Remember how I said something really amazing happened to me this week that convinced me to let go of my compulsive need to have a 10 year plan and just ride the waves of universe-given abundance, and other New Age, earthy stuff?
Well I just got a confirmation e-mail, confirming that I can share with all you Beautiful People what tripped me out. Look!
It’s my contributors copy! Yeah, you read that right. Contributor. Let’s turn to page 64, shall we?
Trippy, right? The second I finished wanking off to my accomplishment (what? I’m a capricorn, I live for this kind of stuff!) I sat down and actually read it. It’s actually a good book. Really good in fact.
I was expecting to enjoy it for all the predictable reasons- I contributed, I’ve read everything DS has ever written, I got it for free, etc.- but it’s actually a really, really good anthology of essays. I should also disclose that I generally enjoy reading both anthologies and essays so this is a total best-of-both-worlds kind of thing for me. If you’re not into that kind of stuff, you may not enjoy it as much as I did.
Even if I wasn’t a part of it, I’d still have bought it you guys, it’s that good. The mix of famous, industry famous and non-famous people is really good too. I think that will make it more meaningful to the demographic that will need this the most. Yeah, Ellen Degeneres is awesome and has a hot wife, but not all lesbians relate to her, you know?
I loved “Growing Up Gay…and Kinky,” because it was unexpected and bears saying.
The selection of essays from religious groups/people/leaders warmed my heart. There’s a lot of religion bashing in the gay rights movement. It’s understandable, but it’s also damaging to those who search for solace in an accepting god, especially for kids who so badly need solace in their young lives. Religion, when done right, is about love, and so is sexual orientation, so seeing an essay written in Arabic from a Christian man (amongst others) was uplifting.
There’s also a story I can no longer find about a lesbian farmer which is incredibly important. It wasn’t until well after I uploaded my video that I realised that not everybody will/wants to live in a big city and/or go to university.
In the book’s intro, Dan Savage also addressed the fact that that the IBGP won’t/can’t solve the gay bullying crisis, which is true. It’s too complex for a simple resolution to be sufficient. What it can do however, is to illustrate potential and provide positive reflections for LGBTQ youth, of themselves, in a highly accessible manner.
On the back flap of every book is a youth resource card, which was a smart move. You can slip out of the house, head out to the library and BAM! list of safe places for you to figure yourself out, right there. The parent resource card was an excellent move too.
If you’ve never seen them before, Dan Savage is actually the dude on the right and Terry Miller is the dude on the left. Their names are in alphabetical order, but the picture isn’t. I used to spend hours in the library as a kid, secretly reading each and every single book in the Gay & Lesbian section. That was how I first discovered Dan Savage, and I remember being scandalised by all the talk of santorum and safe words and rimming. (“You put your mouth where?!”)
That isn’t a part of this, but this is a part of that too.
I pass the baton onto you, Next Generation of Youth. Go forth, and read all the awesome literature that’s being produced to enrich your life and warm your soul.
A friend asked me if I get royalties for it. Nope. All the contributors, from Alison Bechdel to Ellen Degeneres to Barack Obama contributed their work gratis and all proceeds go to supporting the IGBP. You can find out more and pre-order your copy here.
If you’re of any age and are trying to figure yourself out, and discern what you want out of life and love, I have these three things to say:
1) I don’t know how to solve problems, but I do know how to listen, and if that’s what you need my dear, holla at a girl. I check my e-mail compulsively.
2) You are not alone, no matter how alone you feel. Sometimes, your monkey brain exaggerates the bad and shrinks the good, and if that’s what you’re going through, it’s OK to feel that way. Forcing yourself to be happy, while scientifically proven to be effective, isn’t necessarily the path for everybody. Sometimes, you just happen to be one of those people who needs time to ride the waves of sadness when they come, and then cauterize those wounds and move on when it’s time. There be help out there ya’ll!
3) It gets better. It may not get better tomorrow, or the day after, but if/when you make the choice, growing older can mean growing wiser and growing happier and you’re growing each and every second of each and every day, even as you sit here right now. Woah, right?
I mean, look at me! My life is awesome, and I have no idea what the hell I’m doing any more. I feel lost, but the journey’s pretty cool, so I’m going with it. I think the point isn’t to fall in love with someone and live in a nice house with an amazing career and cute clothes. I think the point is to fall in love with yourself, and be so deeply in love that the feeling is unshakeable and eternal, in the face of all the smelly shit life throws your way. You love yourself so much that even the stankiness of reality can’t shake your own beautiful groove. Hot.
P.S. I’m not sure if you can see it clearly, but the cover quote is by a man named Armistead Maupin. If you’re at all a bookworm and enjoy LGBTQ fiction, go read his stuff. I find it poignant and highly fitting that he was the one chosen to do the quote, considering that he didn’t even feel safe to come out until he was thirty, and now he’s rich and famous and totally living the IGB mantra like a pro.