Stephanie Silberstein is…

It was now or never, and the idea of never hurt too much…

Seventeen-year-old Arthur Jensen has never kissed another boy. The small town he lives in thrives on gossip, and he has enough problems fitting in being Jewish and mainly fatherless.

Then handsome, muscular Mitch moves in next door. For the first time ever, Arthur decides to pursue an actual relationship. At first the boys keep it to themselves, but soon that isn’t enough for Arthur. Mitch is afraid to come out, but Arthur can’t stand to keep their relationship in the closet. When the boys decide to declare their love openly, the whole school turns on them in ways they never expected.

They just wanted to be happy. That was their “sin”.

Author Stephanie Silberstein has utilised her considerable talents to create the novel Shades of Gay, an engaging work of sensitivity, compassion and humanity.

Shades of Gay is described by Silberstein as a young adult novel, written specifically for LGBT teens, which features three teenagers caught up in a love triangle of sorts: Arthur, who is gay; Mitch, who is bisexual; and Emily, who is asexual.
The novel is told from Arthur’s point of view, and examines the effects of homophobia on LGBT teen’s lives, as well as delving into coming-of-age issues such as leaving home and holding onto friendships for longer than appropriate.


Author, Stephanie Silberstein, created Shades of Gay in response to a close friend’s struggle to accept her orientation. The novel is intended to support LGBT teens who may be feeling isolated and/or suicidal and 10% of the novel’s profits will go to support the Trevor Project.

Stephanie told me:

My main interest as an LGBT advocate is in suicide prevention. My best friend nearly committed suicide, in the summer of 2008, because of non-acceptance of her sexual orientation. Even at times when she was not acutely suicidal, she was suffering and hurting.

Nobody should be in that kind of pain just because they don’t happen to be heterosexual.

I decided to write my novel, Shades of Gay, in honor of her struggles. It is for her and for all the people who still suffer from depression/suicidal thoughts and impulses because of being LGBT.

Somewhere along the way, I learned that her situation is not at all uncommon; in fact, 1 out of 3 suicides are LGBT related. At this point, I realized my mission was bigger than writing a book for LGBT young adults. I wanted to dedicate my life to lowering the suicide rate in the LGBT community.

This issue has become even more important to me now because I’m realizing that it is not a ‘hot button” issue like many of the legal issues we are dealing with. I believe this issue is just as important and needs as much press time/advocacy time as marriage equality. Our community is losing members to suicide on a daily basis. My mission is to change that.

There are many ways to make a difference, many methods to repair the world. It’s not necessarily about writing a book and it’s not even about waving a placard or marching in a parade, unless that’s your style. Instead, it’s about finding the correct method of communication for you.


We must ALL  find the strength, resolve and determination to lead and influence the change we want to see, to bring hope to those who have none.

As Stephanie Silberstein says, “I live by the principle of Tikkun Olam. God calls Jewish people to repair the world. According to the Kaballah, when we do mitzvot (good deeds), we reclaim the lost pieces of God. In addition, on a personal level, I feel my life has meaning when I have helped and/or positively affected others. So I strive to make people’s lives better and by so doing make the world a little better”.

Save Lives/Take Action

If you are feeling suicidal, please call their 24-hour lifeline immediately at 866-4-U-TREVOR [866.488.7386]All calls are confidential and toll-free from anywhere in the United States 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.






Shades of Gay – Author Interview:






About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (, personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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