france

American Apparel Supports Gay Marriage: Lena Dunham Does the Same; This Literary Agent is Full

In a follow up to a post I did yesterday about gay marriage in France, here’s something interesting that American Apparel is doing in support. And the other links are things I found interesting,..though not totally related to gay marriage…I’m posting about because tomorrow’s going to be one of those busy deadline days and I’m not sure I’ll have time to post anything.

American Apparel T-Shirt Giveaway

American Apparel plans to give away 10,000 “Legalize Gay” t-shirts in its stores and on the streets of Paris in support of France’s marriage equality bill.

For those who haven’t heard of them, here’s a facebook fan page. You can follow them there to find out more.

From The Seattle Lesbian on gay marriage in France:

Despite support from French President Francois Hollande, progress towards the full legalization of gay marriage has faced tough opposition from religious and political groups. Recently, conservative organizations have sponsored petitions against gay marriage and proposed various exemptions in an effort to undermine potential bills. Though polls currently show that a majority supports the passing of gay marriage laws, these numbers have declined in light of strenuous campaigning from opposing groups.

Lena Dunham Won’t Marry Until Gays Can

I’ve posted about Lena Dunham before with regard to her TV show, “Girls.” It’s kind of what I’d call a smart, real version of “Sex in the City,” without the frustrating gay stereotypes. They do it well with “Girls,” at least so far. (In all fairness to SitC, they did their best at the time, too) I personally love the show and DVR when I can’t see it. One of the reasons I like it so much is that it’s promoting the concept of New Adult, a fiction genre I’ve been loving and hope to get into very soon. And now Dunham states she won’t marry anyone until gays can legally marry.

A note to all of Lena Dunham’s current and future suitors: Don’t propose until same-sex marriage is legal everywhere in the U.S.

Despite wearing a diamond on her ring finger at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday, the “Girls” creator confirmed that she is not engaged to her boyfriend, Fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff.

According to the Daily Mail, Dunham said backstage, “I don’t want to get married until all gay people can get married.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if everyone who supported gay marriage did this? Why the wedding industry alone would turn sideways and you’d see more people carrying “Let Those Gays Marry NOW” protest signs in front of the White House in numbers that would outreach anything we could have imagined. And what if single straight guys decided to protest marriage altogether until gay marriage became legal? Can you picture all those single straight women out there carrying their signs? I can dream.

Literary Agent careful about who she “takes on”

I’ve been following Kristin Nelson’s blog for a long time. Not as often lately as I used to for lack of time. But it’s really one of the few remaining lit agent blogs out there that offers viable advice to new writers looking to get pubbed. One of the things I’ve always liked about it is that it’s straight forward and no nonsense. In other words, it’s not a sideshow and she’s not one of those trying-too-hard-to-be-funny bloggers. You get what you expect, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

She recently posted an interesting list of things she’s turned down. I thought this one was important:

Author soon to be published by one of the Big 6 publishers and looking for new rep. Thought the writing was lovely but this particular story didn’t engage me. I have a fairly full client list so I’m very conscious about who I would take on. I’d have to be in the place of “I’ll die if I don’t rep this.”

It’s interesting in the sense that I’ve been hearing this for twenty years from lit agents. It’s even more interesting that this potential client will be pubbed by one of the big six soon, and still Nelson turned him/her down. It comes down to one factor. If the book doesn’t resonate with the agent there’s nothing you can do about it.

And this doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. In order for an agent to take on a client the agent must love the work or it’s not going to be a good experience for anyone. I’m posting this because I see so many misconceptions about what literary agents actually do lately. I might even write a future post about agents and what they do because it seems there’s so much confusion. All I’d really have to do is provide a long list of links to a lot of the older blogs I used to read because most of them are still up and the information is still there.

However, this one statement by Nelson rings loudly and clearly. Now that writers have more choices, they need to explore all these choices instead of just querying agents and hoping for the best. If E.L. James had queried Nelson she most likely would have been rejected with a form letter. Nelson talked about her strong feelings for “Fifty Shades of Grey” in previous blog posts very candidly. And that’s when it comes down to subjectivity…and luck.

But the good news is there’s never been a better time for new writers, at least not that I can recall.


France to Legalize Gay Marriage; Church of England "Shocked"

International news for January 2013.

The following information about France, gay marriage, and the Church of England came from reports I read at Baltimore Gay Life.

In France, this has been happening:

A proposed bill from France’s socialist government due to pass in mid-2013 would legalize gay marriage and adoption, but not assisted procreation. Deutsche Welle reports that supporters of the bill waved rainbow flags and held up signs saying “liberty, equality, dignity” and “hate is not a family value.”

I get more than a few e-mails from French readers over the course of any given month and I’ve always been curious about what’s happening over there with regard to same sex marriage. While this article isn’t as detailed, you can read more here if you are so inclined. Of course there was also a protest against this at the Eiffel Tower, too. It’s an interesting article, and of course religion comes into play once again.

The opposition to President Francois Hollande’s plan has underscored divisions among the secular-but-Catholic French, especially more traditional rural areas versus urban enclaves. But while polls show the majority of French still support legalizing gay marriage, that backing gets more lukewarm when children come into play.

I found this statement interesting.

“This law is going to lead to a change of civilization that we don’t want,” said Philippe Javaloyes, a literature teacher who bused in with 300 people from Franche Comte in the far east. “We have nothing against different ways of living, but we think that a child must grow up with a mother and a father.”

I honestly don’t know what it’s like in France. But I can tell you that here in the US civilization has already changed, like it or not, and it has nothing to do with gay people adopting kids or gay marriage. Most of the straight friends I have are married and divorced more than once by the time they are in their forties, most have shared custody, and their kids have more mothers and fathers and grandparents than I can even count. They make it work and everyone seems content. So the concept of mom and dad raising two kids isn’t as realistic anymore as it used to be, at least not here. And as far as I can tell gay people had nothing to do with that. I also find it interesting that a literature teacher made this comment.

Now this is what’s been happening in England:

Religious protections in the United Kingdom’s marriage equality bill have been met with harsh criticism from LGBT rights organizations and Church leaders alike.

A “quadruple lock” crafted by Culture Secretary Maria Miller creates “watertight” protections for religious organizations that don’t want to conduct same-sex marriages, but will allow them to “opt in” if they chose to do so. However, Miller has also banned the Church of England and Church in Wales from performing same-sex marriages.

Dr. Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales told the Scotsman that the ban was “total shock,” stating that the church should be allowed to “opt-in” or “opt-out” of the law, much like other religious institutions.

I don’t think I mind the opt-in/opt-out clause, or whatever it’s called, but I’m not thrilled about the entire ban with respect to the Church of England and Wales. Although I have no say, and I’m not connected to any of this in a literal sense because I’m not a citizen there, I get even more e-mails from readers in the UK and I know they are voracious about reading LGBT books. One of my favorite blog followers and someone who comments sporadically here is from England and we’ve e-mailed back and forth a few times on a friendly basis. My favorite copy editor at LYD lives in the UK, too. But most of all I know a lot of LGBT people there who can’t be happy about this.

In any event, at least we’re all in the same boat, so to speak. Please check out the link to Baltimore Gay Life above to read more international news. I’m going to be linking to this web site on my side bar from now on.

Photo courtesy of local friend/photographer, Ryan Morro.