Oct 29, 2010
Poet Colin Kelley has written a column for our friends at Lambda Literary. It's a list of 10 LGBT teen novels that address the subject of bullying. With all the recent news bringing LGBT teen suicides into the forefront of thought all across the nation, maybe one of these books will help some kid through their storm. Check out the article.
Oct 27, 2010
...and, although it would be great fun, we don't mean cute frat boys wearing identical speedos!
See, our friends at
Lambda Literary Foundation have received a Chuck Forester Challenge Grant.
Through November 19, 2010, the Chuck Forester Challenge Grant will match your tax deductible contributions of $25 or more dollar-for-dollar for up to $10,000!
For some of you that's a drop in the bucket of your cocktail budgets! For others, $25 can be a big bag of groceries. If you don't have the bucks why not chip in with a few friends?
Here's the letter from Tony Valenzuela. Read it and then click donate.
Oct 21, 2010
That's right. Tonight's the night! We hope you join us for an Autumnal evening of queer words. We'll be out on the patio at Stories Books so throw fashion to the wind - we'll be wrapped in scarves & wearing a coat. Words start flowing at 7:30 so come early to shop & get cozy with a tea or coffee from the baristas at the bookstore. Then grab a chair, settle in and get ready for homo-centric's 100% Ten Percent.
The incomparable Michael Kearns has written a new piece especially for the night. He'll be sharing his words alongside the talented wordsmiths Ryka Aoki, Brent Armendinger and Lee Wind. Check out their bios.
Stories is at 1716 Sunset Blvd 90026. There's metered parking until 8pm on Sunset, until 9pm in the lot behind the store and free parking on the side streets. We'll see you there!
Oct 20, 2010
We are purple today for Tyler Clementi, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase & Billy Lucas, boys who represent ALL kids who committed suicide because they believed they weren't enough, the hurt would never end, they didn't matter. They were enough. The hurt does end. They still matter. We are purple today.
Oct 19, 2010
Thass right, Centrics. 100% Ten Percent is the day after tomorrow & we're so excited we're squeaking like a new pair of shoes! Here's the reasons why:
Ryka Aoki is a writer, composer, chemist, black belt, and moonshiner who has recently featured at the National Queer Arts Festival, the National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, Ladyfest South 2007, Atlanta Pride, UCLA’s OutCRY, and Fresh Meat. In 2005, Ryka was the inaugural performer for San Francisco Pride’s first ever Transgender Stage. She has also worked with the American Association of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors, and two of her compositions have been adopted by the group as its official “Songs of Peace.” Ryka has been honored by the California State Senate for her work with Trans/Giving, LA’s only art/performance series dedicated to trans, genderqueer, and intersex artists. She was formerly head judo coach at UCLA and Cornell University, and is a professor of English at Santa Monica College.
Brent Armendinger is the author of two chapbooks, Undetectable (Diagram/New Michigan Press) and Archipelago (Noemi Press). He received first prize in poetry in the 2009 Chroma Queer International Writing Competition. Brent’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Chroma, BANG OUT, Digital Artifact, Cut Bank, The Diagram, The Concher, Parthenon West Review, Fourteen Hills, Hayden's Ferry Review, Clave, La Petite Zine, Bird Dog, and Gut Cult. He is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
Michael Kearns has been a fixture in the Los Angeles world of art and politics for more than a quarter of a century, . He received the prestigious 2002 Playwrights' Arena Award for Outstanding Contribution to Los Angeles Theatre, acknowledging three decades of work as an actor, writer, producer, director, teacher, and fundraiser. His writing also includes hundreds of articles in a wide variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, LA Parent, the Advocate and Paper. He is the author of three theatre books, published by Heinemann: T-Cells & Sympathy (nominated for a Lambda Literary Award), Acting = Life (also Lammy nominated), and Getting Your Solo Act Together. He is presently completing two books for Heinemann: Life Expectancies, a second collection of monologues and The Solo Performer's Journey: From the Page to the Stage, a follow up to his first guide to solo performance.
