Cyber Monday: Survival Stories Make a Great Gift

I know it’s Cyber Monday, and you’re probably wanting to shop for happy gifts. Let me tell you about some books that are secretly happy even though they deal with things like rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. (Let that also serve as your content warning. There will be talk of that later.)

The Gravity Imprint of Booktrope Publishing specializes in trauma survival and recovery. I’ve read some masterful books they’ve published, and I still have a stack waiting on me. I highly recommend giving these books as gifts (especially while the Kindle editions are on sale for $2.99). I’m re-publishing some reviews to help inspire you, but you don’t have to limit yourself to these books. Gravity has a whole lot more.

Let me reiterate this one thing: Please don’t tell me these books sound like downers. You know what’s a downer? Being victimized and having people tell you they don’t want to hear your depressing story. You know what’s uplifting? Giving love to trauma survivors and sharing stories of trauma survival with the ones you love. Continue reading

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For Real I Love Lesbians

I love lesbians. For real. And no, it’s not some voyeuristic sexual thing. Lesbians have become my favorite kind of friend.

I am not so macho. The ghosts of Fernando Lamas and Ricardo Montalban are way more macho than me. Lesbians like this about me. They’re not trying to emasculate me, though. They’re cool with my stereoptypically manly knowledge about mechanical things and stuff like that. We talk about guy stuff like poop. I even heard an extensive monologue about dicks from a previously-man-hating lesbian. Fun and laughter is had by all without censorship. Continue reading

And Here I Go

Today is my mom’s birthday. She was the best person I’ve ever known. If she knew you, she loved you. She did so without reservation or any regard to what she got in return. Indeed, her love was often given in spite of what she received.

Today I’m starting a variation on her life’s mission. To truly love people, I need to know them. And what would be the point of getting to know only more people like me?

I want to focus on different people. I want to hear their stories and thoughts and feelings. I want the world to know me better by sharing mine. Maybe we can build a better world or even just a better community. If I can even just build a better me, I will have been successful.

One thing this will not be is a display of white male guilt. I am racist, sexist, many other types of ist. My mission is to listen, learn, and share. Plugging my ears with shame and blinding my eyes with guilt will not help. Besides, I’m not trying to convince myself I’m a better person. I actually want to become one.

And here I go, seeking knowledge.