Authors: Kelly Huegel
Tags: #Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth
Copyright Â© 2011, 2003 by Kelly Huegel
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Huegel, Kelly, 1974â
GLBTQ : the survival guide for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens / Kelly Huegel. â Rev. & updated 2nd ed.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. HomosexualityâUnited StatesâJuvenile literature. 2. Coming out (Sexual orientation)âUnited StatesâJuvenile literature. 3. Gay teenagersâUnited StatesâJuvenile literature. 4. Lesbian teenagersâUnited StatesâJuvenile literature. 5. Transgender peopleâUnited StatesâJuvenile literature. 6. BisexualsâUnited StatesâJuvenile literature. I. Title. II. Title: Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning.
eBook ISBN: 978-1-57542-704-1
Free Spirit Publishing does not have control over or assume responsibility for author or third-party websites and their content. At the time of this book's publication, all facts and figures cited within are the most current available. All telephone numbers, addresses, and website URLs are accurate and active; all publications, organizations, websites, and other resources exist as described in this book; and all have been verified as of December 2010. If you find an error or believe that a resource listed here is not as described, please contact Free Spirit Publishing. Parents, teachers, and other adults: We strongly urge you to monitor children's use of the Internet.
The names of the teens and young adults quoted throughout this book have been changed to protect their privacy and/or safety.
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Reading Level Grades 9 & Up; Interest Level Ages 13 & Up;
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For my family, for whom I have the utmost love and respect.
For Yvonne, who inspires me.
And for queer kids everywhere. You are my heroes.
Here is where I get to thank people. I'll do my best not to make this sound like an Oscar speech and will get off the stage before the music starts playing.
Thank you, first, to Yvonne. You have the biggest, most generous heart of anyone I know. You have enriched the lives of so many young people and helped them learn that it doesn't matter where they've come from, but rather where they're going. Your love both humbles and empowers me.
To my family, whose continued support and encouragement truly know no bounds, thank you. If it had been up to me, I could not have chosen better. You are the definition of unconditional love.
Thanks to Free Spirit for still believing in this book and for being a voice for kids on so many issues. An enormous thank you to Douglas Fehlen, my editor, who took such great care in his work and whose contributions helped take this book to the next level. Thanks, as well, to Phoenix Schneider for so kindly agreeing to take part in this second edition.
I wish to thank again all of those who contributed to the first iteration of this book, including the national organizations that provided facts, opinions, and expertise on these varied and sometimes complicated issues. I am just the mouthpieceâyou are doing the work.
Finally, again, thank you to the fearless teens and young adults who lent their voices and their very personal stories to this book. You are our future, and that future is very bright, indeed.
Today is unlike any period in history in terms of the GLBTQ rights movement and our awareness and acceptance of varying orientations and identities. When I was growing up as a teen in the 1990s, I faced some significant challenges with regard to my sexual orientation and gender identity. I first came out as bisexual in high school and felt pressured by both the straight and gay communities to pick a side.
When I came out later in college as trans/genderqueer, both the straight and GLBTQ communities wanted me to pick a gender. People were uncomfortable with the fact that I didn't fall into one nice and neat little boxâstraight or gay, male or female. What I learned is that there are no limitations to how a person can identify, and no one can take away what feels right for you or the ways in which you choose to express yourself.
Since that time, more peopleâespecially young peopleâhave been pushing the envelope in terms of how they identify. This change is part of a kind of gender and sexuality revolution taking place throughout society. Statistically, today's young people are more accepting not only of GLBTQ people, but also of those who choose not to identify as one gender or sexual orientation over another. These evolving viewpoints encourage a celebration of each person's unique blueprint in this wonderfully diverse universe.
Still, as with all societal change, evolution can be slow and significant challenges remain. Homophobia and transphobia still exist in many communities, and these negative attitudes can have a heavy impact on the safety and well-being of all GLBTQ people, especially queer young people.
Fortunately, there are more resources for queer teens than ever, including this book.
GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens
can provide you with different perspectives, ideas, support, and resources about coming out, religion and spirituality, dating and relationships, self-care, and many other issues.
This book takes a holistic approach to what it's like to be a young lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning person and provides not only sound advice on dealing with common issues, but also voices of queer teens who have “been there.” Kelly Huegel has written a guide that can benefit anyone who is GLBTQ or questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity as well as anyone who cares about someone who is GLBTQ.
Much of my own work as program director with The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among GLBTQ teens, is focused on helping young people with limited support systems and access to resources. The Trevor Project fosters creative self-expression, support, and acceptance for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
If you are a young GLBTQ person who feels misunderstood, lonely, depressed, or suicidal, you are not alone. Whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or feel like you don't really identify with one particular sexual orientation or gender identity,
this is normal.
Know that there are people in this world who understand and accept you for exactly who you are. You can connect with other GLBTQ people and straight allies who are more than willing to provide advice and support.
It's truly a journey to fully accept and discover who you are, how you relate to others, and what decisions empower you to feel most comfortable being who you were born to be:
your unique, beautiful self.
Phoenix Schneider, MSW
Program Director, The Trevor Project