So I’ve Been Thinking About Gay Rights

Hi everyone! Before I get started. . .

HAPPY BANNED BOOKS WEEK!!!!!!

Yay!
Yay!

Yep. It’s that time of year again. That post is forthcoming (hopefully), but that’s not what I’m focusing on today.

So right now I’m reading a book called The Miseducation of Cameron Post, written by Emily M. Danforth. Cameron, the main character, is a lesbian adolescent living in Montana. Eventually, she’s sent to God’s Promise, a facility dedicated to eradicating “homosexual sin” in the “disciples” it hosts. Cameron participates in one-on-ones with the people in charge, support groups, etc. And, of course, it got me thinking about what gay people have to deal with, gay rights, and stuff like that.

Then, today, I saw pictures on Tumblr of people in Russia who have been protesting the anti-LGBTQ actions that have been taking place there. They’re being violently assaulted, arrested, and all manner of awful, awful things are being done to them. This ticks me off SO MUCH. (Trust me; I’m punching my keyboard pretty hard right now.) It’s just. . .AGH. It needs to stop, as soon as possible.

Many books have been banned for homosexual content, also. One such book is And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. It’s a book about a baby penguin being brought up by two adult penguins in a zoo. . .but both of said adult penguins are male. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Steven Chbosky’s famous book about Charlie, a freshman in high school, has also been banned for homosexual content, among other things.

If you believe homosexuality is a sin because of your religion, that’s okay with me. But if you think that it should be illegal for gay or lesbian couples to get married, I start to really want to have an argument. Forcing your beliefs on others like that just isn’t okay in my opinion. If a gay couple is in love and wants to get married, why the heck not?All Out

Homophobia isn’t just a problem in Russia, it’s a problem across the world. All Out, an organization hoping to stop this, has a website that shows that in 76 countries, being LGBT is illegal. In some, it’s a valid reason for a death penalty.

These people aren’t wrong or “tainted” by how they feel about members of the same sex; they just want the same rights, and to be allowed to marry those they love.

Allout.org has a lot of ways you can help with the fight for gay rights. (But, by the way, Stoli vodka is made in Latvia, not Russia. Don’t hurt the Latvians by boycotting it!) I definitely suggest you go check it out! They’re doing a lot of great things to try to solve the horrible problems some people are facing. This video of theirs sums it up pretty well, and what they’re doing is really awesome:

Anyway, I guess that’s about it for today. If you want to, feel free to email me and I will gladly send you a detailed rant expanding on this. (I’m only sort of kidding.) Hopefully there will be a Banned Books Week post coming soon? I hope? Heh heh.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Literary Quote of the Day: “We are political novelists who do not wish to be political.” –Author David Leviathan, on gay writers

Advertisements

Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy

Hi everyone! I have decided to stop being a lazy do-nothing for the day and post something. Yay for productivity!

The book of the day is Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, written by Elizabeth Kiem. Teenage Marina, the main character, has it pretty good. Her mother is the famous and talented Svetlana Dukovskaya, the Bolshoi Ballet’s most prized dancer. Marina herself is a student at the Bolshoi. Her family’s life in Moscow is comfortable and secure. But let’s be honest here–it’s sure not going to be secure for long.

Marina’s mother is not only a very special dancer, she’s also very special in another way–she has visions of the past. And when one of those visions involves an awful government cover-up, well, things get kind of complicated. Especially when Marina’s mother shows she has no intentions of keeping quiet about it.

After Svetlana suddenly vanishes, Marina and her father find a way to escape to Brooklyn, New York. It’s safer, but it’s definitely not easy. As they both try to adjust to their new lives, while attempting to find a way of saving Svetlana, the two find themselves becoming more and more entangled in the shady business they just wanted to get away from. Preferably alive.

Some of the things I really liked about this book were the little touches. The music Marina listened to, the neighborhood she frequented in New York…those were the bits of the story I really, really enjoyed. Sometimes I cared more about those than the plot itself. The setting, the atmosphere–these special little bits really added something lovely to the story.

The plot was good, if a bit confusing at times, because I didn’t quite understand what Marina was talking about. The characters were well-written and unique, so that was an obvious plus.

The writing was really nice. Marina, who is narrating the story, has a good voice, and I especially like the way she describes things. When she is talking about her dance shoes, she describes them as feeling “hard like rock music, pliant like drum skin.”

But in hindsight, the book was definitely fast-paced. So fast-paced, really, that sometimes I just didn’t really care very much about what was going on. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, but I found that I wasn’t really very invested in what was happening. It was like whoosh, oh, that bit’s over now. Which is unfortunate, because I did like the book, and I did like the characters, and I feel that more could have been done with them, that more could have been added to the book overall. If the world Marina lived in had been expanded upon, I think I would have enjoyed reading about it to a greater extent. Or maybe that’s just me being greedy.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy it. The book was good. Not a huge page-turner, admittedly. But good!

Literary Quote of the Day: “I would like to appear at the party precisely as I see myself in the unlit theater of my windowpane. Silent, graceful, but ultimately not there.” –Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, by Elizabeth Kiem

P.S. I don’t know if I really made this clear in the review itself, but this is definitely a young adult or teen read. There’s violence, serious stuff…just so you know. Everyone have a great weekend!