Category Archives: lgbtqia

The Less than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch: #bookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51886460-the-less-than-spectacular-times-of-henry-milch
Amazon

The Less Than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch by Marshall Thornton is set in Wyandot County in Michgan. There used to be a Wyandot County but it became Cheboygan County in 1853. It seems funny to hear the author refer to the area as the Northern Lower Michigan. It’s accurate. People always forget about the Upper Peninsula.

Henry Milch has recently moved to Michigan from Hollywood, California in order to live with his grandma. Henry had a choice between living with Nana Cole or going to rehab after an overdose. He’s still a drug addict and not always completely honest with anyone. He wants everyone to call him “Mooch” but it doesn’t stick. It’s a horrible nickname. Who really wants to be called “Mooch?”

Henry finds the body of Sammy Hart while working for a local land conservancy. There’s a reward offered for information about Sammy’s death. Henry’s motivation for finding Sammy’s killer is greed. He wants the money so he can move back to Hollywood.

Sammy was an interesting person while he was alive. He was an openly gay man living in a conservative area of Michigan. Unfortunately for Henry, the first gay person in the area that he meets is also deceased. Henry is also gay. He has only told a handful of people in Michigan.

Henry finds out everything he can about Sammy. Who would want to kill him? Was it because he was gay or was there another reason? Henry is really hoping that he solves the case before anyone else. Nothing is more important to Henry than getting out of Michigan.

If you are looking for an interesting LGBTQIA murder mystery, then The Less Than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch is a good match.

If you’re close-minded about everything LGBTQIA, then you should start reading articles or books about how to not be a bigot. Come back to the book at a later time.

Links for Tolerance articles:

https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/59nz5z/how-to-deal-with-friends-family-who-are-racist-sexist-or-bigoted

https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/speak-up/six-steps-to-speak-up

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2019/07/how-not-to-be-a-bigot/

  • I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Cold Case Quest: JoJo Striker

JoJo Striker

Although JoJo Striker’s story had quite a bit of press in 2017, the case has not been solved yet. Striker was the third transgender woman of color murdered in the United States during 2017.

She was 23 years old and living in Toledo, Ohio. Striker was found in a parking garage after being shot. No one has said whether she was shot somewhere else. The police didn’t have many leads at the time and even fewer now.

Her mother believes that Striker’s murder is a hate crime. She’s not wrong. Any number of hate-filled circumstances could have led to someone shooting her. Maybe the situation didn’t start out with evil intentions but it ended that way.

Some of the articles about Striker mention that her gender was misidentified by the media. Someone may have witnessed something that could give the police a clue but didn’t know that Striker was transgender. The possible witness could have heard about the case of a man being killed and doesn’t make the connection to what they saw. Even her obituary is under her old name. It could be very confusing to any witness.

Striker is not listed on the Ohio Attorney General’s website which lists unsolved homicides. Is it possible that they aren’t listing every transgender homicide? Maybe. So far I’ve only seen one unsolved transgender victim listed on the website. Whoever is in charge of the website has some work to do on inclusion.

There’s nothing else written about this homicide after 2018. No one has been arrested. The trail has gone extremely cold.

Anyone with information should call the Crime Stopper program at 419-255-1111.  Striker’s mother is still waiting for anyone to come forward with information that could solve the case.

HRC Mourns JoJo Striker

5 Podcasts: Transgender and LGBTQIA

Originally, this was going to be a list of marijuana-related podcasts. For now, the pot podcasts are going to be on the back burner. 😉 The subjects of what it means to be transgender and to be gay have been topics at my house lately. I can’t be the only one with inquisitive kids. Who wants to be the parent that doesn’t have any answers? Not me. I don’t know what it means to be transgender or gay exactly. Technically, yes. I understand definitions. Really, I have no idea what to say. So I thought doing some research on transgender podcasts would be helpful. It’s a starting point at least. Some of the podcasts might be interesting to you as well.

