Posts Tagged With: lgbt

Eddie Izzard – Believe Me

24611840Ah, Eddie. It’s hard to not love this wonderful person, with his simple, honest humor. Once I laughed to tears when he cracked a joke about printers, I’ll add the video below if I can find it. So when I saw his memoir “Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, And Jazz Chickens” (ISBN 1611764696; 368p.; Goodreads), I grabbed it right away. Because, come on, it’s the one, and only: Eddie Izzard.

This is the type of memoir I like – about everything, in details, from the beginning, with fill-in’s, and explanations. Eddie Izzard seems to be a mighty flexible person, able to adjust to almost anything. Starting with his career as street performer, then stand-up comedian, writer, TV star, and so on, and to this day. He followed his heart, and so today we know him both as cold hearted killer in, say, Hannibal series, and as that wonderful transgender comedian, a man in a dress on stage, killing it!

When Eddie was still a child – his mother died. He loved her, and still does, very much. Father, unable to care for children, and work at the same time, sent them to boarding school. Eddie, with his poor health, and away from home, and loving parents, felt quite abandoned. Add his gender identity to it, and you get a fairly poor cocktail. Yet his spirit was ever so wonderful, and his wonderful childish discoveries were everything, I tell you. For example, one time someone told their class there’s a spot in, I don’t remember now, either a better class, or even a higher class, and so they asked whether anyone would like to pass there. Before little Eddie could even roll this thought in his head, some kid just raised his hand, and bam, that was that. Eddie thus came to conclusions: if you just learn to raise your hand real fast, one day you might even become the president of some country!

The memoir is full of everything, as I already mentioned, including the backstage of comedian life, what it’s like, how are the people. The only problem people might get with it: Eddie has a mighty complex way to telling his story, full of long sentences, side clauses within, explanations, and even footnotes. It’s not an easy book, is what I’m saying. But oh how worthy it is, 5 out of 5, there’s no way I can give less.

Categories: 5-5, Biographies, Books, Funny Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gabby Rivera – Juliet Takes a Breath

28648863Even the best of the books sometimes take forever to be read. “Juliet Takes a Breath” by Gabby Rivera (ASIN B01ATCAZHQ; 276p.; Goodreads) is one of those books. It has a mighty important topic, so you can’t exactly skim through it. But then, as contemporary, it also has a very limited variety of characters, their personalities, so I accidentally overgeneralized that too. Anyway, let’s get into it!

Juliet is a Puerto Rican from Bronx. After reading an empowering book by a leading feminist voice, she decided to try her luck in learning more about life as a woman, her history as a woman, her battle as one too. But by getting her internship to go help this said author, her new hero, Juliet soon finds herself in a whole lot deeper waters than she ever thought she’d be in. For one, when if not now to come out to her parents as a lesbian? If they react badly, she can just get on the plane, and be in Portland for her studies in a few hours. And, of course, that’s exactly what happens…

With aching heart Juliet detaches herself from her Bronx life, from life in a big close family, and plunges into the world of open-mindedness, and whole different kind of judgement. It’s fine to be what you are. It’s not fine at all to now know what you are. It’s not okay to be ignorant. Thus another quest begins, one of finding identity in race, gender, and sexuality.

Here’s a real great thing about this book: it touches several topics, and I’ve not yet found anyone who took same things from it as I did. Some people concentrated their attention to the family relation, the “it’s just a phase” point. Others wondered on why not a single straight person seemed to understand that love is love. And there’s many more. So I give this book a 5 out of 5, well deserved. And, guys, at least read the first chapter to not be those jerks. Arguments men make against homosexuals sound at the very least ridiculous when such guys do absolutely exist. (I’ll go as far as I say that homophobes seem to be afraid of other men treating them the way they treat they treat women)

Categories: 5-5, Books, F/F Literature, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K.J. Charles – A Gentleman’s Position [3]

25893424I somehow didn’t realize third book of Society of Gentlemen by K.J. Charles is out. Something in my brain thought it’s to yet happen. But I remedied myself quickly, after a friend corrected me, and got on with finishing the trilogy with “A Gentleman’s Position” (Society of Gentlemen 3; ISBN 1101886072; 246p.; Goodreads). And I can say that this one is my favorite one. With slight Kuroshitsuji vibe of resourceful butler, here – valet…

David Cyprian, Lord Richard Vane’s valet, goes out of his way, and beyond, to keep his master’s comfort. It is why, after all, he’s the very best, and most sought after valet. It is his pride, and joy to serve such a great man as Lord Richard, so when the need comes for him to blackmail, bribe, and burglar – the man takes it as his duty, no less. After all, he’s not a gentleman himself, and, truth be told, has a thing or two he could live with staying hidden from his personal life, and the past. The only little problem is that he is in love with his master. And there’s nothing to be done about it.

