The G&LR's November Newsletter
Dear G&LR Reader,

November is National Memoir Writing Month. Who knew? So I thought we might dedicate this month's newsletter to "the memoir" by going back to some relevant articles from the past.

We've actually devoted two issues (Spring 1999 and March-April 2016) to the memoir as a genre that has been especially important to LGBT literature over the years. The theme of the most recent issue — “The Art of Memoir” (cover to right) includes a piece in which Felice Picano discusses the spate of memoirs published around that time.
Take a look at the various memoirs and reviews of memoirs that follows. While you do, consider what you might write about in your own memoir. The G&LR has a newish feature called "Here's My Story" that allows our readers to share their experiences with other readers. Some recent essays that we've published include a powerful essay about dealing with social isolation, dating, and dogs, the story of one man's discharge from the Navy for being gay and the friend who stood by him, and a lovely essay about a funeral, a loving example of one's gay identity.
Finally, we're thrilled to introduce our new web editor S.E. Fleenor, who assumed the role the beginning of the month; They bring an extensive array of editorial and writing experience, their work having been published in The Independent, Buzzfeed Reader, Vice,, and SYFY WIRE, among others. For more info about the column, and to submit your story, check it our here. We're sure that S.E. will be excited to read and edit your story!

Stephen Hemrick
Book Reviews

Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me
by Janet Mock

"As this second memoir opens, Mock is a late teenager
who has fully transitioned to female, and she has just been hired
illegally at a Waikiki strip club."

Once a Girl, Always a Boy: A Family Memoir of a Transgender Journey
by Jo Ivester

AUTHOR Jo Ivester, the mother of a transgender son, Jeremy (originally Emily), has written an intimate account of her child’s life. 

by Rachel Mesch

"Despite the proliferation of trans celebrities and characters in diverse media, it can still be a turbulent, even perilous, process for a person with atypical gender feelings to develop their gender identity and sexuality."

FAIREST:  A Memoir by Meredith Talusan

"Talusan is a former staff writer for BuzzFeed and a current contributing editor for Condé Nast’s on-line queer magazine them. In Fairest, she describes in unflinching terms her experiences as a member of multiple minorities that don’t always intersect." Read Here
A Sinner in Mecca: A Gay Muslim’s Hajj of Defiance
by Parvez Sharma

IN THIS POWERFUL MEMOIR, filmmaker Parvez Sharma describes the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey he embarked on while going on the Hajj, or pilgrimage, to Mecca. The risks were great indeed, for as an openly gay Muslim and director of A Jihad for Love, Sharma faced serious consequences if he were recognized. ... Continue Reading
Rainbow Warrior: 
My Life in Color
by Gilbert Baker

Best known today as the man who invented the rainbow flag, Baker grew up in Kansas and was given the tools he needed to be creative with both paper and fabric. ... Continue Reading
In the Dream House: A Memoir
by Carmen Maria Machado

Machado builds her dream house incident by incident until it becomes a virtual haunted house inhabited by words that tell you that all hell is about to break loose. Machado slaps her sentences down on the page in jagged snippets and fragments, showing how her shocking denial of the growing reality before her led to paralysis. “Dream House as the World,” which describes how the abuser isolates, confines, and gaslights the abused, is one of the most chilling chapters in this book. Continue Reading

No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age 
Black and Free in America
by Darnell L. Moore

Darnell Moore’s memoir of growing up as a low-income African-American in a society managed by affluent whites is exquisitely conveyed by the charcoal lettering on its white cover. ... Continue Reading
My Butch Career: A Memoir
by Esther Newton

MY BUTCH CAREER begins with Esther Newton’s birth in 1940 to an upper-middle-class dysfunctional family on the brink of World War II. Attracted to girls and women from an early age, she struggled to suppress her “unnatural” urges. In 1957, she told a psychiatrist that she might be homosexual. The doctor wisely replied, “What’s so bad about that?” ... Continue Reading
Logical Family: A Memoir
by Armistead Maupin

Logical Family, is [Maupin’s] first book of nonfiction, yet he brings to it the unique storytelling gifts that have animated his fiction, and he more than delivers on the “tap dancing” that will win his readers’ attention and engagement. ... Continue Reading
‘Comfort with’ versus ‘Acceptance of’ LGBT People By Laura Moreno

A 2019 GLAAD study found that people 18 to 34 years old are less comfortable than other groups in personal situations involving people of different gender orientations. But here’s why jumping to the conclusion that this indicates eroding LGBT acceptance is a misrepresentation of the data.