In November 2012, Francois Lubbe (Editor of ‘Frank Says’) published the book ‘Love Me As I Am — Gay men reflect on their lives’, in collaboration with Ade Adeniji and Darren Brady, co-founders of The Quest.
‘Love Me As I Am’ is an anthology of 24 biographies and letters written by gay men as they reflect on the childhood experiences that shaped their lives. The early childhood experience of many gay men is one of feeling out of place – a yearning of wanting to belong that has a lasting impact on our lives. Noticing that we are different from our heterosexual friends and family members can soon become a burden.
The true life stories depicted in ‘Love Me As I Am’ are provocative, sad, enlightening and inspiring. These gay men share their personal histories, which are all tied together with the common threads feeling a lack of love and acceptance, being overwhelmed by shame and the painful (but worthwhile) journey to self-acceptance.
‘Love Me As I Am’ is available on Amazon and in high street bookshops. All profits gained through sales of the book will be donated to Diversity Role Models — a UK charity tackling homophobia through education.
|Suran Dickson founded Diversity Role Models in 2011 after teaching in New Zealand and the United Kingdom for 12 years. In both countries there have been legislative changes to protect LGBT people against discrimination and encourage greater acceptance within society.
However, homophobic bullying in schools is still a widespread problem. Not just for LGBT young people, but for any student who is slightly different. After witnessing this herself within schools and hearing of numerous suicides due to homophobic bullying, she was prompted to set up Diversity Role Models to change the way young people are educated about diversity.
All profits gained through the sales of Love Me As I Am will be donated by The Quest to Diversity Role Models.
Suran’s thoughts on ‘Love Me As I Am’:“I can see no better fit for Diversity Role Models than a project like Love Me As I Am which touchingly and at times painstakingly connects grown men with their boy-selves, asking them to go easy on themselves and letting them know that life will get better. This book corresponds exquisitely with our work. Diversity Role Models connects with young people; helps them to understand that people are different, asks them to be gentle with each other and to remember, above all, that love is love and need not provoke anger or bullying in anyone.”
Suran Dickson – CEO Diversity Role Models – charity number: 1142548
|Mark McCormack, Ph.D., is a sociologist interested in understanding the effects of decreasing homophobia in Western cultures. Empirically documenting the erosion of homophobia in educational and sporting settings, as well as in the wider culture, his research explores how this has resulted in an expansion of gendered behaviours for male youth and documents the improvement in life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered youth.
What Mark says about Love Me As I Am:“The positive experiences of gay men’s lives documented in this book, alongside the continued narratives of marginalisation and hurt, are a potent reminder of both the achievements won for equality as well as the distance left to travel.”
Mark McCormack, Ph.D., author of The Declining Significance of Homophobia.