Tag Archives: Literature

Gay History - March 12: Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac the Bisexual King of the Beat Generation

Gay History – March 12: Happy Birthday Jack Kerouac the Bisexual King of the Beat Generation

“The only people for me are the mad ones: the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who… burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles.” – Jack Kerouac

JACK KEROUAC, (born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kéroua) was an American writer, novelist, poet and artist. Along with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, he is among the best known of the writers (and friends) known as the Beat Generation.

Kerouac was never labeled homosexual, nor he did publicly self-identify as one. However it is believed that he had homosexual encounters although they were occasional. Kerouac in his letters exchanged with Allen Ginsberg questions his sexual identity, but at the same time he was not in a great favor of homosexuals. Kerouac, in his novel cites several instances of his road companion Neal Cassady’s bisexuality, and it is difficult to hide his attraction towards him. About Neal Cassady, he wrote: “With the coming of Neal there really began for me that part of my life you could call my life on the road…”

Kerouac had three wives in his life and preferred heterosexual relationships with female partners, but many of the letters shows that he had occasional homosexual encounters whether there were a intercourse or not. The famous story of Jack Kerouac had an intercourse with Gore Vidal, which insists Vidal, is an widely known story, although according to William Burroughs it is not true since Vidal was a ‘liar.’(Paul Maher Jr., , 2007).

Kerouac is recognized for his style of spontaneous prose. Thematically, his work covers topics such as his Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. He became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements.

Jack Kerouac and his literary works had a major impact on the popular rock music of the 1960s. Artists including Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, The Grateful Dead, and The Doors all credit Kerouac as a signifi cant influence on their music and lifestyles. This is especially so with members of the band The Doors, Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek who quote Jack Kerouac and his novel On the Road as one of the band’s greatest influences.

In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from an abdominal hemorrhage caused by a lifetime of heavy drinking. Since his death, Kerouac’s literary prestige has grown, and several previously unseen works have been published.

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Gay History - May 16, 1921: Edward Everett Tanner (aka Patrick Dennis) Author of "Auntie Mame" Is Born

Gay History – May 16, 1921: Edward Everett Tanner (aka Patrick Dennis) Author of “Auntie Mame” Is Born

May 16,1921 – Patrick Dennis (pseudonym of Edward Everett Tanner) , the writer who created Auntie Mame was born in Chicago. A gay man, he is the only author to have had three novels on the New York Times best-seller list at the same time. Auntie Mame‘s first edition spent 112 weeks on the bestseller list, selling more than 2,000,000 copies in five different languages. The manuscript was turned down by fifteen publishers before being accepted by the Vanguard Press

His novel Auntie Mame: An irreverent escapade (1955) was one of the bestselling American books of the 20th century. In chronological vignettes, the narrator — also named Patrick — recalls his adventures growing up under the wing of his madcap aunt, Mame Dennis. Tanner/Dennis wrote a sequel, Around the World with Auntie Mame, in 1958. Dennis based the character of Mame Dennis on his father’s sister, Marion Tanner.

Tanner/Dennis led a double life as a conventional husband and father, and as a closeted gay man. By 1962, having been an alcoholic for many years, he attempted suicide for the third documented time. He was locked in a mental institution where he was subjected to electroshock therapy. After being released he left his wife and children and later life became a well-known participant in Greenwich Village’s gay scene.

In the 1970’s all of his books went out of print. He left writing to become a butler, a job that his friends reported he enjoyed. At one time, he worked for Ray Kroc, the CEO of McDonald’s. Although he was, at long last, using his real name, he was in essence working yet again under a pseudonym; his employers had no inkling that their butler, Tanner, was the world-famous author Patrick Dennis.[

Edward Everett Tanner died from pancreatic cancer in Manhattan at the age of 55, on November 6, 1976.

At the turn of the 21st century there was a resurgence of interest in his work, and subsequently many of his novels are once again available.

Gay History – May 13: Happy Birthday Armistead Maupin! With Love, 28 Barbary Lane.

 

Armistead Maupin was born on this day in Washington, D.C. in 1944.  

Maupin grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. He began working as a newspaper reported in Charleston, S.C. before he moved to San Francisco in 1971 to work for the Associated Press.  In 1976, he released the first installment of his Tales of the City serials. first in a now-defunct Marin County newspaper and later in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Because installments were published so soon after Maupin wrote them, he was able to incorporate many current events into the serials portrayal of both straight and LGBT life in San Francisco, as well as gauge reader response and modify the story accordingly. At one point Maupin received a letter from a reader who pointed out that one of the characters’ names was an anagram, providing Maupin with one of the more memorable and surprising plot twists in the book. 

