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Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay
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Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Based on the hugely popular blog of the same name, Born This Way shares 100 different memories of growing up LGBTQ. Childhood photographs are accompanied by sweet, funny, and at times heartbreaking personal stories. Collected from around the world and dating from the 1940s to today, these memories speak to the hardships of an unaccepting world and the triumph of pride, sel ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 9th 2012 by Quirk Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 947)
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Sarah
When I bought this, I thought it was going to be real stories, in-depth accounts about realizing you were gay and coming out, but it was really just little snippets that took five minutes to read – I think I read the whole book in under 45 minutes. Still, the pictures in it were absolutely adorable, and although the accounts were short, they managed to convey an awful lot in a few words. It showed the diverse experiences that people had coming out, and even though it didn't get very in depth, it ...more
Nora
This book is adorable! Even if you are illiterate, the pictures will make you smile, and some of them will make you laugh out loud.

It's all photos of gay people when they were children, with a short description by the person. Most of the photos are of boys, and a lot of them follow the script of "I was a very effeminate and fabulous child who hated sports and loved dressing up in girl's clothes and I was bullied a lot, but now I love my life." There are also a bunch of very different photos and
...more
Matt
Absolutely amazing book, full of touching stories of people coming to terms with being gay. Every page has a photo, and is captioned by the subject of that photo - talking about how they came to realize they were gay, coming out, and talking about how they feel now that they are out of the closet. A lot of the stories behind the photos are looked back upon fondly, while some take the time to share the real (and present) pain that is in their lives because of their own journeys.

It really humaniz
...more
Allison L
Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay is the sweet brain child of Paul Vitalgliano who is also known as DJ Paul V. Based on the popular blog of the same name, Born This Way features 100 photographs and narratives submitted by blog readers from around the world. Their stories and their photographs date from the 1940’s to today, and are paired with some very personal narratives about growing up LGBTQ. Some of these narratives will make you smile, some will make you laugh, and some will ult ...more
Sharon
Fantastic book, I just love the stories contained within, and some of the photos that accompany the stories are just fantastic as well.
Most kids in the book look like every day children, and it just goes to show that they really are the same as everyone else, so why there seems to be this section of the community who seem to feel that they are not because "well, they are gay" is just beyond me.
Some photos you look at them and they scream stereotypical gay, you have to wonder how the parents coul
...more
Alison
Banned Books Week. Unfortunately, many of the challenged books in schools and libraries deal with GLBTX (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Exploring) issues, such as And Tango Makes Three; The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Gossip Girls; My Sister's Keeper; etc.. Instead of banning these books, we should be celebrating them, reminding our GLBT youth they are not alone.

I got an e-mail last week from a friend at Quirk Books, who told me about a book that is hitting the shelves on October 9th en
...more
Sheila DeChantal
Paul Vitagliano knows first hand what it is like to grow up gay. Even in today’s day and age it is still hard to find acceptance without judgement so in 2011 Paul started the blog site “Born This Way” which is a place to share stories and support for the LGBTQ community. The blog exploded with responses, so much so… Paul wrote this book, Born This Way, filling it with pictures of boys and girls at young ages and their stories about when they knew and what it was like when (and if) they came out ...more
Tom
Jan 05, 2014 Tom rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: lgbt
A short cute book about people who've grown up to be gay. The book features a photo from the childhood of a person, some celebrities mostly just ordinary folk, and on the opposite page is a sentence, upto a few paragraphs, of reminiscing about the photo and their early lives knowing they were different at an early age. Some had no words to describe who they were, and some still reject labeling, which is fair enough. But all people featured have accepted who they truly are, and are happy succesfu ...more
Carolyn
An engaging book filled with childood photos of gay men and lesbians, accompanied with short explanations of the photos. Generally, the respondants (some well-known, some not) were sharing their early awareness of being gay and the response of those around them. Spreading over 50 years (1948-1998), the increased level of acceptance over time can be noted, sometimes depending on the location or family's faith. For me, the major "take home message" was how absolutely CRUCIAL family support and acc ...more
Lynne
I have a few gay friends and relatives. As did just about every contributor to the book, my cousin knew she was gay - or at least "different," since she was too young to know what gay meant - when she was 5.

After reading this book, it breaks my heart to learn what gay kids endure, the emotional turmoil of thinking they have a "disorder" or "illness," as well as the taunting and bullying by schoolmates. It's hard enough to be a kid, but to be gay can add tremendous suffering and ridicule.

What I
...more
Oriyah Nitkin
This book, if you can even call it that, was a load of politically driven gay-propaganda drivel. i am all for the message of "know who you are, be yourself and love yourself at all costs" but the blurbs and pictures that belong more in a magazine than a book proclaim (falsely) that homosexuality is always inborn, never a choice (there are plenty of gay people who say the opposite) and that paints a partial picture that leaves readers with the wrong impression.

The content was cute, but suffered f
...more
Michelle
It was a cute book. It was pictures of gays and lesbians and bis as kids and a little story about their childhood or the picture. Cute but most of the submissions were white guys. Could have used more lesbians and people of color. There wasn't even an Asian person and only two or three black people. The lesbians were also more geographically diverse.

Other wise it's acute quick read but you're better off checking out the website/blog.
Shauna
Such a cute book! I loved the photos, in fact I showed so many off to friends. I thought the stories were great, and it's just more evidence that people do not "turn" gay, they are born that way. The only complaint I would have about this book is I wanted more! I wanted to hear more about each individual, hear more about their stories. These are very short inserts on each person, and I would have liked more.

Great book!
Elaine
This is a lovely book full of hope and optimism. No one should endure bullying or cruelty for being the way they were born and I really hope this book will help young generations of gay people to accept themselves ... no, to love and celebrate who they are.The photos were charming and the stories touching. I would certainly recommend it to young people at my high school.
Nicole
Dec 18, 2013 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially if you're gay.
Shelves: books-in-2013
This book is great! It's a bunch of short (one or two paragraph) stories about people discovering gayness or acting gay as a child. The pictures are hilarious and the stories that go along with them are even better. I found it in the online library catalog so it is available through free, easily accessible sources.
Janet
Beautifully written, this book is a series of snapshots, literally and figuratively, of the moment in time when that person realized they were gay or at least different. Made me think a great deal about my own childhood and coming out. A must read in my opinion for anyone who is questioning.
Bibek Thapa
A true, inspiring, funny at times, and enlightening book about growing up gay. It felt wonderful to read these short excerpts of people telling about their experience of growing up gay, coming out to their parents and their life today. I cannot say how much I loved it!
Nikki
Very quick read...for the ebook version every other page was a photo. I enjoyed the stories and came away feeling both happy and sad. I hope one day everyone will realize that gay or straight, we are all people that deserve kindness, respect and love.
Kris
What a touching book. These true stories of feeling different in a straight world are tender, poignant and also pretty funny. The pictures made me laugh, the stories of coming out made me cry and the pure honesty really moved me. Have your hanky ready!
Martha
Such a great idea... a childhood photo with each short essay about their experience... bullying, denial, parental acceptance vs nonacceptance, and so on. Doing a great service... especially for children who think they are the only one.
Alisa
This book had me laughing out loud and Awe-ing at others. Each picture has a story, short sentences in some cases, about growing up and just "knowing " that they were gay or lesbian and that they were "Fabulous!!!!"
Laura Siegel
Delightful vignettes of growing up gay. Visually charming. Each page contains an adorable photo of the lgbt person as a child telling what it was like for them. Funny and poignant memories.
Sandra Munoz
Maybe 20-30 years from now, we'll look back and say...I can't believe gay people were treated this way. It's no different then when women and minorities were denied civil rights.
Andre
It's a wonderful idea for a dose of "Feel Good". It is filled with wonderful, albeit short, stories about the growing-up-gay experience. Best of all- I'm in it!
Kristen
A sweet, short book with a wonderful message that can apply to ANYONE: you are fabulous the way you are and don't let anyone tell you otherwise :)
Clara
Just people like you and I.Wanting to be loved and to love.Some sad,some funny.The photos are priceless.
Good Read.
Jessi
One page vignettes of growing up gay. Some are happy, some not so happy but it's a great book.
Kyle
Very cute. The only noticeable downfall was realizing that Perez Hilton was a submission.

Krista
Super sweet book filled with adorable pictures that made me laugh out loud. It does get better!
Mari
Great stories, some sad to read but great over all!
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Paul Vitagliano (aka DJ Paul V.) is an institution in the Los Angeles and Silver Lake club scene, and whose eclectic club and radio DJ career has thrived for over 30 years, first in his hometown of Boston and in Los Angeles since 1988.

In January 2011, Paul was inspired to create the "Born This Way Blog" - a photo/essay project for gay adults of all genders to submit their childhood pictures and st
...more
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