Joining the Tribe: Growing up Gay and Lesbian in the '90s

Joining the Tribe: Growing up Gay and Lesbian in the '90s

by Linnea Due
     
 

As our country struggles to accept its gay and lesbian citizens, the debate for gay civil rights often focuses on the issue of choice, with the majority of Americans believing that to be gay is a choice, one that's embraced for its lifestyle. This belief ignores the presence and experience of one segment of the gay and lesbian population: its youth. In

Overview

As our country struggles to accept its gay and lesbian citizens, the debate for gay civil rights often focuses on the issue of choice, with the majority of Americans believing that to be gay is a choice, one that's embraced for its lifestyle. This belief ignores the presence and experience of one segment of the gay and lesbian population: its youth. In Joining The Tribe, journalist Linnea Due travels America to create a portrait of gay and lesbian teenagers as an endangered and vulnerable community whose diversity, courage, and resiliency will inspire gay and straight readers alike. By vividly documenting the lives of gay and lesbian teenagers, Due shows that homosexuality is not about choice. It's about fights in the schoolyard, whispers in the locker room, cruel classmates, and oblivious or abusive parents. Most gay and lesbian youth endure severe humiliation and isolation for being gay, resulting in depression and low self-esteem for most, and suicide for some. Combining in-depth interviews with social analysis, Due reveals the realities gay and lesbian teenagers face, often without the support of family, peer groups, or adult gay and lesbian networks. With stories from across America, Due meets kids from a range of backgrounds and families, with some in the closet, some out, most somewhere-in-between, all struggling to grow into adulthood. By turns heartbreaking and infuriating, Joining The Tribe shows how against overwhelming odds, gay and lesbian teenagers continue to survive and bounce back, ready to join their brothers and sisters in gay America's fight for freedom and respect.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
If Due's (High and Outside) collection of poignant interviews with gay and lesbian youth reminds us of one thing, it is that greater visibility does not mean greater safety. Due (whose feature on gay and lesbian teenagers was declared one of the top six underreported stories of 1992 by Media Alliance/Project Censored) talked with lesbian, gay and bisexual adolescents of different ethnicities, classes and backgrounds across the U.S. They vividly recount the assaults they suffer in their families and schools and in the broader society, assaults including name-calling, beatings and death threats. Many testify eloquently to the fear, pain and shame that come not because of their sexual orientation per se, but because of the devastating results its disclosure had on many of their social relationships. At the same time, some speak touchingly of first love, of support from family and friends and of the efforts by some communities to provide services to gay and lesbian youth. Unlike many of the professional resources available for counselors, teachers and others concerned about these teens, Due lets her interviewees speak for themselves, while her sensitive editing provides background, commentary and balance between individual and collective experience. The result is a moving, vital pastiche. (Sept.)
Library Journal
A fortysomething lesbian journalist, Due traveled the country to research these anecdotal tales of difficult cicumstances faced by today's queer teenagers.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385475006
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/1995
Edition description:
1st Anchor Books ed
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

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