Richard Vane is a powerful man, with strong morals, and great mind. Made even better by his resourceful, irreplaceable valet, he tackles even the worst of situations, such as a threat hanging above the head of his beloved friends. Someone wants to expose them, and Richard is just not having it. Especially not when he sees nothing wrong with two men in love. After all, he himself harbors less pure thoughts about his valet too…

While a little slow with action, this was a great book, made so by Cyprian’s character. He’s clever, and resourceful, something I keep mentioning in my review a lot, and I think, in some other book, he would’ve made a great villain. 4 out of 5, very firm!

Categories: 4-5, Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Diversity: People of Color and LGBTQ+

tumblr_ornp4fK76l1tv4ujro1_540Maybe you’ve already seen this flag of equality? One that has added brown, and black stripes to it? No, it’s not to make it look cooler, although it does, yes. It’s to remind people that equality takes us all in, and is not selective of who deserves to speak, be heard, and have basic human rights.

One of such less heard voice is that of queer women of color. Thus I was mighty happy when Hannah from P.S. I love that Book started talking about Gabby Rivera and her “Juliet takes a breath“.

The book is told by Juliet herself. She’s Puerto Rican, and gay. In love, and dating a woman, planning at least the very near future with her. But for that future to have any base, one has to fix the present first. Like, come out to her parents: it resulted in her mother denying it all, claiming it must be a phase, that she knows better, and then outright refusing to speak with her daughter, or even say goodbye when she left for Portland. There, Juliet started working with one famous equal rights activist, and a published author, who insisted on her first getting to know the place, and sync with the city. Juliet’s head spins from new words, pronouns, epithets, and other things that she finds in this seemingly very liberal, and open-minded place.

I already started reading it, so I might be able to finish it until Friday. It’s my nightly-read, so it goes slower than the day books. In the meantime, I suggest you watch Hannah’s video review on this book!

Categories: F/F Literature, Friday: Diversity, LGBTQ+ Books | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

K.J. Charles – A Seditious Affair [2]

25241403When I picked up second K.J. Charles book in Society of Gentlemen trilogy, “A Seditious Affaird” (Society of Gentlemen 2; ISBN 1101886064; 251p.; Goodreads), I thought I’ll continue my adventures with Harry and Julian. But that was not the case. We get to see what their friends were up to in the meantime.

Silas Mason, much like Harry himself is a Radical. He prints and spreads books, and other literature of revolution. Books, even the worst of their kind, are favorable to him over people, even the best of the kind. He breathes this, he lives this, this vision of England where he and a gentleman would be respected, and treated the same. And to let the steam off in the meantime, he has his Tory lover for Wednesdays, with his masochistic needs fitting Silas want for any kind of satisfaction against the gentry.

Dominic Frey is a well-born gentleman working for the law. Every Wednesday he awaits for Silas, trying to push all the bad thoughts away. What if his colleagues catch on? What if they find his Radical lover? Would he give up all he has to save the man he’s secretly nurturing feelings for? Or would he see him hang for those vile ideas? One of these nights his worst nightmare comes true, and they end up running for their lives, after which there’s nothing more to do, but share each other’s visions. They need to figure where they stand, before they end up on the gallows. One has to convince the other.

The book felt like a mix of A Charm of Magpies, and previous Society of Gentlemen book, with those little moments of peace at the richer man’s house, and escaping with their lives. I’ll give this one another 4 out of 5, it’s a very easy read!

Categories: 4-5, Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

K. J. Charles – A Fashionable Indulgence [1]

23834716I’m a fan of K.J. Charles, and her easy-to-read, suspension-adventure filled books. So after a short recommendation, and a long wait, I went ahead and grabbed “A Fashionable Indulgence” (Society of Gentlemen 1; ISBN 1101886021; 264p.; Goodreads). And while this was not as great as A Charm of Magpies, it didn’t disappoint either.

Harry Vane is a Radical in Regency England. He fights for reforms, democracy, and one law for all. Radical bread in general is not sweet, yet when his grandfather, who decided he needs an heir, plucks him off the streets, and drops him into Julian’s lap, in attempt to make him a true gentleman – he’s about to choke on it. If Harry wants his inheritance, he’ll have to learn to hide his views, and play along. It’s just that, Julian, unlike his grandfather, doesn’t look all that appalled by it…

Already difficult Harry’s life turns upside down when his friend gets murdered the night he wore Harry’s coat. The man was not robbed, even thou he had the wallet Harry gave him. Thus both him and Julian come to conclusions – someone tried to kill Harry, and might still be out to get him. Did someone in Society of Gentlemen found out Harry’s true nature?

