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First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far) [Paperback]

Richard Labonté , Lawrence Schimel

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2007

Winner, Lambda Literary Award, LGBT Anthologies

Winner, Independent Publisher Award (GOLD), Gay/Lesbian

In this amazing, wide-ranging anthology of non-fiction essays, contributors write intimate and honest first-person accounts of queer (gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans) experience: from coming out to "passing" as straight, to the devastation of meth addiction, to growing old to living proud. These are the stories of contemporary queer life―and by definition, are funny, sad, hopeful, and truthful. Representing a diversity of genders, ages, races, and orientations, and edited by two acclaimed writers and anthologists (who between them have written or edited almost 100 books), First Person Queer depicts the diversity, the complexity, and the excitement of contemporary GLBTQ life.

Contributors include S. Bear Bergman (Butch is a Noun), Kate Bornstein (Gender Outlaw), Sharon Bridgforth (The Bull-Jean Stories), Ivan E. Coyote (Bow Grip), Katherine V. Forrest (Curious Wine), Daniel Gawthrop (The Rice Queen Diaries), George K. Ilsley (ManBug), Nalo Hopkinson (The New Moon's Arms), Josh Kilmer-Purcell (I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir), Tim Miller (Body Blows, Shirts and Skin), Achy Obejas (Memory Mambo), Stan Persky (Buddy's), Simon Sheppard (Kinkorama).

(Arsenal Pulp Press)

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Review

The collection winningly celebrates differences rooted in a variety of ways to the mutable boundaries of sexuality and gender.... Whether read in a couple of sittings or savored essay by essay, this is an eye-opening vista on diversity.
Kirkus Review

This wonderful collection of 40 essays manages to hit the jackpot each time. Editors Richard Labonte and Lawrence Schimel leaned on some excellent writers well represented in GLBT literature (Kate Bornstein, Tim Miller, Katherine V. Forrest, D. Travers Scott, Achy Obejas), but they've introduced new names (at least to the casual writer) as well, and all are terrifically engaging.
―Michael Bronski, The Guide

This collection is refreshing because of the diversity of experiences represented.... First Person Queer is humorous at times, painful at others, and extremely honest all the while. Though there is no singular, exclusionary 'queer experience,' these essays all complement each other to show the qualitative experiences as a member of a marginalized group.
Feminist Review

It's remarkable that every voice in this anthology is personable.... The eloquence of spirit in each essay draws readers into understanding different points of view.
Outwords (Winnipeg, MB)

These short pieces show enormous range of difference.... First Person Queer is not a book to be read through, rather it is one to be dipped into and relished for what it echoes with the individual reader and what provides them with moments of insight.
one80 (UK)

Richard Labonte and Lawrence Schimel have gathered a remarkable number of personal narratives that document the incredible diversity of experiences, backgrounds, personal histories and yes, sexual orientations and gender identities, that all resonate with the word queer. The stories create a strong a vibrant community where multiple experiences can cohabit and flourish.... Recommended for both public and academic libraries.
GLBT Roundtable Newsletter (American Library Association)

About the Author

Richard Labonté is the co-editor of four Arsenal anthologies, all with Lawrence Schimel: The Future is Queer (2006), the Lambda Award-winning First Person Queer (2007), its sequel Second Person Queer (2009), and I Like It Like That (2009). He has been the editor of the book series Best Gay Erotica (Cleis) since 1997. He writes a syndicated gay book review column, "Book Marks," for Q Syndicate, and also the gay men's edition of "Books to Watch Out For." He moved to Bowen Island, BC Canada in 2007.



Lawrence Schimel is an award-winning author and anthologist who has published over 70 books in many genres, including four anthologies for Arsenal Pulp Press, all co-edited with Richard Labonte: The Future is Queer (2006), the Lambda Award-winning First Person Queer (2007), its sequel Second Person Queer (2009), and I Like It Like That (2009). His other books include Lambda winner PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions about Gender and Sexuality (with Carol Queen), The Drag Queen of Elfland, The Mammoth Book of Gay Erotica, and Things Invisible to See: Lesbian and Gay Tales of Magic Realism. Formerly of New York, he has lived in Madrid, Spain since 1999.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empowering and Entertaining Dec 12 2008
By M. Chaney - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There are many editted anthologies of queer affirming nonfiction essays out there but for me, this one was different. Because the essays in this book were more personal and less "academic", it was a quick and enjoyable read with important messages. The editors did an excellent job of including essays representing the lesbian, gay male, bisexual, transgender/gender queer and ally communities. Additionally, many of the essays explored and discussed the intersection of sexual orientation and gender identity with other identities such as class, ability, gender, spirituality etc. The real-life stories in this book were sometimes hilarious, sad, offensive, empowering, maddening, thought-provoking, and inspiring. I believe you will not regret reading this book.

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