Oct. 25th, 2013

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Richell Rene "Chely" Wright (born October 25, 1970) is an American country music artist and gay rights activist. On April 6, 2011, Wright's publicist announced that the singer was engaged to LGBT rights advocate Lauren Blitzer. The couple married on August 20 in a private ceremony on a country estate in Connecticut. Wright and Blitzer were married by both a rabbi and a reverend. On January 23, 2013, the couple announced that Chely was expecting identical twins. Wright gave birth to George Samuel and Everett Joseph on May 18, 2013. Wright came out in May of 2010 and met Blitzer a few weeks after.

On the strength of her debut album in 1994, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named her Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. Wright's first Top 40 country hit came in 1997 with "Shut Up and Drive". Two years later, her fourth album yielded her first number one single, the title track, "Single White Female". Overall, Wright has released seven studio albums on various labels, and has charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts. As of May 2010, Wright's previous eight albums had sold over 1,000,000 copies in the United States. In May 2010, Wright became the first major country music performer to publicly come out as gay. In television appearances and an autobiography, she cited among her reasons for publicizing her homosexuality a concern with bullying and hate crimes toward gays, particularly gay teenagers, and the damage to her life caused by "lying and hiding".

As a songwriter she has written songs that have been recorded by Brad Paisley, Richard Marx, Indigo Girls, Mindy Smith and Clay Walker, among them Walker's top ten hit, "I Can't Sleep" that won her a BMI award. On May 4, 2010, Wright released both her memoir of being a closeted lesbian, Like Me, and her first album of new songs since 2005, Lifted Off the Ground.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Wright grew up in a musical family in Wellsville, Kansas, a very small town with a population under 2,000. As presented in her autobiography, Like Me, two major factors driving her approach to life were her calling to be a country music performer, which she resolved upon as early as age four, and her realization, as early as age eight, that she was gay.

Chely Wright is an American country music artist and gay rights activist. On April 6, 2011, Wright's publicist announced that the singer was engaged to LGBT rights advocate Lauren Blitzer. The couple married on August 20 in a private ceremony on a country estate in Connecticut. Wright and Blitzer were married by both a rabbi and a reverend. On January 23, 2013, the couple announced that Chely was expecting identical twins. Wright gave birth to George Samuel and Everett Joseph on May 18, 2013.

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chely_Wright

Further Readings )

More LGBT Couples at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance
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John Fenton Johnson (born October 25, 1953) was born ninth of nine children into a Kentucky whiskey-making family with a strong storytelling tradition. In 1990, his partner Larry Rose, whom he met in 1987, died of complications from AIDS. Larry Rose was the only child of German Jews, survivors of the Holocaust, and a San Francisco high-school teacher.

His most recent book Keeping Faith: A Skeptic's Journey draws on time spent living as a member of the monastic communities of the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky and the San Francisco Zen Center as a means to examining what it means to a skeptic to have and keep faith. Keeping Faith weaves frank conversations with Trappist and Buddhist monks with a history of the contemplative life and meditations from Johnson’s experience of the virtue we call faith. It received the 2004 Kentucky Literary Award for Nonfiction and the 2004 Lambda Literary Award for best GLBT creative nonfiction.

Johnson has served as a contributor to Harper's Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, and many literary quarterlies, and has received numerous literary awards, among them a James Michener Fellowship from the Iowa Writers Workshop and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in both fiction and creative nonfiction. His writing also received a Northern California Book Reviewers nomination for best fiction (for Scissors, Paper, Rock, Washington Square Press) and the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award and Lambda Literary Awards for best creative nonfiction (for Geography of the Heart, Scribner). He contributes occasional commentaries to National Public Radio and has written the narration for several award-winning public television documentaries and personal films. He serves on the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona and is currently completing The Man Who Loved Birds: A Novel and is a 2007 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenton_Johnson
Geography of the Heart by Fenton Johnson, a memoir, reads like a novel, with all the suspense of a love affair blossoming against the backdrop of terminal illness. It’s the early 1990s, and Johnson, who is HIV-negative, hesitates to get involved with Larry, who is HIV-positive, even though they’re falling in love, knowing what that might mean in this pre-AIDS-drugs era. Of course, he does get involved, sharing travel, love of literature and a very personable cat, and the more their lives enmesh, the closer the author comes to confronting his fears about loss. This is one of the most beautiful romances ever written—a look at mortality that avoids being morbid. Bonus reading: Keeping Faith, Johnson’s nonfiction account of the Catholicism he left behind, the Buddhism he tries to adopt, and the larger questions of belief that haunt the thinking person who rejects religious doctrine. --K.M. Soehnlein
Further Readings )
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Frederick William Rolfe, better known as Baron Corvo, and also calling himself 'Frederick William Serafino Austin Lewis Mary Rolfe', (July 22, 1860 - October 25, 1913), was an English writer, artist, photographer and eccentric. His heavily autobiographical fictions are milestones in the history of life-writing, and literary historians have begun to acknowledge these works as among the precursors of modernism.

