Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Review: QUEER: The Ultimate LGBT Guide For Teens

QUEER: The Ultimate LGBT Guide For Teens by Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke

Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Zest Books
Pages: 208

“It Gets Better” is a message that has wormed its way into mainstream media as a reaction to bullying and violence toward gay teens. And although this is a necessary message for young people who sexually identify as queer, or think they might be, there is not a lot of information out there telling them how to make it better. Until now.

This Queer 101 manual gives accessible and real-world advice, geared to teens, on a myriad of topics including:
- how to determine if you are queer, or are just curious,
- coming out to family and friends,
- navigating social situations and dating,
- standing up for your rights,
- information about safe sex,
- overcoming homophobia.

The authors, Kathy Belge and Marke Bieschke, draw from their personal experience and professional resources to present unflappable support and guidance to young people. Queer is a humorous, engaging and honest guide that can help teens understand what it means to be queer. It offers information focused on health, community, safety, political issues, and queer history. The authors back it all up with a reading resources list.

I believe this is a fabulous resource for any teen. I remember, over forty years ago, feeling that I was the only queer in my school. And if there were others, I didn’t have a clue how to find them. The feelings of loneliness, shame, and confusion often became overwhelming. I wish I could have had this little gem of compassionate intelligence to help me along that path of discovering the fabulous, perplexing, often times scary, world that is queer life.

I believe this is a must read for all teens who identify as gay/lesbian, and also for the parents of these special young people. I think this book should be taught in high schools across the country. But don’t wait for that to happen. Grab a copy or two and give them to young people and parents who can benefit.

1 comment:

Rural Gay said...

Thanks for drawing my attention to this book. I love the message of The Trevor Project and "It Gets Better", but I can imagine many teens and other folks still in the closet just wanted to shout, "HOW?!" I hope this book makes coming out and self-acceptance easier for more people.