We only do this hop once a year and it can be great fun going from blog to blog to read the posts and see what the authors, bloggers, reviewers and presses are offering to their guests. I know it’s the one post a year when I can count on getting some visitors – Hi guys – but really once a year isn’t enough.
For some folk every day is a battle to be accepted for what they are. For some folk winning that battle is an uphill struggle against horrible odds. We should never forget that and we should do all we can to celebrate human kind in all its wonderful diversity.
If you would like to do this you can click on the picture above to be taken to the HAHAT blog and see all the other bloggers who will be commenting this week or you can go and contribute something at the official Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia site. If you use Twitter lets see if we can get #HAHAT trending.
Usually on a Saturday I take the opportunity to gush about a book that I have read recently that has pleased me a lot. Today I’ve decided to go through my book files and mention some of the books featuring trans characters that I particularly enjoyed reading.
Blurb: Life on the dole in a dying town is defined by drinking when you can, smoking to pass the time, and, if you’re gay, going down to the barracks at the old port to get some. Iwan’s got the cigarettes and the booze down pat, but he lacks experience, so he sticks to online porn and watching the lads portside.
Everyone else seems to have learned how to get what they want, yet Iwan can’t get past everything that could go wrong. He knows who he is, regardless of labels. But no matter how often his best friend tells him to just go for it, he doesn’t trust others to see past his mismatched body.
Paying for what he’s afraid to get for free may seem absurd, but it’s better than just watching, and it’s better than porn. It may not change the world he lives in, but with luck, it will change him.
This novella about Iwan, trapped with no job and no prospects blew me away when it first came out. I’ve been looking forward to more work from this very promising author but I understand that he’s working on a PhD and we’ll have to wait. Good luck with the studies, Elyan, and please write more soon.
Senator Marcus Brutus has spent his life serving Rome, but it’s difficult to be a patriot when the Republic, barely recovered from a civil war, is under threat by its own leader. Brutus’s one retreat is his country home, where he steals a few precious days now and then with Cassius, his brother-in-law and fellow soldier—and the one he loves above all others. But the sickness at the heart of Rome is spreading, and even Brutus’s nights with Cassius can’t erase the knowledge that Gaius Julius Caesar is slowly becoming a tyrant.
Cassius fears both Caesar’s intentions and Brutus’s interest in Tiresias, the villa’s newest servant. Tiresias claims to be the orphaned son of a minor noble, but his secrets run deeper, and only Brutus knows them all. Cassius, intent on protecting the Republic and his claim to Brutus, proposes a dangerous conspiracy to assassinate Caesar. After all, if Brutus—loved and respected by all—supports it, it’s not murder, just politics.
Now Brutus must return to Rome and choose: not only between Cassius and Tiresias, but between preserving the fragile status quo of Rome and killing a man who would be Emperor.
I’ve been reading Sam Starbuck’s work for well over ten years and have been delighted by it on many occasions, but this is one of his best. Displaying a quirky knowledge of the history of the time, Sam takes well known events and puts a new spin on them while adding a tender, bitter-sweet love story.
Never forget that just as gay and lesbian people have always been there, hidden away in our pasts, often fearing to be discovered, so have trans people. Some passed almost unremarked, others took centre stage. Look at the life of James Barry, Inspector-General of Hospitals for the British Army, who worked tirelessly to improve the lot of soldiers and their families all over the British empire.
The Invisibles by Zia Jaffrey
In this superb work of investigative reporting, Zia Jaffrey pursues the riddle of India’s most elusive subculture, the cross-dressing and often-castrated figures known as “hijras” whose very name means neither male nor female. Are the hijras lucky or dangerous? Are they a nurturing community of outcasts or a criminal network that kidnaps and mutilates recruits? Do they number in the thousands or in the millions? As she talks with policemen, a unionizer of eunuchs, and with the hijras themselves, Jaffrey unravels veils of rumor and deception to locate the nature of our sexual and social thresholds, and the people who dwell on them. Deeply resonant, uniquely insightful, The Invisibles is an enthralling work.
This one isn’t fiction – sorry but I like non-fiction – and while reading it I got the impression that the author was trying to be a bit sensational, but it’s still a very compelling read and, moreover, shows a completely different way of life and different set of opportunities open to and prejudices faced by people who aren’t happy with the gender assigned to them at birth, while reinforcing the importance of being able to express what one feels to be true about oneself, in whatever culture one inhabits. I found it by turns enlightening and heartbreaking.
Prize? Naturally. Comment below for a $5 Amazon voucher and I will make my usual donation to the Albert Kennedy Trust.