Another Wonderful Review of Logan Lee’s Small Town Gay

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Logan Lee’s travel-journal-turned-memoir recounts the author’s formative years as a queer Kentuckian. Lee’s authorial voice reads smooth and warm, like an afternoon visit from a good friend. This personal tone serves his twofold goal for the book: offering a “guidebook” for young people on similar journeys of discovery, and to “serve as a resource” for their loved ones who may not understand.

Purchase here: Small Town Gay: Growing Up Different in the South

A chronicle of stories from childhood to present, Small Town Gay revels in the details of life in the fictitious town of Mercer, KY — and the joy of Lee’s work really is in these details. From pranks endured at the hands of big sister Leanne, through grade-school friends and early-adult lovers, Small Town Gay creates an intimate time-warp of memories. We follow Lee’s growth through his own eyes, as the subject acting out these memories and the voice describing them constantly approach convergence.

Throughout the book’s 20-odd-year span, we greet and pass by a battalion of women: family members, teachers, friends, girlfriends, mentors. The male figures of Lee’s memory are his father and fellow queer men. Straight men are largely represented as forbidden fruit (the “eye candy” at an eighth-grade dance) or antagonists (the throng of horny Toms and Brians in the middle school cafeteria, the “popular boys” at the talent show). These gender dynamics — codified by ideas of compulsory heterosexuality — set the stage for several emotional queer breakthroughs toward the novel’s end.

As a fairly young queer — with close to a decade between me and my own coming-out — I’m far enough away to forget some of the emotional agony of living that lie-by-omission, but close enough that Lee’s clammy hands and half-hearted bisexuality feels very close to home. The topic of coming out is the narrative spine of the book. Though each discrete moment has a definite topic of its own, Small Town Gay is full of smaller comings-out that undergird the climactic parental confessions (often considered The coming out). Lee is called a faggot by boys at lunch, a trauma that drives him to cross the gender-segregated middle school cafeteria and sit with his female friends. Lee’s “last girlfriend” Chloe Evans very obviously wanted to kiss during a movie, but he gives very little ground and the moment dies. A nice girl asks Lee to dance; he agrees, but wonders if people “could tell that [he] was gay and faking it.” These small comings-out illustrate the role of sexuality in American culture — taboo, yet intrinsic to so many interactions heterosexuals might take for granted.

All in all, Logan Lee’s Small Town Gay is a touching and enjoyable read. With accessible prose and relentless positivity, Lee’s work is well positioned to illuminate the experience of queer Kentuckians far and wide.

Birthright Books sponsors Jewels book signing event

Jewels’ book signing event was held in Dallas on September 26, 2021. She spoke before a thrilled crowd of readers at The Henry. Attendees enjoyed a fabulous video put together by Media Stream Marketing and a delicious spread of hors d’oeuvres.

Jewels autographed her book for a line of readers. She says, “My goal in sharing my life is to help others distinguish the difference between man-made constructs and the Source that drives everything. Even if society grinds down the spirit, we honor ourselves by pursuing our highest good. That’s on us to do.

The divine force that connects us all is unseen, yet Source can be powerfully experienced by the senses. By shutting down outside disturbances and going inward, you can connect. In mediation, you can listen. Allow yourself to be pulled into something greater instead of pushing to the limit.”

If you don’t already have a copy of Jewels’ award-winning debut novel, The Making of a Woman, pick one up here.

We at Birthright Books were thrilled to sponsor this exciting event!

The Making of a Woman Wins The Firebird Book Awards for LGBTQ Memoir and Autobiography

Congratulations to our author Jewels for winning the Firebird Book Awards for her memoir The Making of a Woman!

With over 600 entrants in this prestigious book award contest and a panel of 17 judges, Speak Up Talk Radio recognizes Jewels as an Award-winning Author recipient in two categories.

The Making of a Woman received the Firebird Book Awards as First Place Winner for LGBTQ Memoir and Second Place Winner for Autobiography.

“I am truly honored to receive such a prestigious award. After enduring the many hardships in my life, it’s wonderful to see that my experiences are continuing to inspire others.” – Jewels

Not only is this award an amazing seal of notoriety for authors, but the Speak Talk Radio organization gives back in a charitable way by donating handmade colorful pillowcases to women and children in homeless shelters via Enchanted Makeovers, a 501(c)3 organization. This rewarding venture helps transform homeless shelters into bright and happy homes.

Are you looking for a new book to read?

The majority of our books are not published and are only available for the family to read. However, Jewels’ memoir, The Making of a Woman, goes live on October 5, 2021!

Jewels signs books for her readers at her recent book-release party

You won’t find another story like this one, where Jewels shares how she overcame poverty, abuse, and addiction as well as what it took for her to become an elite athlete. She’s not just an amazing woman but also an incredible person you can learn from every day of your life.

Birthright Books is excited to have sponsored Jewels’ book release event this past weekend in Dallas, TX. The Making of a Woman will be released on October 5, 2021, and is available for pre-release now.

Click here right now to purchase The Making of a Woman!

And The Winner Is…

Congrats to our client, Logan Lee, for winning the coveted Silver Medal in the LGBT category of the Global Book Awards! In providing such awards, the aim of the GBA is to help readers discover new talent. GBA hopes to give authors the recognition they deserve, whether that is in their writing creativity, or in the way they have marketed their books to attract new readers. 

In his breakout memoir Small Town Gay, Logan Lee shares his experience of reconciling his sexuality at a young age, with no like role models to look to for guidance. With a heart for education, Lee strives to be that example for the next generation, by inviting children, parents, and allies of the LGBTQ+ community to unify in the name of voice, tolerance, unconditional love, and above all things—home.

Lee is a traveling nurse who grew up gay in the small, fictional town of “Mercer” in Kentucky. With a big heart and a penchant for creative storytelling, he shares his early childhood experiences tiptoeing through life in a southern community that didn’t embrace his identity. In his breakout memoir Small Town Gay, Lee invites his readers to experience the beautiful southern culture of central Kentucky, his family’s interesting dynamics, his love for rich food, and his discovery in third grade and beyond that “he likes boys, not girls.” 

All love is good love, according to Lee, and we all deserve to be exactly who we are, even if we don’t fit in with the norm. Having learned to be an advocate for himself, Lee now encourages others in the LGBTQ+ community to do the same. When he’s not writing, Lee is often on the move, working with critical care patients throughout the United States.

Lee is thrilled to have won this prestigious book award for his breakout memoir, which is a huge accomplishment. The award establishes Lee as an author who writes memoirs that are helpful, healing — and entertaining — to others. If you want to read Logan’s work, check out this link.

In sharing this news we want you all to know how proud we are of Logan Lee at Birthright Books. Not only does winning such awards encourage people who love reading but also provides author recognition for the memoir community.  

Thank you for joining us in celebrating our client’s creativity. Stay tuned for more winners coming soon!