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Pride Must Be a Place

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Ezra Caine's greatest wish is simply to be the same person everywhere. He wants only to be out, safe, and accepted.
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Author: Kevin Craig
Description

Ezra Caine is gay. He’s sort of out at school but not at home, where he fears the wrath of his father’s bigotry. When Ezra's flamboyantly out friend Alex Mills takes one too many beatings from homophobic bully Will Severe, Ezra finally snaps. Fed up with the situation at school, he decides to do something about it.

With the help of his BFF, Nettie, and some unlikely allies, Ezra rallies to create their small-town school’s first gay-straight alliance. The Rainbow Alliance Club is formed. But the changes don't come without hiccups, one of which being a messy scandal involving Alex and a gay hook-up app.

As Ezra and his friends attempt to sway their school into an alliance of tolerance and acceptance, Ezra experiences a few surprises of his own on the home-front. He also learns the hard way that friendships out of convenience aren't always a good idea, just as some enemies might not be as bad as he originally imagined them to be

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Title Pride Must Be a Place
Author Kevin Craig
Genre YA LGBTQ coming of age
Release February 6, 2018
Designer Eeirlyfair Design
Length 240 pages
ISBN E-book 978-1-77127-987-1  Paperback 978-1-77127-988-8
Price $5.99
Tags LGBTQIA, LGBTQ, GAYYA, Young Adult, YA Lit, Gay, Pride, Tolerance, Sexuality, Bullying, Homophobia, Homosexual, Teen, Gay Teens, High School, Gay Straight Alliance, LGBTQ Alliance,social issues/homosexuality, boys/men,

Excerpt

It’s hard to be yourself. I know, because I’ve been avoiding it for years. But I’ve also been embracing it. It’s hard to explain. You know when you know if you reveal too much of yourself you could be in for a world of trouble? Well, that pretty much sums it up for me. I live in a world where I’m not the same person all the time. I’m getting there. But I’m not ready yet. Not today, anyway. It sucks. I mean, it really sucks. A lot. But I’m not willing to destroy everything in my life just yet.

I think my father hates gays. Or, at least that’s how I see it. I can’t really know for sure what’s in his heart. Or if it will matter if (when) he finds out his oldest son is gay. I just know by the way he sneers when he sees them on TV, or out in the wild on those rare occasions when I’m with him. He looks down his nose at them like they’re some disease-carrying pariahs. It gives me this burning ache in the pit of my belly. Sometimes I think about the way he will eventually turn that scorn and disgust upon me, and I just want to die.

But I don’t think he knows.

I’m not one of those in-your-face gays like Alex Mills. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, so the joke goes. Alex is an awesome guy, sometimes. I love him, mostly. He’s my second best friend, next to Nettie English. But Alex is one of those friends I can’t bring home. Dad would take one look at him and know there’s something wrong with me, something gay with me. You don’t have friends like Alex Mills unless you’re one of them.

My father would love for me to dislike gays as much as he does. He’s such a homophobic bigot. I can’t believe I’m actually telling you this. It’s so humiliating to know something like this about a man you’re supposed to love and respect.

But it’s true. Hopefully, he’s one of the last of a dying breed. I mean, it’s the 21st Century, right? We’re supposed to be accepting of our sexual preference differences. Heck, of all of our differences. But my father is still living in the 70s. Or 80s. Or whenever it was when it was socially acceptable to dislike someone based on their skin colour, or sexual orientation, or whatever it is that makes them different from ourselves. Who knows, maybe that kind of bigotry is making a comeback. It feels like it, anyway.

Like I said, it’s really hard to be yourself, when you’re trying so hard to be anyone but.

It gets harder when you decide you have to do something about the ‘situation’ escalating at school, when you don’t want your home life and school life to intersect.

I know after Alex’s latest episode getting pushed around that I can’t just stand by and let it happen anymore. I’m seventeen and I’ve been standing around letting things happen for most of my life. Sometimes you just get this fire in your belly. When you know there’s injustices happening right in front of your face, there comes a breaking point. Mine is today, when Alex got his face ploughed into a row of lockers by shock-jock Will Severe.

Will, like my father, is kind of a poster child for intolerance. I don’t have the strength to do anything about it at home, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let it happen again at school.

As I wash the blood off Alex’s face in the boys’ washroom after Will’s latest stupid-ass attack, the idea is already forming in my head. I can’t be a wallflower anymore. For one thing, if I try really hard I can actually pass as straight. Alex doesn’t have that option. Alex would be the gayest kid at a gay kid convention. Seriously.

But, see, it’s not even about that. I’m so biased against us myself that I talk about passing like it’s a good thing. Passing isn’t good. Passing is admitting to yourself there is something wrong with being gay. I don’t want to pass anymore. Not at home and not at school. I want to be myself.

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