Charlaine Harris, author of the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series, has been honored for her work as a straight ally at the Straight for Equality Awards, a yearly event sponsored by PFLAG. Harris, who was presented with the first ever Straight for Equality in Literature award, wrote on her blog:

When I began to write the Sookie series, over a decade ago, I made a conscious decision to parallel the struggle of vampires with the struggle of gay people to gain basic rights. I also realized that a lot of people wouldn’t care about the subtext of the books, and that’s okay, too. I’m not trying to preach. I just wanted to make a point in my own way. DaemonBooks

Michael Cunningham Elected Into Arts Academy: The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced 10 new members, including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham (The Hours) and former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove. The new inductees will be honored in a ceremony to be held this May. YahooNews

Dan Savage Adaptation Scores Major Grant: Michael Zam, Andy Monroe and Jack Lechner won a Jonathan Larson Grant for their musical, “The Kid”, based on the book by Dan Savage. The grants are awarded each year to those who demonstrate talent and innovation in theatre. Zam, Monroe, and Lechner seek to accomplish just that:

We want to make musical theatre history. We want to tackle subject matter that no one else has touched; to break ground in formal,
structural, and musical ways; and leave our audiences challenged and entertained. We can’t understand why anyone would work in musical theater with any other goals than these. AmericanTheatreWing

Jodi Picoult’s Son Came Out As She Was Writing New Novel: Jodi Picoult, whose new novel, Sing You Home, recently debuted at No. 1 on USA Today’s best seller list, says she was in the midst of researching and writing the novel when her then 17-year-old son, Kyle, came out to her and her husband. Picoult’s new novel explores the issue of gay rights and the meaning of family by telling the story of a divorced woman who develops romantic feelings for another woman. At a recent promotional event for her book, Picoult said:

I actually started writing about this because it was so upsetting to me personally that gay rights is even an issue in this country. I travel enough to know that it just isn’t an issue anywhere else. And they wonder why Americans are so hung up on it. I have so many gay friends and I’ve known so many gay people over the years. I have gay relatives. USAToday

Joan of Arc Playwright Performs Her Work: Carolyn Gage, a respected lesbian playwright from Maine, has recently performed her one-woman show, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, at the University of Victoria. Cage has authored seven books on lesbian theater and has produced more than 50 plays, musicals and shows. Gage depicts Catholic saint Joan of Arc as a teenaged lesbian runaway. Gage first performed the piece 22 years ago in a storefront women’s theater. TimesColonist

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Paul Monette