Locked in a Basement for Being Gay

A weekly post about what Lost-n-Found, a Homeless LGBT Youth organization in Atlanta, deals with on a daily basis. Names are removed to protect the youth. 

lgbt youth nonprofitFrom the Hotline for Homeless LGBT Youth:

2:37 PM: The Hotline gets a phone call from a gay youth who states that his mother has locked him in a basement because he’s gay. She left him his phone and a pop-tart.

Further investigation reveals that this 17-year-old has already been to the police. His situation at home was so bad that he ran away. (He is an African American youth and his family is Muslim and will not tolerate his sexuality.) [Read more…]

Hop Against Homophobia

Hop against HomophobiaInternational Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Welcome, today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and to celebrate hundreds of authors, publishers, and individuals have an extraordinary blog hop going on. There are prizes, information, and many personal stories about what homophobia is and what it does. All of this is a concerted effort to bring awareness to the plague of homophobia and hopefully, to one day bring it to an end. You will find links at the bottom of this post to direct you to other posts from blogs around the world. Enjoy, and help us spread the word. Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an e-book copy of my JUST released new gay romance novel, Cold.

The Hidden Aspect of Homophobia – A Personal Experience

I remember a young man I was dating from a conservative Christian family who lived in a small town in Alabama. Both his mother and sister knew he was gay. They loved him dearly but… [Read more…]

48-hour Street Vigil for Atlanta’s homeless LGBT Youth

Living as homeless

lgbt youth nonprofit

November 6-8

Starting November 6,  Executive Director of Lost-N-Found , Rick Westbrook, will be living on the roof of a truck parked in Midtown Atlanta  with no more than the clothes on his back, his ID and his cell phone—no wallet, no money—for 48 hours. Please join the Lost-n-Found Facebook page for more information and live updates once he’s there.

ALL proceeds go directly to getting LGBT kids off the street.

The truck will also take donations of coats, underwear/socks, canned food, etc., and Rick will post updates to Facebook.


November 7
– Immediately following the annual meeting, we ask the community to join us at the truck around 9:00 pm for a candlelight vigil to show continued support of homeless LGBT youth.Location: Brushstrokes (Parking Lot), 1510 Piedmont Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30324

Find them on Facebook, Twitter and at the website

If you can’t make it in person, please consider a donation.

The absence of hope – Homeless LGBT Youth

As many of you know I help raise awareness and funds for two LGBT charities. 10% of the proceeds from the sales of my books go to them.  Lost n Found, one of the charities, posted a video about what they find during outreach to homeless LGBT Youth.

This is how 500,000 homeless gay kids live on the street every single day. You can help by donating to either of the groups below, or by finding a local lgbt charity in your area that does the same type of outreach.

 

lgbt youth nonprofit

Lost n Found

 

 

 

 

 

 

lgbt nonprofitGLBTAYS

Vote for LGBT Youth – They need your help!

lgbt nonprofitGLBTAYS is one of the organizations that I help raise funds and awareness for. We need your vote to help them secure a grant from Chase Bank. This is one of the  only organizations in the Northern Alabama area serving LGBT youth and is right smack in the middle of hostile central as far as anything LGBT goes.

All it takes is one click to change the lives of many LGBT Youth. Vote by Sept 19th.

Cast your vote for GLBTAYS and one other charity using your Facebook profile.

See the video message from founder James L Robinson below.

Interview with Indie filmmakers Cati and Mike Gonzalez

Filmmakers Cati and Mike GonzalezToday I’m talking with internationally known Indie filmmakers and photographers Cati and Mike Gonzalez, and you know me, if it’s raw and gritty any media can hook me pretty quick. This team of filmmakers had me hooked in about ten seconds. Not only are they well known in NYC and around the world, but it’s pretty rare that I come across someone that has a project that so closely matches my own concerns with LGBTQ youth.

