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LGBT novel misses the mark

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Trevor" is an absolute trainwreck of a novella that I encourage anyone, LGBT youth or not, to stay away from. As bad as an '80s after school special, it tries far too hard to connect with current youth: "A board game? Sometimes Mom can be so retro. Hadn't she heard of computers? The Internet? Facebook?"

What "Trevor," the 77-page book from Trevor Project co-founder James Lecesne, tries to do is create a small story about a gay high school student who just wants to fit in. He's awkward and "quirky," so readers who aren't gay male high school students can relate to him.

Unfortunately, no one can relate to him.

Trevor, as a character, is someone I wanted to like. He's exactly like me. He's a young visionary who wants to change the world; he's obsessed with and greatly admires Lady Gaga, and he doesn't fit in with anyone. I really wonder why he's such an outcast since at one point in the third chapter, he and his best friend, Zac, look at Zac's sperm under a microscope.

If the pastime of fellow schoolmates is examining their ejaculate with scientific equipment, Trevor's desire to go as a gender bent version of Lady Gaga for Halloween should not be a cause for concern.

Trevor's repeatedly told he does "gay" things -- like musical theater, for example. He wants to try it, which is gay, until the play's female star announces she'll personally kiss any guy who's "man enough" to win the lead role of "Anything Goes."

When word gets out that Trevor has a crush on a guy, a priest comes to visit him. Honestly, it's just cringe-worthy material that makes me uncomfortable to talk about.

And herein lies "Trevor's" biggest fault. For a novella that's supposed to be about accepting who you are and being comfortable with yourself, it made me extremely uneasy.

Perhaps one of my biggest pet peeves is that "Trevor" is a book that loves to throw around the word "gay" in an insult manner. Personally, I don't view saying, "That's so gay" as offensive, but I can get how other LGBT youth would.

I was home schooled before I got my GED, so I've never been to high school, but do teenage boys really use "gay" in every other sentence? Are straight teenage boys more obsessed with homosexuality than homosexual teenage boys? Are they really that hypocritical?

"Trevor" is an anti-bullying book that completely fails at what it tries to do, and frankly, I felt more of a sense of shame after reading it than pride, particularly because of the extremely weak ending.


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