Music

ReadOut Shorts: December 2008

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ReadOut Shorts

by Suzie Lynde, Neil Ellis Orts, Angel Curtis, and Troy Carrington

HomophobiaThe Dictionary of Homophobia
Louis-Georges Tin
Arsenal Pulp Press (arsenalpulp.com)
Based on the work of 70 researchers in 15 countries, The Dictionary of Homophobia is a mammoth, encyclopedic book that documents the history of homosexuality, and various cultural responses to it, in all regions of the world. The book includes over 175 essays on aspects of gay rights and homophobia as experienced in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific, from the earliest epochs to present day. Subjects include religious and ideological forces as the Bible, Communism, Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam; historical events such as AIDS and Stonewall; personalities such as J. Edgar Hoover, Matthew Shepard, Oscar Wilde, Pat Buchanan, and Anita Bryant; and other topics such as adoption, bi-phobia, cinema, coming out, deportation, ex-gays, lesbiphobia, and transphobia. —Preview: Suzie Lynde

ToTheTuneTo the Tune of a Welcoming God
David R. Weiss
Langdon Street Press (langdonstreetpress.com)
This collection of newsletter articles, op-ed pieces, and other writings is repetitive (as the author admits), so reading it as a book is hard to recommend. Taken piecemeal, this straight ally’s theological arguments need to be read and shared with both gay and straight Christians. Weiss writes with a fresh, engaging voice that makes a clear call for justice. His is a Lutheran perspective, but members of other denominations should recognize his frustrations and hopes. —Review: Neil Ellis Orts

TheChildThe Child
Sarah Schulman
Arsenal Pulp Press (arsenalpulp.com)
This is the 11th and perhaps most controversial book by acclaimed lesbian writer Sarah Schulman, available now in paperback. Stew is a 15-year-old boy who goes online looking for an older man to have sex with. But when his older boyfriend is arrested in an Internet pedophilia sting, his life is exposed to his family and town. Devastated by these revelations and left to fend for himself, he ends up committing murder.  The Child is a powerful indictment of sex panic in America and a plaintive meditation on isolation and desire. —Preview: Troy Carrington

GotTilGot ’til It’s Gone
Larry Duplechan
Arsenal Pulp Press (arsenalpulp.com)
This queer romantic comedy is the first novel by Duplechan in 15 years and the fourth to feature his alter-ego Johnnie Ray Rousseau, a gay black man of Louisiana Creole stock. When we first met Johnnie Ray in the 1987 novel Blackbird—probably the first gay black coming-out novel ever published—he was a gay teenager in love with the star of a high school play; now he’s 48, still handsome and gym-built, but admittedly vain and looking down the short road to 50 with some chagrin. In the midst of midlife crisis, he falls for a much younger man with some serious Daddy issues; throughout it all, Johnnie Ray tries to look at love (and his life) from both sides now (to borrow a phrase from his idol, Joni Mitchell). —Preview: Troy Carrington

HOLIDAY READING:

Santa Clawed
Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown
Bantam Books (randomhouse.com)
The gang is back, just in time for Christmas! Someone is killing the monks up the hill and leaving ancient coins under their tongues so they can pay their passage to the underworld. As always, the wonderful animal detectives Mrs. Murphy, Tucker, and Pewter not only do most of the work toward solving the crime, they save Harry, their human companion, from the bad guy. Monks with unsavory pasts, a harrowing blizzard scene, and characters who’ve become old friends make this book a warm way to spend a cold evening. Thanks to Rita Mae Brown for this holiday gift! —Review: Angel Curtis

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