This post is both my announcement that I'll be joining the challenge to read books by and about gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered people (and how convenient that I failed so miserably in 2009--I can recycle my old reading list! Though I'm hoping to add enough to reach 12 books) and my answer to the January mini-challenge question.
The Question: Why is this particular challenge important to you?
Answer #1: Why must this be the challenge that dare not speak its name?
Yes, I just answered a question with a question. But, truly, I can't think of a better way to put it. I don't understand the shame in naming the challenge and I want to do my part to put it out there that sexual orientation shouldn't have to be a hush-hush secret. So I'm here to shout out the name of the challenge.
The gay! And lesbian! And bisexual! And transgendered! And others who don't fit themselves into any of those categories! challenge.
Answer #2: Because of teens like Robby, whose post about why this challenge is important to him just about broke my heart. For kids who are in the process of figuring themselves out and/or coming out, books with positive gay characters (and the occasional ornery one) are crucial. In some cases, life-or-death crucial.
Answer #3: Because of my many friends who have found love with people who are the same gender as they are.
Answer #4: And because of my friends who haven't.
Answer #5: Because I'm raising two delightful boys and I want them to know I don't give a rat's hiney whether they or their friends are gay or straight, as long as they'll keep bringing their friends to dinner. Having these books strewn around the house along with all the other books I read sends a message to them about who we are as a family. We're fairly mainstream in a lot of ways, but we're standing on the side of love, and we're not embarrassed to say so.