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I had big hopes for this book. Take a step back, though: is that necessarily a bad thing? OMG Queer does not promise a fluent work of literature.

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It promises a first-hand account of a young generation. Considering that most of the stories are written by high school or college students, should we expect literary mumbo-jumbo? And maybe that is one of the most wonderful things about it: that the romance, fears and tragedies of LQBTQI youth are experienced the same as those of straight teens.

Some of these pieces are told with wonderful wit, some are incredibly sad. Some of them are a little crude be warned and some of them illicit a lack of comfort — teachers crushing on students and little children exploring. As I mentioned, some of the stories are a little annoying — best friends realising they are in love, and being afraid of the school bully but becoming more successful than them and being able to rub their face in it, that kind of thing.

But again, in terms of levelling the playing field, perhaps it is not so out of place. It is hilarious and intelligent.

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For a more literary piece, read My Lips by Joseph Aviv, an almost poetic tale. I read Yes, I am! Nevertheless, this book would be a great acquisition for a school library although currently it is only available as an e-book. Above quote from Ignite the Sky by Julie R. Sanches one of the pieces in the anthology :. And we can go supernova, ignite the whole sky in a fiery explosion when we die.

Or we can just grow old, wither, let our outer layers float away as we wait for death to take us. Disclaimer: I received this as a galley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Medical doctor community service medical officer , reader, writer, traveler, non-runner who runs, activist, South African View all posts by barefootmegz. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. They inspire us when we need to be lifted up and succor us when we need comfort.

Most of all, stories create connections between individuals. They encourage the sharing of experiences, values, fears, and triumphs. They permeate borders, sometimes against great opposition. They defy the human lifespan and live on through millennia.

They have the power to incite revolutions and to encourage peacemaking. The stories in this anthology glean their power in part from the positions of their authors within society. Young, queer writers in the twenty-first century find themselves in a confusing world—an ambivalent reality in which the President of the United States announces his endorsement of marriage equality less than twenty-four hours after a majority of citizens in North Carolina vote to ban same-sex marriage. Perhaps now more than ever, queer individuals around the globe are called to share their experiences—not only in order to stand in solidarity with one another, but to communicate their hopes, dreams, and goals with people of every identity.

British author Rudyard Kipling wrote: If history were told in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. As you peruse the tales that follow, we invite you not only to appreciate them as stories in their own right, but to read them as artifacts of this tumultuous time for queer citizens of our planet. To tell our stories is to share our truths; to speak out is to become visible—and those who are visible are both harder to ignore and harder to oppress.

These young authors reveal their selves in bravery and honesty, in pain and celebration, and we salute them. Everyone at school loved Jelson. I mean, rightly so, I love Jelson too. Jelson is my best friend. But I was really surprised. I figured being a Swop, especially the first Swop to ever go to Manetow High, would mean instant outcast status.

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But, like I said, everyone at school loved Jelson. But it turns out we were pretty good. We had a couple of out teachers.

OMG Queer: Short Stories by Queer Youth by Radclyffe

There was Ms. Barbiaz, this really cool butch social studies teacher who plastered her room with giant posters of Ruth Bader Ginsberg. And we had Mr. Niddio, our totally flaming drama instructor. He made us do a lot of trust exercises and he would actually tear up if he heard someone use the word fag. Kids still used it, but they felt like total shit about it if Mr.

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Niddio heard them. We also had a Gay-Straight Alliance that the administration supported. The only people who went regularly were Tony Peluzzi, our one actual real live dude-kissing gay boy, and some combination of the dozen girls who followed him around and claimed him as their best friend. I should have figured that if Tony never got punched for wearing eyeliner, Jelson would be okay.

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I just assumed being a Swop would be different—would freak everyone out way more. I mean, people justify hating on gays because gay people are supposedly all threatening to the established social order and families and precious little babies or whatever. So if gay people are threatening to society, then what about Swops? Medical anomalies who can change biological sex at will? So gay it gays all the way around the world to gay again. In the butt.

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But people got over Jelson being a Swop pretty fast. I guess all Ms. Honestly, kids were way weirder to Keith Lamar, our one black kid, about not being on the basketball team than they ever were to Jelson. Namely, the fact that Jelson is totally hot. Like, staggeringly, painfully hot. And not only that, but Jelson is equally hot as both a boy and a girl.

And not hot like people you see on TV. Jelson is more like this subtle kind of sexy, sort of slender and dark and mysterious. I think it has a lot to do with playful smiles. And expressive eyebrows. And eyes that look smart. I look at the line of his boy-jaw, or watch the purse of her girl-lips, and I see the beauty there. I say Jelson should just split into two people and they can go fuck themselves.

Jelson keeps the same slim-hipped, athletic body. Same light brown skin, same short dark hair. To me, it seems mostly like a movement thing. Come and get it. But what do I know? Like I said, sexual attraction is a complicated and mysterious animal to me. Six-pack abs or hourglass figures, they seem so extreme, like you have to squish a human being up and press them in a mold to get them to look that way. Big, sparkling, intelligent-looking eyes.

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They create this witty, knowing look. I will never understand people who can tolerate stupid-looking eyes. Oh my God, everyone in this magazine looks totally brain dead, I muttered, leafing through a copy of Rage during free period. It was early fall, but still warm, so Jelson and I were lounging on the picnic tables outside the cafeteria. He was a boy today but reading a copy of Mrs.

Anyway, check this out. I held up the page I was looking at. It was a photo of some vacant blond girl in a velvety red evening gown. She was sitting on a zebra, staring blankly at the camera with her mouth hanging open. I think it was a tampon ad.