Devilish details keep minority groups isolated

Different in a threatening way. Disturbingly different; alien. To perceive a person or people as alien to oneself. Each of these phrases defines “other.” I confess that I hadn’t known the word could be used as a verb, but it exemplifies perfectly the way far too many of us treat “others” of us whom we don’t understand.

As the author of books and stories about gay teens, I tend to notice situations in which LGBTQ individuals are othered. Examples are all around us, from the notorious Kim Davis to state-based Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs, introduced because “the advance of LGBT rights has encroached upon religious liberty”) to fanatics like the Westborough Baptist Church to most of the current candidates vying for the GOP nomination to the wanton murders of trans individuals (more last year than ever before).

Jurassic Park comes to Houston

The voters in Houston, Texas recently set LGBTQ rights back. The irony is that they didn’t do it because they have a problem with gays. Their problem? Bathrooms. The cause? Lizard brains.

 

This setback was the rejection of HERO, or the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have put in place state-based anti-discrimination prohibitions already covered by federal law, would also have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, for which there is no federal law.

Soup? Or fear?

In a current Campbell’s soup campaign, the company portrays real people, in real families, in their advertisements. One of these ads has planted fear in the minds of people who are terrified at the idea of the normalization of same-sex-parent families.

 

The ad at the heart of the controversy depicts two fathers and their son, a can of Campbell’s soup with Darth Varder’s picture on the label between them. One dad breathes the familiar metallic sound and says, “Luke, I am your father.” Then the other dad, in his take on Darth Vader’s voice, says, “No, Luke; I am your father.” The kid giggles each time and eats some of the soup his dads are feeding him. The ad ends as dad #1 teasingly tells the other dad he’s not a good Darth Vader and should try the Chewbacca voice instead. It all seems harmless enough. So what’s the fuss about?

Throwing Stones: Cover Reveal, Release Date!

Throwing Stones release date is in November, on Friday the 13th—very appropriate for the subject matter! In an upcoming post, I'll tell you how you can pre-order your copy.

In case you need a refresher for what it's about, the synopsis is in my last post. The story hangs on the differences between people and what choices we make in responding to those differences.