January 18th, 2015

andrew potter

Lewis DeSimone (born January 18)

A native Bostonian, Lewis DeSimone majored in English at Harvard and earned an M.A. in creative writing at the University of California, Davis. He currently lives in San Francisco, which he believes is as close to paradise as the Lower 48 can get. His work has appeared in Christopher Street, the James White Review, the San Francisco Sentinel, the Bay Area Reporter, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Harrington Gay Mens Fiction Quarterly, and the anthology Beyond Definition. His debut novel, Chemistry, is a love story about the ineffable qualities that draw people together and sometimes force them apart.

The Heart’s History won a 2012 Rainbow Awards as Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction.

Further Readings:

The Heart's History by Lewis DeSimone
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Lethe Press (May 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590213424
ISBN-13: 978-1590213421
Amazon: The Heart's History
Amazon Kindle: The Heart's History

This is Edward architect, friend, lover, mystery. Everyone has their own Edward a kaleidoscope of images struggling to define a man who has never let anyone get too close. But now, Edward is dying, and all of his loved ones are desperate to understand him, to connect fully with him, before it's too late.

In this beautiful and haunting novel, Lewis DeSimone, author of the acclaimed Chemistry, explores the hidden depths of love, the struggle to maintain a balance between connection and individuality. Edward's illness is set against the backdrop of a sea change in gay culture, a time when AIDS is assumed to be simply a manageable condition, and when the drive for assimilation through marriage, or the military has begun to trump the distinct characteristics that were once a source of pride. Deftly shifting perspectives to paint a compelling portrait of a man and a community on the cusp of a critical transition, The Heart's History gives hope that, despite the impossibility of ever achieving true oneness with another person, it is the attempt itself that gives life its greatest joy.

More Rainbow Awards at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, Rainbow Awards/2012


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andrew potter

Betty Berzon & Terry DeCrescenzo

Betty Louise Berzon was born to a middle-class Jewish family on January 18, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. The family moved to Tuscon, Arizona when Berzon was young, and upon graduating high school she attended Stanford University, majoring in journalism and creative writing. In 1949, Berzon got a job in a bookstore, which turned into a short-lived career as a bookseller. She owned and operated Berzon Books in 1951 in Los Angeles, but it went out of business after one year.

In the following years, she experienced a bout of depression and sought treatment in a psychiatric hospital. After her release from the hospital, she got a job in a sanitarium and enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a psychology student. While working on her degree, Berzon took a job as a caseworker for the American Red Cross Military Hospital Service, and later for the San Diego County Probation Department. By 1958, she had graduated with a Master's degree in Psychology from San Diego State College and hadbegan working for a psychotherapy research organization, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (WBSI). There, she developed her psychotherapy career and created program materials for group therapy sessions called the Bell & Howell Encountertape Series. She evenually left WBSI and established herself as a consultant, developing workshops, training sessions and seminars in group therapy, personal growth and interpersonal relationships. She later received her Ph.D. (Picture: Terry DeCrescenzo)

By 1971, Berzon had began specializing in work counseling gay men and lesbian women, as well as same-sex couples. Throughout the 1970s to 2000s, Berzon edited or wrote a number of books about gay and lesbian identity, relationships, and homophobia, including Positively Gay, Permanent Partners, Intimacy Dance, and Setting Them Straight. She also wrote an autobiography about her therapy career and experience coming out as a lesbian woman called Surviving Madness.

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Source: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt1s2035mf/

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More Real Life Romances at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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Evelyn Torton Beck & L. Lee Knefelkamp

Evelyn Torton Beck (born January 18, 1933), Women’s Studies and Jewish Studies Professor Emerita at the University of Maryland, holds Ph.D.s in both Comparative Literature (University of Wisconsin, 1969) and Clinical Psychology (The Fielding Graduate University, 2002). She is best known in the LGBTQ community for her ground-breaking, now classic book, Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology (Persephone Press, 1982; Crossing Press, 1984; revised and expanded edition, Beacon Press, 1987).

