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It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Livingby Dan Savage and Terry Miller
Synopses & Reviews
Every story can change a life.
After a number of tragic suicides by LGBT students who were bullied in school, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for LGBT youth facing harassment. Speaking openly about the bullying they suffered as teenagers, and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives, their video launched the It Gets Better Project YouTube channel and initiated a worldwide phenomenon. With over 6,000 videos posted and over 20 million views in the first three months alone, the world has embraced the opportunity to provide personal, honest and heartfelt support for LGBT youth everywhere.
It Gets Better is a collection of expanded essays and new material from celebrities, everyday people and teens who have posted videos of encouragement, as well as new contributors who have yet to post videos to the site. While many of these teens couldn't see a positive future for themselves, we can. We can show LGBT youth the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. By sharing these stories, It Gets Better reminds teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better.
Coming out can be fraught with difficulty for both parents and childandmdash;but Wesley C. Davidson, a popular blogger on gay rights issues, and Dr. Jonathan Tobkes, a New York City-based psychiatrist, provide a road map so families can better navigate this rocky emotional terrain. Emphasizing communication and unconditional love, Davidson and Tobkes help parents untangle their own feelings, identify and overcome barriers to acceptance, encourage strong self-esteem in their child, handle negative or hostile reactions to their childandrsquo;s sexual identity, and more. Filled with case studies and interviews, along with useful action plans and conversation starters, this is a positive, progressive guide to raising healthy, well-adjusted adults.
A heartfelt memoir by the father of a gay teen, and an eye-opening guide for families who hope to bring up well-adjusted gay adults.
Three years ago, John Schwartz, a national correspondent at The New York Times, got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: his thirteen-year-old son, Joe, was in the hospital following a failed suicide attempt. After finally mustering the courage to come out to his classmates, Joeandrsquo;s disclosure andmdash; delivered in a tirade about homophobic attitudesandmdash;was greeted with dismay and confusion by his fellow students. Hours later, he took an overdose of pills.
In the aftermath, John and his wife, Jeanne, found that their sonandrsquo;s school was unable to address Joeandrsquo;s special needs. Angry and frustrated, they initiated their own search for services and groups that could help Joe understand that he wasnandrsquo;t alone. Oddly Normal is Schwartzandrsquo;s very personal attempt to address his familyandrsquo;s own struggles within a culture that is changing fast, but not fast enough to help gay kids like Joe.
Schwartz follows Joseph through childhood to the present day, interweaving his narrative with common questions, including: Are effeminate boys and tomboy girls necessarily gay? Is there a relationship between being gay and suicide or mental illness? Should a child be pushed into coming out? Parents, teachers, and counselors alike will welcome Oddly Normal and its crucial lessons about helping gay kids andndash;and any kid who is different — learn how to cope in a potentially hostile world.
About the Author
Dan Savage is the author of the internationally syndicated column, "Savage Love" and the editor of The Stranger, Seattle's weekly newspaper. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the op-ed pages of The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Salon.com, Nest, Rolling Stone, The Onion, and many others. He lives in Seattle, Washington with his husband Terry Miller.
Terry Miller is a DJ, event promoter, musician, and music critic/blogger. Terry is Dan Savage's partner of sixteen years.
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