Rolfe was born in Cheapside, London, the son of a piano manufacturer; he left school at the age of fourteen and became a teacher.

He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1886 and was confirmed by Cardinal Manning. With his conversion came a strongly felt vocation to priesthood which persisted throughout his life despite being constantly frustrated and never realised. In 1887 he was sponsored to train at St Mary's College, Oscott near Birmingham and in 1889 was a student at the Scots College in Rome, but was thrown out by both due to his inability to concentrate on priestly studies and his erratic behaviour.

At this stage he entered the circle of the Duchess Sforza Cesarini, who, he claimed, adopted him as a grandson and gave him the use of the title of "Baron Corvo". This became his best-known pseudonym; he also called himself "Frank English", "Frederick Austin", "A. Crab Maid", and several other pseudonyms. More often he abbreviated his own name to "Fr. Rolfe" (an ambiguous usage, suggesting he was the priest he had hoped to become).

Rolfe spent most of his life as a freelance writer, mainly in England but eventually in Venice. He lived in the era before the welfare state, and relied on benefactors for support. But he had an argumentative nature and had a tendency to fall out spectacularly with most of the people who tried to help him and offer him food and board. Eventually, out of money and out of luck, he died in Venice from a stroke on October 25, 1913. He was buried on the Isola di San Michele, Venice.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Rolfe

Further Readings )
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In The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer uses homosexual relations and desires as a means to cast moral judgments on characters and to satirize them.

Born into a family of wealthy London wine merchants in the early 1340s, Chaucer devoted his life to public service and to the writing of poetry. Despite his nonliterary commitments, Chaucer generated a substantial amount of poetry, not to mention scientific and religious treatises.

By the end of his career, he had revised the French and Italian models on which much Middle English literature, including his early work, heavily depended and had succeeded in using them to develop a native English tradition. It is for this reason that he was known to his followers as the father of English poetry. According to Chaucer's tombstone in Westminster Abbey, he died October 25, 1400.

To understand the relationship between Chaucer's writings and gay and lesbian literary history, it is necessary to know something about the late Middle Ages. In this period, though homosocial bonding (intense emotional friendships among people of the same sex) was considered a positive phenomenon, homosexual activity or sodomy (also known as the "crime against nature" or the "unnatural vice") and same-sex erotic desire were severely proscribed.

In England, such homophobic attitudes, promulgated in particular by the Catholic Church, informed not only popular sentiment but also legislative attitudes: Although no secular law against sodomy was instituted there until the sixteenth century, two unofficial English legal treatises from the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries recommended that sodomites be put to death because of their nefarious deeds.

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Citation Information
Author: Boyd, David Lorenzo
Entry Title: Chaucer, Geoffrey
General Editor: Claude J. Summers
Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture
Publication Date: 2002
Date Last Updated October 30, 2002
Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/chaucer_g.html
Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL 60607
Today's Date October 25, 2012
Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.
Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates

Further Readings )
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Norman Norell (born Norman David Levinson on April 20, 1900 in Noblesville, Indiana; died October 25, 1972 in New York City) was an American fashion designer known for his elegant suits and tailored silhouettes.

