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The I’m From Driftwood book contains 51 true, first-person stories from LGBTQ people around the world. While some stories recount bitter memories of violence, hatred, and intolerance, most are a testament to the most common of human emotions – optimism, love, honesty, and hope. Together, these stories offer rare insight, and lend indisputable humanity to the lives of LGBTQ people everywhere, giving queer people young and old the world over a sense of community and a reassurance that they are not alone.
REVIEW by Toby Grace for Out in Jersey
The “I’m From Driftwood” project, active since March of 2009, has been collecting the stories of LGBT youth from all over the world to ensure that these voices of suffering and endurance but also of love, compassion and bravery will not go unheard or be forgotten. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of these sometimes brief, usually simple but always eloquent stories. Older gays will see themselves – their own lives and experiences – mirrored in these episodes of family drama, love lost and found and personal struggle and will say “oh yes, I remember…that’s how it was – that’s how it is.”
Young people newly facing their own reality and trying to find their place in the grand scheme of things will find great strength in the knowledge that they are not alone. The challenges they face in accepting the truth of their own natures have been faced by many others who found ways to overcome; to be who and what they really are deep inside. These are the stories of the ones who survived and as such, will help others who come after them to know that survival is possible no matter how much hatred and rejection they experience. Much more than survival though, these stories bring with them the certainty that acceptance and ultimately love is more than possible – its part of life and it can come to those who triumph over the hatred and do not permit it to close them off or make them hide.
This is a beautiful book. It shines with honesty, compassion and love. This is a book to put in the hands of young people in the sure knowledge that it will help. Every school library in the country should have copies. It is also a book to be embraced by older people, both gay and straight. Older gay and lesbian people will recognize their own lives herein and straights may perhaps gain some needed insight into what we have suffered and struggled with. It is also important to mention that sales of the book help to support the on-going Driftwood project. Get a copy. You won’t regret it.