Out Is In is a collection of short stories involving discovery, fear, bravery, the journey to truth, young love. and growing up. The stories aren't filled with the super supportive parents, family, schools, churches that we would like to surround our young people with, but the stories do contain victories along the way to realizing the "It gets Better" promise. Even though the stories contain serious themes, they are filled with the author's humor. Emery Walters can't help himself; he's a funny guy and can find humor most anywhere. You will enjoy the ride as he guides each young protagonist through the agony of self-discovery, coming of age, the journey toward his own truth, and the promise of "It gets better."
Growing up is hard at best, but if you're also gay, even if you know about one in ten people are, it can seem as if you are the only one. It does get better., but first, you have to survive.
It takes courage to open the closet door, and you have to consider your safety when you do. Once you are out, though, you'll find that you are definitely not alone.
Out Is In contains pain, confusion, despair, and longing in a volume of short stories. If that were all, it might be a hard read, but each story also includes love, hope, growth, and large doses of the author's irrepressible humor.
Life is not only better out than in, it's fun, too.
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Independently Published
Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 3
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay, Transgender
Protagonist 1 Age: Under 18
Tropes: Coming of Age, Coming Out / Closeted, First Time, Hurt / Comfort, Wide-Eyed Innocence
Word Count: 65690
Languages Available: English
“I was there.” That was all Jace said, but I knew instantly what this quiet kid sitting behind me meant. It was the talk of the day. Some random guy had jumped off a parking garage near the school earlier this morning. Nobody knew who it was or even if the guy had been a student here. Everybody was worried sick or wondering about any kid who hadn’t shown up today.
Study hall was supposed to be a quiet time of learning, and if we kept our conversation quiet, maybe I’d actually learn something. In all honestly, I was still immature enough to want to be the one who announced to everyone that I knew who it was… It sure wouldn’t be Jace who told everyone, as he hardly ever spoke to anyone.READ MORE
So it was with mixed grace that Matt turned to face the quiet boy behind him. He took in his neat dark hair, his deep sea-blue eyes, and realized he was a very good-looking kid, and yet he was never joking with the girls or bragging about his ‘conquests’ like the other boys did, loudly and obnoxiously. Even he himself did it, though almost all of his was pure fiction.
“Did you see it?” Matt asked, not sure he really wanted details or not.
Jace looked down and bit his lip. Matt blinked. What? “What?” he asked stupidly.
When Jace looked back up from under long lashes, there were tears in his eyes, staying there, making diamonds against the blue.
“Uh oh,” thought Matt. “Mmmm. Shit. Fuck. No. Please?”
“What?” asked Jace, looking bewildered, his head tilting and his lips staying apart.
“I – said that out loud? Ha-ha!” returned Matt, as red flushed up his cheeks in a storm. He blinked and his tongue darted out to lick his suddenly dry lips. “The – the – man, right?” his voice chose right then to break.
The tears broke over Jace’s lower lids and started down his cheeks, but he had them off with the back of his hand in a heartbeat. An embarrassed blush bloomed in his cheeks. He looked at his hand like he’d never seen it before. “It wasn’t – a man,” he stammered.
“It was a kid, from here, from our class.”
“And it was my fault.”
Matt’s whole being changed, not just his goal – which had been to get the low-down, the scoop, and be the big-shot who spread the news – but his entire focus went from on himself to on this boy before him, a living, breathing, hurting (not to mention sexy as hell) human being – just like himself.
“Come on, we’re skipping out of here,” he whispered, and he grabbed Jace’s elbow, stood up, and sidled out the back door of the classroom.
Once outside, Matt led Jace to the woods and a short way down a trail he knew, to a wooded area where they could be alone. It was too beautiful a day for death to have touched it; it jarred him, this dichotomy, but there it was. Now, he settled himself against a tree, and pulled Jace, who was wiping his arm across his face, down beside him. Jace leaned against him and Matt could feel him quivering with an effort not to sob.
Matt dared to brush his lips against Jace’s cheek, and Jace stilled beside him, took a deep, shuddering breath, and began to speak.COLLAPSE
This is an interesting compilation of short vignettes and several longer stories about coming out as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender (LGBT that highlight the fears and real dangers of coming out in today’s society. In each of them, the protagonist finds one or more accepting friends as their story progresses. The statement following the stories reinforces the “It Gets Better” concept that is now the code for major efforts to improve the lot of often-unwanted LGBT young people.
None of the stories relate to those happy circumstances where schools, parents, and other relatives are truly supportive of the protagonist’s need to be him- or herself. Most involve a parental and/or school environment that is hostile to them – currently a reality in our society. The positive outcomes in these stories are mostly minor, but point toward the “It Gets Better” theme of the book.
Author Emery Walters includes six-page summary of advice for those coming out – or staying in, if that is their need. There is also a short list of excellent resources to aid those needing additional help and advice.
Out Is In is an excellent choice for libraries and advisors who need to offer this type of support for young people finding their way.
Available through Amazon, Kindle,and other on-line book stores.