Well, my Spring Has Sprung writing contest was a success, and I still have a lot of stuff I need to give away, so I've come up with another writing contest.
In honor of the We Give A Damn campaign for GLBT equality, I'm putting a call out for 1-paragraph writing entries relating in some way to GLBT (that's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered) equality). You do not need to be GLBT to write an entry, because chances are, you know (and love) at least one GLBT person, or has at least had someone from the GLBT community make an impact on your life. Write a 1-paragraph entry around this theme, and submit it as a blog comment no later than April 10. I'll be giving away more free books (and maybe some other goodies) as prizes. Make sure you include your name (a pen name is fine) and an email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.
Below is a paragraph of my own that you can use as an example (though you're by no means limited to something like this.)
"I'm straight, but I have always been a big supporter of GLBT rights and community, even before it was popular. One time about fifteen years ago, right after college, I was running the Chicago's Proud to Run 5K race, which is sponsored in part by the Howard Brown Health Center, a Chicago-based nonprofit that provides low-cost healthcare to the GLBT community. (This race is traditionally held in Chicago on the day before the annual Gay Pride Parade.) One part of participating in the Proud to Run race is taking sponsorship dollars to support local AIDS charities. I posted a little thing about it on the bulletin board at work and was surprised when someone I had never spoken to before came and gave me a large donation. She then proceeded to flirt with me a bit. That's when I figured out she batted for the other team. (She was not too discreetly hitting on me, and though I was flattered, I politely turned her down.) But privately I admired her a lot for her guts, since we were both working for a very buttoned-down, very Republican, very anti-gay investment bank. Nobody at work knew about her lifestyle and I kept quiet about it until I left the company. She still works there to this day and as far as I know, is still closeted, because she could lose her job if she came out. The fact she has to hide who she is to stay employed is wrong, and it's one reason I continue to speak out as a straight person who supports GLBT rights."