Title: The Heart's Invisible Furies
Author: John Boyne
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Keywords: fiction, gay, irish
Reading period: 30 October, 2018
Before I begin to describe The Heart's Invisible Furies
with abundant spoilers, let me say two things.
Despite what I describe below, the book is very funny,
as Cyril recounts his frequent fuckups.
You would never know,
from reading the back cover or the excerpted reviews inside,
that Cyril is gay.
Yet Cyril's sexuality is the central theme of the book.
I can only assume that this is a marketing decision,
with which I strongly disagree.
16-year-old Catherine is forced out of her Cork village by the parish …continue.
AIDS decimated the gay community in the 1980s and early 1990s
before effective treatments were developed,
and AIDS and HIV continue to affect the LGBT community disproportionately.
I personally have walked in the Seattle AIDS Walk every year since 1992.
Please sponsor me at https://give.lifelong.org/georgevreilly
I am also the captain of the Freely Speaking Toastmasters team
and we'd love to have you join us.
Any money you donate or raise will support people in King County
who are living with HIV or AIDS.
It will help feed them, pay for medicine, and prevent further infections.
I've walked for 25 years to honor the living and the dead.
I've known people who …continue.
I wrote this last night on Facebook:
Even 25 years after coming out as bisexual,
I still censor myself and still check myself about coming out yet again.
Even though Seattle is about as safe as it gets
and most people here are queer-friendly, it's reflexive.
And even in Seattle, queer bashings happen.
We came very close to an even bigger tragedy in a gay nightclub in Seattle
on New Year's Eve 2013,
when an arsonist lit a fire in Neighbours while 750 people were present.
The fire was promptly detected and put out,
no-one was injured, and the perpetrator is in prison.
I became aware of my sexuality in a …continue.
I spent the last 90 minutes reading Facebook,
and my feed has been absolutely overwhelmed with Orlando-related posts,
be they grieving, discussing homophobia, calling for gun control,
or reacting to reactions.
I've never seen such a skewed set of posts.
Some of it is surely Facebook catering to what it knows are my interests,
but it seems like the vast majority of my friends
and the pages that I follow can talk of nothing else.
Even Trump/Clinton/Sanders articles, except as they pertain to this,
have temporarily disappeared.
So far, I have seen nothing useful from Republican politicians
regarding gun control or homophobia.
I woke up this morning to news of another American massacre:
a lone gunman had murdered 50 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando,
and injured another 53 people.
It was the worst mass shooting in US history and also the worst hate crime.
I put it out of my head for the afternoon while I attended an old friend's wedding,
but it's been at the forefront of my mind ever since.
Only in America could we put up with massacre after massacre,
yet not find the political will to do anything meaningful about gun violence.
Craven politicians in thrall to the NRA mouth platitudes,
but will not …continue.
There was supposed to be a second showing of The Queen of Ireland documentary
this morning at the SIFF Uptown,
preceded by a panel discussion on Marriage Equality.
We attended the discussion,
which was moderated by Phil Grant, the Consul General of Ireland.
The three panelists were
Rory O'Neill, aka Panti Bliss, out of drag,
the accidental activist who became the face of marriage equality in Ireland;
Mayor Ed Murray, an Irish-American and Washington state's best-known gay politician;
and Gary Gates, an LGBT demographer, married to an Irishman,
who advised the Irish campaigners.
I have a strong interest in marriage equality,
going back more than 20 years—I was wearing a HERMP shirt …continue.
In an interview with MSNBC Friday,
2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said
that Ronald and Nancy Reagan helped start a national conversation about HIV/AIDS.
This is not exactly a bald-faced lie,
but it is a gross misunderstanding of history
and a misrepresentation of the true governmental neglect
during the AIDS epidemic that killed millions worldwide.
—Mathew Rodriguez, mic.com
As I wrote on Facebook earlier today:
I'm really surprised by this.
I expected Hillary Clinton to know better.
It's one thing not to speak ill of the dead at their funeral.
It's quite another to make such a profoundly wrong assertion.
The Reagan White House's negligence and homophobia
was directly responsible for the growth …continue.
I woke up this morning to the news that
Ireland's referendum on Marriage Equality
looked set to pass with a strong majority.
Tears began running down my face as I read the reports
of constituency after constituency voted "Yes".
I'm crying again as I write this.
When I was growing up as a bisexual teenager in Dublin
in the late 1970s and early '80s—out to no-one but myself—it was hard to imagine a day like this.
Hardly anyone then had the fortitude to live openly as gay,
if they could pass for straight.
Queers and pansies and poofs were objects of derision and occasional violence.
It wasn't until after I emigrated
This year is the 24th anniversary of the Seattle AIDS Walk.
A whole generation has passed since the Northwest AIDS Walk began.
AIDS used to be the unstoppable disease that killed much of
a generation of gay men.
AIDS is still a serious problem, but the development of antiretroviral
drugs in the Nineties means that people with HIV
are living longer, healthier lives than before.
More than 1.5 million Americans are now living with HIV/AIDS:
9,000 of them in King County.
40,000 people are infected every year,
and most new infections are among African-Americans.
The U.S. is getting off relatively lightly:
about one-quarter of the adults in southern Africa have HIV!
The Lifelong …continue.
I'm fairly confident that Referendum 71 will be approved.
It was leading by 51% this morning and by 51.8% this evening,
and leading 2:1 in King County, the most populous, most liberal county in Washington state.
Ballots merely have to be postmarked by Election Day to be valid,
and hundreds of thousands of them have not yet been received by the vote counters.
I attended the Election Night party last night
and helped the tech team with some behind-the-scenes arrangements.
In the photo, Joe Mirabella (lead blogger) and Josh Cohen (tech lead)
are being thanked by Anne Levinson (campaign chair) and Josh Friedes (campaign manager).
The mood was cautiously optimistic …continue.