04 November 2004

a reading list i made for my YA class...please pass on to any teens you know who are in the closet or are just coming out...

It’s Okay to Be Gay!
A Reading List

  1. Two Teenagers in Twenty: Writings by Gay and Lesbian Youth edited by Ann Heron (YA Nonfiction—305.9H) Forty-three teens from all over the country talk about how being gay has affected their lives. Each teen’s experiences differ, and each reader will find themselves identifying with different essays. Gay and lesbian teens will realize that they are not alone.
  2. The National Youth Advocacy Coalition http://www.nyacyouth.org/index.html The National Youth Advocacy Coalition’s website provides lots of information for those questioning their sexuality. It provides lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and queer youth with links to different websites, hotlines, support groups, health centers, legal resources, school resources, as well as a place where teens can get involved in the policies and laws that affect LGBTQ people.
  3. Young Gay America http://www.younggayamerica.com/index.shtml This interactive and colorful website is for LGBTQ teens—teens can post articles, find honest information about sex, ask for advice and read others’ questions and answers, and check out other links, personals, forums and interviews with LGBTQ youth.
  4. GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel (YA Nonfiction—306.76H) GLBTQ is an excellent book written for teens who are unsure of their sexuality, wanting to come out, or wanting to learn more about GLBTQ lifestyle. The casual and hip language makes this book interesting and informative, and it’s designed for browsing, so you don’t need to read the whole thing—just pick whatever section interests you. There are also tons of resources in the back—names of other books, websites, hotlines, support groups, etc.
  5. Am I Blue?: Coming Out from the Silence by Marion Dane Bauer (YA Fiction—Bauer) Am I Blue is the first fiction anthology for Young Adults on gay and lesbian teens coming out. Francesca Lia Block, Nancy Garden, Lois Lowry, C.S. Alder, and other gay and non-gay authors have written realistic stories about teens who realize that they are gay.
  6. Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden (YA Fiction—Garden) Annie on My Mind is a novel dealing with many of the problems that two lesbian teens encounter, but also deals with their romance. Annie and Liza come from two different backgrounds but become close and inseparable friends, and eventually discover their romantic feelings towards each other. Trouble follows when their love is discovered.
  7. Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez (YA Fiction—Sanchez) From coming out to falling in love to worries about HIV to homophobia, this book will speak to teens about many of the issues impacting them and the people in their lives. If you like Rainbow Boys, you can follow Nelson, Kyle, and Jason into the sequel, Rainbow High.
  8. Beautiful Thing (DVD and VHS—“Beautiful Thing”) This coming out movie focuses on two high school boys, Jamie and Ste. Jamie faces bullies and homophobia in school, and Ste escapes from his abusive and unhappy house into Jamie’s arms, while both slowly coming to terms with their sexuality. A romance, without being gushy.
  9. Lesbian Favorites: Women Like Us—Various Artists (YA CD—Various Artists) Whether you like pop, rock, folk, or any of the other kinds of music on here—from k.d. lang to Ani DiFranco to Dar Williams to Jill Sobule, this variety album is full of lesbian-friendly songs. If anything, this will give listeners a taste of different musicians to check out.
  10. Talking in the Dark: A Poetry Memoir by Billy Merrell (YA Nonfiction—811M) This book of poems about Billy Merrell’s life deals with his parents’ divorce, a friend dying of AIDS, and his own acceptance of his homosexuality. For the reader interested in poetry, as well as those is interested in other people’s experiences—this is for you.

Note: LGBTQ stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer, and GLBTQ stands for Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered Queer.

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