We, as a community, are under or misrepresented in the media and this impacts upon how individuals are perceived and treated by society. Positive, inspirational role models from the LGBT community can have an enormous impact on addressing this and can give hope to individuals who feel less valid and disenfranchised from society.
The “community” if such a thing exists is diverse but too many live in the shadows. My point, with this book, is that self worth determines our potential and that blending in is a direct result of feeling “less than”, feeling ashamed of how God (whatever that means to you) made you”.
Harvey Milk’s legacy, for me, is the growing number of proud LGBT individuals who refuse to live lives limited by the judgment of others.
We can be part of society without blending in. To me it means living with 100% authenticity (as Dr Phil or Oprah might say!). We shouldn’t compromise our identity to be accepted and everyone regardless of sexuality or gender identity has a right to fully live.
Life need not be a self-fulfilling prophecy and by recognizing that our “truth” has been shaped through our relationships, our environment and our experiences, we can begin to change our perceptions, heighten our self-esteem and move toward our personal and professional goals with clear vision and purpose….
The book sets out to highlight and challenge social perceptions of the LGBT community; to understand the causes of low self-esteem and suicide ideation felt by many LGBT individuals and, through a unique collection of inspirational interviews with well known and everyday people, to inspire and encourage the younger generation, or anyone questioning their validity, to lead a balanced, fulfilling and dignified life.
Role models from education, entertainment, law enforcement, medical and emergency services, politics, religion and sports have participated in this accessible and much needed discourse to illuminate the reader’s journey of self-discovery and self- efficacy.
Openly LGBT and successful role model figures can play an enormous part in highlighting the wealth of possibilities available to young people. These people, who are successfully modelling admirable qualities and character traits such as determination, diligence, vision and consistent effort, can only serve to inspire and encourage the younger generation, or anyone questioning their validity, to lead a balanced, fulfilling and dignified life.
Notable voices in the book are Harvey’s colleagues, Anne Kronenberg and Danny Nicoletta; actors Stephen Fry and Alan Cumming; musician Darren Hayes (Savage Garden); Sordid Lives writer Del Shores; Michael Musto; filmmaker, Parvez Sharma; Calpernia Addams; NBA star John Amaechi and authors Lesléa Newman and Tom Rob Smith.
For young people coming to terms with their sexuality it’s really important that they have positive, high achieving role models as a way of boosting their self esteem and confidence. This kind of book shares the experience of a very diverse group of LGBT people. Individual and collective experience offers the inspiration and motivation for LGBT people to do something worthwhile with their lives and live their dream.
It’s no shame to get help and inspiration from others, which is why David Watters ‘Never Blend In’, is so timely.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DAVID WATTERS AND NEVER BLEND IN:
POLARI ON SPRINGS ARTICLE:http://www.polarimagazine.com/?p=794
PIRATE CAT RADIO (INTERVIEW WITH CONTRIBUTOR SIMONE CAMPBELL, MARCH 2010):http://www.piratecatradio.com/
MANCHESTER MOUTH (INTERVIEW APRIL 2010):http://www.manchestermouth.co.uk/index.php?action=content&content_id=27
10thousand Couples LLC (ARTICLE MAY 2010): http://10thousandcouples.com/issue/may-2010/article/never-blend-in
INTERVIEW WITH KIERAN PROUT, ’Reporting to you from outside of the closet’: http://www.mediafire.com/?lghmymnbgan
NEVER BLEND IN IS CITED, BY ANTOINE SPITERI PhD, AS BEINGLITERATURE THAT GAVE BIRTH TO GAY EXILES:http://www.antoinespiteri.com/exile.htm
BLOG.HOLLYWOODPORTRAITARTIST.COM (James Michael McCracken):http://blog.hollywoodportraitartist.com/2009/04/11/interview-with-mr-david-watters-londonengland.aspx