|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaSexuality in AdolescenceShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Adam Mastoon
Harpercollins Juvenile, 2001
Review by Ritch C. Savin-Williams, Ph.D. on Feb 23rd 2002
The Shared Heart: Portraits and Stories
Celebrating Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young People, edited and
photographed by Adam Mastoon, is the initial project to help heal homophobia.
Endorsed by Elton John and The Indigo Girls, Shared Heart presents in a systematic pattern, first, a photograph
of a young woman or man between the ages of 16 and 23 years; second, a sample
of her or his handwritten story; and, finally, a 100-500 word essay by each of
the 40 young people profiled. Instructions apparently requested that each youth
relate experiences of coming out to self and others. The intent was to gather
diverse reflections and images of growing up with same-sex attractions because,
to develop a healthy sense of self, we need reflections that verify and affirm
our inner feelings to our external lives. Such an affirmation heals previous
emotional and spiritual damage and inspires the development of an authentic
self. Shared Hearts offers
life-affirming, positive, resilient stories for the young person struggling
with her or his sexual attractions and identification. For further assistance,
relevant books, telephone numbers, and Internet resources are provided in the
last 12 pages.
Aside from a limit regional
focus, the profiled youths are diverse, representing the sexes equally and most
major racial/ethnic groups. Religious and economic variability is also
apparent, but not disabilities. By design, most youths are very out, although
they do contemplate a time in which they were not. The content of their stories
also depicts a spectrum of experiences. For example, some youths were rejected
by their parents and thrown out of the home while others had parents who
celebrated their coming out. Some youths had a trouble-free coming out
experience with accolades and enhanced prestige; for others, it was
treacherous. On the whole, however, the narratives are more positive than
negative, presenting, as the sub-title suggests, a celebration of young gay
life. As such, this book is a more accurate and representative portrait of
young sexual-minority lives than most previous efforts, which have appeared to
deliver the singular message, Coming out is hell and youll pay the price.
The stories thus belie Mastoons own ill-stated and unsupportable claim that
suicide is the leading cause of death among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
This highly glossy book has
beautiful visual images of youths, the text is well presented, and the
handwriting photographs personalize the youths. Unfortunately, the narratives
are too abbreviated. I found myself longing for more in-depth accounts of their
lives and more photographs reflecting a diversity of moods and activities.
Furthermore, without text or commentary by Mastoon, the narratives sometimes
fall flat. Although the intent was clearly to let youths speak for themselves,
their stories have little personal, social, or historic context. I wanted more
and some youthful readers might feel the same. In addition, if you are
wondering about the significance of sex or romance on these young lives, you
will be enormously dissatisfied. The youths appear de-sexed, which is consonant
with what I take to be the central message of the stories, as stated by Josie,
My sexual orientation is a part of me, but it is not all of who I am or what
makes me, and Nathan, I am no different that you. Yes, your sexual orientation is a part of you and
yes, you are different from other youths which is why we need this book and
The narratives are now 7
years old and the coming out process for most occurred a decade ago. For more
recent stories and photographs of young people, go to web sites such as Young Gay America and Coming Out Stories. Otherwise, this book is valuable for youths
considering coming out and recently out teens.
© 2002 Ritch C. Savin-Williams
C. Savin-Williams, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and professor
of developmental and clinical psychology at Cornell University in the
Department of Human Development. He has written six books on adolescent
development, including, ".
. . And Then I Became Gay." Young Men's Stories (Routledge, 1998)
Dad. Im Gay. How Families Negotiate Coming Out (American
Psychological Association, 2001).