KALAMAZOO -- Activities planned at Western Michigan University in celebration of National Coming Out Day will feature a talk by the author of "Heather Has Two Mommies," which is believed to be the first children's book to portray lesbian families in a positive way.
Newman wrote the award-winning short story "A Letter to Harvey Milk," which was made into a film and adapted for the stage. She has produced more than 40 books, including several works for children as well as adult books that deal with lesbian identity and Jewish identity themes.
NCOD is annually celebrated on Oct. 11 as a time when people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered are encouraged to take the next step in their individual coming out processes, in hopes that greater visibility will lead to greater equality. The date commemorates the first national gay and lesbian equality march, which took place in Washington, D.C., in 1987.
A retired kosher butcher bonds with his young lesbian writing teacher in a chamber musical by Ellen M. Schwartz, Laura I. Kramer, Jerry James and Cheryl Stern. Evan Pappas directs the show's Off Broadway debut, which follows a well-received run at the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival.
LIKE MANY gays and lesbians of my generation, I had the good fortune to come out at around the time that the magnificent documentary The Times of Harvey Milk was released. The 1984 feature won an Oscar as Best Documentary for its frank and brilliant recounting of the life and untimely death of the martyr to gay liberation. Also like many of my generation, I was frustrated by the continued lack of widespread knowledge of who Milk was, and what his legacy meant. That changed with Gus Van Sant's Milk (2008), in which the Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn would take home a second Oscar for his vivid portrayal of the slain politician.
Claiming to be Europe's first music and arts festival aimed at the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Milk takes place tomorrow in the sumptuous surrounds of Ballinlough Castle, Co Westmeath. 041b061a72