READING, Pa. – Dawn Heinbach, Founder of Writing Wrongs, the nonprofit sponsor of collegiate journalism workshops aimed at dispelling misperceptions regarding social justice, announces the release of “Outgrowing: Stories from the LGBTQ+ Community” produced entirely by college and university students. The book—written during an intensive three-day workshop held in partnership with the LGBT Center of Reading, PA— represents the fifth edition in a book series challenging societal perceptions of social justice issues. “Outgrowing” is the result of a late summer, 2019, workshop featuring a team of fifteen aspiring journalists, designers, photographers, videographers, and social media managers from multiple colleges in the MidAtlantic region. The students interviewed and then wrote 17 portraits of members of the Berks County LGBTQ+ community and their families, providing clarity into the challenges of living in a straight world or having an LGBTQ+ child.
The book, published by New Dawn Enterprises, LLC, is available through online booksellers for $12.99.
“Outgrowing” represents an important addition to books about the LGBTQ+ community due to its focus on portraits of individual members of the community who voluntarily and candidly discuss diverse issues such as finding one’s place in the alphabet of LGBTQ+ identities; navigating medical, mental health, and educational systems; coming out professionally in a hostile environment; and finding meaningful support for LGBTQ+ offspring. In telling their stories, interviewees hope to help others who may be struggling with their identity. The LGBT Center of Reading and its director, Michelle Dech, are also featured in the book.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community will find companionship with the interviewees as they relay their stories and share resources that have helped them through their identity journeys. “Outgrowing,” however, is more than a self-help book for navigating identity. LGBTQ+ allies and those curious about the LGBTQ+ community will find a wealth of information interwoven into the portraits, as well as the timeline “We’re Here, We’re Queer, We Have Always Been Here: Historic Events in LGBTQ+ Community” and “LGBT Vocabulary,” an extensive glossary.
In addition to photographs of interviewees and the staff of writers, print designers, illustrators, and photographers, the book includes cover and interior art by Veronika Hammond, Montclair State University, ’22. While there are advisors at the program, all work is completed by students during the weekend workshop.
Past editions continue to be available through booksellers: “Strength in Vulnerability: Reclaimed Voices of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault” (2018 print, 2019 ebook), “Untold, Unseen, Unheard: Perspectives on Immigration” (2017), and “Addiction: Stories of Hope” (2016). For more information regarding Writing Wrongs, visit seekreporttruth.com.