Real life people such as Jim Jones and a thinly veiled Elizabeth Taylor are mentioned in the story lines. A prominent closeted gay celebrity is represented as “______ ______” throughout the third novel, with sufficient detail available to deduce that it could be Rock Hudson.

Tales of the City was later reworked into the series of books published by HarperCollins (then Harper and Row). The first of Maupin’s novels, entitled Tales of the City, was published in 1978. Five more followed in the 1980s, ending with the last book, Sure of You, in 1989. A seventh novel published in 2007, Michael Tolliver Lives, continues the story of some of the characters. It was followed by an eighth volume, Mary Ann in Autumn, published in 2010 and a ninth and final volume, The Days of Anna Madrigal, in 2014.  Maupin was one of the first writers to address the subject of AIDS in his storylines.

Of the autobiographical nature of the characters, he says “I’ve always been all of the characters in one way or another.”

The Tales of the City books have been translated into ten languages, and there are more than six million copies in print. Several of the books have been adapted and broadcast on BBC Radio 4

And now after  almost a year in development Netflix has finally produced a new 10-episode installment of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” based on the book “Maryann in Autumn” which will air on June 7, 2019.

Maupin married his husband Christopher Turner in Vancouver. During a trip to Australia in 2011, Maupin and his husband were denied the use of a restroom at a saloon in Alice Springs where they were having lunch. The bartender told them to go across the street because their rest room was reserved for “real men.” “So we did what real men do and crossed the street to the visitor’s center where we filed a complaint,” Maupin wrote. “Impressively we received an e-mail apology from the bartender that afternoon. Fair dinkum, mate. Next time don’t [expletive] with the poofters.”

If you have never read it or seen the PBS mini-series based on the books, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series is must reading for the LGBT community both old and young.  It’s an entertaining and loving throwback to an earlier time that is also historical looking back to an almost forgotten time in LGBT history that has since overshadowed by the AIDS epidemic.

Thank you and Happy Birthday Armisted.

Mouse. (WK)

 

GAY HISTORY – April 7, 1907: Violette Leduc French Lesbian Feminist Author and Fag Hag is Born

Violette Leduc was born in Arras Pas de Calais, France in 1907. Despite being a lesbian feminist she hated being a woman and continually went after gay men. One of them, Maurice Sachs told her to write just to get rid of her. And she did. Her book Le Batarde, (loosely based on her own life) was the story of her upbringing as an illegitimate child which blamed on the sexuality of her mother.

Leduc  was notorious in her chasing after gay men. She once told a friend she wanted to wear a tight body stocking to hold in her breasts and then attach a “strap on” dildo in order to bed gay writer Jean Genet.

Predictably, Leduc’s early childhood is peopled entirely by women. Her mother’s angst at her sickliness and illegitimacy is tempered by the unconditional love of her grandmother, Fideline.

Lesbian writer Simone de Beauvoir in 1945, takes Leduc under her wing and encourages her to write. Leduc’s first novel, L’Asphyxie, is published by France’s premier publishing house, Gallimard, thanks to De Beauvoir’s efforts. After De Beauvoir rejects her sexually, Le Duc writes of her devastation: “She has explained that the feeling I have for her is a mirage. I don’t agree.” The word wounds her in its implication that her starved longing for love is somehow less than real – or in De Beauvoir’s terms, less authentic. “My life lies elsewhere,” Beauvoir writes in a letter to Leduc, and Leduc correctly guesses that her lover, the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre “is inside that word ‘elsewhere’”

The juxtaposition of De Beauvoir and Leduc is revelatory in terms of who defines feminism and who actually lives it. Here is Leduc, a woman made feminist by experience: a fatherless, poverty-stricken childhood, a youth spent grovelling for affection and sustenance, her wartime hustle smuggling legs of lamb to rich Parisians. Her autobiography painfully and pointedly underscores her constant alienation, her surfeit of emotion. Ever the outsider, she steals, she smuggles; when she reads and learns, it is in bits and pieces. Days spent writing are imbued with worries about eating, surviving. Uninterested in branding and constructing her own myth, she bluntly tells De Beauvoir that she is not an intellectual. This annoys her mentor, to whom Leduc recalls retorting: “You are an intellectual because you write.”

