one+love summer reads

The Heat Of Our Brilliance

May 13, 2014

My childhood summers often found me on my stomach, propped up on my elbows and reading endlessly under the fan’s breath of grace. I remember summer reading contests at the library. I remember wide-open acres of reading time after chores and paper routes. That solitude sweetened and peopled by beloved characters. Tucking a book-like-contraband in the waistband of my shorts when my mother sent me out to play with other kids. Ha! I just went outside to read solo in my hideaway, den of a word-thief. If any part of my adulthood can testify to “It Gets Better,” I owe it largely to books.

And the ever-widening raft of LGBTQ books can make things even better. This year’s list of Lambda Literary Award finalists is a good place to find some hot reads. As in previous years, this roster is a deep bench.

I can personally recommend Thomas Glave’s Among the Bloodpeople: Politics and Flesh, a collection of creative nonfiction soaked in myth, Jamaican dreams, longing, fury, uncompromising vision, and men loving men under the sea.

But I have yet to dive into Bushra Rehman’s Corona, Jeanette Winterson’s The Daylight Gate, S. Bear Bergman’s Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter, Barrie Jean Borich’s Body Geographic (My Lesbian Husband was one of those book-buoys for me), Djola Branner’s sash & trim and other plays, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, from T.C. Tolbert and Tim Trace Peterson.

But I will.

I want to immerse myself in the weather of R. Erica Doyle’s proxy, which intones:

If thunder were a vowel,
this is the lip it would occupy.

And I will.

So whether you’re headed the treehouse, the poolside, the beach, or the mountains, I hope you’ll join me in adding some of our literature to the season’s refreshments. Vacation or stay-cation or no-cation, allow a book to whisk you away from the quotidian. Let the heat of LGBTQ brilliance make your brain and heart sweat.

I’ll be over by the fan, reading.