Thursday, July 15, 2010

Giveaway Winners

It's time to announce the winners of our GLBT Reading 5-book giveaway. They are:

1) Raven Summer by David Almond - Ari from Reading in Color

2) Delilah by India Edghill - Heather from Book Addiction

3) The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran - Michelle from The True Book Addict

4) Give a Little by Wendy Smith - Travis from Inked Books

5) Mirrorscape by Mike Wilkes - Adam from Roof Beam Reader

Congratulations everyone! I'll be in contact with you soon to get your mailing addresses. Thanks again for entering and for everyone's patience with the changes we're making here at GLBT Reading.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Guest Post: The Hip Hop Façade

Today's guest post comes from Bea at The Hardknock Radio. Thanks for being with us, Bea!!

The Hip Hop we know of nowadays has strayed far beyond its origins. Back in the day, it was all about getting people amped for parties as well as providing a forum for expression. Forty years after, what we see on TV, hear on the radio and read in magazines has become a distorted version of the fundamentals that had given voice to the urban youth.

The present image portrayed by Hip Hop is undeniably masculine. The majority of music videos depict men surrounded by a bevy of beautiful women, sipping champagne while sporting some of the most expensive cars available. The lyrics, too, emphasize how “gangster” the performers are, re-counting the many bullet wounds they received.

In reality, it has been said by insiders that some rappers, both male and female, actually lead a secret gay life. They hide it with their persona, often using their lyrics to discriminate against gays in order to divert attention from their “true selves”. Sad as it is, this situation with sexuality has become a major issue in the entertainment industry where there is massive homophobia.

Terrance Dean, an executive producer that used to work for MTV and BET, released a book 2 years ago entitled Hiding in Hip-Hop: On the Down Low. In it, he attempted to shed light on the fact that there actually were rappers hiding in the closet out of fear of what the industry might do to them if they ever came out. A pity because hip hop shouldn’t be that way.

From the looks of it, it seems like hip hop has become a facade of machismo when, in fact, one of its best features used to be self expression. For the male rappers, it does not come as a surprise that there isn’t a famous one who is openly gay. Men find it harder to deal with a gay public image, so they bury their real self in public denial. Aside from Man Parrish, who was among the few that set the path for Hip Hop, I don’t know anyone as big as Jay Z or lil Wayne who’ll admit they are gay.

In the meantime, people like Deadlee, Cazwell, Katastrophe and a lot more are here to stay. Although they are less famous, they are definitely realer than most and offer a voice to the minority, the GLBT.

Bea loves to write about hip hop and the history of rap music. Check her newest entry on the top 100 rap songs.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Guest Post: Tegan and Sara

Today's guest post comes from Colleen from Lavender Lines. Thanks for being with us, Colleen!!

My New Muse

As a book lover and a writer, there is nothing like discovering a song that wows me. For me it’s all about the lyrics. How they make me feel, what they make me feel. How they hit me.

“Build a wall of books/Between us in our bed.”

The first time I heard that lyric is froze. I mean, a song opening with a line about books? Never mind that the voice singing the words was perhaps one of the most wonderfully unique voices I had heard in a long time. I listened to the rest of Back In Your Head by Tegan and Sara and heaved a sigh of contentment.

That was my first introduction to the Canadian artists. And while I was blown away by their lyrics and musicality for some reason I didn’t run out and buy their CD The Con.

Flash forward a few years.

Writing ruts are not exactly a fun thing to be in. I was officially calling myself a writer, but I wasn’t actually writing anything new. None of my regular CDs were helping to get me into the writing groove and a bit of a panic was starting to set in. Cue Alligator.

O.M.G. The lyrics. The word play. I felt like I was floating the first time I heard it. Never has the phrase “over you” held so many different meanings. I figuratively slapped myself in the forehead and went out and picked up The Con and their latest CD Sainthood. Both CDs are constantly in play. Constantly. I never get tired of the songs and each time I listen I feel that I am discovering new things about the music and myself.

Please, please don’t ask me to pick a favorite Tegan and Sara song, because I think my head would explode. Whatever song of theirs I am currently listening to is my favorite. But I do have my favorite lines. Here are a few:

I felt you in my legs before I even met you
– Nineteen

SOS to my mother/ Take the hinges off the door – Like Oh, like H

I’m not unfaithful but I’ll stray/When I get a little scared – Back in Your Head

Everything I love/Get back from me now/Everyone I love/I need you now – Dark Come Soon

Maybe I would have been something you’d be good at
– Call It Off

Besides their music, the duo just seem like really neat people. (Yes, I used the word neat.) While the two are completely open about their sexuality (both are lesbian) they strive to achieve a balance of living their life and not having their whole music careers center around the fact that they are lesbian twins. Unfortunately the media sometimes stresses this, instead of the fact that the two are amazing musicians and writers. I think it’s a shame that their sexuality even factors into the equation for some. When I read that they were lesbians I kind of went “Huh, okay. Big deal.” But I guess it is for some and that’s just sad. And stupid.

