Today is National Coming Out Day and an organization called the Human Rights Campaign has teamed up with Facebook to raise awareness about issues that members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community deal with everyday. In fact, Facebook is how I learned about Coming Out Day. In light of recent of youth suicides that have been caused by harassment or bullying due to perceived or actual sexual orientation, I thought this would be a good time to help raise awareness. It is important to know that there are resources available to LGBT teens.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens. Recently Chris Colfer from Glee and Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter have made public services messages in support of The Trevor Project.
Welcoming Schools is a program developed by the Human Rights Campaign to provide schools and educators with the tools needed to address diversity issues in elementary schools.
Here is a brief list of teen fiction books that address the subject of homosexuality. You can find all of these and more here at the library:
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
Love is a Higher Law and Wide Awake by David Levithan
Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn
What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci
Here is a brief list of teen fiction books about bullying and suicide:
By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead by Julie Anne Peters
Mousetraps by Pat Schmatz
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Hate List by Jennifer Brown
What Happened to Cass McBride by Gail Giles
The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee
Finally, I highly recommend Letters to a Bullied Girls by Olivia Garder for a disturbing, enlightening, and at times encouraging look at the issue of bullying.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with issues of sexuality and/or bullying there is help. You are not alone.