Friday, July 30, 2010

"White Fire" is here!

It's here! My story "White Fire" is now available for your consideration at Gypsy Shadow Publishing. "White Fire" is an adventure tale about a young faun who arrives in the glittering metropolis of Port Cedryssene just minutes before enraged gryphons attack the city. The faun escapes the slaughter in Port Cedryssene's train station knowing that one of the gryphons is after him, and in his quest for safety the faun finds another boy his age and falls in love. Please feel free to comment here with your opinions of the story!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Coming Soon: White Fire

Click on picture to enlarge.

Good news! My short story "White Fire" should be going up in the next couple of weeks at Gypsy Shadow Publishing! Here's a preview of the cover for the story. "White Fire" is an adventure tale about a young faun who arrives in the glittering metropolis of Port Cedryssene just minutes before enraged gryphons attack the city. The faun escapes the slaughter in Port Cedryssene's train station knowing that one of the gryphons is after him, and in his quest for safety the faun finds another boy his age and falls in love. I'll let everyone know when the story goes up at Gypsy Shadow.


Monday, July 19, 2010

"How Caravaggio saw in the dark"

A fascinating look at the recent growth in popularity of my favorite artist, Caravaggio:

But there is a more profound reason still for the fascination Caravaggio exerts over the 21st century: he carried out one of the most startling revolutions in the history of art, and one that still seems strangely modern. The visceral violence and eroticism of his work are only an aspect of the extraordinary realism he achieved. His painting was utterly different from that of his predecessors and contemporaries. It looks, to put it in modern terms, like a film noir. As David Hockney has put it: “He invented a black world that had not existed before, certainly not in Florence or Rome. Caravaggio invented Hollywood lighting.” And that resemblance may be no accident.

Much more vivid detail in the article itself, including discussion of a technique possibly used by Caravaggio to project images of his models onto the canvas that fell afoul of the anti-science Inquisition, with the Church banning books and burning heretics as a result.

Caravaggio lived quite a life – scandal! Murder! Gay sex! Someday Hollywood is going to tackle this one with (I hope) a director who can do it justice. Meanwhile, I should go see if Derek Jarman’s intelligent and fascinating film about Caravaggio is on DVD – it’s been years since I saw it.

“How Caravaggio saw in the dark” (The Telegraph)


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Coming Soon!

My story "Flying Fox" will go up at The Piker Press on August 9!

The Arcade Fire has a new CD coming out on August 3, entitled The Suburbs.

Don't let any opera singers cover these tunes, okay?


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Answers About Gay Youth in New York from Kai Wright

Author Kai Wright is an advocate for LGBT youth. He recently answered some questions on that topic in a three-part article in the New York Times. Lots of interesting and hope-inspiring comments. Like me, Wright believes strongly in reaching out to the next generation of gay youth:

Personally, I think out gay educators offer students wonderful opportunities to learn not just about diversity but also the critical thinking it fosters. There are obvious political challenges, which stretch past sexual orientation. Teachers from all walks of life are too often discouraged from bringing their full selves to the classroom, to my mind. But I won’t wade too deeply into education policy, lest I show how little I know.

More broadly, I’ll say that adults working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth consistently report their greatest challenge is people power: There just aren’t enough adults willing to enter into what are by any measure challenging relationships. The cross-generational communication challenges are enormous and filled with assumptions and misunderstandings on both sides. There’s just not a lot of trust between gay youth and adults, in part because there is so little contact between them.

In addition, the significant baggage many gay adults have with their own youth (who wants to go back there?) can make it difficult for some to step up to the challenge.

I particularly liked one of the questions, which was about the advantages of being a gay youth.

It’s not so much that being gay offers an advantage, but it opens doors to meet other remarkable, dynamic gay young people who are building healthy, exciting lives that never make it into the headlines or broadcasts.

I do believe there is something positive that, while not unique to gay youth, is at least a quintessential part of the gay experience: having to step forward and make an active choice about building the life you want rather than the one you’ve been told you should lead. The debate over whether sexual orientation is a choice makes this a delicate point, but it’s an important one nonetheless. You do, in fact, have a choice as a gay person, of any age. It’s the choice between living honestly versus trying to suppress or conceal your sexuality. In my opinion, society pushes hard against making the former choice, particularly if you’re a young person who is still materially (and emotionally) dependent on family. Even before getting to the external barriers, there are many internal ones: the fear of being singled out, of being alone, of taking a step with no idea about what comes next. Someone who nonetheless chooses to build the life that feels true to them has been through a remarkable rite of passage.

It is not an easy road being gay, and it certainly hasn't been easy for me as over the years I've wrestled with accepting that part of my being. But now that I've completely accepted myself as gay and am confident about being gay, as I was when I first became aware that I'm gay as a teenager, I often feel that I wouldn't want to be any other way. When you're gay you see the world differently, and I love knowing I can be honest and caring about guys without the fear and competition that straight men go through with each other. Anyway, check out all three parts of Kai Wright's Q&A; it's very good.

Answers About Gay Youth in New York (The New York Times):
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Remembering and Teaching Gay History

Harvey Milk walking from the Castro to San Francisco City Hall on the day of his inauguration to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, January 8, 1978. (Photo by Danny Nicoletta)

Remembering our history via a blog post by Dan Zak. I’ve been recently reminded that the younger generation, the next group of gay youth to grow into their lives with more confidence than us older gays did, may not know the history of how we – and they – got here; how we arrived a point where past gay warriors have wrought for these inspiring young people a world that, though not yet perfect, is far better than it was three-four-five decades ago.

For a demographic that was once so twined with mortality, the gays have gotten good (or have they always been good?) at focusing on the now, the young, the ephemeral. Today’s gays — the gays of my generation, the millennials, the 20-somethings — are post-gay, or New Gay, loosed from the closet, free of the diving bell of AIDS-as-executioner, left to skirmish over (or ignore) petty legislative battles on a state-by-state or school-by-school basis. The “end of gay culture” has been journaled for nearly a generation now. What about gay history? Is that ending too? From Sappho to Prop 8, and then what? Now what? Yearly parades celebrating outrageousness, tempered by the tired yammerings of marriage defenders?

I want to remind these youth and teach them about the gay men and women who should be their heroes; I want these young gay people to know about and remember the struggles that came in the past, to learn about Harvey Milk and Harry Hay and the many others like them who faced down bigotry so entrenched in society that it took great leaps of imagination – and great courage – to take those first steps toward equality. The schools don’t yet teach this; it is up to us to make sure our history is passed along.

"On pride" (Dan Zak)


(h/t Andrew Sullivan)