Gay Author Hopes First Novel Will Bring Hope to Bullied LGBT Teens

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Fear, isolation and harassment threaten their safety

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Robert W. Littlefield didn’t reveal he was gay until he was 46 years old.

“I was very closeted. Many people suspected, but it was never discussed. I was unhappy, frustrated and kept everything bottled up,” says the author of a new book, And It was Full of Light! Finding the Courage to Overcome Homophobic Bullying and Hate.

When he finally came out, “I was so scared I was shaking.”

Littlefield had reason to be afraid. According to a May 2010 Gallup poll, 43 percent of Americans call gay relations “morally wrong.” The Campus Pride 2010 National College Climate Survey found that gay university students experience significantly greater harassment and discrimination than heterosexual students.

And the Trevor Project, which operates a crisis line for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, reports that nine out of 10 teen LGBT students have experienced harassment at school. Moreover, gay teens are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.

“If my novel can help one gay young person realize he or she is not alone, I’ll feel that I’ve done something with my life,” Littlefield says.

And It was Full of Light! Finding the Courage to Overcome Homophobic Bullying and Hate tells the fictional story of one teenage boy who faces bullying and isolation because he’s gay, and another boy who sees no alternative but to kill himself when he realizes that he is, too.

“I understand the terror that many gay kids and young men feel, because I’ve been there. I understand the trap they think they’re in,” Littlefield says. “And I understand that coming out, accepting who you are, is like opening a door. When I opened it and stepped into a new life, I found that it was full of light.”

And It was Full of Light! Finding the Courage to Overcome Homophobic Bullying and Hate
By Robert W. Littlefield
Size: 9 x 6; retail price: $29.99 (hc), $17.99 (sc)
Available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com

About the author
Robert W. (Bob) Littlefield made two trips to Texas, where his novel takes place, and followed letters from gay teens to XY Magazine for two years as research for his book. He came out publicly as a gay man in the mid-1990s, at age 46. The author attended the University of Massachusetts. He is now retired and living in Provincetown, Mass.

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