In 1955 Leduc was forced to remove part of her novel Ravages because of sexually explicit passages describing lesbianism. The censored part was eventually published as a separate novel.

After decades of toiling in obscurity, Leduc would go on to publish the lesbian classic Thérèse and Isabelle.

Leduc’s best-known book, the memoir La Bâtarde, was published in 1964. It nearly won the Prix Goncourt and quickly became a bestseller. She went on to write eight more books, including La Folie en tête (Mad in Pursuit), the second part of her literary autobiography.

Leduc developed breast cancer and died at the age of 65 after two unsuccessful operations.

She was living at Faucon, Vaucluse, at the time of her death.

Bigots Want LGBT Materials Separated Out at Iowa Library

“Concerned” (ie bigoted) Orange City, Iowa residents are petitioning the city’s public library separate materials that deal primarily with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender themes, as well as to halt any new such acquisitions without public input.

Others say they support the library’s integration of such materials, even if they don’t personally endorse the content.

Both sides aired their views during a packed meeting of the Orange City Public Library Board of Trustees meeting this week. Nearly 20 people spoke, with about half supporting the inclusion of the books and nearly as many others sharing reservations.

“As a congregation, I would have to say we are shocked that tax money is being used to push this agenda even further,” said the Rev. Sacha Walicord, pastor of Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church. “As pastors, we have been silent for far too long. We have rolled over for far too long. This ends now.”

Resident Mike Goll said it means volumes to LGBTQ youth in the community to see characters like them in books they read.

“There are gay kids, there are trans kids in this town, and seeing their faces and seeing their lives mirrored in some of the books here means everything,” he said.

The board took no action Tuesday but plans to have its policy committee review the public input and compare its current collection development policy to other libraries to see if changes are warranted.

Since they learned of the issue, library officials have been working with the Iowa Library Association to work toward a solution.

The board next month will also take up an individual challenge brought against library’s inclusion of the children’s book “Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress,” which features a boy whose classmates don’t understand why he enjoys wearing a dress. That challenge was not discussed during the meeting.

A petition calling for the new measures was started by was started by Terry Chi, an assistant professor of psychology at a local Christian liberal arts school,Northwestern College

Chi’s petition calls for the library to label and separate the materials dealing primarily with LGBTQ issues, provide a content rating service to help patrons make informed decisions and to halt new acquisition of such materials until a public discussion can be held.

“We’re not asking for banning because I know that would just sink our ship,” Chi said. “We’re asking for transparency in the process and some public conversation before new materials are acquired.”

Chi, who served on the library board before resigning in December, said a study of the library’s physical and digital collection found 168 dealt with LGBTQ issues. The library’s physical collection includes more than 63,000 items.

He said he was disturbed by some of the literature on the list, which he said included a graphic novel that showed female genitalia and a young adult novel titled “Two Boys Kissing.”

Chi’s petition was also backed by the Sioux County Conservatives, a local activist group, but Chi said he closed the online petition due to some of the “inflammatory rhetoric” the group used on a flyer advertising the petition.

Library director Amanda Vazquez said she first learned of the opponents’ issues a couple months ago. She said the list of materials includes some that are new and some had been a part of the collection for some time. Many are currently checked out, she said.

“We did not just start acquiring them in the past few months. There are materials we’ve had for years in our collection, as well, which may be of concern,” she said.

Dan Chibnall, STEM librarian at Drake University and the Iowa Library Association’s president-elect, said Tuesday that libraries tend to avoid special labels for books like those requested.

“We believe people should have access to as much material as possible, and it’s up to them as a community to decide what they should read and what they should and should not read with their families,” he said.

He said in his 13 years in the state, he could not recall a challenge “making this many waves.”

Chibnall also stressed the importance of having a well-worded collection development policy. The Orange City Public Library has a policy and has also adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which states materials should “not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval” or excluded because of sex, gender identity or sexual orientation

Stephen King's Upcoming Novella "Elevation" Ditches Killer Clowns To Tackle Something Scarier. Homophobia.

Stephen King’s Upcoming Novella “Elevation” Ditches Killer Clowns To Tackle Something Scarier. Homophobia.

On Tuesday, Stephen King quietly announced the impending release of a new novella called Elevation on his blog.

In Elevation, King takes us back to Castle Rock, Maine but there will be no killer clowns, rabid dogs, or mass murderers.  This time King takes on a much more dangerous and serious subject.  Homophobia and bigotry.

