The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity

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Pub Date 31 Jan 2015 | Archive Date 31 May 2015

Description

In THE HUMAN AGENDA, LGBTQI advocate Joe Wenke speaks with some of the community's leading change agents. In these wide-ranging and probing conversations, amazing people share their personal and professional stories along with their profound commitment to freedom and equality. GISELE ALICEA, (AKA GISELE XTRAVAGANZA) fashion model: "Transgender people are real people. We have mothers. We have fathers. . . .We have families. We have somewhere that we came from." ASH BECKHAM, speaker and advocate: "It's really hard to not empathize with someone that you have a human connection with." IAN HARVIE, comedian: "It is brave to be yourself." DR. CARYS MASSARELLA, emergency physician: "Being transgender is not biologically hazardous." CARMEN CARRERA, performer and fashion model: "We are one human race. Some women have penises. Some men have vaginas. What's the big deal?" ELEGANCE BRATTON, filmmaker: "There is such a massive gap in understanding between what has been sold as the gay life and what has been the experience of gay people of color." ANDRE ST. CLAIR, actor: "You can refer to me as male or female. As long as you're not doing it disrespectfully, I'll respond." Y-LOVE, hip hop artist: "You can only have unity through diversity. Otherwise, it's just homogeneity." ANDREW SOLOMON, author: "I think there is a tyranny of the norm. . . . But actually what science indicates is that diversity is what strengthens a society or a culture or a species." Also featuring Kristin Russo, Aidan Key, Hida Viloria, Hina Wong-Kalu, Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong, Kevin Fisher-Paulson, Dr. John Allen and the Rainbow Support Group, Rabbi Amy Bernstein, Dr. Mark Maxwell and Timothy Young.

In THE HUMAN AGENDA, LGBTQI advocate Joe Wenke speaks with some of the community's leading change agents. In these wide-ranging and probing conversations, amazing people share their personal and...


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Average rating from 33 members


Featured Reviews

A wonderful collection of interviews and stories of everyday people. Absolutely engaging and enlightening. This book opens one's eyes to the fact that we are all, all of us, gay, straight, bi, trans, simply human. Wonderful read.

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I appreciated the honest conversations in this book. It is unfortunate that the world we live in has people who are intolerant of others. This book opened my eyes about the struggles LGBT people face. While we might have differences in sexuality and identity, we all share the need of wanting to be loved and accepted.

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A wonderful book of interviews that sheds light on this current and evolving societal conversation. Highly recommended.

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Joe Wenke's expose, The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, is a must read for anyone seeking insight into the real lives of real members of the LGBTQIA community. Through personal interviews with activists, comedians, film makers, ex-military and more... gay, lesbian, transgendered or inter-sexed, every member of our community gains a voice and an opportunity to not only tell their story, but show to the world. being authentic to yourself is the true agenda for being human.

Most memorable for me, the story of a young, gay, black male who upon coming out to his mother, was cast away from the safety of home, to the dark and gritty, real streets of a large city. Through necessity, he learns quickly his youth and good looks afford him sanctuary for the night. Thrilled and excited at first... accepted by the community, he becomes adept at negotiating opportunities to survive and fills his void with the excitement of every variety of gay experience he desires. Alas at age 29, the stark reality that beauty fades and nothing truly lasts forever forces him to look deep within as comes face-to-face with his future, a young man now surrounded by tired and lonely old men in a homeless shelter. Calling home to mother, who even after a decade of not seeing her son, rebukes him again for still being gay. Suggesting he join the military to "make a man out of him", he does, and finds strength to withstand the combines of military life, to become a skilled photographer and videographer. And now is plying his new skills, personal experience as "a pier party kids", to create a real life documentary-style movie of his past.

Every facet of the human agenda is roundly represented in this book, Wenke reveals the lows, highs and everything in between of the journey(s) each person has traveled to become who they are today, where they are and how these people are giving back to their peers. The raw emotions of some interviewees is almost palpable. and one can virtually sense what it was like to "walk in someone else's shoes". These are journeys to self-discovery that are pressured by a world that wants desperately to make you "normal". His style is clean, simple and through each person's own words, we witness that the human agenda is not about conforming; knowing who we are and accepting our differences, is truly the rightful agenda for humanity.

"The Human Agenda" is a concrete and substantive approach to the new out and proud world. As a respected author and activist for change in his own right, Joe Wenke gently guides participants to speak about their own personal, professional and public struggles and successes, in a fresh, pseudo radio-talk-show-host style that should resonate well with most readers. The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, should be proudly placed upon the bookshelves of every high school library. This collection has the potential to inform our LGBQIA youth of their unique place in our collective real world. By documenting "our history" - real people who not only survived but thrived, The Human Agenda is proof to us all, we can be ourselves in spite of the internal and external pressures of modern day heterosexual conventions.

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