Right now I have two reading projects going on simultaneously.
During the day when I have spare moments I'm studying Lillian
Faderman's The Gay Evolution: The Story of the Struggle--all 635
pages. At night I'm going for shorter volumes for my cat assisted
reading. Much to my delight I found one that aligns my two projects
neatly: Ann Bausum's Stonewall. I had just learned about this
crucial moment in LGBT history from a written for adults standpoint.
I was eager to see how it would be written up for the YA market.
I am pleased to say very nicely.
Teens are taken back to a time when it was against the law to be
gay. Psychologists were still defining homosexuality as a mental
illness. A person could be turned down for or fired from a job for
sexual orientation. People could even be arrested for not wearing
enough "gender appropriate" items of clothing. Coming out was an
extremely risky proposition.
There were very few safe places gay people could meet one
another, dance, relax, and just be themselves. Sometimes these havens
proved to be not so safe when the police officers came calling. On a
hot June night in 1969 police raided a gay bar in New York's Greenwich
Villiage, the Stonewall Inn. They expected it to be a routine bust.
Some people would be busted. The rest would flee. Life as usual
would go on.
They were wrong. Instead of running off, the people who were
released stuck around and fought back, attracting others to the
struggle. That night was to gay history what the battles of Lexington
and Concord were to the American Revolution.
Stonewall gives not only a vivid picture of this pivotal event
in LGBT history, but analysis of the conditions that led up to it and
subsequent progress it helped make possible. This book should be on
the shelves of every high school and public library.
On a personal note, I just delivered a holiday cake, fresh from the
oven, to the Veazie Vet crew. I also arranged for Joey cat to have
his winter check up tomorrow morning. He seems right now to be the
picture of feline fitness. I am hoping there will be a little money
left over from my school committee stipend so I can actually afford to
give each of my kids a Christmas present on Christmas. As for me, the
best Christmas gift possible is sleeping contentedly on my lap. He
could have died in April. But surgery saved him and gave him a new
lease on life! My little friend.
A great big shout out goes out to the vets who save our precious
animal companions in their times of need.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod