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The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to their Younger Selves

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  993 Ratings  ·  132 Reviews
Life-saving letters from a glittering wishlist of top authors.

If you received a letter from your older self, what do you think it would say? What do you wish it would say?

That the boy you were crushing on in History turns out to be gay too, and that you become boyfriends in college? That the bully who is making your life miserable will one day become so insignificant that
Hardcover, 281 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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The Letter Q is a series of letters written from several gay authors to their younger selves. Many of these letter are affirmations, positive declarations about who the younger person will become. This collection is edited by Sarah Moon.

Within the pages of this slim book the reader will find 64 of the most provocative, sad, enlightening, inspiring tales you may ever read. The tales vacillate from comic to tragic and all of the in-betweens. I found a little bit of wisdom to come out of ever sing
Jennifer Rayment
May 01, 2012 Jennifer Rayment rated it it was amazing
The Good Stuff

David Levithan's essay was so hilarious yet sweet and honest - will now be looking for some of his writing
A good mixture of humour, sadness and anger
The message of hope and forgiveness is so prevalent and beautifully and honestly done
Very powerful and inspiring
Brian Selznick's essay was extremely funny and tender
Martin Moran's essay is heartbreaking, so brave to have told his story - such strength of character and a very inspiring story to those LGBT youths with thoughts of su
Aug 04, 2014 Jordan rated it really liked it
I inhaled the first one hundred pages of this volume in one sitting, and then I was trying figure out why that was. Moreover, I was trying to figure out why I was enjoying this book so much more than It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, which I anticipated loving... and then didn't.

After another hundred pages of The Letter Q, I figured it out: I liked the specificity. The authors, actors, artists, and other creatives in this volume are addressing th
Aug 30, 2015 Joan rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful collection of stories written by adults to their younger selves. It is basically 64 people saying to young people to hang in there because life really does get better with every life experience you have.
Aug 31, 2015 Missy rated it liked it
I really wish there were letters from trans folks in this. So, that was disappointing.
Jacob Wade
Mar 16, 2016 Jacob Wade rated it really liked it
If you could tell your younger self anything, absolutely anything, what would you say. Well that’s what The Letter Q edited by Sarah Moon showcased, but the special thing about this book was that fact that it was comprised of all queer writers(LGBT). I was attracted to this book because I was extremely interested in what someone would tell themselves and then use their advice to apply to myself in order to enhance my life.

As a whole, this book had everything from the boy who dreamed of having a
Christina G
Jun 10, 2012 Christina G rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Perhaps it would have been a better experience if I hadn't wolfed down the book in two or three sittings, because at times the stories started feeling redundant. But all the pieces were heartfelt, many were beautifully written, and there are diverse voices in here, though a little more diversity is always a desirable improvement.

The comics were great, especially the ones by Lucy Knisley and Michael DiMotta. And I loved Diane DiMassa's piece for its grit and refusal to sugar coat adul
Jul 28, 2012 Alan rated it liked it
This is a collection of letters, notes, and comic strips from sixty-four award-winning writers and illustrators such as Michael Cunningham, Terrence McNally, Amy Bloom, Armistead Maupin, David Leavitt, Christopher Rice, and Susan Stinson. Each of these “letters” are messages the authors have written to their younger selves to ease the bumpy road of growing up an lgbt youth, all in the tone of “It Gets Better.” They give bracingly honest reasons for young people to tough it out, and hold out for ...more
This collection of letters from LGBT writers to their younger selves is, for the most part, a fascinating and marvelous compilation. Infused with hope, these letters are projected as the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, many of them containing universal truths that stretch far beyond simply the measure of gay or straight. Serving as a reminder that each of the trials of adolescence will carve a path towards a full and enriched life, the messages confront the deeply personal struggles o ...more
Christa  Seeley
Originally posted at Hooked on Books

How do I even begin to write a review of this collection? No matter what I write it won't be enough to express the impact this The Letter Q had on me.

Every single letter in this collection was incredibly thoughtful, moving and most of all brave. These authors really put themselves out there. All their fears, struggles, confession - they didn't hold back. And I have a huge amount of respect for them. It couldn't have been easy for Julie Anne Peters to admit tha
Jun 10, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
What a wonderful idea for a book! Sixty-four authors and illustrators write letters to their younger selves, offering advice and inspiration. In a sort of "If I'd known then what I know now" fashion, the short entries offer insight into their lives as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered individuals. All are reminders that it does get better if you can just hold on. After all, high school is not life, and there is hope for everyone. Because the letters come from so many different creative spi ...more
Lelia Taylor
Apr 23, 2012 Lelia Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: full-reviews
The Letter Q:
Queer Writers’ Notes To Their Younger Selves
Sarah Moon, editor
James Lecesne, contributing editor
Arthur A. Levine Books, May 2012
ISBN 978-0-545-39932-6
Hardcover (ARC)

The title of this remarkable anthology says it all—a multitude of LGBT authors, more than sixty of them, have come together to tell themselves as young adults what they wish they had known back then. In doing so, they also are reaching out to today’s youth who are struggling with their sexual identities, letting them kno
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
May 25, 2012 Melissa (YA Book Shelf) rated it really liked it
Many of the letters to the authors' teen selves in The Letter Q knotted up my stomach and / or brought tears to my eyes. They write with an honesty that is at times poignant, and at other times, are funny and heartwarming. Although it's directed toward LGBT teens, I think readers of all ages and sexual orientations will enjoy this book, and of course, buying this book is sure to save lives. Why? Well, part of the profits will go toward the Trevor Project, the leading, national nonprofit organiza ...more
Jude Watson
May 08, 2015 Jude Watson rated it did not like it
Didn't finish, such a mixed bag. The letters by authors and artists I love were predictably fabulous (Erika Moen, Michael Cunningham), and it was sweet to read their reflections about their younger selves, but really I think this book is marketing itself falsely. I got two thirds through without a singe letter by a trans person, at which point I gave up. If you're going to exclude trans people, just say that your book is for LGB people. Otherwise I will get the rages. Which I did. If you can't e ...more
Oct 17, 2012 kimberly rated it it was amazing
really, smashingly, fantastic; often moved me to tears.

this compilation works so well because it's so personal and partly because they're all following a prompt - to write a letter to your younger self.

it was so interesting and enlightening to see how these writers thought of themselves, to see how they struggled, the love they have now (whether physical, emotional, or general) and to see at what age they choose to address themselves. at what point in their lives did they choose and for what re
Dec 02, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing
I love the premise of the (2012) book, The Letter Q (edited) by Sarah Moon & James Lecesne ~ with the idea that we might write a letter to our younger selves, in order to resolve some incidental, certainly at some time incendiary, still uncomfortable issue from our past, in order to reaffirm who, what & where we have become in our future state-of-mind. As if our younger selves were still out there somewhere & could affect a change from the past to alter somehow our contemporary selve ...more
Danielle Mohlman
May 08, 2014 Danielle Mohlman rated it liked it
I got picked up in a Metro station while I was trying to read this book. I had just finished what was an eleven-hour work day after pinch-hitting on my second job and after telling this (kind, very courteous) guy that I typically don’t read science fiction so his book recommendations were playing to deaf ears, I explained to him what “queer” meant. And why I feel that it’s a word we should use without tripping over it. This book does the rest.

I read It Gets Better around the same time last year
Stephanie Folarin
May 27, 2014 Stephanie Folarin rated it it was amazing
Sarah Moon and James Lecesne enlisted award-winning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender authors and illustrators for the creation of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves . The artists were asked to compose letters to their younger selves about the realities of being LGBT.

Located within the pages of this brilliant collection, the reader will find 64 provocative, illuminating, despondent, and inspiring tales of bravery and triumph. Each story touches upon many social issu
Aug 23, 2012 Bradley rated it liked it
A spin-off from the "It Gets Better" project, this book is a collection of essays by GLBT writers who are writing letters of encouragement to their younger selves. While the concept is interesting, and many of these are really great, there are a LOT of them. I literally started getting bored about half way through and began skimming through an essay to see if it was more-of-the-same or worth reading more carefully.
Jan 03, 2016 Desiree rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqa, non-fiction
This was, truly, so wonderful.

"When you encounter people who have small minds or tiny hearts [...], try not to be too discouraged. Don't take it personally and don't waste time convincing yourself that they have the right idea. They don't. Remind yourself that they may be members of your species, but they do not belong to your tribe - and you won't belong to theirs. Go find your own people. And don't allow anyone to make you feel bad because of who you are. Ever."

This is a book's worth of perso
May 11, 2014 anonymous rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book that saves lives. This is a must read for anyone who has every struggled with any aspect of their identity, particularly their sexual orientation. It is a compilation of letters that queer writers wrote to their younger selves, and it is truly fantastic. I recommend getting this book for yourself, or for anyone who is struggling, or has just come out, or is confused and miserable. You can read from start to finish, or you can jump around from author to author, either way ...more
May 12, 2012 Robin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
Honest, encouraging, humorous, loving, sincere -- this collection of letters by queer writers captures why it's beautiful to be alive. The diversity of the authors featured in terms of age, race, sexual orientation, and gender identity is also refreshing.
Terri Jacobson
Feb 15, 2013 Terri Jacobson rated it liked it
In this book, gay writers pen letters to themselves at a younger age. Some of the letters are moving, some funny, and all of them have good advice for any teen struggling with identity and issues of sexuality. Quite an interesting book.
Heidi Gonzalez
Jul 30, 2014 Heidi Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Uplifting letters from authors to their younger selves. These letters cover everything from self-acceptance, keep pursuing your dream because it will happen, to stop being a bully and hanging out in parks at night. For every kid who thought they were weird, different or didn't know where they fit in this shows that it does indeed get better. I also like the idea of writing to yourself, one of the authors actually wrote a letter to his older self when he was 13 then stumbled upon it later and use ...more
Kelli Pudelko
Mar 14, 2016 Kelli Pudelko rated it it was amazing
As far as book go, this one is beautiful. I read it as an assignment for college to cover my social issues book, and I actually purchased it online, before going to the store and purchasing the book itself as well. I think this book speaks on so many levels, it covers a subject that is going to be so relevant in my job as an educator. Especially in middle school when people are starting to define their sexuality, I think having a book like this around that tell you that it does get better, and l ...more
Saleena Davidson
Feb 05, 2014 Saleena Davidson rated it really liked it
The Letter Q is a simple premise, but effective. Writers of all sorts send notes back to themselves as when they were in middle school or high school. The emotion and information provided is intense and will be most appreciated by teens. I don't know if teens will pick this up by themselves, but perhaps if you leave it laying around, they will thumb through it......and perhaps, they will draw some comfort from those who have been there that it gets better. That is really all we can do....and hon ...more
Morgen Love
Jun 30, 2014 Morgen Love rated it it was amazing
This book was one of my favorites. Just being able to see all the stories from LGBTQ adults was inspiring. It puts a sense of hope within your heart. Some of them tell the stories of what they feel and others tell the stories of what they went through to get to where they are today. This is a truly amazing book. I would recommend this to anyone, even if you aren't LGBTQ or an ally...maybe it would open your eyes to what they go through and what they have went through all their lives. I'm so glad ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Ama rated it liked it
For the most part I enjoyed reading the letters in this book, especially the inclusion of the graphic novel style ones; however, as I was reading one after another, several seemed repetitious. On the one hand, this is great as it shows that even though they felt they were alone in their experiences, there were others who were feeling and experiencing the same. On the other hand, this made for a somewhat boring read at times.

Additionally, many of the writers are not names that would be known to t
Aug 04, 2015 Emilia rated it really liked it
I tore through this book; I couldn't help it. Each letter was like a hug. But like all hugs, I suppose, some were more comforting than others. Bruce Coville's was my favorite solely because he was the only author who identified himself as bisexual — I thought my heart would burst reading his letter. Two first kisses? Ambisextrous? It was utterly delightful for me, a young bisexual, to read such a thing — I imagine that young homosexuals reading this book would feel that way more consistently. I ...more
Feb 01, 2015 TheCosyDragon rated it really liked it
This review has been crossposted from my blog at The Cosy Dragon . Please head there for more in-depth reviews by me, which appear on a timely schedule.

This isn't a novel at all. It's a collection of letters by queer authors to their younger selves. The book was produced because every young person identifying as queer has a right to know that their situation of feel lost, alone or misunderstood isn't unique - there's someone out there that can understand.

I enjoyed it because it had so many eman
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Bookbent: July/August/September 2012 - The Letter Q 4 12 Aug 28, 2012 06:52AM  
BLOG: Have You Heard of The Letter Q? 1 9 May 07, 2012 03:52AM  
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Sarah Moon is a teacher, writer, and translator. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
More about Sarah Moon...

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“Once is sometimes enough and once is sometimes necessary.” 8 likes
“One day many years later you will ask her if she wishes you were straight. She will hesitate, then say,"I love you just the way you are." You will never forget that.” 2 likes
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