"Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology" is edited by Amy Sonnie and has an introduction by Margot Kelley Rodriguez. This anthology (of 259 + xxvi pages) features the work of over 50 contributors. The editor's note by Sonnie declares that this book is "_by_ and _for_ queer and questioning youth"--it is explained that the word "queer" is employed "as an umbrella term for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people." Also noted is that the contributors range in age from 14 to 26.
The selections in the book are very diverse in genre: visual art, poetry, prose, performance pieces, interviews, diary excerpts. The contributors are also a diverse group, representing many different ethnic/cultural backgrounds. There is a first-person statement from each reviewer that prefaces her/his contribution; also featured are photos of most of the contributors.
The book includes "Queer 101," an intriguing glossary of relevant terminology ("ageism," "FTM," "monosexism," "ze," etc.). Particulary thoughtful is the inclusion of a section on resources for queer youth: crisis hotlines, ethnic organizations, religious support groups, etc.
Yes, some pieces are raw and amateurish, and at times the voices sound pretentious or self-indulgent. But overall the collection is thought-provoking, and at times it is very moving. There were many themes in the book that struck me as particularly significant: being bi- or multiethnic; "coming out": being aware of (and resisting) interlocking systems of oppression; anxiety about invisibility and assimilation; etc.
I found certain pieces particularly memorable. In "Different: My Experiences as an Intersexed Gay Boy," S. Asher Hanley notes how an intersex person can be marginalized in both straight and gay society. "Tasting Home," by Uchechi Kalu, is a compelling poem that deals with immigration and bilingualism. "Straight-Out Pain," a poem by Antigona, is about undergoing an exorcism. But I found the most moving piece to be "The Memory of Bathing," by Qwo-Li Driskell; this short but powerful prose piece recounts a political/emotional epiphany he experienced while attending a national HIV/AIDS forum.
One could consider poet-activists Audre Lorde and June Jordan to be the god(dess)mothers of this collection; each woman receives multiple mentions in the course of the anthology, and the book as a whole really reflects the artistic and political principles that each woman lived out in her life and remarkable work. I recommend "Revolutionary Voices" to readers of all ages.