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As LGBT teen suicide and bullying dominate the national conversation, the indie house Cheyenne Publishing has organized a young adult anthology to be released in June of 2011, with all net proceeds going to The Trevor Project—the nation’s leading organization dedicated to ending suicide among LGBTQ youth.
“I know that gay kids committing suicide is nothing new, but now it is finally being reported on,” explains Cheyenne Publisher, Mark R. Probst.
“I can’t help but wonder if the political climate isn’t contributing to the despair LGBT youth are feeling today, as well as all the recent bullying.”
The new anthology titled, Awake, will bring together leading Young Adult authors including Nancy Garden, best known for her groundbreaking 1982 young adult lesbian novel Annie on My Mind (recently re-released by Farrar Straus & Giroux), Brian Katcher, author of Almost Perfect, Kensington author Robin Reardon (A Question of Manhood), and Jordan Taylor with a foreword by Kathe Koja, author of Buddha Boy.
“As a straight ally and proud mother of a gay son, I’m honored to be taking part in this anthology that will speak to gay kids, stand up for gay kids and benefit such a worthy and necessary cause as The Trevor Project,” says Talk author Kathe Koja.
“Our kids need it to BE better right NOW, before another precious young life is lost or marred.”
Awake delves into the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens with four compelling stories, including new work from author and librarian Brian Katcher, who writes:
“Ten years ago, a book like this would have been groundbreaking. Twenty years ago, it would have been unheard of. Forty years ago, it would have been illegal. Ten years from now, it’ll be nothing out of the ordinary.”
For Robin Reardon, author of three LGBT-teen novels, the answers are simple.
“The truth is that the only thing wrong with being gay is how some people treat you when they find out.”
Interestingly enough, it was dog lover and author Jordan Taylor who approached Probst with the idea. “I told her if she could convince enough authors to participate I would be more than happy to give the project the green light,” Probst writes.
“She was very diligent about it, and asked quite a few young adult authors who were known for their contributions to LGBT themes. There were some who wanted to participate but just couldn’t work it into their busy schedules. But we couldn’t be more pleased with the authors who did sign on.”
Awake will be published print-on-demand, with distribution through Ingram and available through most online retailers and a few LGBT bookstores.
Readers will be able to special-order it in almost any bookstore. There will also be a Kindle version.
The Trevor Project provides online support to young people through their website, as well as lifesaving guidance and resources for educators and parents. The Trevor Lifeline is the only nationwide, round-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBT and questioning youth.
Cheyenne Publishing, founded in 2007 by Mark R. Probst, is an independent publisher of LGBT novels and anthologies, specializing in historical fiction.