This was a pretty good detective, something I rarely say. I didn’t expect the things that happened, and I enjoyed the dandy side of this society more than I expected too. I still missed the witchcraft, so 4 out of 5 it is. Not because it lacked action without magic, but because I can’t help but compare the two trilogies. The cover is great tho, isn’t it?

Categories: 4-5, Books, Historical Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Diversity // K.J. Charles // LGBTQ+

Often, at least in gay men literature, characters who identify as homosexual tend to hate themselves, no matter how society views them. It’s one reason why I really like K.J. Charles, for there’s little to absolutely no self-loathing due to sexuality there, even thou the settings of these books are often placed in times where homosexuality in any form was considered a crime.

The first books I ever read by K.J. Charles was A Charm of Magpie trilogy. Now that I’m reading another one, I’ve noticed that’s not the only peculiarity she has. Author likes her characters, the ones doomed to fall for each other, to be as different from one another as possible

Lucian is tall, blond, all the way from exotic China where his father exiled him due to his homosexual nature. To London he returns a wealthy merchant, tattooed, handsome, and mighty unusual, flashy even.

Stephan day is short, red-haired, and the only oddity about him is his magic. With a high position in, what I’d call, magical police, he still barely makes the ends meet, and in general prefers staying unnoticed.

These two end up together, prepared to maybe fight a little, but end up figuring they both loathe Lucian’s father, and they both would rather keep the last living Vaudrey alive. The rest is just beautiful, adventure filled, and well paced story.

While in Shades of Magic character orientation was a matter of fact, here – the pair can’t even hold hands in public due to outlash they would receive, the danger they’d be putting each other into.

So, when your straight friends complain about Gay Pride parades, or wonder what’s there to be proud of, when you were born this way, do remind them these little facts: straight people were never ever persecuted due to their orientation, so they can celebrate it every single day, really, and you’re proud, because you’re alive, you survived, you’re here, and you’re awesome.

Categories: Books, Books of Occult, Friday: Diversity, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

David Ebershoff – The Danish Girl

danishgirlI keep picking up these fairly popular books on transgender people, and I keep getting disappointed. It seems all of the trans people are disappointed in life, depressed, schizophrenic, had a very clear choice, and/or has atrophied bits or other gender reproductive system organs in them, that simply needed to be found during the surgery. Convenient. Wow. So I grabbed David Ebershoff book “The Danish Girl” (ISBN 9781474601573; 336p.; Goodreads), with hopes that maybe, maybe this will be better. But once again I got disappointed. So if you don’t feel like reading my rants, know that the movie was pretty okay, even good, but this book is just not worth the trouble, and time.

Einar is a painter, married to a painter. He paints, well, mainly the bog he grew up by, landscapes. She paints portraits, unsuccessfully. The best sold portraits she ever made were of Lilly. Or rather, of her husband dressed as a woman. And while this continues, Einar is sinking deeper, and deeper into some kind of mental illness, split personality disorder. And I mean it. He pulls up the pants, and forgets how he got here, who Lilly spoke to. There’s two completely separate people in his body.

 

Through the book we’re seeing this disorder intensifying. He even gets monthly nose bleeds, which leaves me wondering whether it’s his mind fighting through somehow, or did he have a tumor that split his persona, or otherwise affected him. Mind you, I am not claiming Lilly wasn’t a real woman, or that Einar wasn’t transgender. No, I am sure that was the case. But I am also sure that she was mentally ill too first and foremost, and that they should’ve helped her untangle everything before pushing her to choose: another brain doctor that’ll make your mind masculine again (yes, this is NOT a choice, but the book gave it as one), or a sex change. Oh, and surprise surprise, they open her up, and find some remnants of atrophied female reproductive system bits.

I hated the suggestions in this book: trans people have split personalities; trans people are most likely physically secretly the gender they feel like, you just have to dig deep during surgery; trans people are nuts. They aren’t. Or if they are, it’s not a trans trait, it’s simply a human trait. I await the day where the trans character I’ll read will be happy, living their life, having adventures. This book gets 2 out of 5 for trying.

