtual launch party for "No Way, They Were Gay?" and the preorder campaign to donate copies to empower LGBTQ kids and teens? 

watch the March 2021 Lee Wind Video Newsletter. (Or check out the transcript and links below.)

Transcript:

Hi Everyone! I'm Lee Wind. I'm in one of my favorite places ever [the beach] and I'm talking to you about one of my favorite things, which is empowering LGBTQ kids and teens.

Eleven years ago I started on this journey of research and writing and now, finally, No Way, They Were Gay? Hidden Lives and Secrets Loves is coming out in April! (Like I came out, right? Coming out, it's a good word.) In April, April 6, 2021, there's going to be a big launch party [online] and you're invited. It's free for everyone. 

RSVP at: bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty

I'm going to be interviewed by Alex Sanchez, whose latest book is The Greatest Superpower. He's an amazing writer, we're going to have an awesome conversation about gender, about representation, about Queer characters -- in fiction and in nonfiction -- and I hope you'll join us!

The other cool thing that we're doing for the launch, that I'm doing for the launch...

(But first, some backstory...)

In Hebrew tradition, there's an expression Chai חי, and it means life. It's two letters of the Hebrew alphabet, Chet ח and Yud י,  so anyway, the letters add up. They have a numerical value, and they add up to 18. 18 is sort of like a good luck number. So I'm getting some author copies, and I'm going to give the majority of them -- 18 of them -- as a donation to LGBTQ Teens, because I really feel that this book is all about empowering them. Empowering readers. 

Because I know if I had had this book growing up it would have changed my entire life. So, I don't have a time machine, so instead I'm going to try to pay it forward. So we're doing this cool preorder campaign. Where, working with my local bookstore, my local indie bookstore PAGES, a bookstore in Manhattan Beach, they're fantastic, and they're helping me. So if you want, you can purchase a copy through their website,

Donate at: bit.ly/NoWayLaunchParty

and we'll add them to the 18 I'm donating. And we'll make a donation through this amazing nonprofit, Brave Trails, to give the books directly to LGBTQ kids and teens. Because that's who really it's for. I mean sure, it's for allies, too. And I think that anybody can learn a lot from it. It's really, really a book of my heart. 

It's all about primary sources and letting these people speak for themselves. Letting Gandhi tell us the story about how the love of his life was Hermann Kallenbach and not his wife Kasturba. It's about us hearing Sappho's poems and learning from her how we all believe in the power of true love because she loved this woman Anactoria. It's us discovering stories of people who lived outside gender boundaries, like Hatshepsut, the Pharaoh, who in Egypt, over the course of 22 years, changed how they publicly presented their gender. 

We have this idea in our culture that LGBTQ people are brand new. That we sprung up since Stonewall in 1969. But you know what? We have thousands of years of stories and legacy and this rich history of men who loved men, and women who loved women, people who loved without regard to gender, and people who lived outside gender boundaries. And that's what the book is about, and that's why I really think it can be so empowering for readers. 

I'm very excited, the launch is coming up April 6, 2021. I hope you'll join me at the party, I hope you'll get a copy, donate a book, and come on board. I'm really excited.

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you. 

Stay safe. Thanks very much! Bye.



Friday, February 26, 2021

Angel Baribeau's Music Video for "Wish We Were Older" - A Queer, Non-Binary, Indigenous Artist Tells of "a lifetime of true love between an elderly 2 spirit Indigenous couple"

This was beautiful (both the song and the video for "Wish We Were Older.") Enjoy,


The quote above is from the video's director, Nang K’uulas / Patrick Shannon. 

Angel (who is originally from the Cree community of Mistissini, Quebec) says about the album this song is from, 

“I named my EP For Those I Love(d) because I realized the songs all represented love I had or have for people that have come through my life,” Baribeau shares. “Whether they are here still, or on their own path, this project aims to honour the love I felt and feel.
“I had many Moms growing up,” Baribeau continues. “Powerful women that showed me love in the times I needed it most. My Moms gave me the tools I needed to be who I am and, in fact, they did the heavy lifting when it came to building up my own strengths. It was the women around me that taught me to be brave, to exist without apology, and to love without fear. These women were blessings and I am forever grateful for their love.”

Excited to learn about Angel Baribeau, proud of them for standing up and creating this, and delighted to share with you,

Lee

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Cool for the Summer - A Teen Girl Finally Gets the Guy of Her Dreams... But Can't Stop Thinking About This Girl She Was Romantic With Over the Summer


Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Lara's had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He's tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he's talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe...flirting, even? No, wait, he's definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara's wanted out of life.
Except she's haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.
Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she's finally got the guy, why can't she stop thinking about the girl?
Add your review of "Cool for the Summer" in comments!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Seven Highlights of #NY21SCBWI (plus my top inspiration, and some gratitude, too.)


