Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rainbow Boys (2001)

Alex Sanchez has written a series, starting with this book, about young gay men wrestling with different aspects of being gay in high school. The chapters are told from the viewpoint of three different young men; one openly gay (Nelson), one closeted gay (Kyle), and one closeted bisexual (Jason). They also have a variety of family reactions from very supportive and actively working for gay rights to an alcoholic and abusive father paired with a woman fearful for her own safety and unable to help.

They deal with coming out of the closet (when and how), gay bashing at school, losing one's virginity, and the fear of AIDS. This book does not gloss over any of these issues.

He asked questions for more than an hour and phoned the hot line three more times during the summer, speaking with different men and women. Each of them invited him to a Saturday meeting. No way, he thought. He wasn't about to sit in a room full of queers.
He pictured them all looking like the school fag, Nelson Glassman - or Nelly, as everyone called him. Even though a lot of people liked him, Jason couldn't stand the freak - his million earrings, his snapping fingers, his weird haircuts. Why didn't he just announce he was homo over the school loudspeaker?
I read this book because it is very popular and I wanted to see how these topics were handled. It shows the young men with all of the worries of straight teens with the added stress of being gay. I can only imagine how this book would, if not solve, at least let other young gay men know that they are probably not alone and that reaching out for help might help them. In the back of the book are resources that might be of use to them as well as their families.

I would recommend this book to gays in high school and their friends to help them understand what they are going through.

My rating for this book: +++

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