My Story Book Club
The Official LGBT Young Adult Book Club of the LGBT Writers in Schools Program
~A safe place where LGBT youth and their supporters can read a story like their own.~
Our Book for March 2014
For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Not Enough
Edited by Keith Boykin
New York Times bestselling author and CNBC commenter Keith Boykin expands on the “It Gets Better” project by bringing together 25 essays by men of color on the topic of surviving growing up gay.
In 1974, playwright Ntozake Shange published a choreopoem called For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. The book/play/poetry would go on to inspire legions of women for decades and would later become the subject and title of a hugely popular movie in the fall of 2010. While the film was selling out movie theaters, young black gay men were literally committing suicide in the silence of their own communities.
In the same time period, a young Rutgers University student named Tyler Clementi took his own life after a roommate secretly videotaped him in an intimate setting with another young man. In response, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire young people facing harassment. Their message, “It Gets Better,” turned into a popular movement, inspiring thousands of user-created videos on the Internet. Savage’s project targeted people of all races, backgrounds and colors, but Boykin has created something special “for colored boys.” The new book responds to the crisis of youth development and suicide in the black community, and more specifically among young gay men of color. For Colored Boys is designed to educate and inspire those seeking to overcome obstacles in their lives.
Edited by Keith Boykin
$15.95, 280 pp.
Digital edition, $9.99, ISBN: 9781936833979
Lee Wind of I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? interviews Monica Carter about My StoryAs part of our LGBT Writers in Schools program and our growing mission to promote the acceptance of LGBT works, their authors and LGBT students in schools, we are launching a national online book club for LGBT youth. Lambda Literary Foundation, in partnership with the Gay/Straight Educators Alliance and the National Council of Teachers of English, aim to provide readers 14 years-old and up the opportunity to read and discover LGBT works in a safe and protective atmosphere.Covering many genres including fiction, memoir and poetry, My Story is a place where LGBT youth and their supporters can read a story like their own and participate in an open discussion with like-minded readers. Focused on providing an open and welcoming atmosphere online, My Story exposes diversity in the positive and creative conduit of literature.
Each month, we will introduce a LGBT work geared towards young adults with compelling discussions, polls, play lists, author commentary and trivia.
For a flat rate twenty dollar donation, a copy of the current My Story Book Club monthly selection is purchased and sent to a community center, high school, or nonprofit organization that is building its own LGBT library. Because of funding cuts, these organizations can’t afford to supply their libraries with books even though there is a demand from teens to read and discuss them. Unfortunately, these economic challenges affect the smaller cities and towns where these books are most needed. Often there are few resources for LGBT youth and one book that reflects their own experience can make a positive difference during a vulnerable time in their lives. Once you’ve made your donation, our official partner, Skylight Books, will send the book to a community center, high school, or nonprofit organization in need. Please consider helping a youth by donating a copy today. Your support makes a difference!If you’re high school, community center, or non-profit organization is interested in receiving a donated copy, email Monica Carter.
Interested in Becoming a Guest Youth Moderatorfor My Story?
A youth moderator, 14-18 years old, will check the My Story online activity daily. The moderator will also be expected to provide weekly discussion topics based on the pages/chapters read that week and promote thoughtful commentary from the group’s readers. They will also be expected to monitor and remove any offensive language or content posted. The moderators are there to provide and maintain a fun, safe and positive atmosphere in which readers can discuss openly LGBT works. If you would like to showcase your love for books, email Monica Carter at: email@example.com.
INTERESTED IN STARTING YOUR OWN MY STORY BOOK CLUB?
My Story and Skylight Books Partnership
As part of My Story’s dedication to community and diversity, we wanted to partner with an independent bookstore that reflected our mission and values. Skylight Books has always been a thriving cultural center in the local community and a proponent of LGBT literature. We are proud to have Skylight Books as our official partner.Skylight Books is an independent bookstore (founded in 1996) in a 1930s storefront in Los Feliz, known for its curated selection of fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, art books, LGBTQ-interest books, children’s books, and magazines. The store’s author events program includes many acclaimed LGBTQ authors, with recent events held for Jeanette Winterson, Eileen Myles, Dennis Cooper, Bret Easton Ellis, J. Halberstam, and many more.LGBT Young Adult authors interested in participating in My Story, please contact Monica Carter at: firstname.lastname@example.org.