March 25th, 2014

andrew potter

Roland Barthes (November 12, 1915 – March 25, 1980)

Like André Gide and Marcel Proust, two of his favorite writers, Roland Barthes, a semiotician many "queer theorists" find inspiring, occupied an extremely marginal position in French society. He was Protestant. (France is predominantly Catholic.) He was left-handed. (France is, of course, predominantly right-handed.) He was déclassé. (Barthes's father, a naval officer, died in the First World War, and his mother had to work as a bookbinder.) He was consumptive. (Barthes spent several years in sanatoria.) And he was expatriate. (Barthes spent the 1950s in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, working for cultural services.)

Barthes also occupied a marginal position within the French academy. Having failed to sit the agrégation exam that would have led to an orthodox career, but having already published extensively, he was forty-four when he began teaching at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, a lackluster post, and sixty when he was elected to a chair in the Collège de France, a prestigious one.

If a single factor, however, can be said to have alienated Barthes from the bourgeois culture he came to distrust and felt compelled to demystify--a deterministic approach Barthes himself rejected--it would be his "perverse" sexuality. Like Proust, if not like Gide, who saw himself as a pederast, Barthes was homosexual. And like Remembrance of Things Past, a work in which everyone except the narrator (who may or may not be named "Marcel") turns out to be gay, Barthes's critical texts--including ones that concern "text"--are best understood in relation to this sexual marginality.

Barthes preferred the notion of "text," which posits writing as open and derivative, to that of "work," which posits it as closed and sui generis. In fact, texts are so open--to playful ("ludic") interpretation and abysmal contextualization--as to be completely meaningless in any conventional sense of the word. Barthes, however, has an unconventional--and appreciative--sense of meaninglessness.

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Citation Information
Author: Kopelson, Kevin
Entry Title: Barthes, Roland
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated April 14, 2006
Web Address
Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date March 25, 2013
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates

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More LGBT History at my website:, My Ramblings/Gay Classics

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andrew potter

Thom Bierdz (born March 25, 1962)

Thom Bierdz is the artist who will "borrow" his work to be dispalyed in Sticke Figures (a project of Matthew Montgomery).

I asked Thom if he would like to share a bit of him and his work with us, and I found a very kind but maybe shy man. Strange if you think that he is also an actor, but maybe this makes him an even more interesting person, someone I'm glad to have the chance to discover.

1) Your website says: Thom Bierdz, Actor, Artist & Author. Do you feel to be more of one of those three souls?

I am a quiet guy - my personality is really suited to be alone and create - as a painter.

2) Do you want to tell us something more on your role as Philip Cancellor III in "The Young and the Restless"?

Last year I made history by being the first out-gay actor hired on daytime for a contract role! I received a poignant HRC award.

3) You defined "Forgiving Troy" a VERY personal book. It's enough to read the blurb to understand that for sure it's, but do you care to tell something more about it and the experience to write it?

On this 3 minute clip (taped last month) from CBS news I talk about my book:

Taking the Leap

4) Looking at your Gallery, you have a very different and various portfolio. What is your background as artist?

Self-taught trial and error

5) You said that in the last 5 year, art made your living: what is the main common output for your artworks?

I have being doing a lot of personal commissions - a lot of family and dog portraits.

6) Your artworks will be protagonist in the Matthew Montgomery's movie, Sticke Figures; I suppose they will be the "paintings" of the main character, that is an artist. How did you come to this project?

My ex, best guy in the world, is Matt's boyfriend now.

7) Is it your first time on the screen not as actor?

My art has been on several tv show sets.

“2005 Emerging Artist of the Year, Los Angeles” What emerges from his personal journey onto the canvas is at times heartbreaking, haunting and profoundly affecting. Thom’s body of work ultimately proves to be an uplifting and inspiring experience of transcendence, a compelling testimony on the resilience of the human spirit.

Contradictory strategies for painting has quickly become Bierdz’s hallmark. Although he uses the same touch throughout, it can at times appear to be a number of different voices, even personalities. The reluctance to lay claim to a fixed position might at one time have been attributed to youth but it is clearly now an integral aspect of Bierdz methodology. Nothing is by chance. Even when the form appears to be a sort of free association, that’s really his expertise in terms of handling paint. The process is at times extremely rigorous and other times purely subconscious.

