Readers and Writers Band Together to Save Lives in Chechnya

GAY AND BI MEN ARE BEING TORTURED and MURDERED in Chechnya. Here’s how you can help.

In case you haven’t heard, numerous reports have been pouring out of Russia and Chechnya that GAY and BI MEN IN CHECHNYA ARE BEING TORTURED, MURDERED AND ROUNDED UP IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS.

Here are some ways to help save lives:

Chechnya

There is a really awesome ONLINE AUCTION with FABULOUS ITEMS, including tons of LGBT Books and swag, plus SUPERB WRITER’S SERVICES like professional editing services and graphic design of your to-be-published book cover.

THIS AUCTION ENDS TOMORROW, Saturday, May 13, CDT, so check it out ASAP!

The Auction is organized by Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens and they have organized many other ways to offer financial assistance. They also have a great list of ways to donate DIRECTLY to on-the-ground organizations. Click HERE for their page, more information on the Chechnya situation and ways to donate. According to their website, over $7000. has already been donated.

One of the Organizations the fundraising is supporting is the Russian LGBT Network.

According to Huff Po, the Russian LGBT Network states that they have been able to save 42 men!

Definitely check out their WONDERFUL ONLINE AUCTION featuring great items for book lovers and writers. The minimum bids are very reasonable and there are unique items. Again, the auction ends tomorrow! CHARITY AUCTION

One item I love, is an offer by Rachel Davidson Leigh, an award-winning YA author to provide an aspiring novelist a developmental beta read of your novel (novel under 90K). (I loved Leigh’s YA novel, Hold). In her offer to beta read your book, Leigh offers: Extensive margin notes and end notes and can include feedback on characterization, plot structure, tension, flow, or representation. Minimum bid is $30 however to me, the opportunity sounds priceless! Too bad I don’t have any novels ready.

There are MANY other great items as well, especially autographed books and book collections.

The Readers and Writers group have organized other ways to you can help and information on this horrible situation. Click HERE for their page and ways to donate.

MORE INFORMATION

Many of the articles refer to Gay Men being targeted, but I think it is safe to say that to the Chechen government, “Gay” includes Gay, Bi, and other not completely straight men.

For more information, please see Amnesty International‘s Press Release and Download their PDF for more detailed information. Amnesty International includes addresses to write government officials to affect change.

Huff Po: 42 Men Rescued was posted last night.

VICE News reported this morning about their interview with a man who was detained and tortured.

New York Times Report: ‘They Starve You. They Shock You’: Inside the Anti-Gay Pogrom in Chechnya” Here

Journalist who broke story on Chechnya forced to flee. Washington Post

UN Chief Calls for end of Campaign against Gay and Bi Men

My Frozen Heart (Jen’s “Ex-Gay” Romance, Part 1)

This is Part 1 of a story I wrote about a young woman named Jen. At one time in her life, she realized that she might be gay or bisexual. She fled to a Christian community that promised her that if she believed in Jesus then God could make her “normal.” They assured her that she really could Pray the Gay Away. And she did. It seemed to work. For a while.

But eventually, as many other victims of the Religious Right, the Anti-Gay and Ex-Gay movements can attest, the Ex-Gay/Anti-Gay/Homophobic thing falls apart and hopefully, hopefully some of the movements’ victims find the knowledge, strength and support to rebuild their lives.

This is the first story I have EVER posted online or shared with another person. I hope you like it. Part One is not very steamy. Part 2 gets a little juicier. Part 3 gets very hot and juicy. But first things first,  Jen has a lot of shit to sort through.

In case you are wondering, this story is not autobiographical, although my fictional character, Jen, and I have shared some similar experiences. Which ones? I’ll never tell.

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Content Warning: This story (in various parts or chapters) will contain same sex romance, kissing and hot, explicit sex between 2 females. Jen’s story is critical of evangelical religion and deals with faith, religion and LGBTQ identity. If you have a problem with same-sex relationships and explicit sex, LGBTQ relationships or any of the aforementioned topics please stop reading now find a different blog to read. You will not be happy here. Thanks!

Part 1 of Jen’s Story, below, is Rated PG and doesn’t contain explicit sex. (Sorry, you will have to wait until part 2 or 3 for more sexy details.)

However, due to the other chapters of this story please be 18 years and older in order to read this story.

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Image via FreeImages.com/Stockers9

My Frozen Heart: Jen’s Story, Part 1.

“This is about Us, isn’t it,” Sarah says, her eyes piercing me.

I take a step back, trying to recover my personal space, like a buffer zone of safety, my mind reeling.

“No.” “Absolutely not!” I spit out quickly, walking backwards and stepping behind the podium installed in the front of the room. I shakily try to pull out my ever placid “minister’s” face, the front that I have worn for the past 3 years that fits like an eye-pleasing but life-constricting Victorian gown.

“It’s not like that,” I mumble glumly, looking down at the empty surface of the podium, as if I can find speech notes there to save me.

Silence overtakes the room. I stare at my hands.

Sarah has always been the quiet and gentle one. She never pokes or prods but I know that this time she is not going to let me out of this room until she has the answers she needs. The answers we both know she deserves.

I feel breath in my ear. With one hand she touches my shoulder and with the other I feel her small, strong fingers intertwining with mine. Tenderly and gently, she turns me away from the podium and into the circle of her arms.

I refuse to look at her, inspecting my scuffed black work boots.

She pulls me close, so her lips are almost touching the side of my face. The warmth from her sweet, heart shaped face radiates onto the side of my face and the curve of my neck. I feel her warm moist breath tickling my ear.

I pretend my body is encased in ice. I command my body to feel nothing. “Please don’t do this to me,” I think silently.

Her small mouth speaks clearly, calmly, forcing my heart to listen to her. “Jen.”  “I am going to ask you something, Jen. Please, please be completely honest with me.”

“Of course.” I creak out. “I’ve never lied to you.” I resist the urge to turn and whisper this into her hair.

Still gripping my shoulder, the strength of her deceptively tiny frame restrains me in her embrace. With her other hand, she grasps my chin firmly, and pulls my face toward hers, giving me no choice but to look directly into her eyes.

“You’ve been a full time campus minister for the last three years . . .”

I nod, gulp and break eye contact, knowing and hating where her line of questioning is going. My heart race speeds up and I resist the urge to move away or flee. She deserves to ask these questions. I owe her that.

“In the past, you shared your testimony about how God changed you from being gay or bisexual . . . I remember how you used to share your story when you preached on campus. . .” She continues in her softest voice, “I haven’t heard you tell that story for at least a year.” “I need you to tell me how you feel about me. About us.”

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