gay media

Four Great Queer Writers

TW: mention of sexual assault and hate crimes

Finding LGBTQ books and writers can be a bit of a challenge. Queer writers are rarely taught in English classes. If they are, it’s likely an elective specifically on queer writing and not a core class. In reality, most books we read in literature classes, from elementary school to university level, are written by straight people, usually white men. Even though there are some popular authors who are gay (such as Oscar Wilde or James Baldwin) it’s not often that you find popular books about the queer experience. It’s important for us to give our attention to queer writers who have important messages to share.

Here are four of my favorite writers, whose messages are worth sharing:

Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is probably best known for her book Bad Feminist, but has magnificent work outside of that, such as Difficult Women, a collection of short stories, or her newest novel Hunger, which explores her binge eating disorder. Bad Feminist, a collection of essays, was the first of her novels I read. Her idea of being a Bad Feminist teaches us that nobody is perfect, therefore, feminism can’t be perfect. We are all learning and experiencing in a way that is unique to us. We need to listen, learn, and support each other in the best ways we can. On her book, Gay says, It just shows what it’s like to move through the world as a woman. It’s not even about feminism per se, it’s about humanity and empathy.”

Andrea Gibson

Andrea Gibson is a spoken word poet and activist. Their work is influenced by gender, love, social justice, and being queer. “Your Life” is a beautiful and touching poem about being non-binary/trans. “Orlando” is about Gibson’s reaction to the Pulse Shooting of June 2016. Gibson’s newest album Hey Galaxy is a masterpiece and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s an emotional journey. It will make you cry, laugh, and smile. They use music in their spoken poetry as well, which adds to the experience. I got to experience Andrea Gibson first hand, when I saw their show last January. Andrea Gibson, in my opinion, is a gift to the world of spoken word poetry.

Audre Lorde

I felt like this list wasn’t complete without Audre Lorde. The subjects of her work are usually personal to her, as she wrote about race, feminism, and the LGBTQ community. She is a writer of poetry, essays, and non-fiction. My favorite work of hers is Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, a biomythography where she writes about the details of her life, living as a black lesbian in the 50s and 60s. One of my favorite poems by her, “Power” is about race relations and white supremacy. The opening lines:

“The difference between poetry and rhetoric

is being ready to kill

yourself

instead of your children,” consider the power of our words in a system that tries to leave us voiceless. Lorde also has a book of essays and speeches, titled Sister Outsider.

Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong is a gay poet from Vietnam whose work has become extremely popular recently. His book Night Sky With Exit Wounds is his first full length collection, exploring subjects such as femininity, being gay, family, and war. My favorite poem in this book is titled “Seventh Circle of Earth.” It is about a gay couple murdered in their home in Dallas, Texas in 2011. This is a heartbreaking poem with a very untraditional structure as it considers what it means to queer in America.

Gay Dating in a Straight World: John Boughton’s Guide to The Gay Dating Game

Let me introduce to you, the safest & best dating app there is for men in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Welcome back ya cuties! Today on Gay Dating in a Straight World (GDSW), we’re going to stick with the theme of dating apps and talk about a very special one. It’s exclusively for gay, queer, bisexual, pansexual, asexual & trans men. It’s name? Chappy.

Coming Out For Someone Else

Don’t

That’s the short answer. Of course, it isn’t as simple as that. Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and living a thrilling, freeing gay life every day, you start to pick up some skills. One of those is picking out your fellow brothers and sisters before you’ve even met them. What I’m talking about is a “gaydar.” It’s a popular phrase, coined somewhere in the 1990s, but some say it was first heard in the show “Futurama.” I tried to do some research, but it was all very limited. So if you find out where it comes from, let me know. But back to this article! A gaydar is a tool one possesses in sensing someone else’s sexuality. I’m sure if you’re reading this blog, you know exactly what I’m talking about. But if you don’t – it might be time to get out of the house more often – but I’ll do you a favor this time and help you out a little bit.

Gay Dating in a Straight World: John Boughton’s Guide to The Gay Dating Game

Trying to find that perfect match in a society where we’re “swimming against the stream,” is like attempting to complete a 1,000 piece color spectrum puzzle.

It’s not easy, but all we want is that one special loved one. So we sit at that table, organizing pieces by the candlelight, and one-by-one, the puzzle (might) start to come together. As a gay man who has been single for almost 2 years, I know the game a little too well. So I’m here to impart some of my wisdom and share some interesting experiences that can hopefully help all you lovely people in avoiding what could potentially be a sad, forever alone life.

Little Gay Comix: #4 – Creative Block

Been a little low on brain fuel lately, but I’m working on it!

180°

 

 

A Short Story by John Boughton

 

Jenna paced her room, wondering how the conversation would go. Would they accept her? Would they disown her? Would she be sent to an orphanage or forced to live on the street? All of these were questions racing through her head on a quiet, cold Wednesday evening. She rehearsed what she would say to her parents. She wanted desperately to tell them who she truly was. She had stalled through the car ride home, she stalled all throughout dinner, and she continued to stall through the night as she did the “homework” she didn’t really have.

 

The time was approaching. She couldn’t bear to continue the life she was living. She had a partner at school and they loved each other very much. They had been secretly dating for about three months and all she wanted was for them to meet her parents. But first, her parents needed to know the truth. That was the hard part. She thought it would be easy, like any other kind of conversation. Like talking about what to eat for dinner, or whether she interested in going to her brother’s concert on Saturday night (she wasn’t). But nonetheless, she was frozen, Whenever the words approached her lips, her tongue became paralyzed and she would blurt out some fun fact about the African Savannah or Eleanor Roosevelt. It was bad. But tonight she knew she had to tell them because the Winter Formal was this Friday and her parents had been begging her to ask someone out. Just not who they expected, or frankly, wanted. It didn’t matter though. She loved them with all her heart and whether her parents liked them or not, it was her choice and her life.

 

She gathered her strength, took a deep breath, and exited her room. As she walked down the stairs her hands were hot, clammy and vibrating. It felt like the Heat Miser was giving her a vigorous handshake. Her parents were downstairs watching the News. They were both in the PJ’s and about to turn in for the night. This is was it.

Media Review: “It’s Okay to Be Gay” – Doug Armstrong

In a new comedy EP, Doug Armstrong sings the kinds of songs we can relate to.

Doug Armstrong’s debut comedy EP “It’s Okay to Be Gay” is quite the joyride. From beginning to end it is filled with light-hearted, positive humor that can make any confident, gay man like myself want to shout from a rooftop “I like dick, balls and bum!” – a line from the “What I Like About Guys,” the last song on the EP. Each song sends off a positive message and informs the public of the daily struggles of what gay men go through.

Sam’s Guide to Gay Media #3: 5 Awesome LGBTQ Writers You Should Follow on Twitter

Besides reading really, really good writing, nothing is quite as beneficial to a budding writer’s evolving skills as following really, really good writers. Below, I’ve compiled a list of five of my favorite LGBTQ writers and editors on Twitter. I’ll link to a few of their best pieces of advice, funniest or most insightful tweets, or most exceptional written/edited pieces.

Follow these lovely folks, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with personally, for queer AF humor, awesome links to pieces they’ve written or edited, and nuggets of writerly wisdom. Enjoy, and happy reading! Let me know who your favorite LGBTQ writer or editor is in the comments below.