New Music from Rickie Lee Jones: The Other Side of Desire

81NKkrNOioL._SL1406_One of my security questions on a website (I won’t say which one) is, ‘Who is your favorite musical artist?’ The answer to that for many years has been Rickie Lee Jones. From her first, groundbreaking and unforgettable self-titled album in 1979, up to and including her new release, The Other Side of Desire, she has been the artist who most closely touches my soul with her music. (When we had a memorial party (not a service) for my late partner Jim Berry in 1991, I made sure to include Jones’s Company among the songs we played. There is no more plaintive, sorrowful and soulful lament for someone who has left your life.)

Her new release contains 11 songs, each guaranteed to be an expression of musical perfection. I haven’t made it through the entire set, but I’m in no hurry. Rickie Lee Jones is an artist of the highest order who is best savored, repeatedly. Oh, and her live show is amazing. I saw her twice, 20 years apart, and she was flawless both times.


LGBT Suicide: A Risk Reduction Strategy

StephanieMottBy Stephanie Mott

I was highly honored to have the opportunity to participate in the Midwest Regional Suicide Prevention Conference last week in Kansas City. There were many intimate discussions about what can be done to lessen the likelihood that people will choose to attempt to bring an end to their own lives. Much of the discussion centered on the struggles that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals go through on a daily basis – how to alleviate some of those struggles and how to replace hopelessness with hope.

My own personal battle with suicidal ideology begin about the age of thirteen and was a pretty much daily visitor in my life for the following 35 years. For whatever reasons, I never took direct suicidal action. Those 35 years were, however, filled with non-stop self-destruction and extreme risk-taking. Although I didn’t attempt to take my own life directly, I certainly didn’t see my life as worth the cost of the air I somehow continued to breathe.

My participation in the conference included helping with a workshop on “Compassionate Counseling with Transgender & Questioning Youth & Adults” with Marcia Epstein, LSCSW. I was also honored to sit on an LGBTQ panel discussion about suicide prevention. I was further honored to meet the founders of Trans Lifeline, Greta Gustava Martela and Nina Chaubal; the amazing Nathan Belyeu of the Suicide Prevention Resource Center; and many other equally amazing people.


Let’s Talk About Brain Health with Herbalist Cathy McNease

AB FINAL Gray Fun LettersWatch out! It’s a live mic!

Welcome back to the Live Mic podcast. In this conversation from the podcast archive, I spoke with herbalist Cathy McNease about brain health, gut health, and the close link between the two. While we may not be what we eat, what we eat can affect how we think, how our brains function, and help us sustain a healthier mind.

Cathy’s health chats and columns offer valuable advice that’s easy to follow and habits we can develop for our bodies and minds. Her recent book, In Harmony with the Seasons: Herbs, Nutrition and Well-Being, is available in print and eBook.

Cathy_5-22-09Cathy McNease is a nationally certified herbalist with a Diplomate in Chinese Herbology from the NCCAOM, a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Western Michigan University and two Master Herbalist certificates from Emerson College of Herbology in Canada and East-West Course of Herbology in Santa Cruz.

Study Finds Public Accommodations Protections Critical To Health Of Transgender And Gender Nonconforming People


Via Press Release/Fenway Health:

Gender minority people who are transgender or gender nonconforming experience widespread discrimination and health inequities. Since 2012, Massachusetts law has provided legal protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public education, and business. However, the law does not protect against discrimination based on gender identity in places open to the public, such as transportation, retail stores, restaurants, health care facilities, and bathrooms.

A new Early Exclusive View study in The Milbank Quarterly that surveyed transgender and gender nonconforming adults in Massachusetts has found that discrimination in public settings is not only common, but is associated with adverse health outcomes (read the abstract here). The study, by lead author Dr. Sari Reisner of The Fenway Institute at Fenway Health and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues, examines the relationship between social stressors, including discrimination, and the health and well-being of gender minority adults in Massachusetts since the 2012 implementation of the state’s gender identity nondiscrimination law.  It also looks at the frequency and health correlates of public-setting discrimination among gender minority adults in Massachusetts, with particular attention to discrimination in health care settings, such as health centers, hospitals, and nursing homes.


Book Review: Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk

SpectacleBy The Bookworm Sez
Terri Schlichenmeyer

“Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga” by Pamela Newkirk
c.2015, Amistad   $25.99 / $31.99 Canada  299 pages

The animals look a little restless.

Maybe they’re hungry, bored, or tired of being watched. They seem angry. Observing these creatures caged, it’s easy to believe that wild animals shouldn’t be penned like this – and in the new book “Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga” by Pamela Newkirk, neither should humans.

