Steve Berman, ed., September 2011. This volume of short stories (by multiple authors) includes both typical problem-novel-type coming-out stories and also empowerment stories. It’s a mixed bag in that sense, and in terms of quality too, which you’d expect when all of the authors are unknown (to me at least).
The best of the bunch is editor Berman’s own contribution, “Only Lost Boys Are Found,” a story about coming out of the closet that moves from literal closets to a metaphorical basement world involving a quest. Also strong are Dia Pannes’s “Spark of Change,” about lesbian teachers who are so reviled the volunteer firefighters won’t save their house, and Sandra McDonald’s “All Gender U,” featuring a bisexual MTF character who needs a college recommendation letter as a ticket to a traditional world. Danielle Pignataro’s “Gutter Ball” lampshades sports clichés while telling a fun story about a queer bowling team. Rigoberto González’s “Lucky P” is pretty gaytopic in that a bisexual kid’s parents are confused only by the bi part, not concerned that he likes boys. “Day Student” by Sam Cameron and “Waiting to Show Her” by Ann Tonsor Zeddies are both first-love stories involving kids from different worlds coming together around their commonalities. L.A. Fields’s “The Proximity of Seniors” and Will Ludwigsen’s “Forever is Composed of Nows” are more vignettes than stories.
Yeah, a mixed bag. If you like queer fiction anthologies and don’t mind searching for the diamond in the rough, try this one.