His paintings prove cunningly hard to pin down. One painting might be purely decorative abstraction; another an architectural interior or a figurative work. A single landscape might contain the following; asymmetrical branches that engulf a whimsical cabin, naïve animals that refer to Henri Rousseau’s paintings, atmospheric washes that evoke Rothko’s use of vivid color and bold strokes of shapes that seem to pay homage to Matisse. Whether it is a yellow-green wash over a woman in a chair or the mystical atmosphere of a moonlit landscape or storybook houses, it is a lyrical arrangement of elements that flips between symbolism, impressionism and abstract patterning. Bierdz is masterful at establishing tension between the decorative mark and recognizable imagery.

In the end, the artist allows the work to speak for itself. The very thing that takes our breath away, his diversity, his range, this combination of charm and sometimes harsh reality, are the same avenues we all walk. He holds a sort of universal mirror, as if to dare us to look at ourselves, and with a bold conviction and honesty, embrace all of who we are.

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More Artists at my website:, My Ramblings/Art

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andrew potter

2014 Rainbow Awards Submission: Cub

Gay Contemporary Romance
Cub by Jeff Mann

Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Bear Bones Books (February 14, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590213394
ISBN-13: 978-1590213391
Amazon: Cub
Amazon Kindle: Cub

Not every gay teen yearns for fashion and popular culture. Some boys are pure country folk and like the feel of flannel and the smell of the farm. And they're neither lithe nor muscle-bound but stocky boys, the ones who develop hairy chests, arms, and faces years earlier than their peers. One such seventeen-year-old is Travis Ferrell, shy among most of the other kids at school, but proud of his West Virginia roots. He has not yet admitted his passion for handsome guys--and his idea of what handsome is and what handsome does is not much different from him. Soon he'll learn that he's not unique; gay culture has a name for young men like him. Cubs. Lambda Literary Award-winning author Jeff Mann has written a touching romance for the outsider in us all.

Charities Donation program progress:
25$ YouthCare:
25$ Point Foundation:
25$ CARE:
25$ Lost-n-Found Youth:
50$ Wes for Youth:
50$ Lambda Legal:
132$ Galop:
150$ Cancer Research Institute:
160$ UCAN:
190$ SAGE:
350$ Ali Forney Center:
TOTAL: 1265$*

* more than 150$ is a direct donation from a supporter of the Rainbow Awards who isn't submitting; while some authors were more than generous, arriving to donate 5 times the suggested amount, being the submission fee a non mandatory and voluntary direct donation, we were struggling to raise the same amount as last year and there is who decided to cover part of it. I thank you for all you are doing, and if you wish to donate to the above links, please drop me a note with your donation and I will update the total.

2014 Rainbow Awards Guidelines:

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andrew potter

GayRomLit Retreat: Silvia Violet

Starting from March up until September I will feature authors attending the GayRomLit Retreat in Chicago (October 16-19, 2014:

Today author is Silvia Violet: Silvia Violet writes erotic romance and erotica in a variety of genres including contemporary, paranormal and sci-fi. She can be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like "Do you write children's books?" She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she's actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinfully delicious treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading to her incorrigible offspring.

Silvia Violet is offering a copy of Pressure Points to one commenter on this blog. You can comment on LJ or DW if you have an account (I will send a PM to the winner), if you don't have an account, please leave a comment on DW with a contact email.

Pressure Points (Pisgah Mountain Wolves) by Silvia Violet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (March 18, 2014)
Amazon Kindle: Pressure Points (Pisgah Mountain Wolves)

Pisgah Mountain Wolves: Book Two

It’s hard enough being an inn manager, serving at everyone’s beck and call, making sure all the guests are happy and the employees are paid on time. Add to that being a werewolf, a recovering alcoholic, and a pack leader. Add to that a brother who is trying to tear the pack apart and a dark past he can’t escape. Needless to say, Carl is under a lot of stress. Not helping: Justin, the inn’s human massage therapist—who Carl is trying not to fall for—has offered Carl a massage to “lower his stress levels.” As his boss, Carl can’t tell Justin his hands might lower stress levels, but they would raise something else.

Despite Carl trying to put him off, Justin won’t give in. Carl’s friends won’t leave him alone, and the divisions in the pack are near exploding. And it’s tourist season. The last thing Carl needs are wolf wars in the lobby. Like it or not, Carl is going to have to rely on Justin and the wolves who love him to teach him how to let go and get through everything without falling apart.

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