On tears and rejecting harmful belief systems

Parents who try to change their child’s sexual orientation increase suicide risk significantly / LGBTQ Nation

My own fault, really. I shouldn’t have been reading Braden’s Story by Mason Dodd. As an aspiring author of LGBTQ YA fiction, I read a lot. Knowing my genre is part of the job. This one knocked me for a loop.


Superintendent blames the rainbow

LGBTQ Pride flag pictured with avocado, from pxfuel.

Two teens walk into a high-school classroom during period change. While the teacher yells at them, they rip a Pride flag off a wall then sprint through a crowded hall. They outrun the teacher and disappear. Soon after, several students film themselves crowding into a school toilet cubicle as they…


A Prism & Pen writing prompt

2015 High Heel Race Dupont Circle Washington DC. Photo by Ted Eytan. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Decades ago, my late partner Lenny and I used to thread around broken beer bottles and discarded syringes in NYC’s Tompkins Square Park to watch a scruffy nobody called Ru Paul do drag. …


Prism & Pen Weekly — October 17, 2021

by James Finn

This week in Prism & Pen, we feature some little-known pre-Stonewall gay history involving a fight with American Nazis, we look at Tucker Carlson’s anti-feminist Pete Buttigieg rant, we mourn some queer ghosts, and we amplify transgender voices decrying toxic tropes. …


What’s with the breastfeeding crack?

Chasten (L) and Pete Buttigieg introduce their new infants Sept 4 on Instagram

Did you hear how Fox News commentator/provocateur Tucker Carlson ripped on openly gay Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for taking paternity leave to help care for his twin infants? …


‘War on Trans’ elevates ideology over LGBTQ lives

Ted Eytan’s photo of the 2017 ProtectTransKids protest in Washington, DC. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Houston Chronicle broke a story yesterday that the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has quietly deleted their Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation web page that offered help to LGBTQ youth suffering from physical/sexual abuse, homelessness, and mental health problems. …


An object lesson in the fallacy of ‘neutral’

Image licensed from Adobe Stock

When I wrote the other day to comment on news stories about Danny Lillis being bullied for being gay in his suburban Kansas high school, I wrote about his friend Melani who got her nose broken defending him. I wrote about school administrators who effectively enable bullying by enforcing policy…


Prism & Pen Weekly — October 10, 2021

by James Finn

Tomorrow, October 11, is National Coming Out Day. Prism and Pen writers are exploring the topic with powerful personal stories and one powerful tale of cautionary history. Remember when coming out was THE big conflict in LGBTQ books, films and TV? Actor/filmmaker James Patrick Nelson laments that…


Time to get serious about protecting LGBTQ kids

Danny Lillis talking to reporters outside his school while attending a protest. Screenshot of WDAF-TV Fox4 coverage.

According to the LA Blade, a group of bullies physically attacked her while she was verbally defending her openly gay friend Danny Lillis. Danny himself ended up with bruises, cuts, and scratches. If you want all the details, click the link. My story is not a news report. It’s an…


I bet you don’t know who he is

Peter Staley at the Sundance Filmmaker Lodge in 2012. Photo adapted from an original by PunkToad on Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

I get that a lot, and I have since I started marching with Act Up and Queer Nation on the streets of New York City. When we chanted, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it!” we intended to sound outraged. When we shouted, “Stopped killing us!” …

James Finn

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot. jamesfinnwrites@gmail.com

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