Let me tell you about their film first. Prince & Ekaj hits on so many levels it’s not even funny. This is not some lame Glee view of what it means to be LGBTQ but a hardcore look at what it is to be growing up Latino, gay, and homeless in the hard city. (You can see the trailer below and a longer clip on their website.) [Read more…]

Author Interview with J. Warren

J. Warren, AuthorI’m talking with J. Warren today, author of Stealing Ganymede which was a 2009 Indie Book Award Finalist. Like my own books, Ganymede is a harsh fictional look at a disturbing subject matter and one I would recommend for your reading list.

B: I love authors that push buttons, and obviously with Ganymede you are one of those authors.  Can you give me a little background as to what brought you to write about child prostitution?

J: Through blogging, prior to Facebook, I met a young man who had been horribly abused his whole life. There was a child prostitution (and worse) ring active the area where he lived, so it didn’t take long for them to get their hands on him. He was able to survive and make it to adulthood and eventual safety, and in the course of our talks, he revealed a lot to me about the world I thought I knew. I was outraged at what I learned, so I started to do some research. The more I learned, the more I knew something had to be done. [Read more…]

Gay IS a choice because I experimented- Your thoughts?

I came across this little gem (below)  in the comments section on a site about youth suicide. I won’t provide a link here simply because it didn’t offer any links for suicide prevention or counseling, and for me, it seemed to have a  feeling of promoting suicide more than preventing it. That said, the ‘logic’ of the post below caught me off guard and the assumption it made even more so. See what you  think:

 

“I have to admit, I do think the gay culture is NOT normal. I think it is a sin. But I also have dipped my toe into that pool. That is why I believe it IS a choice. We may have tendencies to go that way. But it IS a choice. But, I did not mean to get all preachy. So with that being said…” (and it continues with an offer of support and friendship. Emphasis mine.)

 

So the erroneous (and obnoxious) assumption here is that because a straight man once tested the waters of his potentially gay inner self, that must mean being gay is a choice for all men and women. Thus sexual experimentation becomes defacto the definition for the inner turmoil and mind set of what it means to be gay for every other human on the planet.  The arrogance of that kind of thought process bothers me more than it probably should.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I didn’t suddenly wake up one day and decide I needed someone’s penis to make me happy. It was never about what they had between their legs. It was an attraction to the whole person, to the male physique, to the musculature and beauty of men. It wasn’t that I didn’t find women beautiful, it was that I wasn’t attracted to women on a level that went deeply beneath the skin and the sex.

Logic has never been a part of homophobia, so let me give some advice to all you straight boys who fear your secret might come out. Don’t worry, sexual  experimentation doesn’t make you gay, it’s just a part of life. But your fear of ridicule and exposure over a natural part of growing up  doesn’t make gay a ‘choice’  either.

Maybe one day we will evolve as a society enough to simply say, Yeah, tried that, wasn’t for me and move on. 

 

Here’s Your Wake Up Call about LGBT Youth Programs

Here is a reprint of the email one of the organizations I work with just received. Sometimes I really wonder if my reader’s understand what we’re actually battling against in LGBT Youth organizations. Sometimes I wonder if they really believe that the atrocities in my books are just a warped imagination and not a reflection of the devastation still being wrought on our community. And many times I wonder if we will ever wake up, put down our latte’s and actually do something beside give lip service to these tragedies. [Read more…]

Helping LGBT Youth – February 2012

This kind of post is important to me because it lets my readers know 1) What’s going on with the money you spend when you buy The Value Of Rain (half the proceeds are donated to the two LGBT Youth nonprofits below); and 2) It also shows you how  just a little time and money can have a massive impact.  People tend to have this ingrained idea that their small contributions, or that the one hour they can volunteer a week, doesn’t really matter in the big schemes of things. It DOES matter! It matters to the kids that have no one else to turn to. Never forget that.  Here’s just a few examples:

lgbt youth nonprofitSaint Lost and Found

Since the conception of Lost N Found, they have helped over THREE DOZEN kids in the past three months. Here’s an report from Rick Westbrook a.k.a. Sister Rapture Divine Cox in their latest Facebook post:

The kids have come to us in all shapes, sizes, and colors. These youths are each special and incredible in their own way. They come to us not broken, but certainly with some damage such as walls built up, trust issues, and still in survival mode. Some have been abused, starved, neglected, or otherwise just thrown to the curb. [Read more…]