Exciting October events!

QUEER YA with Second Story & Queer Voices — Oct. 8 @ 2 p.m.

Second Story Reading Series, in collaboration with Queer Voices Reading Series, will host a QUEER YA event on Sunday, October 8th at 2pm at The Loft Literary Center. The event will feature readings by local LGBTQ authors, a panel discussion, and book sales by Addendum Books. Author Molly Beth Griffin (Silhouette of a Sparrow) will read from Either/Or, a young adult novel in progress, as part of a 2017 Minnesota Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.

Readers will include Rachel Gold (Nico & Tucker), dc edwards (Bright City), Brian Farrey (With Or Without You), Laura Bradley Rede (Kissing Midnight), Junauda Petrus (“Sweetness of Wild”), and David LaRochelle (Absolutely Positively Not). Ally authors Steve Brezenoff (Brooklyn Burning), Juliann Rich (Gravity), and Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Beautiful Music for Ugly Children) will then join the readers for a panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Vee Signorelli of GayYA.org. A reception and book signing will follow the program.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/681836998671631

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Nico & Tucker Launch Day!

I really wanted to post a video of me reading chapters 1 & 2 for launch day, but I woke up with some kind of funky virus. I am just not going to look as happy on video as I’d like. So bear with me and I’ll update later this week with the live reading.

In the mean time, have you read the awesome interview on Huffington Post? If you have, I’d love to know your thoughts about other ways to describe/communicate nonbinary genders, especially to people who are well inside the binary.READ MORE

Macalester Lavender Graduation 2017 Speech

Yesterday I had the privilege of being invited to speak at Macalester College’s 2017 Lavender Graduation ceremony. Yes, my alma mater is so cool that they have a graduation just for the LGBTQIA+ students — and there are so many graduating queer and trans students that they had to curl all the way around the stage. There were more students standing up in that graduation ceremony than there were in the entire queer and trans student group when I was at Mac.

It was an emotional and beautiful ceremony with a lot of great speakers. But I don’t have the text of what they said, so here’s what I said to the LGBTQIA+ graduating class of 2017:READ MORE

Help me pick an author photo

With the launch of Nico & Tucker happening mid-May, I decided it was time for a haircut and author photos that more accurately represent me. You can see my current photo on the home page of this site or the about page. It’s a really good photo! And it rocks my super-Jewish hair. But it also makes me look very “woman.” I still plan to use that one any time I need to infiltrate a bastion of conservativeness.

But now I get to rock a new photo! I enlisted the very expert help of Anna Min from Min Enterprises Photography. Her event photography has included a lot of high profile local queer and trans events, so I figured we’d easily be on the same page about the  photo I was looking for. We had a fun time trying different locations in her building. From that set of photos there are three that would work well as author photos.READ MORE

2017 Year of Love

[Pictured above Amirah Sackett (left) and Rachel Gold at the Caravan of Love march in Minneapolis, Feb. 11, 2017.]

I’ve had some restless nights since the current regime was elected. Woke up panicky, wondering if they’d come for me. But I realized it wasn’t me they’d come for this time. Queer, white Jews in American—not the top of the hate list at the moment. We’re more in the middle. I started making lists of my friends, ranking them by the most vulnerable, so I’d know who to keep tabs on.

That was November. Now I’m making lists of who to pay attention to so I know when to show up and be part of the beautiful coalitions that are forming. I’m making lists of where I can make the biggest difference. I’m getting really excited for the next two-to-four years. It’s not going to be easy or comfortable, but we have one of the best opportunities in recent history to build immense coalitions across the U.S. and change the future for good.READ MORE

Finding the ideal nonbinary pronoun for fiction

I’ve been working on the Just Girls sequel and playing with some science fiction, so I’m obsessing about nonbinary pronouns. In the Just Girls sequel, I’m using the pronoun “yo” for Nico. (Or, rather, Nico’s using that pronoun for yoself, but when I say that my characters talk to me, people give me odd looks.)

But I wanted to try some additional pronouns in case I like something better. “They/them” pronouns in the singular is becoming more and more popular in spoken use, but it’s tougher in fiction. For example in this dialogue:

“Their new jacket looks great! Did they make it themself?
“It’s from their parents. They gave it to them for their birthday.”READ MORE

Non-binary biology

 “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” — Joan Didion

At the Solcana event for Reclaim on Nov. 5, we were talking about how writing helps us understand ourselves. For me, writing My Year Zero helped me articulate feelings about my gender. In the novel, the main character, Lauren, is writing a science fiction story online with friends. Her character in the story turns out not to be human-like person, but rather a self-aware community of microscopic robots (nanites) that can take any form.

That’s how I feel about my gender — and I thought that was unusual, but maybe not so much.READ MORE

Taking care of yourself in tough times — a guide for the neurodiverse

You might not need this post, but I do. It started as a note to myself about what works. Some of it might also work for you. And I’m sure I missed some things. Feel free to add in the comments.

If you’re like me, you’re different from a lot of the people around you:

  • You might have more trouble letting go of obsessive negative thoughts
  • You might get easily triggered into traumatic states
  • You might be prone to spirals of anxiety or depression that are really hard to stop
  • You might feel that you’re the one responsible for fixing the world
  • You might absorb feelings and energy from the people around you, even if it makes you sick

One great thing is that you know this about yourself. Also there are a lot of simple steps you can take to be strong and healthy. Here’s my list:READ MORE

The importance of being out

Last night at the pre-National Coming Out Day event at the Roseville Barnes & Noble, we talked about whether coming out is still important. The consensus: absolutely. We need to see people like us having good lives so we know what’s possible. And since humans have a strong need for belonging, the ability to be around people who share our identities can be profoundly healing and supportive of our growth.

I came out as lesbian when I was 14-16 (it was a process). At the time culturally there was a lot less support than there is today and I spent immense energy fighting for this identity. I was talking to a friend recently about how, if we have multiple identities, one can really come to the front and take all the negativity and all our energy.

That’s been true for me with my lesbian identity. I’m still super out and proud about it, but in honor of the day, here’s what else I’m out about:READ MORE