Lee Wind is a writer & Blogger out to empower GLBTQ teens and allies with his blog, I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read? He also leads workshops to empower students, writers, and everyone to join him in Smashing Stereotypes! He blogs about it (and other stuff) at "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?" which is at http://www.leewind.org/
The reading begins at 7:30 but we'll be gathering between 6:30 & 7:00 pm to buy a coffee, tea, sweets or a sandwich, do a little book shopping and hang out with each other. There's metered parking on Sunset till 8pm, side streets are not metered. The parking lot behind the store is metered until 9pm & is only 2 hours so plan for coinage if you lock up there!
Remember that we'll be outside on the back patio. It's going to be a crisp Autumn evening so dress appropriately. We suggest a jacket, scarf & a pal to sit really close to during the event! We'll see you there!
Oct 11, 2010
People familiar with homo-centric know we're a reading series. Started just in January of 2010 we've presented readings once a month all year. The response has been so surprising and each event beyond rewarding. The popularity & word-of-mouth has turned what I expected to be a simple bookstore reading into a community-building event that has spilled out beyond the pages of words that dozens of out, proud, talented writers & performers have shared.
At the end of the September reading I talked to the writers & audience. I asked them to look around, to look at this group of LGBTQI people sitting there on the patio of a bookstore, all out & openly Queer. All listening to Queer writers read Queer stories. I spoke about the teenagers who had committed suicide because of being gay, of being bullied, of being alone and lost and scared and defeated. Then I asked everyone there to look around the patio, to find someone they didn't know and introduce themselves. Say hello. Give a hug.
See, we build community when we share our stories. We build community by saying hello. We build community by coming out. And we all know that coming out isn't a one time thing. It's a constant and life long process. We come out when we meet new people, get a new job, when we're shopping or at the movies. We come out by choice much of our lives and by necessity during other times, but we are always coming out.
Today is National Coming Out Day. In light of all the recent teen suicides being reported, in response to all of the ridiculous and frightening politicians and religious figures spouting hate and pushing inequality, I challenge each of you to come out to someone today. Even if you're so far out of the closet that you have LGBTQI tattooed on your forehead, tell a secret, share something with someone, make a bond, build a bridge, strengthen your community.
Here's a couple homo-centric family to look to for resources or information:
the exceptionally talented Noel Alumit wrote a letter to his 17-year-old self for out.com. You can read Noel's touching letter at gay.com. Also, you should check out his blog thelastnoel.
Lee Wind has a wonderful blog full of info & book review for LGBTQI youth called I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the hell do I read?. Check out his Coming Out Day post here.
Lambda Literary Foundation has a terrific amount of book reviews for books inspiring, informative, educational and more, all broken down in searchable categories. Check out their reviews here.
Again, I challenge everyone to come out just a little bit more today. You may change someone's life.
Oct 8, 2010
Yes It's our tenth reading! And we're waaaay past that flimsy Kinsey ten percent...
We're 100% homo-centric & 200% excited about these terrific writers!
This month we're pleased to announce:
Curated by Hank Henderson
Hosted by Stories Books & Cafe
1716 Sunset Blvd, L.A. 90026
Reading starts at 7:30p.m.
Please come early and support the store & cafe!
We usually get there around 6:30 to
* Order an iced coffee or tea & have a sandwich!
* Hang out & meet other writers.
* Wander the aisles & buy a book.
We depend on the kindness of strangers so tell a friend, bring two or three!
Remember: we'll be outside so dress weather-appropriate! See you there!
what is homo-centric?
homo-centric is a monthly reading series curated by Hank Henderson. The series is hosted by Stories Books & Cafe in Echo Park and takes place the 3rd Thursday of every month. By offering this space for LGBTQI writers to gather & share their words we hope to create a renewed sense of community. There's a hunger for connection and a wonder about our collective history that needs to be nurtured and continued.