Sep. 20th, 2015

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James Arthur Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist.

Most of Baldwin's work deals with racial and sexual issues in the mid-20th century in the United States. His novels are notable for the personal way in which they explore questions of identity as well as the way in which they mine complex social and psychological pressures related to being black and homosexual well before the social, cultural or political equality of these groups was improved.

When Baldwin was an infant, his mother, Emma Berdis Joynes, moved to Harlem, New York, where she married a preacher, David Baldwin, who adopted James. The family was poor, and James and his adoptive father had a tumultuous relationship. James Baldwin attended the prestigious DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he worked on the school magazine together with Richard Avedon. At the age of 14, he joined the Pentecostal Church and became a Pentecostal preacher.

When he was 17 years old, Baldwin turned away from his religion and moved to Greenwich Village, a New York City neighborhood, famous for its artists and writers. Here, he studied at The New School, finding an intellectual community within the university. Supporting himself with odd jobs, he began to write short stories, essays, and book reviews, many of which were later collected in the volume Notes of a Native Son (1955).

Courtesy of David Leeming. James Baldwin, Beauford Delaney, and Lucien Happersberger in Paris, 1953 (©2)
James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist. In 1949, Baldwin fell in love with Swiss painter Lucien Happersberger, age 17, eight years younger than Baldwin. The two became very close, until Happersberger's marriage three years later, an event that left Baldwin devastated, but they remained close friend until 1987, the year Baldwin died. The wife was Afro-American Diana Sands. They divorced and Happersberger died in 2010.

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A journalist once remarked to James Baldwin, "When you were starting out as a writer you were black, impoverished, homosexual. You must have said to yourself, "Gee, how disadvantaged can I get?"
"No", the novelist replied. "I felt I'd hit the jackpot".
James Baldwin described his own homosexuality with frankness and ambivalence in Giovanni's Room, the novel he published in 1956. The book came out of "something which tormented and frightened me: the question of my own sexuality", Baldwin explained many years later. One reason he wrote it was to eliminate the nagging problem that other closeted writers faced in the fifties. Baldwin said the book "simplified" his life because it "meant that I had no secrets. You couldn' blackmail me. You didn't tell me, I told you".
Coming out of the closet gave Baldwin the freedom the thousands of his contemporaries would not experience until they emulated him two, three, or four decades later. Of course, thousands of others would never emulate him at all. "It's only the twentieth century which is obsessed with the details of somebody's sex life", Baldwin said on another occasion. "I don't think the details make any difference. Love comes in very strange packages. I love a few men and I love a few women. I suppose it's saved my life".
Alfred A. Knopf had published Baldwin's first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, in 1953. A semiautobiographical account of a poor boy growing up in Harlem during the 1930s, the book was a critical success. "I'd been a boy preacher for three years", said Baldwin. "That is what turned me into a writer really... My father frightened me so badly I had to fight him so hard, nobody has ever frightened me since".
But when he submitted Giovanni's Room a couple of years after his first big success, Knopf rejected it. "I guess they were scared", said William Cole, who was Knopf's publicity director - and the first person to bring Baldwin to the publisher's attention. "Homosexuality wasn't on the books in those days and they turned it down", Cole recalled. When he learned the young author's second novel had been rejected, Cole was "horrified". --The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
James Baldwin's 1955 Giovanni's Room and 1962 Another Country dealt with the complicated intersections of sexuality and race through homosexual characters. As early as 1949, in his essay "The Preservation of Innocence", Baldwin directly connected heterosexual hostility toward homosexuals to white hostility toward African Americans. He saw both as a failure of the imagination to connect fully with one's own humanity. He explores this idea in his 1963 The Fire Next Time: "White people in this country will have quite enough to do in learning how to accept and love themselves and each other, and when they have achieved this - which will not be towmorrow and may very well be never - the Negro problem will no longer exist, for it will no longer be needed". Historian John Howard charts how interracial homosexual relationships, sometimes less obvious than heterosexual ones, were often the way that white men became involved in the civil rights movement. --A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store:
Amazon (Paperback):
Amazon (Kindle):

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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After two years as Artistic Director at The Grand Theatre in London, Ontario, Larry Lillo (September 20, 1946 - June 2, 1993) returned to Vancouver as the Playhouse’s 10th Artistic Director. Mr. Lillo, a co-founder of Tamahnous Theatre, was the golden boy of Vancouver theatre, and his return to helm the Playhouse at a critical time in the company’s history, was hailed.

