BOONE, N.C. — Author Lesléa Newman will share her journey writing “Heather’s Mommies Get Married: Homophobia, Censorship and Family Values” on Feb. 21, 7 p.m., at Appalachian State University’s Blue Ridge Ballroom as part of its Diversity Speaker Series.

During her dialogue, she will explain why she wrote the book, what challenges she had getting it published, as well as the controversy it created once it was released. She will also delve into the history of the LGBT marriage movement as it relates to the rights of gay and lesbian families.

Her personal photos will be included in a slide show presentation, including her wedding.

The book was a historic milestone as it was the first children’s literature to feature lesbian families in a positive light. She continued her work writing additional books on lesbian and gay families.

Newman has authored books for adults that explore lesbian and Jewish identity and the intersection and collision between the two. AIDS, eating disorders, butch/femme relationships and sexual abuse round out her topics for research.

She has been the recipient of many literary awards, including having nine of her books being Lambda Literary Award finalists.

For more information, visit

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.