June 4th, 2012

andrew potter

Gay Metropolis: Jean O'Leary (March 4, 1948 - June 4, 2005)

Jean O'Leary (March 4, 1948 - June 4, 2005), was an American gay and lesbian rights activist.

Born in Kingston, New York and raised in Ohio, in 1966, just out of high school, O'Leary entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Humility of Mary, in order to "have an impact on the world." After graduating from Cleveland State University with a Psychology degree, she left the convent in 1970 before completing the period of training, and would later write about her experience in a 1984 anthology, Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence. She moved to New York City and did doctoral work at Yeshiva University.

At the time, she became involved with the nascent gay rights movement, joining the Gay Activists' Alliance (GAA) Chapter in Brooklyn and later lobbying state politicians. In 1972, she left the male-dominated GAA and founded Lesbian Feminist Liberation, one of the first lesbian activist groups in the women's movement. Two years later, she joined the National Gay Task Force, negotiating gender parity in its executive with director Bruce Voeller and joining as co-executive director.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_O%27Leary
GAA had no staff, but it had a fine sense of theater and a knack for gaining the attention of the media. "It was really the ACT UP of its time," said Ethan Geto. "So Voeller founded the NGTF, and he and Jean O'Leary became the first co-executive directors. It was in New York at 8o Fifth Ave. Morty Manford and my crowd were on the GAA side." --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 3793-3795). Kindle Edition.
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andrew potter

In the Spotlight: Eric Poole

The Book: "Gut-splittingly funny...a deeply moving account of a boy's attempt to control his world with his own brand of magic." --People magazine, 4 stars.

Tracey Ullman once described Eric Poole as "the best undiscovered writer I ever met." Now the world can enjoy his achingly honest wit and gift for capturing real life characters in this memoir about growing up in the 1970's with an obsessive-compulsive mother and a crush on Endora from Bewitched.

Amazon: Where's My Wand?: One Boy's Magical Triumph over Alienation and Shag Carpeting
Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reprint edition (June 7, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425241017
ISBN-13: 978-0425241011

The Author: Eric Poole was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a farming and industrial hamlet best known, in the 1960’s, for its Quaker Oats factory (the entire town smelled like oatmeal). There, he excelled in television viewing and falling over the railing of the family’s split level foyer.

Along with his parents and sister Valerie, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1969 – a move that launched him on a personal and spiritual odyssey that continues to this day, some forty years later. Evidently, he’s a slow learner.

Eric remained in St. Louis from 1969 until 1988, when he moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career as a sitcom writer – “pursue” being the operative word, since this career was never actually caught. (It’s a long and ridiculous story, one he’s saving for another memoir.) He has spent his career in advertising and marketing, winning more than thirty pieces of overpriced metal for his efforts. The last twelve years have been spent at a major media company, where he’s VP of Radio Marketing, a title that sounds considerably more important than it actually is.

The first time Eric ever told anyone (outside the family) of his Endora alter ego occurred in the mid-90’s, at a week-long spiritual growth seminar called Insight. Once divulged, the attendees called him Endora for the rest of the week, and an idea was born. It would be a dozen more years, however, before he began to write about this belief in magic and the journey that it prompted.

His first book, Where’s My Wand? One Boy’s Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting, has just been published by Amy Einhorn Books (an imprint of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, part of Penguin USA).

He lives with his partner of ten years in Los Angeles.


Top Gay Novels List (*)

First Decade (2000-2009): http://www.elisarolle.com/ramblings/top_100_gay_novels_2.htm

Second Decade (2010-2019): http://www.elisarolle.com/ramblings/top_100_gay_novels_2.2.htm

*only one title per author, only print books released after January 1, 2000.

Note: I remember to my friends that guest reviews of the above listed books (the top 100 Gay Novels) are welcome, just send them to me and I will post with full credits to the reviewer.

Other titles not in the top 100 list: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/top50MM
andrew potter

Chocolatiers of the High Winds by H.B. Kurtzwilde

This is basically three books in one; it starts like a coming of age / young adult novel, with our teenager hero, Mayport Titus, living the boarding school where he spent most of his youth in search of adventures, or better, trying to regain power onto his late father’s business, the Titus Chocolate Company. To do so he enrols the help of his nemesis/lover of the past, Joseph Thiervy, an older boy who was in boarding school with Mayport and who was Mayport’s first love. This part of the story is really like a kid adventures, with both Mayport and Thiervy running away from their supposed tasks to try to path the way to their own future. Mayport and Thiervy also reignited their past relationship, like time wasn’t gone through. It’s not an open relationship, Thiervy more than Mayport, wants to be discreet, and while in bed he is open and welcoming, during the day he treats Mayport like he is nothing else than a business man with money with a spaceship and a captaion to hire and Thiervy is that captain.

As soon as the story is set, it becomes like a pirate’s adventures novel, with Thiervy and Mayport moving from, supposedly, Asia to Europe to America (even if the places have different names and the distances are shortened due to the use of spaceship instead of airplane). Mayport want to regain the control over his father’s company, but I think he wants also to find a place where he and Joseph can be who they want without restriction, and that it means both family expectations than society customs. This Utopia is May Port, a harbour city that is a mix of New England style and Medieval feud; in May Port the ruling officer has full authority on the city, and that means he can legislate and approve whatever law he likes, even allowing same-sex marriage…

And so here it comes the third part of the novel, that Victorian drawing-room drama suggested by the author; Mayport and Thiervy have collected relatives and friends all around the world and they are now settle in May Port, but there is still a piece missing to the puzzle… Mayport wants to marry Thiervy, but he has to find the courage to ask, and will Thiervy overcome his reluctance to public display of affection? Will society be able to accept the love between two men, if recognize by the law?

Chocolatiers of the High Winds is a long and high paced run along with Mayport and Thiervy, apparently a run to success, but actually the oldest of the quests, that for true love.


Amazon Kindle: Chocolatiers of the High Winds
Publisher: Circlet Press, INC (May 2, 2012)

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle