Dr Elly Barnes MBE, CEO & Founder of Educate & Celebrate
None of us are born with prejudice, sadly it's something that is learned - with more books like this usualising queer people there is hope for a future of inclusion and social justice where we simply become part of the fabric of our comunities and coming out becomes a thing of the past.
Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner
These 27 inspirational personal stories reveal the breadth and diversity of coming out experiences from people of different ages, eras and cultural backgrounds, including both their triumphs and the tribulations. But the common thread is courage, honesty, self-acceptance and dignity. This book is a must read for LGBT+ teens and their families and teachers.
Russell T Davies, writer and producer of Queer as Folk
This is written with so much heart. It's full of love and hope and liberation. Even the tougher stories are told with strength and the potential for change. From Stonewall to Jamaica to Canal Street, the writers speak with such honestly and insight, it's thrilling. And they're hilarious too! This book is so vital, it'll be a talisman for so many, a beacon, a path out of the shadows. It should be in every school and home, to reach out to those in need, or those remembering their own journey. It made me cry, it made me hoot, it made me rage, and it made me think. I think, really, I learnt from this. The book contains so many voices from the next wave of queer identity, it taught me better ways to talk and react and help. That's wonderful!
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah aka Lady Phyll, co-Founder and Executive Director of UK Black Pride
For many in our communities, coming out is a transformative and liberating experience, but one that can only be truly enjoyed when the world around them embraces them. From chosen family to friendships forged in solidarity, these coming out stories offer real-life insight and wisdom to those who've yet to take that next step in sharing themselves with the world. These stories are also a brilliant resource for parents and families who underestimate the power of acceptance and love to counter a world that can often be so cruel. Enjoy these stories, share these stories and revel in the vulnerability and honesty assembled here.
Juno Dawson, author of This Book is Gay and What's the T
Uplifting and triumphant, each story is a feat of bravery and courage.
Annie Wallace, actress
'Coming out' is something that most LGBTQ+ people face at some point in their lives, whether it be small, personal experiences, or in a larger context. Whilst every story is different, there are common threads to be found. The fear of rejection or violence, the knowledge that life after coming out is an undiscovered country but also, in many cases, the liberation and life-affirming experience that it often creates. This new book is a collection of stories about the process of coming out, from a diverse selection of LGBTQ+ people. They are, in turn, funny, heart-breaking and empowering. A spotlight shone upon a pivotal moment in the the lives of those within the LGBTQ+ community, from all backgrounds. Each is a mini-biography, full of those nervous first steps and the hopes and fears of the person involved, with which many of us, having gone through similar experiences, can readily identify. It's also a history lesson in many ways; describing things that happened in the past which today would seem extreme. Yes, progress continues to be made, but as the more recent stories reveal, there's still a long way to go. I'm sure this book will be an inspiration to those still in the proverbial closet, and to perhaps take a leap into the wider world, and one which waits to welcome them with open arms and open hearts.
Stephen Bailey. comedian, presenter and writer
This book is something I could have done with a long time ago. As the book says so eloquently, we all just want to be loved by those we love for exactly who we are. But in 2020, homophobia is still rife and we still need to stand up and come out, which can be a daunting experience! This book is something I would have liked to give 16 year old me as I was figuring out who I was! It shows that you're not alone and that every story is different and there is no right or wrong way to come out. I loved it.
Joe Lycett, comedian and television presenter
The stories here are rich and vivid - there is much for all of us to learn from this book.
Coming out can be the most terrifying yet liberating moments in a queer person's life. This book perfectly captures the highs and lows of this life-changing process. Reading the authentic and vulnerable stories of people across the LGBTQ+ spectrum in this book reminds us that our struggle towards ultimate freedom is a collective one. Our stories are as diverse and unique as our community is but one thing is true in all of them - the powerful desire to overcome one's shame in the pursuit of a life worth living. This is a must-read for anyone grappling with the concept of coming out and for those close to a queer person who want to understand what that journey must feel like.