What is it like to be called an abomination by your religious leaders?

To live in fear of losing your family’s love?

To be afraid to go to school because of the torment that awaits you?

To lie to everyone about whom you love?

Mitchell Gold asked forty gay Americans to share their very personal answers to these difficult questions. Many discuss their long-buried feelings here for the first time. Several young adults open up about the depression, fear, and isolation that are still a part of growing up gay in many areas of the country today. Gold calls this a silent epidemic and mental health crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of gay teens. And he emphasizes that this crisis can be solved, with compassion and fair-mindedness— and by getting those whose words and deeds cause harm to stop.

The book’s contributors reveal what made them feel alone and unloved— and at times so hopeless suicide seemed the only option. And they suggest ways to help the next generation of teens. These stories are also lessons in perseverance and achievement, showing the inner strength of the contributors and inspiring us all with their triumphs against the odds. Learn the harm religion-based prejudices cause, see the dangers of “cures” like reparative therapy, and get insight into the question of sin and homosexuality that divides many churches and families today. Become better able to help gay kids in your family, congregation, or classroom. Understand the importance of electing candidates who support equal rights and strive to protect all our children.