April 15th, 2015

andrew potter

Sandrine Gasq-Dion (born April 15)

Sandrine (Sandy) Was born in Inglewood, California. Raised by "Old School" French parents, she later moved to Tucson, AZ. It was there that writing became a hobby. Always told she had a great imagination, Sandy wrote short stories for her friends in High School. In college, she took more writing classes while working on her Criminal Justice degree, but it wasn't until a soap opera caught her eye that she got involved in male on male romances. On the advice of a friend, Sandy dipped her toes into the world of M/M Romance. Sandy takes the writing seriously and has had countless conversations with gay men as well as hours of research.She's been involved with the military in one way or another for over twenty years, and has a great deal of respect for our men in uniform. She's traveled the world, but is currently enjoying the South.

A Betting Man, A Marrying Man won a 2013 Rainbow Award as Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, 2nd place.

Further Readings:

A Betting Man / A Marrying Man (Men of Manhattan) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Wilde City Press, LLC (August 28, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1925031349
ISBN-13: 978-1925031348
Amazon: A Betting Man / A Marrying Man (Men of Manhattan)
Amazon Kindle: A Betting Man / A Marrying Man (Men of Manhattan)

A BETTING MAN
Kent Samson loves his life as a big time ad exec for a prestigious advertising company in New York. But when he makes a bet with his best friend, Blaine, Kent is thrown for a loop—for Kent has to make the next person to walk through the door fall in love with him. When unsuspecting bike messenger Terry Barron delivers a package, he meets the unbelievably sexy Kent Samson. Suddenly, secrets and lies complicate everything and both men find themselves in uncharted waters. How will Terry feel when Kent is revealed as a betting man?

A MARRYING MAN
It’s been almost a year since a disastrous bet dropped Blaine McKlintock and his best friend, Kent Samson in hot water. Now, Kent is getting ready to propose to Terry Barron. Blaine couldn’t be happier for his best friend, but when Kent asks Blaine to plan the wedding, Blaine is thrown for a loop, especially when Kent drops another bomb. Spencer Cassidy will be helping. Blaine remembers Spencer very well, but the former Wall Street force doesn’t seem to remember him. Blaine’s changed a lot since the bet, but will Spencer see it too?

More Rainbow Awards at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, Rainbow Awards/2013


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Craig Zadan & Neil Meron

Craig Zadan (born April 15, 1949) is an American executive producer, director, and writer. Zadan is openly gay and is one half of the successful production team Storyline Entertainment with partner Neil Meron since their meeting many years ago in the New York theatrical community.

Zadan was born in Miami, Florida. He moved with his family from Florida to New York City when he was 2 years old. He wrote for New York magazine and also contributed articles to such publications as After Dark. He co-produced a Broadway tribute to Stephen Sondheim, Sondheim: A Musical Tribute, featuring Angela Lansbury and Alexis Smith in 1973. He wrote a book relating the "behind-the-scenes" of the musicals of composer Stephen Sondheim titled "Sondheim & Co." in 1976, which has been updated with a subsequent edition and revisions until 1990. Meron invited Zadan to speak at a lecture series at Brooklyn College, and they became professional partners upon Meron's 1976 graduation. They worked for Joseph Papp at the Public Theater before going to California in the early 1980s to work for Peter Guber.

The duo is rapidly becoming a power force in the entertainment industry known for their careful planning, adherence to budget and uncompromising eye toward quality and honesty in their projects. The Zadan/Meron team is transforming film and television production with a philosophy and culture which is favorable to both studios and actors, yet retaining a high level of fiscal responsibility.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Zadan

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

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Johnny Manzon-Santos, B. Michael Hunter & Mickey Branca

B. Michael Hunter (April 15, 1958 - January 23, 2001), aka Bert Hunter or Bertram Michael Hunter, was born on April 15, 1958, in Hell's Kitchen, NY, and raised in Spanish Harlem, NY. He was an educator, cultural activist and journal editor of Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the age of AIDS, published by Other Countries: Black Gay Writers. He died of AIDS on January 23, 2001, Central Harlem, New York City.

"On April 11, 1991, my first day on the job at Norman Thomas High School in New York City, Yarius, a student in my College Accounting course, asked me: "Why are you teaching?" His question probed for more than the introduction I offered the entire class: I went to public elementary school in East Harlem, graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, had an undergraduate degree in accounting, a law degree, spent five years selling computers for IBM, and, after taking a year and a half off to travel the world, had decided to pursue my lifelong desire to teach. I purposely gave a broad sketch of my life, leaving out details of my love interests or political views. I interpreted Yarius's question in two ways: first, "If you have so much going for you, why are you "just" a teacher; and second, "We students don't deserve teachers who want to teach."

"Why am I "just" a teacher?" I did not want to be challenged so early. I have always wanted to teach, to dance, to act in the theater, and to write. But these were things that "faggots" did. And I was not a faggot.