  1. How to be a Girl podcast.  http://www.howtobeagirlpodcast.com/

This mom, Marlo Mack, rocks. She does the podcast with her young transgender daughter. They are just trying to figure it out together. Mack also has a blog over here: https://gendermom.wordpress.com/

2. The Gender Rebels https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/httpgenderrebelspodbeancomfeed/the-gender-rebels/e/51638508

They have the answers to questions you didn’t even know you had about transgender issues.  

3. Public Trans Podcast. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/public-trans

Mac and Ave discuss trans issues during your morning commute. Also available on iTunes. 

4. TransPanTastic. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/transpantastic

I’m looking forward to listening to more of the adventures of George and Jess. They are a transgender couple with children and all of the drama. 

 

5. Ok 2 Be LGBT. https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/ok-2-be-lgbt

Molly and Kim talk about LGBT issues, news, and pop culture. They are hilarious. 

 

The Best Bad Things: #bookreview

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If you were going to be a cross-dressing spy, do you think that you could be successful in hiding your true identity?

In The Best Bad Things by Katrina Carrasco, it’s 1887 and Alma Rosales has been dismissed as a Pinkerton Detective. Her former boss, Delphine, is the leader of a drug smuggling ring. Delphine hires Alma to find out who is stealing the drugs from her business.

Alma decides to use the alias of Jack Camp and dress like a man to infiltrate the local drug organization. The only other person that knows that she is a woman is Mr. Wheeler, the boss of the local dock workers.

Apparently, she is just as convincing dressing as a man or as a woman. If it were me, I would be worried that I would get drunk and tell everyone all of my secrets. I’d spill all of the tea.

It must have been hard for Alma to trust anyone, even Delphine. She’s in love with Delphine but doesn’t always like her plans. I think Alma also has a crush on Wheeler and vice versa. She likes to dress as a man but I’m not sure if she wants to be a man.

I can’t tell you how it ends but you won’t guess. I love it when I don’t guess the ending. It’s probably not going to end the way you think it would.

 

  • I received an ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

 

 

The Best Bad Things on Amazon

Katrina Carrasco’s website

Interview with . . . Emily Morrone

This interview with Emily Morrone was a happy accident. I was supposed to be doing a review but ended up with a list of questions instead. So I sent them to her people and hoped that she would answer them. Apparently, Morrone was cool with the mixup because she replied.

Morrone is the definition of independence. She is the whole band. With a little assistance from a MIDI keyboard and a loop pedal, she makes the magic happen.

 

 

 

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What are the benefits to being a one-woman band?

I’ve always wanted to pursue a career as a solo artist and something I had to figure out was how I was going to perform my music. When I was first starting out I played a lot of acoustic shows that were just me and my guitar. I still do that sometimes, but in the last year and a half or so I’ve developed my live show to include vocals, guitar, my music software on my computer, where I generate sounds like drums, synths, or bass, and I loop it all through a loop pedal. Figuring out this method of performing has allowed me to perform my songs the way they sound in the studio recordings, but still do it as a solo artist. Some of the benefits are that it gives me full creative control, I don’t have to organize times to practice or record with other band members, and I also think that what I’m doing is unique, so I really like that.

Where was your first show?

I performed a lot in high school for choir and musical theater shows, but my first show as an independent musician was at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis.

What is your opinion about the term “female fronted”?

Well, on the one hand, I think it’s cool because it gives recognition to the front-woman. But, on the other hand, I think it says a lot about the state of the industry that that label even needs to be put on a band. It kind of goes to show that the music industry is still very male-dominated.

What do you personally do to advocate for the LGBTQIA community?

Both music and LGBTQIA rights are extremely important to me. One of the main reasons I even wanted to pursue a career in music was to be able to make a difference, however big or small, when it comes to equality. Something I’ve made a point to do in my music is to write honest songs, and a lot of that is about the relationships I have with women. I know that when I was younger, and I was realizing my own sexuality, it helped a lot to have LGBTQIA celebrities to look up to. I would look at people like Ellen DeGeneres and think “look how happy, successful, and true to herself she is. I want that too.” If it could come full circle and I was able to be that example for somebody out there, that would be the most fulfilling thing in the world.

