Friday, July 31, 2015

Etsy Pride (1)

Forgive the basic button; it was the best I could do at the moment, and I really wanted to have something to identify these posts. Anyway, I'm a huge fan of the website Etsy, where you can buy all sorts of vintage and handmade items. For this feature, I thought I would search Etsy and find an item or two for each post that represents LGBT+ pride.

LGBT Pride Superhero Amigurumi Crochet Doll made by artist CrochetWithPride

These dolls are $20. 64 and the artist also has dolls that are also Asexual, Pansexual, and Bisexual pride. Be sure to look around the site to see what all is available!

Rainbow Heart Keychain/LGBT Pride Keychain made by BlackButterflyJD

This keychain can be purchased right now for $10!


What do you think of this new feature? Want to make us a new button for it? 

If you have something you'd like us to feature, please get in touch!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to you by Breaking the Spine

Today, I wanted to share Robin Talley's sophomore effort, What We Left Behind. It's due out on October 27th and it features a genderqueer character, which is something new for me. I haven't read a book by a character that identified as such. You can learn more about what this means here.

Official Summary: Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They've been together forever. They never fight. They're deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college—Toni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU—they're sure they'll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, their relationship will surely thrive.

The reality of being apart, however, is a lot different than they expected. As Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, falls in with a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.

While Toni worries that Gretchen, who is not trans, just won't understand what is going on, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni's life. As distance and Toni's shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide—have they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?

What do you think? Would you read this? I read Talley's debut novel, Lies We Tell Ourselves, and I really loved it, so I'm excited to see something new from her. Add it to Goodreads now!

-Lauren Becker

Monday, July 27, 2015

Rainbow Boxes: Why Everyone Needs LGBT + Books

I originally read this on the blog The Compulsive Reader, so check out her blog as a thank you!

However, the idea behind Rainbow Boxes came from YA authors Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta. As taken from their Indiegogo page:

  • Our ultimate goal is to send one Rainbow Box containing 15 carefully selected books to one community library and one GSA or LGBTQIA homeless shelter in every state in the United States.
  • We want these books to reach teenagers who need to see themselves in stories. We also want to push back against the notion that these stories hold no interest outside of the LGBTQIA community. Inclusive fiction is for everyone!
  • By buying from our local indie, we will be fully supporting authors and encouraging publishers to provide a range of LGBTQIA stories in the future. 
I think this is a fantastic and worthy cause. It's important to get these books in front of the right audience. If you would like to donate, please visit this page and give what you can. That link will also give you more details about the project, as well as what 15 books have been selected to go in the boxes. I think they have some great titles on there!

What do you think about this project? Will you donate?

Please spread the word, and definitely watch the above video. It's very well done and sends a powerful message.

-Lauren Becker

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Look At: Coins in the Coffee Cup

This isn't quite a Waiting on Wednesday post as the book has already been released. However, it came out on July 14th, so not too long ago.

Coins in the Coffee Cup by Ambriehl Khalil - check it out on Goodreads

Official Summary: Harrison Healy is a seventeen-year-old boy with a side of depression. Not a seventeen-year-old boy with depression. With his parents dead, his sister gone and a best friend who committed suicide from an overwhelming flood of sadness - he’s doing okay. Now, he’s just stuck with two people who can’t stand the sight of him and five friends who try to make his life a little better. 

While stumping through his every day average-depressed-gay-kid-teen-life in his final senior year, he discovers EVAN, a bright-eyed, bright smiled senior who is trapped in the world around him. 

Over the course of his final school year, Harry experiences his first love, his first kiss; he finds the stars, loses his mind, very nearly loses himself along the way. He finds out horrific news, he sees what can’t be unseen and he is faced with the challenge of trying to find a way to be okay. 

Harrison deals with the loss of everyone he has loved. As he tries to get out of his head and into the real world, he attempts to participate in life instead of watching it fly by.

What do you think? Is this something that you would be curious to read? Share your thoughts below!

-Lauren Becker 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Congrats to Cara Delevingne (Paper Towns)

John Green's novel, Paper Towns, is hitting the big screen this Friday, July 24th. I'm definitely excited about it! While the book doesn't feature any LGBT + characters, I did want to commend actress Cara Delevingne for coming out as bisexual (Cara stars as Margo in the film, and she's on the movie poster above). You can read more of her statements on Us Weekly's website.

Cara discusses how she has a girlfriend and her sexuality is not a phase. She's bisexual and she's perfectly okay with that. A lot of people seem to have trouble "believing" in bisexuality, so I think it's great when people can identify as such and aren't afraid to tell other people. In general though, it's not anybody's business but Cara's and people should respect other people's personal lives.

Feel free to share your thoughts about Cara and the film below, but remember, be respectful!

-Lauren Becker

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Letters to Zell Book: What if Snow White Liked Girls?

What if Snow White liked girls? That's just one aspect of the novel Letters to Zell by Camille Griep. I was given a review copy of this book and you can read my thoughts over at ShootingStarsMag (I even include a video from Tuesday's artist Todrick Hall) but for this blog, I wanted to talk about this little aspect of Snow White falling for a girl.

In Letters to Zell, Snow White goes by the name Bianca and as foretold in her Pages, she must marry a man named William. This is her best friend, who she loves very much. However, neither of them are in love with each other. Instead, when Bianca ventures Outside with her friends, she meets and falls for a woman named Rachel.

This aspect of Bianca's personality is not questioned by her friends or anyone else in the novel. It is perfectly fine that she loves a woman. What is a problem is that she still needs to marry William or risk the fate of Grimmland, where all the ladies live.

