Paul Vitagliano knows first hand what it is like to grow up gay. Even in today’s day and age it is still hard to find acceptance without judgement so in 2011 Paul started the blog site “Born This Way” which is a place to share stories and support for the LGBTQ community. The blog exploded with responses, so much so… Paul wrote this book, Born This Way, filling it with pictures of boys and girls at young ages and their stories about when they knew and what it was like when (and if) they came out and told their families and friends.
The short stories share what growing up was like. In some cases there was name calling and bullying which led to many of these children keeping to themselves and doing anything they could to avoid conflict.
The book is a quick read, the stories are short and sometimes funny, and sometimes heart breaking. In many cases, by the time they told family and friends, they had known and were just waiting for them to tell them. In other more heartbreaking (and thankfully rare) circumstances, families turned their backs… not understanding. Yet story after story no matter what the outcome, each person said life was so much better once they said it out loud and were their true selves.
This book is a short read but a powerful one. I smiled at the stories, occasionally laughed, and yes, at times my heart broke a little too. Everyone deserves to be accepted and Paul Vitagliano has taken great steps towards doing just that.
**I first read a review of this book in October when I seen the book at Kathy’s Bermuda Onion blog. And I knew then I wanted to read it, I bought it that day and finally had the privilege of reading it this past weekend.