May is "Short Story Month."
One of the things that I loved about SPEAKING OUT was how often the families of the LGBT youth in question were so central to the tale - some supportive, some in transition, some opposing. One of the things about being gay that's a struggle is that you're not (usually) like the rest of your family in this regard, and generally speaking, people are assumed to be straight and cisgendered unless they say or do something to change the assumption. For the family, this can be one heck of a rude awakening.
The next tale in BOYS OF SUMMER is "Summer's Last Stand" by Aimee Payne, and it paints this familial fallout deftly. Corey and his sister are living with their Grandmother after the death of their mother (their father having bowed out long ago). Things have become very tense since Corey's coming out and his declaration that post-graduation he's going to leave their small town for somewhere better. He's not sure why his sister now seems to hate him, but he's tired of being a target. Their relationship is lovely and rings true: "I'm Corey, and this is my brat Emily," Corey says, introducing his sister to his friend's cousin.
The romance here sparks and just barely begins when the brother and sister find themselves at a party crashed by some of the town bullies, and hook up with Corey's friend and visiting (cute) cousin in their attempt to sneak away. "Summer's Last Stand" has a lot of tension to it - what's going on with his sister? What's going on with the cousin? Are they going to manage to avoid a smackdown? Of all the tales, it was the one that made me twitch the most in anticipation of something potentially going south.
It also reminded me that for all we gay folk tend to consider ourselves as individual, our families absolutely do have an influence on us (for good or ill) and that those who are lucky enough to have some solid family who stand behind them should remember to be grateful - the fallout isn't always just on the one coming out.