In 1954, just out of college, she married Anatole Beck with whom she had two children, Nina Rachel Beck (who was a plaintiff in the successful suit for civil unions in the state of Vermont) and Micah Daniel Beck. At the age of 40 she came out as a lesbian and divorced in 1974. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her life partner, L. Lee Knefelkamp, who is also an LGBTQ activist in the field of higher education. Beck and Knefelkamp married in Vermont.

Through poetry, essays, photographs and short stories, this anthology was the first of its kind to give voice to previously invisible women from the U.S. and abroad who identified as both Jewish and lesbian. At the first public reading from this anthology in Boston, Beck was publicly “excommunicated” from Judaism by a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who picketed the event. Although this episode shocked Beck, it did not deter her from working to eradicate homophobia within Jewish communities and anti-Semitism within lesbian groups. For more than a decade, Beck was an active member of B’not Esh (Sisters of Fire), a group of rabbis, therapists, theologians, therapists and scholars dedicated to creating theory, activism and ritual from a Jewish feminist perspective. She was also a founding member of the ironically titled Di Vilde Chayes (The Wild Beasts, en epithet applied to uppity women), a Jewish lesbian feminist group which addressed political issues raised by Nice Jewish Girls. In the mid 1980s this anthology spawned many such groups and served as an organizing tool in creating diverse Jewish lesbian communities in the USA, Europe, and Israel.

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Source: http://www.lgbtran.org/Profile.aspx?ID=199

L. Lee Knefelkamp, professor of psychology and education, Teachers College, Columbia University, teaches in the programs of social–organizational psychology and higher education, and she has also held administrative posts as program coordinator and department chair. She also directed the student development graduate program at the University of Maryland, served as dean of the school of education at American University, and as academic dean of the faculty at Macalester College.

For thirty years, she has researched and written about student intellectual, ethical, identity and intercultural development; curriculum transformation; issues of race, ethnicity, and gender; campus climate assessment; and the psychology of organizational change and resistance to change.

She is a senior fellow with AAC&U and has been a national panel member for the American Commitments and Greater Expectations initiatives.

Source: www.aacu.org/contributor/l-lee-knefelkamp

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More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

More Real Life Romances at my website:
http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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Rick & Wynn Wagner

Wynn Wagner (born January 18, 1951) now has an honest-to-gosh dad-gum mother-in-law named Rita. He and his husband — Rick Wagner — were married in Washington DC, after shacking up since the 1990s. Before the marriage, both their last names were Wagner. Nevertheless, Wynn announced that he was taking Rick’s last name. They were also married in the Old Catholic Church.

Dr. Wagner holds a Th.D. from St. Wolbodo Theological Seminary. He also holds degrees from St. Alban Seminary and TCU. Wynn — the son of Swedish nationals but adopted by an unsuspecting and otherwise innocent family in Fort Worth — has written numerous gay and spiritual books, including the Vamp Camp series, influential, Commitment Issues, A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Old Catholic Church, and Recovering Catholic. He was the editor of a hand full of liturgical texts currently in use around the world.A retired archbishop writes explicit gay romance novels. It’s a niche.

Years ago, he was a programmer who helped write the tax software used by some of the world’s largest corporations. He also wrote Opus-CBCS, a computer bulletin board system that was wildly popular in the 1980s. Opus generated millions of dollars for HIV and AIDS, back when almost nobody was helping fund research or caring for those suffering from the disease. He wrote an article called “HIV: Day One” for those who have just learned they have HIV. It is considered one of the most widely read pieces for HIV patients and has been translated into a dozen languages, including American Sign Language.


Wynn Wagner and his husband, Rick Wagner, were married in Washington DC, after shacking up since the 1990s. Wynn announced that he was taking Rick’s last name. They were also married in the Old Catholic Church. Years ago, he was a programmer who helped write the tax software used by some of the world’s largest corporations. He also wrote Opus-CBCS, a computer bulletin board system that was wildly popular in the 1980s. Opus generated millions of dollars for HIV and AIDS.

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More Real Life Romances at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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