Many parents make the mistake of NOT discussing the topic of sexuality with teens. Keeping silent will not keep teens from experimenting with heterosexual activities and even homosexual activities. Studies show that more teens are questioning their sexuality and most likely parents will be the last to know. It is estimated that in the U.S., a teen takes their own life every 5 hours because they are gay, bisexual, transgender, or lesbian, and cannot deal with the added stresses that society puts upon them. Oftentimes there are limited resources for teens to relate to during this difficult and confusing time in their life. Literature is a major outlet for teens to turn to find ways to relate to the issues of sexuality that they are experiencing.
In Amber Lehman's new novel, Torn, Lehman explores teen sexuality in its many different facets, from homosexuality, bisexuality, and teens who are simply questioning themselves. Heterosexual relationships are not overlooked either. The novel centers around Krista, a 14 year old girl who was raised in an all-girl's Catholic school in Ohio when she suddenly finds herself facing school in the public system in California. A culture shock for anyone. Throughout the novel she makes many friends, each with diverse lifestyles. But on one occasion Krista will be forced to make her own decision once she is presented with a dare that ultimately has life altering repercussions. This is the catalyst of the story and where the journey of all the characters truly begin.
The main message in the book is that being a teen who is questioning your sexuality is okay. Torn provides a platform to show teens they are not the only one struggling with issues of sexual identity. There is a focus on individual choices, decisions and sexual preferences. These situations are often not remedied or understood overnight. Exploring sexuality is often a process and it's important that teens and parents alike understand this. No answer is better or worse than the alternative, and your true friends will be there for you during this challenging time. In the book, Torn, different people come to different conclusions on their own; just because they have a gay experience doesn't necessarily make them gay. For example: While Krista experiments with Carrie she ultimately decides she's more attracted to boys. While Nick who has previously had a girlfriend finds himself attracted to guys and is ultimately gay. Brandon who has been mainly gay throughout the story finds that he's closer to being truly bisexual. Being open to diversity is what is key. The goal is to make people more sympathetic to people going through this stage in their life.
Closet Case Press is dedicated to helping teens find support through the LGBT community. Facts and helpful links can be found on our website at www.closetcasepress.com. Amber Lehman is a full time author and enjoys writing for the LGBT community. You can learn more about her by visiting the web address above. To order Torn visit http://www.closetcasepress.com/buynow.htm
Causes Amber Lehman Supports
The Lambda Literary Association