He was born September 20, 1946 in Kinuso, a tiny village in Alberta northwest of Edmonton. He attended Royal Roads Military College, Nova Scotia, earned a BA at St. Francis Xavier. He studied at U. of Washington, then in New York City, later received an MA at UBC in directing. Lillo was the co-founder and a director and actor with Tamahnous Theatre from 1971 to 1981, a freelance theatre director, 1981-85, and artistic director of the Grand Theatre in London, Ont. in 1986. In 1988 he became artistic director of the Vancouver Playhouse (1988). Under his leadership, Playhouse subscriptions rose from 5,800 (1988) to nearly 12,000 (1992/93). He won a Jessie (Vancouver) and a Dora (Toronto) for his direction of Sam Shepard’s play A Lie of the Mind, which was at the Playhouse from October 4 to November 5, 1988. Lillo directed and developed many new Canadian plays. His partner, John Moffat  (1956 - May 16, 1995), was an award-winning actor.

Larry Lillo brought his populist approach to theatre to the forefront in his very first production, Sam Shepherd’s A Lie of the Mind, which earned him the first of three consecutive Jessie Awards for Directing. Over the next five seasons, Mr. Lillo created playbills that brought a renewed sense of excitement to the Playhouse stage. He directed stunning productions of new Canadian hits such as John Gray’s Rock and Rolland Health, the Musical, while bringing new vision to classics such as Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

John Moffat, AIDS Quilt
Larry Lillo (September 20, 1946 - June 2, 1993), a co-founder of Tamahnous Theatre, was the golden boy of Vancouver theatre, and his return to helm the Playhouse at a critical time in the company’s history, was hailed. His partner, John Moffat  (1956 - May 16, 1995), was an award-winning actor. THE JOHN MOFFAT & LARRY LILLO AWARD is an annual Award, intended to assist mature Canadian West Coast theatre artists to further their artistic development.

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Further Readings )

More LGBT Couples at my website:, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance

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Tobias Schneebaum (March 25, 1922 – September 20, 2005) was an American artist, anthropologist, and AIDS activist. He is best known for his experiences living, and traveling among the Harakmbut people of Peru, and the Asmat people of Papua, Western New Guinea, Indonesia then known as Irian Jaya.

He was born on Manhattan's Lower East Side and grew up in Brooklyn. In 1939 he graduated from the Stuyvesant High School, moving on to the City College of New York, graduating in 1943 after having majored in mathematics and art. During World War II he served as a radar repairman in the U.S. Army.

In 1947, after briefly studying painting with Rufino Tamayo at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Schneebaum went to live and paint in Mexico for three years, living among the Lakadone tribe. In 1955 he won a Fulbright fellowship to travel and paint in Peru. After hitch-hiking from New York to Peru, he lived with the Harakambut people for seven months, where he slept with his male subjects and claimed to have joined the tribe in cannibalism on one occasion.

Until 1970 he was the designer at Tiber Press, then in 1973 he embarked on his third overseas trip, to Irian Jaya in South East Asia, living with the Asmat people on the south-western coast. He helped establish the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress. Schneebaum would return there in 1995 to revisit a former lover, named Aipit. He recounted his journey into the jungles of Peru in the 1961 memoir Keep the River on Your Right. In 1999, he revisited both Irian Jaya and Peru for a documentary film, also titled Keep the River on Your Right

Tobias Schneebaum, 1991, by Robert Giard
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (
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Further Readings )

More Particular Voices at my website:, My Ramblings/Particular Voices
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Starting from June 1, 2015, I will daily feature authors attending the three conventions I will join, Euro Pride in Munich (July), UK Meet in Bristol (September) and GRL in San Diego (October).

