"Did somebody call you a name? Don't cry! We all been called names. I'm called a Sissy; Miss D is called a Drag Queen and he's called old Rough Trade" said the innocent-eyed little sissy. He was addressing the crying girl who was dressed as a boy. She was crying because she wasn't butch enough and didn't have a penis. No matter! The motley crew of three welcomed her with open arms as they all sought the favor of the head DJ at the Raging Queen in West Hollywood! Surely, if the DJ could help little Sammy get back to Compton, present the drag queen with a set of perky tits, and provide the aging rent boy with botox, he could give the dyke a dick.
Sissy Sammy in the land of WeHo 90069 - An Adult Fairytale by Dale Guy Madison is a hilarious, heartwarming send-up of L. Frank Baum's uber-classic The Wizard of Oz. However, this one is not quite for smaller children, and you will not hear Judy Garland singing about being over the rainbow, nor Stephanie Mills wailing about home. Nope! In WeHo, they proudly dance to Diana Ross remixes of I'm Coming Out!
Unfortunately, too many of our children are forced to bypass fairytales and other childhood pleasures when they have to deal with real life issues like homophobia, gay bashings, bullying and suicide. Sissy Sammy is Madison's second book after his Diana Ross & The Supremes inspired autobiography, Dreamboy: My Life As A QVC Host & Other Greatest Hits, and after two years, he feels this story is RIGHT ON TIME! Indeed, Sissy Sammy was released right on the heels of the Bishop Eddie Long scandal, and in the same week as the recent rash of well publicized suicides of gay teens and young adults.
"I started Sissy Sammy over two years ago while working on the editing for Dreamboy. It kept getting fleshed out to include issues young gay kids deal with. When I released it, I had no idea there would be that many kids to commit suicide. I had no idea the word BULLY would be used that many times in one week" says the author. Madison has previously stated that he felt as if change was on the horizon for LGBT people, and especially out of the horror of the Bishop Long Scandal, the institution of the black church just MIGHT start to deal with homosexuality differently and understand its role in the construction, constriction and negative results of the closet. "The Bishop Long Scandal just brought attention to young gay men. It (helped) open the door to dialogue" he told me.
The stats read a little sumthin' like this: LGBT youth are taunted, harassed, bullied, beat-up (and murdered) at alarming rates more than their heterosexual peers. They are often thrown out and thrown away by family members with one in four becoming homeless after coming out to parents. LGBT kids have a suicide rate of two to six times more than their heterosexual counterparts, and it's not because of the "demon" or "spirit" of homosexuality that fundamentalist family members often accuse them of being "possessed" by. Kids have a built-in-system to want to please a parent and be socially accepted by their peers. When they're different and can't hide that difference, or when they're bold enough to come out, they experience the highest percentage (24.8%) of being called derogatory, and soul-killing names just because of their sexuality over the course of a school day. They are three times more likely as other kids (22% vs. 7%) to report not feeling safe in a school environment. LGBT (and questioning) kids suppress their natural same-sex behaviors to the point of triggering negative emotional responses that include depression and anxiety. It can lead to substance abuse, eating disorders, violence, early sexual activity, and of course, thoughts of suicide. Day after day of excessive bullying & few support systems, and suicide seems like the easy way out!
IT GETS BETTER! Most of us survive to create supportive projects and programs, make videos to tell the story, write books, blogs, or make contributions in other ways. Dale Guy Madison has done all of this to get the message out to the youngin's that they have EVERYTHING INTERNALLY RIGHT NOW TO SURVIVE IF THEY CAN JUST HOLD OUT AND GET TO THE END OF THE RAINBOW......or to WeHo, and to SELF! "The one thing I will add is when I wrote Sissy Sammy [I wanted] to get talking started. I know thirty and forty year old men who are still in the closet. I wanted to write a book that addresses gay generational issues, gay history as well as possibly save a life. I know schools won't embrace it because of the sexual references. But I am hoping somebody will buy it and place it in the hands of the kids who really need to hear it. The recommended age for the book is 13, but it depends on the parent and how they feel their child deals with adult issues" says Madison. True enough! That's an honest assessment! But SUICIDE IS AN ADULT ISSUE AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED BY CHILDREN WHEN THE RAINBOW ISN'T ENOUGH!
They already know about gender identity and confusion, school bullies, church bullies, sometimes teacher bullies, drugs, sex, abuse, lack of love, lack of support, and having a desire to end it all. Sticks, stones, muscle-bound midget cops in leather chaps, rent boys being kicked to the curb, dance clubs where the walls are made of crystal meth, gay role models like Audre Lorde and James Baldwin, and head DJ's that look suspiciously like the author AIN'T GONNA HURT THEM!
Sissy Sammy got to the end of the rainbow, got over the rainbow, made a very special friend in the end, and now, SOMEWHERE IN COMPTON A RAINBOW FLAG FLIES! And in the process, a few lives were saved!