Growing Up Gay: The Sorrows and Joys of Gay and Lesbian Adolescence

Paperback / softback
Through photographs and their own words, a young man and a young woman relate their experiences growing up homosexual in America's heartland. Adolescence, painful enough for everyone, is all the more so for these young people who feel their differences acutely at a time when fitting in and belonging are so important. Being part of a minority that is sometimes despised makes their lives excruciating. Rita Reed, out of a concern over the high rate of suicide among gay and lesbian teens, and convinced that the stories of Amy and Jamie would help others feel less isolated, gained the trust of these two young people and was allowed into their developing lives. Reed's photographs captured moments from the pain of rejection to the joys of first love; from the collapse of self-confidence to the understanding that they were not alone and that in spite of societal prejudices, they were loved and respected. These photographs, intimate, moving, and generous, establish a level of understanding difficult to achieve with words alone.