Author(s): Amy Sonnie
Invisible. Unheard. Alone. Chilling words but apt to describe the isolation and alienation of queer youth. In silence and fear they move from childhood memories of repression or violence to the unknown, unmentored, landscape of queer adulthood, their voices stilled or ignored. No longer. Revolutionary Voices celebrates the hues and harmonies of the future of gay and lesbian society, presenting not a collection of stories but a collection of experiences, ideas, dreams, and fantasies expressed through prose, poetry, artwork, letters, diaries, and performance pieces.
Written and edited "by youth for youth," this book is an in-your-face collection of stories, essays, poems, and art by gay and lesbian young people. The voices of those who traditionally have been underrepresented in mainstream media burst through with passion, defiance, anger, and honesty in language that is as raw as the emotions. Queer, mixed-blood, multigendered, ambisexual, gender bending, heterosexism, transgender, transsexual, and transphobia are some of the terms defined and used throughout this anthology. Although the writing and art vary in quality, all entries speak from the heart. As Chris, age nineteen, writes, "When I'm ready, I'll tell. But for now, please don't ask." From Dana, aged twenty, "So I would like to express to today's queer youth that they need not conform to society's stereotypes, but instead find their own truth, wherever it may be." Liz, age sixteen, poignantly writes, "Four years ago I wanted to die because of my sexuality. Now I can't wait to go on living." The ten pages of resources were compiled with the help of the National Youth Advocacy Coalition and include toll-free crisis and peer counseling help lines, referral services, pen pal programs, Internet resources, religious support groups, and other helpful organizations. Although some readers might be uncomfortable with the language, many teens will identify with the images of isolation and harassment as well as the words of commitment and acceptance. Glossary. Illus. Photos. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Alyson Books, 259p, Trade pb. Ages 16 to 18.Reviewer: Marian Rafal SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24, No.1)
I suggest that each reader take note of the artists' names, for the world will undoubtedly be hearing these revolutionary voices again.
—Lambda Book Report
Revolutionary Voices dramatically challenges mainstream notions of the LGBT community by focusing on perspectives ignored by the popular media.
Amy Sonnie is a 1998 journalism graduate of Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Sojourner, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Equal Time, and Frontera, among others. She is the senior editor for Equal Time Magazine and lives in San Francisco.