The son of a haberdasher, from early childhood Norell had an ambition to become an artist. After spending a short period at military school during World War I, he studied fashion design at the Pratt Institute. In 1922, he joined the New York studio of Paramount Pictures where he designed clothes for Gloria Swanson and other stars of silent movies. He then worked as a costume designer on Broadway, making the costumes for the Ziegfeld Follies and the Cotton Club, as well as for the Brooks Costume Company and for wholesale dress manufacturer Charles Armour. In 1928, he was hired by Hattie Carnegie and remained with her until 1941.

In 1943, Norell won a Coty Fashion Award and became a critic at the Pratt Institute fashion department, where he was previously a student. Shortly afterwards Anthony Traina invited him to form the fashion company Traina-Norrell, with Traina looking after the business side and Norell the fashion side. By 1944, Norell had launched chemise dresses, evening dresses, fur coats, sequined evening sheaths, fur slacks and empire-line dresses.

Michelle Obama, as First Lady of the United States, wore a vintage Norell dress at a Washington Christmas party in December, 2010.

When Norell left Hattie Carnegie, he wasn’t yet in the position financially to open his own business. Anthony Traina, a wholesale clothing manufacturer, offered Norell a partnership. Traina offered to pay Norell a larger salary if Norell's name wasn’t on the label, less if it was. "Norell took the lower salary and the label, or at least half of it. In 1941, Traina-Norell was born. Norell’s work at Traina-Norell would become famous for its fit, simplicity, and quality... By the 1950s, Norell was holding twice yearly shows at the Traina-Norell showroom at 550 7th Avenue. These were black tie events with shows planned as minutely as an open-heart surgery." Connie Zeigler, "Norman Norell," Commercial Article 06, 2013.

Evening dress, ca. 1955
Norman Norell is credited as the father of American high fashion, an accolade well-deserved for a long career which established the country's fashion industry and made way for other great designers such as Bill Blass, James Galanos, and Halston. In 1941, after years of working with another fashion icon, Hattie Carnegie, Norell partnered with Anthony Traina to form Traina-Norell where he began to receive recognition for his designs. In 1960 Norell founded his own label, Norman Norell Ltd., where his reputation became equal to that of French designers of the time. Norell's style consisted of sophisticated and luxurious garments executed in a relaxed manner. Especially notable are his sequined evening sheaths which remain classic and beautiful in their simplicity.

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Norell

Further Readings )

More Fashion Designers at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

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Mark Simpson is an English journalist, writer, and broadcaster specialising in popular culture, media, and masculinity. Simpson is the originator of the term and concept metrosexual. He has been described by one critic as "the skinhead Oscar Wilde".

Simpson has written for numerous publications around the world, including The Times, The Guardian, Salon.com, Arena Homme +, GQ Style, Vogues Hommes International, The Independent on Sunday, Têtu, the Seattle Stranger, and Dutch Playboy. In December 2007, GQ Russia placed him in their 'Top Ten Things That Changed Men's Lives'.

Simpson is credited with coining the term metrosexual in a 1994 article. He also introduced the word to the U.S. in 'Meet the Metrosexual', a much-quoted essay on Salon.com in 2002, leading to the global popularity of the term. This was also the first citation of the UK footballer David Beckham as the ultimate example of the type. Simpson was later credited with introducing the term 'retrosexual' (in the sense of the anti-metrosexual) in 2003.

The New York Times acclaimed Simpson's analysis of how sport and advertising are both increasingly using homoerotic imagery, in a process he dubbed "sporno" ("the place where sport and porn meet and produce a gigantic money shot") as one of the Ideas of the Year. The Times newspaper also featured sporno in their 'Year in Ideas' list.

In 2010, the global trend spotting website Science of the Time described Simpson as 'the world's most perceptive writer about masculinity'. The Times of India included 'metrosexual' in their review of the most important words of the last thirty years, commenting: "Much has been written about metrosexuals, but no one has done it as well as the man credited with coining the term, Mark Simpson."

