VOYA - Lynn Evarts
What do a police officer in New York City, a doctor in Alaska, and a rabbi have in common? In this book, they are all gays and lesbians who Ford interviewed as role models. Eighteen different individuals speak their minds about growing up, coming out, and becoming leaders in their individual professions and communities. The interviewees share a wide variety of experiences; they describe suicide attempts and acceptance they did not know was there until they came out. They detail what life was like for gay people forty years ago, life in big cities and small towns, and life in "non-traditional" gay and lesbian professions. Along with the interviews, Ford offers brief chapters on such topics as "Don't all lesbians look like truck drivers?" and what religions say about being gay or lesbian. Lists of resources, e-mail addresses, and Web sites accompany each interview. Ford has put together an uplifting collection of affirming statements and information for young adults who may be questioning their own sexuality. Role models are sorely needed in the gay and lesbian community, and here Ford offers readers an eclectic collection of individuals. He also supplies extremely helpful information and contacts for those who want to know more. Readers are allowed to see that the stereotypes people have of homosexuals do not pan out in real life-that gay and lesbian men and women can and do succeed in a "straight" world. Index. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 5Q 2P S (Hard to imagine it being any better written, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Children's Literature - Rebecca Joseph
Hailing from a variety of fields, eleven prominent lesbian and gay leaders describe their lives, especially how they came out. Accompanying each interview is a comprehensive list of resources for young people struggling with their sexual identities including books, movies, organizations, and magazines. The author also includes thoughtful responses to eleven important questions about homosexuality, such as "How do I know if I'm gay or lesbian" and "I want to come out. How do I do it?" This book sensitively tackles some difficult questions, and is an excellent resource for people of all ages regardless of their sexual orientation.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Written in interview format, this also contains essays on subjects like "What Does It Mean to Be Lesbian or Gay." The interviews represent people from all fields of endeavor, such as an actor, a police officer, a rabbi, a writer, and an educator. Each is similar in the direct questioning and point-blank honest responses about initial attractions, coming out, and the effects that the choice has had on their lives. Olympic boxing silver medallist Mark Luduc's discourse is a listing of information about gays and lesbians and sports. Sarah Pettit, editor at Out, describes coming to college and walking up to "the guy on campus who looked the most gay to me, and I said, 'Excuse me, you're gay, aren't you? And he said 'Yes.' And I said, 'Well, then take me to where the gay people are.'" Overall, the book provides much support for young adults coming to grips with their "gayness."
Library Journal - Library Journal
Outspoken intersperses bibiographies and other "fast fact" lists among 12 interviews with a business executive, police officer, Olympic boxer, actor, and more. In his earlier, acclaimed The World Out There, Ford sensitively explains issues, dispels stereotypes, and shows some of the many ways that teens can become involved with a larger gay community. (LJ 8/96)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpTeenagers with questions about what it means to be gay will find some answers here. Interviews form the core of the book, with short commentaries and helpful resource lists rounding out the package. The interviewees are all successful in their fields and suitable role models. They include Olympic Silver Medalist Mark Leduc, actor Dan Butler of TV's Frasier, and Out magazine editor Sarah Pettit. A teacher, a police officer, a rabbi, a doctor, and a business executive are also featured. Although the Ford's questions are predictable, most of the interviews are interesting. Several are engaging. This book's focus on mature individuals who project confidence and strength sets it apart from Two Teenagers in Twenty (Alyson, 1995), a book comprised mostly of firsthand accounts by younger people. The excellent resource lists include books and films, gay religious organizations and support groups, and a guide to on-line resources, making this title especially useful.Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA