By: Dani Langevin – April, 2015
I ran this column almost five years ago, but feel the need to remind our readers of two local gay authors. Brian Tessier is a 49-year-old attorney and single father of two adopted boys aged 9 and 13. Tessier published a book entitled The Greatest Wish, which is geared toward parents both adoptive and otherwise, as well as, GLBT families.
Tessier says that his book is, “birthed from wishes, created by hope, and written in love. This is a touching story of adoption and wishes coming true. It is sure to move the hearts of many.”
What inspired Tessier to write his book was his wish to become a father and his plight in adopting his two sons. The Greatest Wish is about a father who is fiercely proud of his sexuality and shares his story of adoption of his new son. Has collaborated with artist Donna Estabrooks to create a, “. . . beautifully crafted picture book. The central message, despite being about adoption is to communicate just how special someone in your life is, to have hope and perseverance.” You can purchase his book at www.thegreatestwish.com.
Tessier is very active in working toward helping pre-adoptive parents, their children and their families. Fifty percent of the sales of his book go toward a non-profit organization called We Hear the Children, founded by Tessier. This organization is, “dedicated to funding children’s causes related to education, diversity, tolerance, and the arts. If you are interested in learning more about his organization you can go to www.wearethechildren.org.
The second writer is, well, me. I am a fifty-year-old grade five teacher who is married with one daughter aged 24, and two sons aged 22 and 21. My wife, who I have been with for 17 years and married to for 11, warned me that it would be cheesy to talk about myself as an author and promote my book. I beg to differ.
The title of my book is STICKS AND STONES: Tales of Diversity and Acceptance. It consists of four interwoven fairytales introducing alternatives lifestyles and the struggles to embrace them. Set in the Middle Ages, the tales span twenty-five years starting with King Henry’s kingdom that is sent into a tailspin when he accepts women into his army. Even more controversy is stirred up when he declare that all marriages between two consulting adults are to be condoned. As expected, not all kingdoms agree with these new edicts and will go to war to either fight for or against them. Many men and women will be wounded and even die to protect their beliefs. Complete with giant poisonous serpents, magic potions, and a moving love story Sticks and Stones juxtaposes today’s society and its ongoing battle to define civil liberties and marriage.
As a member of the gay community and a teacher, I am well aware of the struggles that our youth embody both internally and externally when dealing with defining themselves, their sexual identity and orientation. This is coupled with trying to brace themselves for the possible condemnation of family, friends, and society. As a result, I’ve had too many students in the past twenty years who have turned to drugs, alcohol, the streets, and even suicide.
One reason these kids make these choices, especially in earlier years, is because there were no books, magazines or television shows that portrayed who they were or how they were feeling. When there is nothing that represents who you are the message is clear: you are nothing. This is probably why gay teens are three times as likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts. Thankfully, over the past ten to fifteen years, media representation of the LGBT community has increased. I wrote Sticks and Stones to add to this representation.
Sticks and Stones is geared toward the middle reader, but has been read and enjoyed by all ages. If you’d like to find out more about the book or purchase a copy, you can go to www.authorhouse.com.
Last summer I completed a memoir entitled Worn Through the Skin: a Memoir of Losing a Parent While Coming Out. I am currently in the process of searching for an agent to represent me. Hopefully, Brian Tessier and I will continue to write and help those who need a voice.