Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up
Edited by out novelist Steve Berman, "Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up" is an outstanding collection of thirteen short stories about the trials, triumphs, the journeys, and the struggles of queer teenagers. Its tales tackle a variety of issues, including homophobia, intolerance, burgeoning love, acceptance, and friendship among other themes. Quite simply, "Speaking Out" is a collection that will inspire queer teens and the adults in their lives.
Each author in the collection creates a canvas that is populated with imaginative queer characters and his or her families, friends, adversaries, and loves. Each author then weaves a bold, compelling story involving those characters, stories, and characters that tug at the heart, stir the soul, and sometimes sear the conscience. In all honesty, there isn’t a weak story in the bunch. Yet some of the tales do stand out a bit more than others do. These include:
"Gutter Ball," by Danielle Pignataro, focuses on lesbian high school student Angela and her battle against a grammatically challenged student. It’s a story that tackles the subject of bullying with poignancy and humor.
"The Spark of Change," by Dia Pannes, tells the tale of a young lesbian who has to confront homophobia and intolerance within her own family. The story, "Waiting to Show Her," by Ann Tonsor Zeddies, is a beautiful tale of a Sapphic choir member who strikes up a friendship with the daughter of the choir’s new director.
Finally, there’s Sandra McDonald’s "All Gender U" about transgender Lin, her familial relationships, and her desire to be part of an inclusive, accepting world.
The stories presented in "Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up" beautifully capture the voices and lives of queer youth. It is an inspirational collection that resonates with hope and courage. It is truly a book that LGBTQ youth and adults should embrace and treasure.
Bold Stroke Books
by Steve Berman