When visitors arrived at the New York Zoological Gardens in the Bronx on September 6, 1906, they were probably there for more than just the “sunny and warm” day. Chief curator William Temple Hornaday knew that, and he stood at the gates, directing people to what he claimed was his “best attraction yet.”

At the very end of the Monkey House, past the chimps and baboons, visitors looked upon an orangutan penned with a “103-pound, four-foot eleven-inch chocolate-colored” man that Hornaday claimed was a cannibal and that he knew as Ota Benga.

What he didn’t know, exactly, was how Benga got from Africa to America…


Lee Lynch Wins Golden Crown Award for ‘An American Queer’

LeeLynchThis was exciting! I’ve had the pleasure of running Lee Lynch’s Amazon Trail columns here at lgbtSr every month. One of her stories was also included in the anthology I co-edited and published, Outer Voices Inner Lives (Lambda Literary Award finalist for anthology). So imagine my delight at reading she was both a panelist at last Saturday’s Golden Crown Awards and a winner for her collection of Amazon Trail columns, An American Queer. Congratulations, Lee! Well deserved. – Mark/Editor

More about Lee Lynch:

BSB-AmericanQueerLee Lynch’s collection, An American Queer: The Amazon Trail, A Quarter Century of Queer Life in the United States, was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist for nonfiction.

Her most recent novels, The Raid and Beggar of Love, are published by Bold Strokes Books. She is the namesake and first recipient of The Lee Lynch Classic Award for The Swashbuckler.  She’s been honored with the Golden Crown Literary Society Trailblazer Award, the Alice B. Reader Award, induction into the Saints and Sinners Literary Hall of Fame, the James Duggins Mid-Career Award, and, for Beggar of Love, the Lesbian Fiction Readers Choice Award, the Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award, and Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews.

Featured Book: Best Gay Stories 2015, Edited by Steve Berman (Lethe Press)


Best Gay Stories 2015
Edited by Steve Berman
Lethe Press 

It’s a treat to present a collection of short stories as the current Featured Book. Writing in short form, while often appearing easy, can be among the most challenging for an author. What seems simple is deceptively so: a short story contains within it an entire world, and the best short stories manage to say everything they have to say within a compact frame and time constraint that can require urgency, high craft and precision. A novel may take its time, while a short story has none to spare.

Editor Steve Berman of Lethe Press has assembled the best gay male short stories of 2015. In his words:

“I chose to start and end the book with a kiss. Between pressed lips are stories about our lives, our daydreams we want to leave our lives for, our oubliettes of our own making that define some lives. And there is laughter and tears and passion and pain, and between these kisses I hope you find pasts, presents, and futures that leave you breathless and mindful that a lot can happen after as well as before you share that kiss.”

From the book’s description:

The table of contents to this book features fresh ideas, old hands, burly faces, genderqueer souls, shades of skin and hair as much as it does timbre of voice, both actual and authorial. Best Gay Stories 2015 starts and ends with a kiss–between pressed lips are stories of our lives, the daydreams we want to leave our lives for, the oubliettes of our own making. And there are laughter and tears and passion and pain, and between these kisses you will find pasts, presents, and futures, that leave you breathless and mindful that a lot can happen after as well as before you share that kiss.

Featured writers:

Keith Banner, Richard Bowes, Michael Carroll, Jameson Currier, Josephe Dante, Matt Dean, Joseph R.G. DeMarco, Peter Dubé, Alex Jeffers, Philip Kennicott, Joe Okonkwo, J.M. Parker, Evan J. Peterson, Allan Radcliffe, Ron Schafrick, Nathan Sim, Stefen Strysky

‘Stop the Car’ Now Available As a Kindle Single

StopTheCar-11It’s finally out! My short story, ‘Stop the Car’, is now available as a Kindle Single at the low (low) price of just $0.99. I consider it a major accomplishment to get this story accepted on the Kindle Single platform. Oh, and it’s a true story . . . in parts. – Mark/Editor

From the Amazon description:

1977. Three teenagers on an Indiana back road, heading home away from the highway, away from prying eyes and traffic cops. One behind the driver’s wheel, two in the back seat sampling the merchandise that could get them all jailed. And then, as the car careens along beneath a black sky lit only by a million stars, they see it. The boys demand they stop the car. The driver refuses. Whatever it is they see makes the decision for them and stops the car in its tracks. What happens next to them could be real or imagined, but it will never be forgotten.

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