Banned Books Week. Unfortunately, many of the challenged books in schools and libraries deal with GLBTX (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Exploring) issues, such as And Tango Makes Three; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Gossip Girls; My Sister's Keeper; etc.. Instead of banning these books, we should be celebrating them, reminding our GLBT youth they are not alone.
I got an e-mail last week from a friend at Quirk Books, who told me about a book that is hitting the shelves on October 9th entitled BORN THIS WAY by Paul Vitagliano. Allow me to steal a bit from the publisher's website.
Born This Way shares and celebrates all kinds of growing up LBGTQ stories through personal memories and childhood photographs. With more than 100 profiles, Born This Way is a delightful celebration of growing up gay.
Based on the hugely popular (3 million views and counting since its launch in January 2011) blog of the same name, this hip, gifty little hardcover belongs in the homes of America and the world. It's a book for members of the LBGTQ community, as well as friends, family, and anyone who has followed the tragic stories of gay teen suicides. It will tap into the same vein as Dan Savage's "It Gets Better Project," giving people everywhere the courage to say "Yes, I'm gay. And I was born this way. I've known it since I was very young, and this is my story."
Ellen DeGeneres has said many times that young people need examples. They need to see someone who has been there before them, and come out the other side okay. Much like the It Gets Better project, BORN THIS WAY lends to that example, not only within the GLBTX community, but far far beyond it as well.
For anyone who isn't gay, I still think books like BORN THIS WAY are extremely important. I hope it inspires understanding, acceptance, and support of the GLBTX youth around us who might be looking for a little kindness. Together, let's erase the hate, and make the world a better place.
I recently saw an interview with the mother of Matthew Shepard, in which she said that parents of gay teens are often not surprised when their children come out. If you think, or know, your son or daughter is gay, have this book on the shelf for them. It may bring great comfort to them, not only in reading it, but as another small gesture of acceptance they need from you.
Quirk Books is allowing me to give away FIVE copies of BORN THIS WAY to my readers! Read it, give it as a gift, put it in the hands of someone who is looking for a little support, or in the hands of someone who could be a little more supportive.
Simply fill out the form below to enter. You may also comment below if the form doesn't work for you.
(Contest ends 10/26/12)
Many thanks to Quirk Books!
Random House book Page
Born This Way blog, Facebook, Twitter
It Gets Better.org
Matthew Shepard Foundation
About the Book:
Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay by Paul Vitagliano
About the Author:
Paul Vitagliano is DJ Paul V., a club and radio DJ, events promoter, music-reviews writer, blogger, and self-titled “promosexual.” His blog (bornthiswayblog.com) has achieved more than 3 million views since its debut in January 2011. He lives in Los Angeles