What a great year 2016 has been for books. It’s been especially good when it comes to books by and about queer people. That’s why these outstanding titles in poetry, fiction, non-fiction and even picture books should make holiday shopping a breeze.
President Barack Obama has just designated the area around the Stonewall Inn in New York City as the nation’s first national monument to LGBTQ rights. As you know, The Stonewall Uprising is largely regarded as the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ movement for civil rights. And our Pride celebrations grew out of that movement.
Plato once said that “Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” Symphony Number One, Baltimore’s newest chamber orchestra, has created quite the stir in Charm City’s musical scene. By performing new and substantial works by emerging composers alongside powerful classics from the past, Symphony Number One has been able to electrify concertgoers from all walks of life.
It's been a few years since we left both the literary and filmic wizarding world of Harry Potter, but author J.K. Rowling just couldn't stay away, penning new stories including the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child now playing in London. She's also written the script for the new film Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, setting the story decades before our precious Harry is even born.
There is an entire generation of queer and straight people that grew up watching actress Charlotte Rae on television. First as Molly the Mail Lady on “Sesame Street” and later as Mrs. Edna Garrett, the beloved housemother on the popular 80s primetime sitcom “The Facts of Life.” But there is so much more to Rae, including the many years she spent as a stage actress and singer, as well as all the TV commercials she did in the early days of her career. Rae’s aptly-titled memoir The Facts of My Life (Bearmanor Media, 2016) tells you everything you could every possibly want to know about her, including what occurred when her husband came out to her as bisexual. I had the pleasure of speaking with Rae, who turned 90 earlier in 2016, about the book.
There’s something so wonderful about holiday standards sung a cappella. Wouldn’t you agree? Pentatonix, featuring gay members Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying, certainly does. A Pentatonix Christmas (RCA) brings the a cappella group’s holiday release tally to three, including the 2012 EP PTXmas and 2015’s full-length That’s Christmas To Me. In addition to two originals, “The Christmas Sing-Along” and “Good To Be Bad,” the quintet adds its distinctive touch to holiday favorites including “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Up on the Housetop,” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Pentatonix also earns points for teaming up with the legendary Manhattan Transfer on “White Christmas” and digging out Nsync’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.” The five-voice group also performs a lovely rendition of Leonard Cohen’s oft-covered “Hallelujah,” although the appropriateness of the song’s inclusion on a disc of Christmas songs is puzzling to say the least.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
ADVERTISE IN BALTIMORE OUTLOUD WITH PRIDE!
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