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Category: Issues

Remembering Ellen’s Coming Out

Remembering Ellen’s Coming Out

I watched “The Puppy Episode” 20 years later. Here’s what happened. I recently discovered that Ellen, Ellen Degeneres’s sitcom which ran on ABC from 1993 to 1998, is on Hulu! It’s funny as I’ve revisited the show how clearly I remember watching the episodes when they first aired – especially the infamous “Puppy Episode” from April 1997, in which Ellen’s character, Ellen Morgan, came out as a lesbian – just as Ellen Degeneres did herself in real life on the…

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My Family Voted for Trump: Searching for Understanding Amid the Fear

My Family Voted for Trump: Searching for Understanding Amid the Fear

Several members of my family and friends supported Donald Trump in the presidential election. I’ve been trying to understand why, while grappling with the fear of an uncertain future. Fear is a familiar concept to any marginalized group. As a member of the LGBTQ community, I’ve experienced it all throughout my life. And in the wake of this historic presidential election, I’m feeling fear that I never hoped I would have to face again and fear that I’ve never quite faced…

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Loving My Library

Loving My Library

On Friday, I headed downtown during my lunch break to practice that most fundamental of rights: voting. There are plenty of hot-button issues on the table politically right now, and plenty of hotly contested races to fill many a smear campaign ad. While I certainly had my political leanings in tow when I drove to the early-voting site, there’s another issue – on the back of that ballot – for which I was very interested in exercising my right to…

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YA Erotica?

YA Erotica?

I've got a new FREE e-read avaialble. But it comes with a caveat. As a writer of young adult fiction, any sexual situations that have taken place in my books have been in the PG-13 range. That’s partly to maintain age appropriateness and partly because writing straight-up erotica has never been my thing. I’m not one to kiss and tell about my own sexual practices, let alone write entire scenes around those of my characters. But then I was invited…

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Why I Voted YES for the Levy

Why I Voted YES for the Levy

"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life." – Henry Ward Beecher Recently, at the annual used book sale hosted by the Kanawha County Public Library, I was handed a button reading “I Support the Library.” But it wasn’t just a chintzy giveaway. Today I cast a vote to show that support. For you non-locals, there is a special election happening in my county regarding an excess levy that would provide needed funding to the…

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Writers on Diversity

Writers on Diversity

Author David James asked a group of writers – including yours truly – the following question: "Have you ever felt the difficulties/pressures that come from being of a different background, race, other diversity, sexuality, or culture around you, and how do you think those struggles might help you better understand the struggles of others?" You can find our answers here. Thanks, David, for including me in this project.

Library? They still have those?

Library? They still have those?

"When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself." – Isaac Asimov Is everything wonderful dying out? Remember VCRs…land-line telephones…cassette tapes…those Fruitopia drinks? Just today I saw a pay phone for sale in an antique store, for crying out loud! Okay, maybe none of those things were great, but here's one that is: the local library. As I reported recently, the…

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The Faces of Fairness: Progress in Appalachia

The Faces of Fairness: Progress in Appalachia

I live in West Virginia. I live in a state where it is still legal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation, or evict them from a rental property or a hotel room for the same reason. I live in a state where gay marriage is not legal and, let’s face it, probably won’t be for some time. But I also live in a state that, during a visit from those Westboro Baptist Church folks, saw gay people and…

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