TeenLit: Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens
On June 1, 2011, President Barack Obama declared June “LGBT Pride Month,” with these words:
“The story of America’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community is the story of our fathers and sons, our mothers and daughters, and our friends and neighbors who continue the task of making our country a more perfect Union. It is a story about the struggle to realize the great American promise that all people can live with dignity and fairness under the law. Each June, we commemorate the courageous individuals who have fought to achieve this promise for LGBT Americans, and we rededicate ourselves to the pursuit of equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Lofty words aside, it’s not easy being a member of the LGBT community. Victimized by the ignorance of others, LGBT teens are at an alarming risk for bullying and suicide. While the President of the United States cannot successfully legislate that everyone be fair, kind, and tolerant, his acknowledgement and support of LGBT issues lends legitimacy. The newly published Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens provides additional support and advice to teens who face these issues as well as those seeking a better understanding of them. Written with humor and honesty by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke, with illustrations by Christian Robinson, Queer addresses the pressures, decisions, and problems experienced by LGBT teens.
Taking readers from determining “Am I Queer?” through coming out, finding “your people,” “How to Overcome Queerphobia,” dating, relationships, and sex, Belge and Bieschke include personal stories and insights. They also offer valuable advice on topics like finding a counselor, dealing with cyber-bullying, health, and legal issues. Events in LGBT history are highlighted in sidebars that introduce Harvey Milk, Christine Jorgensen, LGBT athletes, LGBT literature, and other facets of LGBT life.
Teens who are questioning or examining their sexuality or trying to understand the sexuality of others will find Queer: The Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens an important resource. Additional resources offered are “Queer Organizations,” “Queer Religious Websites,” and “Queer Books” (which includes religious, resource, historical, comics, fiction and anthologies).