Categories: 2-5, Books | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diversity: The Danish Girl

I sat here, thinking. So I failed to write about people of color, which has no excuse really, seeing how I’ve read plenty of books on Far East. And I didn’t want to just randomly skip a Friday, and then make a half-assed entry either. But most of all, I didn’t want to wait more before talking about the Danish Girl. So I’ll owe people of color a good post after this one, but here we go.

Transgenders. I thought I’ll write about past books I’ve read, and tell you all about the shitty message they spread. For instance, Palahniuk’s book Invisible Monsters has a seemingly trans character. Then they go ahead and admit they did this to spite their parents. They chose to change sex to spite parents. Let that sink in. And there’s a couple more I would’ve bashed. Including The Danish Girl. I fumed after reading it, and ranted on my social media, until a friend told me to go ahead and watch the movie, because what she saw, was not what I’ve read. So today let’s talk about the movie, and next Friday – about the book.

Einar is a painted married to another painter. He paints nature. She paints portraits. And when one day her model doesn’t come in, she asks her husband to pull on some socks and hold the hem of the dress so she could continue with her work. She doesn’t realize that by doing so she touched and woke someone Einar buried deep. She woke Lilly.
I assume that in the past understanding what you are, when you’re not cis, was even harder than it is now, when we actually have words to describe it, and internet to explain it. So, most likely due to defensive mechanisms that got triggered in Einar’s head, he takes Lilly as another person. What she does is not what he does. And yet soon he comes to understand that he alone is able to split the two like this.
After a couple rough attempts to figure out what is wrong with him, his wife finds a doctor who can actually fix his body, rather than attempt to fix his mind. In books he was sort of given a choice: another crazy scientist that’ll screw holes in your skull to make your brain masculine again, or a different crazy scientist who will reassemble you to make your body right for you. In both scenarios, even if in the movie it’s a mere fleeting hint of a suggestion, Einar chose surgery. Simply here he was sure of it, he knew this was the right path.
The movie is, sadly, a drama, so after a few successful steps in transition, there’s no happy ending for it. Or, rather, there is, as good as circumstances allow, but I, per se, hate when this is the “good” ending kind we get.
I’m glad to see this movie to be fairly popular. And yet I hope people will be too lazy to pick up the book. The book sends off a wrong message, believe me. There, Einar is very much mentally ill, and I have great doubts about him being trans as a foremost reason for it. But we’ll talk about it on Friday.
Categories: LGBTQ+ Books, Movie, The Afterlife | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Madeline Miller – The Song of Achilles [diversity]

thesongofachilesWhen you loathe a character, you need to stop and ask yourself why: because author wrote them so bad? Or is it because they wrote them so good, that you’d wish to strangle the fictional person? I had this problem, and need of constant reminder with “The Song of Achilles” By Madeline Miller (ISBN 1408816032; 352p.; Goodreads). The book is well written, but Achilles was driving me nuts.

Achilles is a half-god. His mother is a sea nymph. His father – a powerful king. He himself is a warrior with no equal, and without his aid, the war against Troy has no chance. Patroclus is almost a complete opposite. His father is a mediocre unknown king, his mother is weak of mind, he’s barely a decent soldier himself. And when he was exiled from his father’s court for accidentally killing a guest for trying to take something away from him – he didn’t expect anything good. Instead, he found an instant friend in Achilles, who not only didn’t judge him, or mock him, but respected him, and treated him fairly. And very soon he found himself in love, hoping beyond hope…

His mother wasn’t too happy about this friendship, and lingering feeling of love underneath. But to kill Patroclus, would be to tear her son’s heart out. Instead, thus, she sends him away. To study first, just to find Patroclus there, risking it all just to find Achilles again. Then further away, into hiding, where Patroclus again shows cunning beyond his seeming capabilities. And then at war for beautiful Helena, war against Troy, where Patroclus can barely keep his own weight, but still hardly ever leaves her son’s side.¬†And Patroclus knows this well, her resentment to him. It frightens the young man, this anger of a goddess. Who does one invoke, who does one pray to, when a god is angry at them?

The story is pretty good. Fantasy elements were in place, and there weren’t too much of them either. Love story is pretty good too, felt fair, and natural. But. Achilles got on my nerves a lot. His pride kept getting hurt in that damn war, and I kept waiting for him to hold his breath and threaten to not breathe until he’s apologized for. Patroclus, on the other hand, got wiser as time went, and they both filled each other out very well, one being a master of this, and other – of that. So I can give this book a 4 out of 5.

Diversity: M/M romance, well written, with little non-graphic sex. They were fair to each other, and cared for each other.

Categories: 4-5, Books, LGBTQ+ Books, M/M Literature | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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