Lonnie Lusardo, The Advocate’s Northwest correspondent during the mid-1980s, has released The Anatomy of Organized Hate: Stories of Former White Supremacists and America’s Struggle to Understand the Hate Movement, a monumental achievement that could change how we combat hate in America. Lusardo has created a careful inventory of the common types of hate crimes as well as the often myopic and misinformed motivations behind them. The personal stories are compelling, but Lusardo indicts the broader culture, a change in journalistic standards, and political leaders who do more to stoke American extremism than to stop it.
Gay author and filmmaker Arthur Dong had two amazing ’90s LGBTQ documentaries, Coming Out Under Fire (about gay WWII vets) and Licensed to Kill (interviewing killers who murdered someone gay). His latest project delves into the treatment and portrayal of Chinese people in American film. The book, Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films, takes an honest and intimate look at the Chinese influence in Hollywood, from the controversial casting of white actors in Asian roles (“yellow face”) to 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, the first film with an all-Asian cast in over a quarter century.
My good friend Kathy Belge’s (and her writing partner Marke Bieschke’s) Queer is a delightful LGBTQ primer full of trustworthy information that tweens and teens need. This second edition combines basics (coming out, dating, and finding friends) with stuff authors are often forced to leave out of YA books (sex, STIs, and how to tell if your relationship is abusive). The end result is a fun, easy to read, and occasionally hilarious guide that should be available to every high schooler.
I worked with Yetta Howard when she was a copy editor, decades ago. Now she’s an associate professor and co-director of the LGBTQ Research Consortium at San Diego State University and author of Ugly Differences: Queer Female Sexuality in the Underground. She contends that the term “ugly” lies at the core of queer female sexuality in culture — in poetry, comics, film, and all forms of performance art. In a world that often categorizes ugliness as anything nonwhite and nonheteronormative, Howard interrogates what “ugly” actually is and offers help breaking free of society’s brainwashing messages about ourselves.
Ryan Sallans’s new memoir, Transforming Manhood: A Trans Man’s Quest to Build Bridges and Knock Down Walls, explores what it means to be a Gen X transgender man and an activist who has been out for over a decade, including in his home state of Nebraska, but now worries that his voice is no longer relevant to trans and nonbinary youth. Anyone over 40 will get the feels.