Do you think it would be weird to stay in the closet for a long time?

I think that would be really hard. I was extremely fortunate to come from a very accepting family and town, so as soon as I had my first feelings for a girl at 13, I was able to come out right away. I can’t even imagine how hard it would have been to come from a place where I didn’t feel comfortable coming out. My heart goes out to everyone who has ever been in that situation. I truly hope that our society gets to a place where everybody is able to be who they are and love who they love. We’ve made a lot of progress on this in my lifetime, but there’s still a ways to go.

What do you love about music?

The thing I love most about music is its ability to make people feel something. Whether it’s an EDM song that you dance to in the club, a heart-wrenching ballad that makes you cry, or a punk song that you listen to when something made you angry, music taps into people’s emotions and I love that there is art in this world that is able to do that.

How long can you go without checking your phone?

I could easily go a whole day without checking my phone if I was busy.

What do you want people to know about you?

I want people to know that I’m Emily Morrone, an independent pop musician from Indianapolis, and what I want in life is to make music that is honest, that makes people feel something, and most importantly, I want to be an example to everybody out there that you can be exactly who you are.

Emily Morrone website

116 Days of Summer Guests: Carolyn’s Fingers

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A friend told us that the summer, like the night, is a queer time. And June, in the west, is Pride month. We all came out in different ways at different times, and every June when we see all the posts about Pride, we think about what it means…

Privileged people like us three, Carolyn’s Fingers, can afford to be openly out and queer. And proud! But we can’t help but get a pang of self-consciousness sometimes when we see free and careless posts about ‘being out’ … we must remember those who cannot – those for whom coming out is inconceivable, a concept wholly foreign. ‘Coming out’ is, after all, a very Western concept and we should be careful of not trying to impose it to anyone else, or use it as a moral high ground.

We feel lucky that in our different ways, all three of us are now almost fully confident in our queer identities. But it’s important not to forget that we still have a lot to protest for, even in countries like the UK – violence against trans people (and specifically against trans women of colour), queer kids being homeless, suffering from disproportionately high mental health issues, LGBTQ refugee deportations.

We would like all of us to be thoughtful of our privilege when celebrating Pride, and fully seeing and understanding the rest of our queer family world wide.

Our songs are often about our queerness and about protest… Maybe because they are very complex issues, we find it easier to use myths to create our own queer utopia – like our latest (and second ever) track Twice Born, which is a love story between a god and a mortal.

Love, solidarity, empathy, pride,

Jess, Carmen, and Chess

Carolyn’s Fingers on soundcloud

Confessions of the Fox: #bookreview

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When I started reading Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg, my first thought was “Why are there so many footnotes? Soooo many footnotes.” I haven’t seen so many footnotes since my college literature classes. There were at least five footnotes that just said “Pussy.”

It didn’t take long to realize that most of the footnotes were telling a story within the story.

Basically, the first story is in a newly found manuscript about Jack Sheppard, a famous thief and jailbreaker in London during the 18th century.  Sheppard was a real person who was in love with a prostitute known as Edgewater Bess.

In the manuscript, Sheppard alludes to the fact that he is transgender. I’m pretty sure that he was intersex, born with male and female genitalia. His mother wanted him to be a female but Sheppard identified as being male.

After he escapes from his apprenticeship as a carpenter, Jack lives with Bess. Eventually, he has his breasts removed and his vagina sewn shut. I imagine he goes through a lot of the same feelings that anyone who goes through sex reassignment surgery. Hopefully, the surgical part of gender reassignment has improved.

 

The manuscript is being read and annotated by Dr. Voth, who is also transgender. He’s going through a lot of the same things that Jack is going through – trouble at work and trouble with intimacy. It’s interesting to see how much has changed and how much has stayed the same since Sheppard’s time.

I would give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s not a quick read but it is very good. It’s also probably different than most of the books out in the world right now.

 

 

 

  • I received an ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own obviously.

Confessions of a Fox on AmazonConfessions of a Fox on Amazon

 

Jordy Rosenberg’s website