Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hear Us Out! Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress, and Hope, 1950 to the Present - An LGBTQ Short Story Collection

By Nancy Garden

Published by Farrar Straus Giroux in 2007.

At first I was unsure about this book and whether it could be considered fiction, but as soon as I opened it I knew I was wrong. It is divided into six different decades with a introductory non-fiction section explaining each one. From two girls having to hide their relationship to their families to someone going to a gay pride parade, this book shows the progression of the perception of homosexuality.


Dear Angie, Sweet Elizabeth
Angie and Elizabeth have an amazing night together before Angie leaves for her theater apprenticeship. They correspond through letters until Elizabeth’s close-minded mother finds the letters and discovers that the girls share more than a friendship. In a time where homosexuality has a negative connotation, even in the encyclopedia, these girls discover who they really are.

Silent Song
When Kathy’s parents walk in on her and Jinx holding each other, they call Jinx’s parents who immediately take her on their vacation to Miami Beach. Jinx, hopeless without Kathy, decides that she wants to walk into the ocean and never return. However on her journey down to the sea she encounters a girl playing the harp that makes staying worthwhile.


Cold Comfort
Charity is the Reverend’s daughter in a small fishing town. She has never lusted after anyone, until she meets the new girl in town, Andrea. But will her father accept her feelings?

Waverly meets Larry during a summer job at an Inn on the Cape and immediately there is a connection. Larry invites Waverly down to Greenwich village one night in the summer of ’69 and there they witness the famous Stonewall riots.


Maybe Someday?
Teresa has always struggled with her father’s strong faith in the Catholic church because Teresa knows that she is a lesbian. She tries to separate herself from the church as much as possible by not going to confession and attending a public school, until one day an historic moment happens for homosexuality and Teresa is given hope.

Dear Cuz
Cousins Mickey and Jennifer hadn’t seen each other for ten years, but when they finally do a tremendous bond forms. They become pen pals and discover that they are both homosexual and not alone. But Mickey who lives in a small mid-western town, soon believes that the world will never accept him and his boyfriend Sam as they are.


My Father’s Buddha
Two teenage boys befriend Bruce and Calvin, who has AIDS. Bruce and Calvin become the boys’ close confidants and mentors, but when Calvin’s condition starts to worsen, the boys decide to give back.

“I’m Nobody!...”
Lily and her friend Michael, two friends who bonded over the fact that they were different and homosexual, are confronted by a gang one day who beat Michael and rape Lily. For weeks, Lily is too petrified to tell the story as Michael’s condition worsens. Eventually she learns that the only way she can progress is to speak.


Parents Night
Having a booth at Parents Night should be an easy experience right? Well not for the Gay- Straight- Bisexual club at one high school. They are faced with insults and stereotypes of homosexuality and must overcome these obstacles to participate in what should be a typical school event. This story was also featured in the anthology Am I Blue?

The Tux
Laine and her girlfriend Sarah, accompanied by their friend Rachel, go to rent a tux for Sarah for their prom. Much to their chagrin, the entire football team is there. Sarah looks so good in her tux that the self-conscious Laine decides to get one too and is applauded and supported by the jocks she once feared. I loved how every character in this story showed acceptance and support, which is a refreshing change from the darker times portrayed in the previous stories.


Loving Megan
Penny, a freshman, is obsessed with Megan, her beautiful blonde track captain. Her best friend Kat always has to listen to Penny lust after and write poems for Megan, who doesn’t even know Penny’s name. However, when tragedy strikes, Penny realizes who is actually there for her.

Lisanne attends her first Gay Pride March and is astounded at the immensity and support of the crowd.

--Posted by Hannah

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