The authors, a psychological anthropologist and a developmental psychologist, undertook a study of 202 ethnically diverse lesbian and gay youth aged 14 to 20 during 1987 and 1988 at the Horizons Community Services, Inc., a Chicago gay community center founded in 1973. A brief history of the 20th-century homosexual experience in Chicago contextualizes the study, which serves as a microcosm of American attitudes toward homosexuality. This moving inquiry demonstrates that any confusion youth may experience is not about their sexual identity but about how to express themselves in an intensely homophobic society. Recommended for most collections.-- James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.
Horizons is a lesbian and gay social service agency in Chicago where teens gather weekly to get support and share experiences as they begin the process of coming out. This report, which draws on a two-year study of participants by an anthropologist and a developmental psychologist, tells much about the complex issues of adolescent sexuality in general, and homosexuality in particular. An important book for adolescents and those who work them. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Horizons of the title is a gay and lesbian social service agency whose programs include a youth assistance project that helps young gays and lesbians discuss their sexuality with other gay youth and tries to prevent gay and lesbian teen suicides. Herdt and Boxer describe the development of gay cultures in both Chicago and other major cities, the work of Horizons with gay and lesbian youth, and what it's like for teens to discover they're gay or lesbian. Most interesting to general readers may be the degree of self-discovery and acceptance brave gay and lesbian teenagers achieve in the viciously heterosexist adolescent milieus they inhabit. Horizons' efforts to offer a caring, safe alternative "space," with such teen-oriented features as a gay prom, are the highlights of a book that is, in the main, a socioanthropological treatise most suitable for large collections.
From the Publisher
Refreshing. . . provides a wealth of inspiration and some practical suggestions for adults who would like to provide services for gay and lesbian youth, but who may not be sure how to begin. —Lambda Book Report