For me, I loved that one of the Fairy Tale Princesses we all know and love has a preference for the same sex. It was a great, modern addition to this very much modern take on the princesses. I highly recommend the book, for Bianca's character and more!

What do you think about Snow White liking girls? Would you read this book? 

-Lauren Becker

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Turn It Up: Todrick Hall and Spell Block Tango

Out artist and former American Idol contestant, Todrick Hall, creates some fun, hilarious music which he happily shares in the form of fun videos on Youtube. You can check out more of his work here but today I wanted to share the video for Spell Block Tango, which is a parody of "Cell Block Tango" from the musical Chicago, but with classic Disney villains. Keep an eye out for Glee's Amber Riley and even Adam Lambert! As for Todrick Hall, he plays Scar from The Lion King.

 Did you watch it? What do you think?

-Lauren Becker

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Discuss It: Little Big Town's Girl Crush

Earlier this week, I shared a cover version of "Girl Crush" by an out artist, but today, I wanted to discuss the actual song/lyrics by Little Big Town.

If you haven't heard their version, check out the video below:

When this song was first released as a single, there was a lot of controversy in the country music world. People didn't really listen to the lyrics, I assume, and thought it was about a same-sex crush. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, and if it was about an actual girl crush, that would be awesome too. However, just hearing a song like this was enough to ignite anger in people and that's awful, in my opinion. It means there are a lot of people that would boycott a song because they think it's about a same-sex relationship.

Check out this article on ABC News that talks a bit more about the controversy and people complaining to radio stations.

Like I said above, if this song was actually about a lesbian relationship, I would be completely fine with that. I know not everyone would be though, and again, that's fine, but I still think it's wrong to want to ban or not play a song because of that attitude.

As for the actual song "Girl Crush", it's about a girl who wants to be the girl her ex is currently in love with. Some lyrics-

I want to taste her lips
Yeah, 'cause they taste like you
I want to drown myself
In a bottle of her perfume
I want her long blonde hair
I want her magic touch
Yeah, 'cause maybe then
You'd want me just as much
I got a girl crush
I got a girl crush
I think it's pretty obvious from the above lyrics what the singer means. She wants to be the girl so she can have the guy. It's all a matter of paying attention to lyrics and not being upset by certain lyrics or phrases. 
"Girl Crush" is an interesting song for sure, and I think it does make people stop and think. Is this something that is going to upset you? And do you like it more because it can be seen in another light? Listening to Kristen Merlin's cover of it definitely makes me think of it differently, and I love that. I think it's great to have songs that can be a bit ambiguous and allow all types of people to relate to them. At the same time, people have to allow this. Whether the song was a same-sex crush or not, people should learn to listen to all types of music. After all, girls listen to guys singing about girls and vice versa. Where's the outcry there?

What do you think? Discuss it!

-Lauren Becker

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Turn It Up: Kristen Merlin covers Girl Crush

Kristen Merlin is a past contestant on the U.S. singing competition, The Voice. She was Team Shakira and sings wonderfully in the country genre. Country group Little Big Town have a current single called "Girl Crush" and as an out artist, Merlin covered the song (video above) with a decidedly different twist since it's not meant to be about a same-sex relationship. We'll have a discussion later this week about this song, so please come back!

What do you think of this version? Had you heard the song before?

-Lauren Becker

Monday, July 6, 2015

U.S. Wins + Abby Wambach Runs to Wife

this is an older photo of Wambach, but source
 The U.S. Women's Soccer Team won the World Cup last night against Japan, 5-2. As soon as the game was over, Abby Wambach ran over to the crowd to hug and kiss her wife, Sarah Huffman.

Some people may see this and think "what's the big deal? It's her spouse!" and that's a great attitude to have. At the same time, you have to remember that not everyone feels that way and I still think it's a very brave thing to do in public, regardless of "fame" or anything else.

What do you think?

Congrats to Abby and the rest of the U.S. team!

-Lauren Becker

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th: Feel Proud

For those of you in the United States, Happy Fourth of July. Whether you're in the U.S. or not -

"What have you done today to make you feel proud?"

-Lauren Becker

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Discuss It: Still Fighting for Equality

Discuss It!

Same-sex marriage might have been legalized in the United States, but that doesn't mean the fight has ended. There are still going to be people who oppose these rights, and will do what they can to deny other ones. Religion is also a major factor for most people when it comes to accepting same-sex marriage and other rights.

I found two articles online that I wanted to share and discuss with everyone. Please state your opinion in the comments below. Feel free to be honest, but do not hassle anyone else or we will delete your comment.

First off, the Advocate shares a story about an Arkansas County Clerk that resigned so she didn't have to issue same-sex couples marriage licenses. She has held this job for the past 24 years, and she states in the article that she doesn't hate anyone and it was a difficult decision, but she just doesn't agree with same-sex marriage.

This is a difficult topic, I think, because we need to be respectful of everyone's beliefs. Personally, I see nothing wrong with same-sex couples and they should definitely be allowed to get married. For people that oppose this idea, I simply believe they should kind to people and not try and push their beliefs on others. Besides that, everyone is free to believe what they want and if this woman would rather resign than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, then so be it. Do I personally agree? No, but you can't change everyone's opinions.

What do you think?

The other article was on the Huffington Post and it's about how the Episcopalian Church voted to recognize same-sex marriage. I think this is a fantastic step toward equal rights for everyone. Like I said above, religion and churches are often a huge force in opposing same-sex couples, so it's always great to see when people go against this and welcome all people.

Again, share your thoughts below!

Also, I would love some kind of button for these discussion posts. If you would like to make one for us, please get in touch - lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

-Lauren Becker