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face – including his own — he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others. 

King has only written a few a few gay characters before. Adrian Mellon, Dan Haggerty, and perhaps Patrick Hockstetter in “IT” and that of Tom McCourt in “The Cell” (the only one to survive.) So it will be interesting to see how King handles the lesbian couple in the upcoming book since they are an integral part of the sorry

King himself doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and will continue to be well-represented on TV and at the movies, with Hulu’s Castle Rock, the sequel to ItPet Sematary remake, a second season of Mr. Mercedes and an adaptation of Doctor Sleep all on the way. And now you can add Elevation to the King goodness coming your way this year.

 

'Huckleberry Finn' and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Banned from School Curriculum in Duluth, MN

‘Huckleberry Finn’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Banned from School Curriculum in Duluth, MN

In an effort to be considerate and sensitive of all students, schools in Duluth, MN will drop two classic American novels “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and the Pulitzer Prize winning “To Kill a Mockingbird.” from it’s curriculum.

Both books which contain racial slurs, will no longer be required reading in the district’s English classes next school year.

Michael Cary, director of curriculum and instruction for the district. “Conversations about race are an important topic, and we want to make sure we address those conversations in a way that works well for all of our students. We’re doing this out of consideration of the impacts on our students and specifically different groups of students in our schools, and especially our communities of color.”

Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP, called the move “long overdue.”

The literature has “oppressive language for our kids” Witherspoon said, and school should be an environment where children of color are learning equally. There are other novels with similar messages that can be taught, he said.

“Our kids don’t need to read the ‘N’ word in school,” Witherspoon said. “They deal with that every day out in the community and in their life. Racism still exists in a very big way.”

WATCH THE TRAILER: Christopher Rice’s New Book “The Heavens Rise” – Video

Christopher Rice

Christoper Rice, the New York Times best selling writer and openly gay (SMOKING HOT) son of Anne Rice has released the trailer for his soon to be released new novel The Heavens Rise.

 

The book goes on sale October 15th. But if you pre-order a copy now and e-mail your receipt to theheavensrise@gmail.com, you will receive a signed copy of an original manuscript page featuring author notes.

PRE-ORDER  The Heavens Rise hardcover or the Kindle edition of The Heavens Rise by using the links!

“Santa Claus Conquers The Homophobes” On Sale Now At Amazon.com – REALLY!

From Amazon.com’s Description page verbatim:

Santa Claus is back. And flying beside him is Wendy, his freshly minted stepdaughter, who can peer into the future of selected children and offer them glimpses of the wonders ahead. But with that power come horrific visions of the turmoil and trouble the less fortunate among them are fated to suffer. Can Wendy and her stepfather prevent the suicide of Jamie Stratton in his teen years, as he grows up gay in a homophobic household and community? God the Father grants them three Thanksgiving visits to Jamie’s tormentors, in hopes of bringing about a change of heart in them and eliminating their ingrained prejudices. Beyond the challenge of rescuing one precious child lies the far more daunting task of expunging entirely this brand of bigotry from the human race, as Santa and Wendy strive to remake the world in compassion and generosity. Along the way, they enlist the aid of the Easter Bunny, a highly persuasive fellow indeed. But the Tooth Fairy and her loathsome imps are hell-bent on doing all they can to stop Santa and Wendy-nay, to heighten mortal fear and hatred of anyone whose orientation strays even the slightest from the norm.

Average Customer Review: 4.5 Stars

Robert Deveruex is a fantasy and horror fiction writer who has a well-deserved reputation as an author who pushes every envelope, though he would claim, with a stage actor’s assurance, that as long as one’s writing illuminates characters in all their kinks, quirks, kindnesses, and extremes, the imagination must be free to explore nasty places as well as nice, or what’s the point? 
 
Santa Steps Out,  is the sequel to “Santa Claus Conquers The Homophobes” in which Santa Claus’s gradual recall of his prior existence as Pan leads to an affair with the Tooth Fairy, while a voyeuristic Easter Bunny tries to twitch and wiggle his way into Mrs. Claus’s good graces. Santa Steps Out, which won much praise for its mythological underpinnings and  also had the honor of being banned in that cultural backwater of intolerance and censoriousness known as Cincinnati.
 
Take that “I’m Not Gay Just A Sissy Calendar!”
 
Check out and /or purchase Santa Claus Conquers the Homophobes here.