Author(s): Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
For young people struggling with issues around their sexuality, 'coming out' to their families, schools and communities can be traumatic. The alarming statistics for youth suicide, risk-taking behaviours and mental health concerns reflect the alienation and harassment felt by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered young people as they wrestle in isolation with the difficulties of 'being different'. They need families, schools and communities to provide support, understanding and affirmation; and to be their allies against homophobia.
Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli has compiled a valuable guide for all those whose lives are affected by a young person coming out. In this work she includes first-hand accounts from families, schools and communities across different socioeconomic levels, diverse regions and many cultural backgrounds. She also provides vital suggestions and advice for those at the coalface of this issue - parents of young people who need to come out, high-school teachers and community leaders - as well as effective responses and strategies for dealing with homophobia in any environment.
Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli has gained international recognition as a leading writer, researcher, lecturer, consultant and activist in the issues of cultural, sexual and gender diversity and family diversity in health and education. Senior Lecturer in the School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, she also enjoys working with young people in schools and is passionate about her work, social justice, and her incredibly supportive family and friends. Her first book for young adults, Tapestry, explored five generations of her family's history in Australia and Italy. It was shortlisted by the Children's Book Council of Australia and in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards. She is also the author of GIRLS' TALK, BOYS' STUFF, SOMEONE YOU KNOW, and WHEN OUR CHILDREN COME OUT.