Book of the Week – Lesbian Passion: Loving Ourselves and Each Other

Relationship book20140325_084134s can be a bit of a gamble. Some are timeless, filled with advice that speaks to any generation; some are hokey, filled with catchphrases and designed to sell rather than to advise.

Lesbian Passion: Loving Ourselves and Each Other by JoAnn Loulan falls mostly into the first category, offering advice that is relevant to lesbian women of all ages. The book opens by encouraging women to learn to love themselves before all else, to nurture their spirits and take the time to explore their own bodies and learn what excites and pleases them sexually.

I was impressed to see that the author broached some difficult topics that are often ignored except in targeted specialty publications. Loulan is unafraid to speak of issues such as addiction and recovery from childhood trauma. But Loulan also addresses general relationship concerns, such as keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship and what action to take when a partner feels neglected.

Because the book was published in 1987, some of its contents have become a bit dated. Statistics collected on lesbian behavior have likely changed, and figures on rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) do not reflect current numbers. However, there remains good health information. The author discusses frankly how lesbians can pass along STDs—and how women can prevent them. She reminds women that even though they reside in a low-risk group when having sex with other women, they are still at risk for HIV and AIDS if they don’t use protection. This is especially relevant today, as a woman-to-woman case of HIV transmission was confirmed in February of 2014.

All in all, I would recommend this book to a woman who is looking for general relationship advice rather than current facts and figures. Those who are interested in finding current health information and resources can always contact the GLBT Student Support Services office, where all requests for information and referrals are handled with care and discretion.

Written by: Jamie, GLBTSSS Office Supervisor

DVD of the Week – Mosquita y Mari

Mosquita y MariMosquita y Mari tells the story of two teen Chicanas growing up in Los Angeles. The girls are best friends, but slowly their friendship develops into romantic affection and sexual attraction.  Each must find a way to balance her new-found love, which comes wrapped in a confusion of emotions, with the responsibilities of family and school. This independent film from first-time writer-director Aurora Guerrero has been hailed by critics as honest and well-crafted. It was honored with nominations for both GLAAD Media and Independent Spirit Awards.

Book of the Week – Gay Pride: A Celebration of All Things Gay & Lesbian

Rainbow Flag

It’s Pride month! A time when festivals, parades, and rainbow-themed events are happening in almost every city in the US.

But what do LGBTQIA* individuals have to be proud about? You mean besides the fact that they embraced their identity despite the current social climate and the possibility of discrimination? Well you might want to take a look at Gay Pride: A Celebration of All Things Gay & Lesbian, then.

Gay Pride Book Cover

From the ancient Greeks to San Francisco, from Alan Turing to the LGBT ally next door, this book sings the praises of the queer pioneers, past and present, who have made the world a braver, bolder, and better place–for everyone!

Book of the Week – About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! It’s time to celebrate and honor the lives of those who have served in our military, especially those who have lost their lives during service.

In light of this holiday, our featured book this week is About-face: A Gay Officer’s Account of How He Stopped Prosecuting Gays in the Army and Started Fighting for Their Rights by James E. Kennedy.

about face cover

Written in 1995, this book predates the recent repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, a huge step forward in equal rights for our military. It contains the personal account of the author – a former captain and lawyer in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps (and a closeted gay man) who prosecuted and discharged LGBT soldiers. The book details his journey from closet to resignation and coming-out, to his work in the Clinton administration striving to change the military’s discriminatory policies.

New fiction at the GLBT Library

Last week we shared some of our new non-fiction titles and a few new memoirs. Since it’s now spring break, let’s relax and look at some of our new fiction!

 Holding Still for as Long as Possible
by Zoe Whittall
9.400 WHIho 2010

Traces an unusual love triangle between a former teen idol, a big-city paramedic, and a fashionable filmmaker, all part of the generation that grew up with the War on Terror, SARS, Hurricane Katrina, and texting.

 

 Sprout
by Dale Peck
9.404 PECsp 2009

Sprout Bradford has a secret. It’s not what you think–he’ll tell you he’s gay. He’ll tell you about his dad’s drinking and his mother’s death. The green fingerprints everywhere tell you when he last dyed his hair. But neither the reader nor Sprout are prepared for what happens when Sprout suddenly finds he’s had a more profound effect on the lives around him than he ever thought possible. Sprout is both hilarious and gripping; a story of one boy at odds with the expected.

 Turnskin
by Nicole Kimberling
9.604 KIMtu 2008

Raised in a remote farming community, Tom Fletcher knows little of his Shifter heritage and less about the dangerous lives that other Shifters lead in the city of Riverside. For Tom the big city is a daydream of opening nights and bright theatre lights. But when Tom meets Cloud Coldmoon-the infamous and handsome heir to a criminal syndicate-everything changes. Suddenly suspected of murder, Tom must flee to the only city where his kind are common. Filled with shapeshifters, con men and mobsters and ruled by the vengeful Coldmoon Family, Riverside is as perilous as it is alluring. Tom seeks refuge in the Turnskin Theatre, where his shape-changing skills can be put to good use on, and off, the stage. Here he has a chance to fulfill his dreams of stardom and romance, but only if he can stay one step ahead of the police and criminals alike- otherwise the next shape he takes could be his last.

 Love You Two
by Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
9.400 PALlo 2008

When Maria was a little girl, her mum used to sign cards and notes to her and her younger brother Leo with the crazy line, Love you t(w)oo. It was supposed to make them feel like their mum had heaps of love for both of them, that she loved them equally. Well, that’s okay when you love all your kids. Actually, that’s the way it should be. But what happens when your mum decides that her turning-40 revolution is going to be the announcement that she loves your dad as much as ever, but is also in love with someone else! Maria’s mum has always been strong and funny and maybe a bit too cool for a mum. Maria’s always loved her mum for fighting the ‘old wog ways’ and making sure Maria has an easier time growing up and discovering love than she did. But can Maria’s love for her mum deal with this? Is there a limit to love and can it easily turn to hate? Does love end? What is love anyway? And what does it all mean for Maria’s own feelings about her new guy?

 

 Luna
by Julie Anne Peters
9.408 PETlu 2004

Regan’s brother Liam can’t stand the person he is during the day. Like the moon from whom Liam has chosen his female namesake, his true self, Luna, only reveals herself at night-in the secrecy of his basement bedroom Liam transforms himself into the beautiful girl he longs to be, with help from his sister’s clothes and makeup. Now, everything is about to change-Luna is preparing to emerge from her cocoon. But are Liam’s family and friends ready to welcome Luna into their lives? Compelling and provocative, this is an unforgettable novel about a transgender teen’s struggle for self-identity and acceptance.

 Probation
by Tom Mendicino
9.404 MENpr 2010

In this timely and provocative novel from an authentic new voice in fiction, Mendicino explores how a closeted gay man’s decision to marry impacts his life and the people he loves, and what happens when the lies unravel.