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Kicked Out Paperback – January 1, 2010
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"The work's benedictory approach is a breath of fresh air, as far too many accounts of this population emphasize the gaps in care, homophobia in foster care, and the lack of beds for queer youth. While the essays in Kicked Out acknowledge these challenges, the work emphasizes coping and resiliency." --Lambda Literary Review, July 8, 2010
This book is not an easy read, and neither should it be. Within its pages are individual truths of youth living kicked out. It provides a variety of perspectives from a diverse group of authors ranging in age, experience, and current living situation. Within it lie autobiographical stories, photography, interviews and poetry. --TransEnough.com, February 21, 2010
The real strength of Kicked Out is how, by telling survivors' stories in their own voices, the stories feel viscerally real. The contributions all feel very soul-baring and Truthful-with-a-capital-T, particularly the incredible photos by Samantha Box. --Transparental.com, February 18, 2010
For the person looking at this stuff in depth for the first time, this book as a whole will break your heart, educate you about the resources for queer youth that do exist, give you tools for advocating for change, break your heart again, and light a fire under you for immediate action. --Femmeliberation.Wordpress.com January 11, 2010
About the Author
Judy Shepard is the author of the first three books in RSD Publishing's Retail Spaces series, Small Stores under 250 m2 (2,700 sq. ft.); Food--Cafes, Markets & Eateries; and Restaurants and Bars. Additionally she has authored The Office Idea Book: Creative Solutions that Work and New Trends in Visual Merchandising, both published in 2012. Shepard is also the associate publisher of Retail Design International, the premier periodical for seeing the best in retail design, visual merchandising and display. She has designed and collaborated with Martin Pegler, to publish more than 25 books on store design, including the Stores of the Year and Store Windows series and she has authored books on visual communication, catalog design and retail branding.
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A must read for those that care about the youth of America and see that these youths are our future.
For some of the writers, homelessness is a relatively recent experience--for others it is now in their past. Editor Lowrey put together the book she* wished had been available when she was first on the streets and needed confirmation that she was not alone, that she could survive. And although some of the kids forced to fend for themselves have been tragically lost, others show incredible resilience, banding together to form intentional families and the sanctuary of community.
The book points out that very few urban areas have recognized the need to serve dispossessed LGBT youth by establishing shelters or safehouses; money is tight and public support is often hard to rouse. The homelessness of these kids is but a symptom of a larger and more pervasive cultural problem: we are a society that does not value all people, and somehow there seems to be a tacit belief that parents of LGBT youth are entitled to abdicate their responsibility to love and protect the children they have created. (Such a mindset is, of course, due to a homophobic and transphobic culture.)
The stories are of slightly varying quality, partly due to the editor's conscious decision to leave the accounts in each writer's own words. However, most of the narratives are very impactful--and the idea that young people are left to fend for themselves before they are ready for physical, emotional, and psychological independence should be disturbing to us all. This book is about survival, in all its debasement and its glory.
[* Editor Sassafras Lowrey is referred to in this review as she, although s/he would have preferred the gender-neutral pronoun, ze. I must admit that although I understand the fluidity of the male-female continuum, I get a little turned around with genderqueer thinking--partly because I'm stuck in the headspace of traditional binary-gender pronouns.]