Lesbian Author Tackles LGBT Youth Homelessness
BY Camille Beredjick
August 30 2012 5:00 AM ET
Have you done any kind of LGBT activism work in the past?
I wouldn’t call it "activism," but I do take time to meet with teens whenever possible. GSA advisers often ask me to stop by and speak with their high school group. I let them ask me anything they want because I believe that honesty goes a long way with youth. I often felt out of place and abnormal as a closeted teen. So my biggest goal is to make teens feel as normal and comfortable as possible being who they are.
How has feedback about the book been so far?
The reviews have been positive overall. I think that the book itself stands on its own. It's just a matter of getting people to pick it up and read it. Once they do, I hear the same thing: "What a great book!" As I said before, it crosses sexual boundaries, so even straight readers have wonderful things to say about it.
What do you hope people will learn from this book?
That not all LGBT teens are blessed with an understanding family. Being a gay teen is more difficult than most people realize, which is one of the reasons I wrote this book. I hope it opens some eyes and releases some compassion.
Did you learn anything about yourself or about the topic while writing this book?
Yes, I realized that I often take my parents for granted. I was afraid to come out to them, but not because I thought they would kick me out. I was afraid to disappoint them. Not once was I ever afraid that they would stop loving me — and that’s something that happens to so many teens all over the country. Their parents stop loving them. I can’t even imagine what that is like.
What advice would you give to aspiring LGBT writers?
Write what you know and without apology. We have our stories and it’s important to share them.
Can we expect a third book following Queenie and JJ?
Yes, I think there needs to be a third book. I’m tossing around some ideas in my head about what is going to happen next. I think the third book will be the perfect culmination.