Better Starts Now

By: Elena Meredith

As a part of journalist Dan Savage's project, a host of celebrities and politicians have been delivering the message to GLBTQ teens that "it gets better." Author Kelly Huegel is here to tell you that better starts now. In her book GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens, Revised and Updated 2nd Edition (Free Spirit Publishing, $15.99), Huegel offers an unwavering message of reassurance and hope for teens.

GLBTQ covers the full spectrum of topics related to being a queer teen - from fitting in to coming out and everything in between. When it was first published in 2003, The Advocate called GLBTQ "an indispensable map through the wilderness, one that should be issued to every queer kid immediately." Now the book has been fully revised and updated to reflect advances in GLBTQ rights, including the current status of legislative initiatives concerning safe schools, gay marriage, workplace equality, transgender expression, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and contains a new foreword by Phoenix Schneider, program director for The Trevor Project.

GLBTQ comes at an important time for teens. While society has come a long way in accepting people who are GLBTQ, the rise of cyber-bullying has made hatred and homophobia more visible. Huegel offers advice on how to boldly respond to homophobia and bullying. She doesn't sugarcoat tough issues like sex and sexuality and reconciling queerness with religion and culture. She provides support, encouragement, and realistic strategies to cope with life's challenges.

"Teens are a lot tougher than we give them credit for," says Huegel. "In creating this second edition, I wanted to really acknowledge how these young people - and their straight allies - are making significant contributions to the queer civil rights movement and positively changing the climate for all GLBTQ people just by being themselves and not making apologies for who they are."

Created with feedback and suggestions from PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), and GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), this frank, sensitive book is appropriate for young people who are beginning to question their sexual or gender identity, those who are ready to work for GLBTQ rights, and those who may need advice, guidance, or reassurance that they are not alone.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support young people's social-emotional health and their educational needs. Free Spirit's mission is to help children and teens think for themselves, succeed in life, and make a difference in the world.

Copyright by the author All Rights Reserved

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