Highlights:

Some moments from the wonderful SCBWI 2021 Winter Conference that are still resonating for me:

"I wrote this book for you and girls like you, because you deserve to see Black girls on the cover of books." Reneé Watson, speaking to her goddaughter Ryan in her Golden Kite Award best middle grade/young reader fiction acceptance speech for Ways to Make Sunshine

"You have to get the story right and the music right." – Matt de la Peña, on writing picture books

"Creativity is a thing that gets me through hard times." – Christian Robinson

My answer to you couldn't do that... "I did it anyway and it went great." – Jean Feiwel

"That new book needs to tell its own story, and not be just a giant epilogue." A new story where characters have a chance to breathe, a chance to discover things about themselves, and discover things about each other." – Becky Albertalli, on writing a sequel

"If I can't do it authentically, I'm not interested in performing it for people." – Adam Silvera, on social media

"I like books that allow me to enter them," and too many words get in the way. – Patricia MacLachlan

Inspiration

My biggest inspirational moment happened during the honor of hosting the LGBTQ+ and Allies social. Coming back from multiple breakout rooms, people spoke about a number of people writing stories with LGBTQ characters and themes where they're writing #QueerJoy. 

#QueerJoy - I love that!

Gratitude

My gratitude as well to my fellow members of SCBWI Team Blog for this conference: Debbie Ohi, Lakita Wilson, Jaime Temairik, Jolie Stekly, and Don Tate. And to Lin Oliver everyone at SCBWI who pulled off a virtual conference with over 4,000 attendees, and allowed me be part of it!

Thanks for letting me share,
Lee

Friday, February 19, 2021

Pre-Order Plan Reveal For "No Way, They Were Gay?" - Let's Empower LGBTQ Youth Together!

So you may have heard I have a book coming out. In April. It's nonfiction, and it's the kind of book that would have totally changed my life if I'd read it when I was 11. Or 15. Or heck, any time up through my writing it. (And I've been working on it since 2010.)

It's called NO WAY, THEY WERE GAY? HIDDEN LIVES AND SECRET LOVES, and it's being published by Lerner Publishing Group's Zest Books imprint. It was honored as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. And it's all about empowering young LGBTQ people.


So I've cooked up this fun pre-order idea. For folks to buy a copy from my local indie bookstore, Pages: A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach, California, to donate to an LGBTQ teen via this wonderful nonprofit, Brave Trails.

It's all being set up, and there will be a special landing page for the virtual book launch party and everything, but I wanted to let you all know about this. Because, wouldn't it be amazing to put this book into the hands of just the readers for whom it will make a huge impact for the good?

And yes, No Way, They Were Gay? is a book about history, but it's not history like I was taught history, all dates and names to memorize. It's not history as medicine. It's more like chocolate. Empowering chocolate.

Because history is fascinating when you put aside the denials of hundreds of years of historians and actually let people tell you their own truths. Primary source materials - like letters, diary entries, poems, songs, ancient artwork - let us hear the stories of men who loved men, women who loved women, people who loved without regard to gender, and people who lived outside gender boundaries.

It's super cool. And exciting! If you want to get a head start on the preorder donation, you can preorder the book at Pages: A Bookstore now. But you can wait until the launch party event page is up, too. Either way, save the date - April 6, 2021 at 5pm Pacific.

And just to keep the fun going, here are three TikTok posts that are helping build the buzz...

@leewind

Abraham Lincoln spills the tea... ##iwroteabook ##foryou ##fyp ##booktok ##queerbooktok ##nowaytheyweregay ##queerhistoryiseverywhere ##queerhistory ##lgbtq

♬ I'm Coming Out - Diana Ross


@leewind

Queen Anne spills the tea... ##Iwroteabook ##foryou ##fyp ##booktok ##queerbooktok ##nowaytheyweregay ##queerhistoryiseverywhere ##lgbtq

♬ Run The World (Girls) (Glee Cast Version) - Glee Cast


@leewind

Pharaoh Hatshepsut spills the tea... ##iwroteabook ##foryou ##fyp ##booktok ##queerbooktok ##nowaytheyweregay ##queerhistoryiseverywhere ##queerhistory ##lgbtq

♬ I Am Changing - Jennifer Hudson


Thanks for sharing this adventure with me, because amazingly enough, Queer history really is everywhere! And know that can change everything.

Gratefully,
Lee