I wonder at times if, as a Black gay male teacher, I am really making a difference. Many of the values I hold are alien to my students. I am startled and often surprised at their frequently conservative and rigid remarks regarding sex, recreational drug use, sexuality, and other "moral" issues. Most of the time I find I am left of center, still the precocious child, the sensitive teenager, the left-wing student with the right-wing college majors; still, in the words of fellow African-American co-workers, the "too-Black" IBM sales representative." --One Teacher in Ten: Gay and Lesbian Educators Tell Their Stories by Kevin Jennings


John Albert Manzon-Santos and B. Michael Hunter, 1994, by Robert Giard
B. Michael Hunter was an educator and cultural activist. "It's through the community that we met." said Johnny Manzon-Santos. "Though Bert may have a different recollection, I first met him at a meeting of the Lesbian & Gay People of Color Steering Committee. I noticed Bert, one of the handsomest men I'd ever seen, who was really quite and cautious - the opposite of me. He was a writer and refreshingly not a graduate of an Ivy League school, like my ex-lover." Hunter died of AIDS in 2001.
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)


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B. Michael Hunter, aka Bert Hunter or Bertram Michael Hunter, was an educator, cultural activist and journal editor of Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the age of AIDS, published by Other Countries: Black Gay Writers. "It's through the community that we met." said Johnny Manzon-Santos. "Though Bert may have a different recollection, I first met him at a meeting of the Lesbian & Gay People of Color Steering Committee to secure a spot in the People of Color contingent of the New York City Pride March of GAPIMNY, at the time a new affinity organization. I noticed Bert, one of the handsomest men I'd ever seen, who was really quite and cautious - the opposite of me. He was a writer and refreshingly not a graduate of an Ivy League school, like my ex-lover. I was happy to learn that he didn't grow up with money and, like me, received financial aid to get through mostly all-white schools. I felt safe with him from the beginning, and not ashamed of unpacking whatever personal baggage I may have brought with me. I wondered about Bert being Black, having experienced too many Black people telling me that I wasn't oppressed enough."

B. Michael Hunter died of AIDS on January 23, 2001, Central Harlem, New York City. John Albert Santos Manzon is currently living in Oakland and he married his new partner, Michael Leo Branca, in 2012. They are looking to adopt.

Since 1985, Johnny Manzon-Santos has been committed to promoting social justice with a focus on people of color, lower-income and other historically underserved communities. He currently works as a leadership coach and strategic consultant within nonprofit, for-profit and public sector organizations. He is a Founder and Principal of pearldiving LLC, a consulting and coaching practice committed to empowering people of color, lower-income, and other traditionally underserved communities by meaningfully strengthening the institutions that serve them, a core member of Prism Coaching and a founding member of the national Coaches of Color Consortium. Johnny is a seasoned executive director with 15 years of experience leading HIV/AIDS organizations in New York City and San Francisco. Under his leadership he doubled its budget, established two satellite sites, and delivered capacity building services across 10 time zones. He completed his professional coaching certification at the Coaches Training Institute, is an alumnus of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders, and holds a Bachelor’s from Brown University.


John Albert Santos Manzon, the son of immigrants from Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan, is currently living in Oakland and he married his new partner, Michael Leo Branca, in 2012. They are looking to adopt. “Our parents, devout Catholics, are and have been so supportive of our gay union and our aspiration to adopt children, even asking if/when they would be baptized." John has won gold and other medals in figure skating at the Gay Games held in 2002 in Sydney, in 2006 in Chicago and 2010 in Germany.

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Source: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/37547/pacquiao-same-sex-marriage-and-our-kumpareng-john#ixzz2cb2Uh4HF

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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Freda Stark & Thelma Mareo

Freda Stark (27 March 1910 – 19 March 1999) was a New Zealand dancer, and a prosecution witness after the prescription drug overdose of her lover, Thelma Mareo, in 1935. During the Second World War, she was a famed exotic dancer at Auckland's Wintergarden cabaret and nightclub, and a favourite of American troops stationed there, where she earned the title "Fever of the Fleet."

Born in Kaeo in 1910, Freda Stark was the daughter of James Stark, a shopkeeper, and Isabella Bramley. She attended St Benedict's School and Epsom Girls Grammar School after her parents shifted to Auckland shortly after her birth. Her father encouraged her to learn dance, and she began to do so at nine years of age.

After leaving school, Stark worked as a clerical worker by day, and danced as "L'Etoile" during the evenings, and her repertoire included tap, high kicks, tumbles and hula. During the 1930s, she also learned classical ballet, as steps toward an advanced examination certificate at New Zealand's Academy of Dance, which she acquired in the late thirties.

In 1933, Stark joined Ernest Rolls' revue, and met a young dancer named Thelma Trott, and the two women fell in love. In 1934, Stark was in the chorus of the Duchess of Danitz, while Trott starred. At this time, Trott married Eric Mareo, their conductor. The relationship was cut short in 1935 when Trott took a fatal overdose of the prescription drug Veronal in unexplained circumstances, leading to Mareo being charged with her murder.

Mareo was tried twice for the murder of Trott, was twice found guilty, and was twice sentenced to death by hanging, (later commuted to 12 years in prison).


Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries 7-A14388. Freda Stark with Thelma Mareo at a picnic in 1935 (©15)
Freda Stark was a New Zealand dancer. In 1933, Stark joined Ernest Rolls' revue, and met a young dancer named Thelma Trott, and the two women fell in love. In 1934 Trott married Eric Mareo, their conductor. In 1935 Trott took a fatal overdose of a prescription drug, leading to Mareo being charged with her murder. During the Second World War, she was a famed exotic dancer at Auckland's Wintergarden cabaret and nightclub, a favourite of American troops and she earned the title "Fever of the Fleet"


Freda Stark & Thelma Mareo are buried together at Waikumete Cemetery. Freda Stark longed to be reunited with her long dead lover Thelma Mareo and her friends made sure that wish was granted after her death in 1999: Freda, who died at 88 in a West Auckland rest home, was cremated and her ashes were buried at the foot of Thelma Mareo's grave, under the words she put there long before: “Waiting till we meet again… Freda.”

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Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freda_Stark

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
Amazon: Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher


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Drake Jensen & Michael Morin

Drake Jensen (born 15 April 1970) is a Canadian country music artist. In 2007, Jensen moved to Ottawa and in 2008, married his long-time partner Sean Michael Morin who is also his personal manager.

Drake Jensen was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, on Cape Breton Island in Canada. At age four, influenced by his mother’s love of country music, Jensen connected to John Denver through "Country Roads". Other influences included Merle Haggard, George Strait, John Conlee, Ronnie Milsap and Charlie Pride. He was bullied as a child and left Grade 8 because of it.

His first recording was a 2001 cover of Anne Murray’s "A Little Good News", which received airplay throughout the Maritimes and was a favorite of CBC Radio One.

After a lengthy hiatus, he revived his dream of becoming a vocal artist. His 2011 debut album On My Way to Finding You was recorded in Nashville with veteran independent producer Kim Copeland. The first single “Wash Me Away” has logged airplay on 100 radio stations worldwide and the album received a positive review from influential country critic Robert K. Oermann in MusicRow Magazine.


Drake Jensen is a country music artist. He married his long-time partner Sean Michael Morin who is also his personal manager. Jensen's husband appeared in the music video for Jensen's single "On My Way to Finding You," a video dedicated to Jamie Hubley, an Ottawa gay teen who committed suicide after being bullied. "I have no choice but to give back. I give back through my music and through my story. I’m a homosexual musician telling my story through songs and spreading the message of love.”

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Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_Jensen

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Sally Miller Gearhart (born April 15, 1931)

Sally Miller Gearhart (born April 15, 1931) is an American teacher, feminist, science fiction writer, and political activist. In 1973 she became the first open lesbian to obtain a tenure-track faculty position when she was hired by San Francisco State University, where she helped establish one of the first women and gender study programs in the country. She later became a nationally known gay rights activist.

Gearhart grew up in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia. She was raised by her grandmother and mother after her parents divorced. Her grandmother owned a local theater, which allowed Gearhart to watch many movies. Looking back, she said, "There was another undercurrent going on. That was my lesbianism. From when I was ten years old, I knew that I wasn't going to have children."

Gearhart attended Sweet Briar College. She graduated with a B.A. in Drama and English in 1952. At Bowling Green State University she obtained a master's degree in theater and public address in 1953. She continued on at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, getting her Ph.D. in theater in 1956.

Gearhart began teaching speech and theater at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. The Lutheran climate of the school did not allow Gearhart to embrace her sexuality fully. Her determination to hide her true sexual identity continued through two more teaching positions in the Midwest, and until she moved to San Francisco, California in 1970. By 1973, Gearhart was employed at San Francisco State University, where she went from teaching speech to teaching women's studies. There she was able to develop one of the first women and gender studies programs in the United States.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sally_Gearhart

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

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Blog Tour: My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange

My Zombie Boyfriend by T. Strange
Publisher: Torquere Press (April 14, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: My Zombie Boyfriend

Edward Grey is a medical student by day, necromancer by night. He lives alone with the first zombie he ever raised, his childhood cat, Boo. Edward’s life is simple: studying medicine, training his necromantic powers with his mentor, Mariel, and having weekly dinners with his parents. When he finds a very attractive corpse in a park and brings it home to reanimate, he accidentally creates a sassy, free-willed zombie who believes Edward is the one who murdered him.

With no memory of his former life, Edward names the zombie Kit and tries to win his trust. Kit slowly adjusts to his new un-life with Edward’s help, though he’s still suspicious of Edward’s role in his death and is convinced that Edward is hiding his former identity. Edward is very attracted to Kit, but understands why Kit doesn’t trust him. As they become closer to one another, Kit turns to Edward for comfort and love. The fragile trust they’ve built together will be tested when Kit unexpectedly regains his memory and seeks revenge on his murderers.

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My Zombie Boyfriend is T. Strange’s first full-length novel, though she has published several shorter works with Torquere Press. When not writing, T. enjoys gardening, spending time with her horse, and, of course, reading. T. lives in Canada with her wife, surrounded by pets.
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