Ye Gay Old Valley
By: Dani Langiven, Lesbian Columnist – August, 2010
I thought I’d step away from my political ranting and introduce you to two members of the valley’s gay community who are also writers. Brian Tessier is a 44-year-old attorney and single father of two adopted boys, aged 4 and 8. Tessier recently published a book entitled The Greatest Wish, which is geared toward parents, both adoptive and otherwise and 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 with his new son. He 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 persevere.” You can purchase his book at www.thegreatestwish.com.
Tessier is very active in working towards helping pre-adoptive parents, their children and their families. 50% 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.wehearthechildren.org.
The second writer is, well, me, D. B. Langevin. I am a 46-year-old 8th grade social studies teacher who is married with one daughter aged 19 and two sons aged 18 and 16. My wife, who I’ve been with for 12 years and married to for 6, warned me that it would be cheesy to introduce and ‘interview’ myself as a writer. So, call me cheesy.
The title of my book is Sticks and Stones. It consists of four interwoven fairytales introducing alternative lifestyles and the struggles to embrace them. Set in the middle ages, King Henry’s manor is sent in a tailspin when he accepts females as knights into his court. Even more controversy is stirred up when he declares that all marriages between consenting adults will be condoned. As to be 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 or even die to protect their beliefs. Eventually, the kingdoms will see that acceptance and tolerance is key to a peaceful society.
As a member of the gay community, I am well aware of the struggles both internally and externally when introduced to a changing society. As a teacher, I see students every year wrestling with their identity while trying to stave off the condemnation of their peers. There was nothing, no books, magazines, TV. Shows movies or any media of any kind that affirmed who I was and what I was feeling when I was young. When there is nothing to represent who you are, the message is clear: you are nothing. This is probably the reason why gay teens are three times more likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts. I wrote these stories to give them a voice and let them know that they count and that they are valued.
Sticks and Stones is a book geared toward the middle reader but it 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 find it at www.authorhouse.com.
Hopefully, Brian Tessier and I will help others to see that love and acceptance are so very important in an ever changing society and it is critical to let those people in your lives whom you care so deeply about know that they are loved and valued.