Tegan and Sara are now my go-to writing music. Their songs help me keep centered and also to strive to be as brilliant as I can be. No matter what my frame of mind or mood, I can find a Tegan and Sara song to lift me up or calm me down.

If you are looking for inspiration, a new muse or simply amazing music by two ridiculously talented Canadian gals, do yourself a favor and take a listen to Tegan and Sara. I dare you not to like them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Scaling back

As I mentioned last week, Jen and I both have had things come up in our lives to make them busier than they already were. The GLBT Challenge is a huge time commitment between coordinating guest posts, mini-challenges, links, prizes, and more. While we don't want to take away from the challenge, which we love, we need to simplify going forward. We have decided to make two major changes.

First, we will be doing away with prizes from here on out. In the last six months, we've given away 12 books and have tons more prize items still in the bucket. Most of them are sitting on my shelf at home and I can't continue to house them going forward. I didn't want to just take them off the list and leave the burden of prizes to people who have offered up donations, so instead there will simply be no more prizes going forward. I wish we could continue to offer them, but the sacrifice is necessary at this time.

That will, of course, change the way mini-challenges work. There will no longer be a prize motivation for participating in the mini-challenges, but we hope people will continue to participate in them anyway. We originally put the mini-challenges out there as a way of expanding our thinking and giving different options to people who weren't sure where they could look for GLBT resources, and we do plan to continue posting them monthly through 2010.

The other big change we're making involves guest posts, which is a huge time investment for us. We have guest posts planned through August, but after that we have nothing definite set up. Instead of going out trying to look for people to post for us, though, we're just going to have a call for volunteers on the mini-posts. If someone wants to post, great! If not, there will simply be no guest posts. We're okay with that. Guest posts are wonderful things, but they aren't necessary to continue the challenge.

That will be the bulk of the changes to the GLBT Challenge moving forward. As an apology of sorts, we'd like to offer up a few of the books from the prize bucket in a giveaway. You can fill out the form below to enter to win one of these books (links to Amazon for book description):
  1. Raven Summer by David Almond - YA contemporary fiction
  2. Delilah by India Edghill - historical fiction
  3. The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran - historical fiction
  4. Give a Little by Wendy Smith (signed) - nonfiction
  5. Mirrorscape by Mike Wilks - YA fantasy
You may sign up to win as many of these are you're interested in. Just fill out this form:

Giveaway will end on 7/15 and we will announce the winners then. Thanks for all your patience and understanding! Once again, we really appreciate your participation here at the GLBT Challenge.

Friday, July 2, 2010

July Mini-Challenge

First, I need to announce the winner of the June mini-challenge. There were only three participants in June's mini-challenge (yikes) but has chosen......

#2 - Amy from Amy Reads!

Congratulations, Amy! Take a look at the prize bucket and send me an email (address is in the sidebar) with your choice and address.

The July mini-challenge here at the Challenge That Dare Not Speak Its Name actually has nothing to do with books. We're taking a little break here.

Throughout the month, we're going to have some guest posts about music and art that is related to GLBT issues (GLBT musicians or artists, GLBT-themed art, etc). You may listen to some of this music, listen to other music related to GLBT issues, read a book about GLBT-related art or artists, look through some GLBT-related's pretty much up to you. We're just expanding our boundaries here. Whatever you decide to do, post about your reaction or your finds (make sure to include why they are GLBT-related), and link to it in the Linky below.

Prior to July, we've been drawing a winner for each mini-challenge, but going forward, I'm afraid Jen and I both need to scale back the challenge a little bit. I will post more information about this in the next few days, but the gist is that there will no longer be prizes for the mini-challenges. These mini-challenges instead are just meant to expand our horizons, reading and otherwise, in the GLBT Challenge. I hope you all will continue to participate!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Reviews - 3rd Quarter

First things first, thanks to everyone participating in the GLBT Challenge. We are drawing a 2nd quarter winner from all active participants. has chosen......

#39 - Christina from Reading Through the Night!

Congratulations, Christina! Take a look at the prize bucket and send me an email (address is in the sidebar) with your choice and address.


Below, you can link to your reviews in July, August, and September. Can't wait to see what you all read!