Happy Anti-Bullying Day!

Today you have the opportunity to join your voice (albeit silently) to the cry against bullying. It’s truly simple – just wear purple.

All across our nation (and I hear in parts of Canada) people who are angry about bullying are becoming visible. A purple wave of human beings stand out, which in this case is also standing up.

So stand out today in PURPLE. Use your visibility to make a point. And if someone asks you why you’re dressed in purple, gladly engage them in a conversation about the necessity to end bullying.

And of course, you could always point them to my book, The Boxer Rebellion. You’ll find a link over there on the right side of this page, up near the top. Just click on the link and it will take you to Amazon.com where you can buy my most timely novel about bullying that leads to death through suicide and murder.

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Five Day Give-Away!

Free October 13-17

My novel, The Boxer Rebellion*, is available as a free download on Amazon from October 13th through October 17th. 

From some of the recent reviews:

“Kudos to the author for having the gumption to tell this story. This subject is like a bad accident, you know what you see is going to be frightening, hard to take and perhaps life changing but you have to look anyhow. Once I picked it up I couldn’t put it down. I literally read last night until the kindle said battery was low to charge and saw it was 3:30 am.” – Kathy Brockman for MM Good Book Review

“The characters themselves are quite fabulous, every single one of them unique, every single one of them a masterpiece. The plot, while it had many twists and turns and a new horror waiting in every corner was well-balanced. I didn’t feel for one moment that it was too much. Well yeah, the emotions cause were too overwhelming and I needed “healing” breaks from time to time, but the plot did not make me feel uncomfortable with incredulity, or too much drama. The balance was literally perfect.” – Thomaidha Papa on Goodreads.com

If you haven’t read it, here’s your chance to grab it for free – and if you have read it, this is a great opportunity to ‘gift’ it to your friends, your local library, school board members, teachers, and of course, your family.
* People who have experienced teenage bullying first hand report being       triggered by this book.
Although The Boxer Rebellion is about teenagers, the subject matter is frankly mature and the language used by the bullies utilizes crude colloquialisms.

Famous LGBTQ Folk – Part II

In honor of National Coming Out Day yesterday, I am putting up another video slide show I put together, Famous LGBTQ Folk Part II.  I think it’s important to put lists like this up for young (and older) LGBTQ folk to find. Many famous people have led creative, productive, inventive lives in the past, and others are making a name for themselves now. 
Role models can make a big difference in a life, just knowing that someone else has succeeded might change a person’s life for the better. I think back to my own youth growing up in a very conservative county in California. It changed my life to know that Harvey Milk lived and died in support of LGBTQ issues. It made a difference to know that Eleanor Roosevelt had her lover with her in the White House. It inspires me to know that Ru Paul is making television history with his Drag Race. So here’s to those who are making history on their own terms:

Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

Today, October 11, 2013 is the 25th anniversary of NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY. It is the day we encourage all Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered, and Intersexed individuals to come out of the closet of secrecy, to acknowledge their own identity for what it is, rather than what others wish it might be. Everyone must make their own choice about whether to come out of the closet or not (unless they actively work against the interest of LGBT folks, in which case they will be outted).

I came out on National Coming Out Day 1998. Never having done it before, I literally jumped out of the closet by coming out to my boss. I had some idea that I should tell administration before my co-workers and clients found out. I felt like an outlaw, and I was desperately trying to show that I still played by all the other rules. I was immediately terminated, with three days notice.

Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat, even knowing what it would cost me. But I definitely would not tell my boss – he’d have to find out through witnessing my life lived honestly. Now, fifteen years later, I’m sure it was never any of his business in the first place.

So I recognize that it’s not an easy thing to come out, is what I’m trying to say. It’s worth it, and in the long run it’s the best thing you can ever do for yourself. But in the immediate future you will most likely face some kind of opposition. This is to be expected and I won’t lie, your life will never be the same afterward. Publicly acknowledging who you are will change how the world views you, and how you walk through life. People you thought you could count on will disappoint you, and others you’d have sworn wouldn’t accept you will become your biggest supporters. It will be easier for some, and more difficult for others, but such is life.

Today I am posting a slide show I put together ten years after coming out, Famous LGBTQ Folks. Tomorrow I will post another, Famous LGBTQ Folks Part II. I created them to shore up my own publicly acknowledged lesbianism, and remind myself and others of some incredible role models. Some of the people in these videos insisted on doing their work while out, if not loud or proud. Of those, some succeeded wonderfully and others were jailed, beaten, and/or murdered. Others in these lists stayed in the closet during their lifetimes to protect their careers, their truths only surfacing because of memories of still living lovers and gossip columnists.

If you’re still in the closet, please come out and join us, living in the sunlight of truth, happiness, and freedom. Remember, a flower never bloomed while locked in a closet. The more of us who come out, the more straight people will recognize how normal we really are. Our rainbow garden grows bigger and more vibrant when you open that closet door, come out to the real world, and plant yourself in the sun.