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Simpson_(journalist)

Further Readings:

Saint Morrissey: A Portrait of This Charming Man by an Alarming Fan by Mark Simpson
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (March 7, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 074328481X
ISBN-13: 978-0743284813
Amazon: Saint Morrissey: A Portrait of This Charming Man by an Alarming Fan
Amazon Kindle: Saint Morrissey: A Portrait of This Charming Man by an Alarming Fan

There is no other contemporary artist who is so famously difficult, so seemingly enigmatic, and so passionately loved by his fans as Morrissey. From the moment he caught the public's eye in the early 1980s as the iconic front man of the Smiths, and through his subsequent solo career, the patron saint of misfits has fascinated and baffled in equal measure. Yet, as Mark Simpson argues in this wickedly funny and deeply sacrilegious "psycho-bio" - told through the lens of his own obsession as a lifelong fan - Morrissey isn't quite so enigmatic as he might appear. To understand this most private (and sexually ambivalent) of stars, one need only uncover the countless clues to his personality in his startlingly candid song lyrics and his innumerable provocative interviews. Simpson deftly explores why Morrissey bewitched a generation - and why he remains as intriguing as ever. Both an insightful look at the singer's career and a personal story of a boy's first love for his music idol, Saint Morrissey is, like its subject, shrewd, sharp-witted, charming, and utterly original.

More Spotlights at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Lists/Gay Novels
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Coming Home is part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology. Robyn Walker is giving away an ebook for comments on this blog.

ETA: and the ebook giveaway goes to: frigus_et_nox

About Robyn Walker: Robyn Walker seems intent on proving a palm reader’s prediction of “living seven lifetimes in one life” correct. She is getting a little worried that she has only one life left, having worked as a furniture consultant, a cultural studies academic, a researcher for quiz books, a television extra, and a political candidate—as well as a writer.

Until she was eleven years of age, she could be found riding bikes or building tree-forts in Port Augusta, South Australia (pop. 15,000), before being shipped off Harry Potter-style to a boarding school in The Big Smoke City of Adelaide (pop. 1.2 million). Itchy feet found her living for a year in Berlin, Germany (pop. 3.4 million), but she stopped back in Adelaide for a decade to collect her British-born soulmate, and then follow them, in the tradition of all good Anglophiles, to London, England (pop. 8.17 million), where she still resides.

Despite seventeen years together and still using terms like “soulmate,” she strongly denies that there’s a romantic bone in her body.

The stack of reading material that travelled around the world with her begs to differ.

Coming Home (Under the Southern Cross) by Robyn Walker
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (March 12, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Coming Home (Under the Southern Cross)

In 2045, Russian-born Nick comes “home” to Australia for the funeral of an old friend. After a ten-year absence, he finds a country scarred by drought and a people scarred by technology. He grieves for Ben, whose death has left his friends bewildered. He grieves for Australia, the country that forced him to leave. But his greatest grief is for Daniel. Although Daniel is alive, it seems their friendship is dead. And Nick has no idea why.

Part of the Under the Southern Cross anthology.
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Red+Blue wasn’t at all what I was expecting from the first pages, actually, I didn’t like much nor Jason or Red/Ben at the beginning, and Adrian was so far that I didn’t feel him like a main character. The first two parts of the story are told in first point of view, first from Ben and then from Adrian. It’s not an alternate telling, it’s exactly the same part of the story, but first we read it “with” Ben and then Adrian will give you his side. It’s not since the “common” telling is starting that I felt the cohesion between Ben and Adrian, like in a relationship when it’s time to start a life together.

Another good point is how the author managed to have the characters adhere to their supposed age, so much that, even if there are little more than 10 years of difference between Ben and Adrian, you could say they were from different generations, above all on the perception of the potential threat represented by AIDS.

The book is pretty long, and the only fault I can find is that I wasn’t able to finish it in one day, I had, regretfully, to stop and finish it the day after: my enrapture pushed me to forget and continue reading, the very likely chance that I was to spend a night awake, and I cannot afford it at my age, forced me to stop.

Amazon: Red+blue
Amazon Kindle: Red+blue
Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 25, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725205
ISBN-13: 978-1613725207

Updates: http://www.goodreads.com/user/updates_rss/2156728?key=011e4dd0a1ff993d8c2322e691d6229ed9bbf74b


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