We need to talk to people about what their religion is really telling them and ask them in fact if they do believe it and is that the kind of person they want to be...where they are vilifiying the community and where they are prejudicial and bigoted."I think this book is so important in putting a face and a name and to begin a conversation about what is happening in this country."
- Acclaimed Actress Judith Light, at the N.Y. Launch
Listen to Judith's Comments
Pictured, right to left, at the Washington, D.C. store are Bob Williams, Tipper Gore, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and Mitchell Gold.
Guests Judith Light, Tipper Gore say book is transformative.
Washington D.C – Close to 1,200 people during the last week attended events in Washington, D.C., New York, N.Y., and Los Angeles where longtime advocate and businessman Mitchell Gold launched his unique expose on the pain of growing up gay in America.
The book, "Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing The Personal, Social and Religious Pain of Growing Up Gay In America," asks Americans to awaken to the pain being inflicted on gay teens by a society that has been led to believe that such affliction is somehow morally or religiously justified.
Judith Light and Tipper Gore, were special guests for the New York and D.C. launch events. They described the book as transformative and having the potential to change the way America treats its gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens.
The D.C. event, held at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams furniture store in Washington, followed the first launch event held in New York, N.Y., on Monday. The event in Los Angeles was held Tuesday.
Gold, speaking at the Washington event, said the D.C. launch was particularly significant in terms of the book as he described how the project received its impetus in May 2007 while meeting with Cox News' National Reporter Scott Shepard at the Center Cafe in Union Station.
During the interview, he said Shepard asked him why he had founded an organization that is dedicated to helping people better understand the harm caused by a societal climate of rejection and condemnation – which is most often promoted and justified with misguided religious belief.
"Without giving it a lot of thought, I simply stated how I did not wish to see one more gay teenager go through the horrible experience that I did when I was young," Gold stated. After explaining his own personal experience as a teen – and that of thousands of teens today, Gold said he witnessed the impact it had on those at the meeting.
"From that I realized that there are many good people who identify with the varying faith communities but they simply do not realize the harm that is being done," he said.
Light, special quest for the New York event, said the book has the potential to change the way people treat gay and lesbian Americans by helping them realize the harm being caused by a societal climate of rejection and condemnation.
"I think this book is so important in putting a face and a name o the pain and to begin a conversation about why it is still happening in this country," Light told the 400 guests gathered at the New York event. Gore, special guest at the D.C. event, said the book will help give voice to those who face discrimination.
"The stories are very compelling," Gore stated. "The book itself is extremely significant and can be transformative in our society and I know that is the hope – that we can give voice to people here and around the world who feel their voice hasn't been heard and who have felt the sting of discrimination and being unwelcomed in their places of worship and many other places in our society.
"I think that Mitchell in his inimitable way, which is always compassionate and loving, points out that people don't really mean to do harm but he lets them know that harm is being done to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens and that it is still happening.
"This book, I think, is going to change people's minds."
Gold, who co-wrote the book with Mindy Drucker, noted proceeds from the book were going to seven nonprofit organizations that work with gay youth. He encouraged attendees to help in the effort to get the book into the hands of those people who need to read it.
Numerous individuals who contributed narratives for the book were present at the New York and D.C. launch events, including U.S. Rep.Tammy Baldwin, Ari Gold, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Hilary Rosen, Jody Huckaby, Lane Hudson, Dan Karslake, Alexander Robinson, Joe Solmonese, Robert Wrasse, Kevin Jennings, Bob Williams, Jim McGreevey, Jimmy Creech and Brent Childers. Additional contributors attending the L.A. event included Bruce Bastian, Jarred Horsford, Alec Mapa, Brian Graden, Brandon Kneefel, Howard Bragman and Jorge Valencia.
Tipper Gore was a special guest at the launch event in Washington, D.C.
Author Mitchell Gold spoke to the close to 1,000 people attending the Washington event Wednesday evening.
Crisis book contributors, front row right to left, Bob Williams, Mindy Drucker, Robert Wrasse and Mitchell Gold. Back row right to left, Jimmy Creech, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, Alexander Robinson, Tipper Gore, Scott Shepard and Joe Solmonese.
Outside Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams store in New York