For the GRL in San Diego, October 15-18, 2015, today author is Charlie Richards: "There is nothing more powerful than the written word coupled with imagination. With it, we can soar through the skies on the wings of a dragon, run through the forest with a pack of wolves, or find love for the first time all over again. Join me in discovering the possibilities.

I explore the world of shapeshifters, gargoyles, and werewolves as they find friends, acceptance, and love, by writing M/F, M/M, and menage paranormal erotic romance."

Further Readings:

Hot-Blooded Alligator (A Paranormal's Love Book 11) by Charlie Richards
Publisher: eXtasy Books (February 8, 2015)
Amazon Kindle: Hot-Blooded Alligator (A Paranormal's Love Book 11)

Tristan has never been what someone would call a social guy. Like the alligator he shares his spirit with, he prefers being alone. Now, after enduring decades of forced isolation as an animal attraction in a curiosity show, Tristan is even more reclusive than ever. He lives mainly in animal form, swimming in the large pond on the gargoyle’s estate. When he helps kidnap his abuser, Bud Wallice, Tristan decides interrogating the bastard is a great reason to finally interact with others.

Eventually, Bud is reported missing by his wife, and the trail leads to the gargoyle’s estate. Tristan meets Detective Collin DeSoto, who is looking into the disappearance. Tristan immediately recognizes the man as his mate, and while the sex between them is explosive, that’s the only easy thing between them. Collin isn’t out to his incredibly large family, and he doesn’t approve of how Tristan handles Bud. Can the pair resolve their differences, or will Tristan end up returning to his pond…alone?

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Divine Desire - Erotic Stories of Sacred Sexuality by Lon Sarver
LGBT Anthology / Collection / Erotica
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing (July 13, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622342380
ISBN-13: 978-1622342389
Amazon: Divine Desire - Erotic Stories of Sacred Sexuality
Amazon Kindle: Divine Desire - Erotic Stories of Sacred Sexuality

There’s a reason people often cry, “Oh, God,” in the throes of passion. God is the only concept big enough to hold all the pleasure they’re feeling; pleasure that is as close to beatific grace as any mortal comes. This collection explores the connection between sex and divinity, the mix of temporal and transcendent passions. These ten stories of erotic encounters with the divine invite the reader to witness mortals who crave an immortal touch, deities whose anger with one another is matched only by their lust for one another, and the fate of those tempted by gods of the grave. Rise beyond the limits of mere mortality, and partake of Divine Desire.

2015 Rainbow Awards Guidelines:
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Liquid Longing - An Erotic Anthology of the Sacred and Profane by Annabeth Leong
LGBT Anthology / Collection / Erotica
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing (May 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1622342232
ISBN-13: 978-1622342235
Amazon: Liquid Longing - An Erotic Anthology of the Sacred and Profane
Amazon Kindle: Liquid Longing - An Erotic Anthology of the Sacred and Profane

From Annabeth Leong’s penetrating view of the sensual, the sacred, and the profane comes an anthology of erotic tales of wonder. Passion flows, mercurial, through these eleven tales of sex, death, and rebirth. Curiosity mingles with shame, anger revels in worship, exploring desire of all types. Here are dead gods, undead starlets, and immortal creatures hungry for connection—a collection of love letters to human nature, with no easy answers among them. Instead you will find intimate legends and infinite possibility. For every dark soul pining for something beyond their grasp, there is a moment of ecstasy to tantalize the heart and mind. The stories here do not represent the safe, sane, and consensual, and no awareness of risk can prepare you for the ultimate sacrifice. Come, immerse yourself in Liquid Longing.

2015 Rainbow Awards Guidelines:


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