In his first memoir, Brave Face, bestselling YA author Shaun David Hutchinson (We Are the Ants) tells the story of young adulthood and the harrowing experience of growing up and coming out in the 1990s.
Hutchinson always felt different, like something was missing or out of place, though he couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was. As he entered adolescence and high school, the feeling only got stronger. He tried to cover it up by doing everything that a “normal” teenage boy should: goofing off in class, joining extracurricular activities and going on dates with girls. But none of those things filled the void in Hutchinson or drowned out the voices that told him he wasn’t good enough and would never find love. To do that, he needed to learn to accept who he really was. But how do you do that when the world is telling you that who you are is wrong, and how do you find love when you don’t even love yourself?
By turns funny and heartbreaking but always gut-wrenchingly honest, Hutchinson pours his soul onto the pages of this memoir, offering up his own struggles as a source of understanding and solace for other queer people of all ages and in all stages of their journeys. His real journal entries and emails provide a level of heightened authenticity and make it all the more relatable.
Hutchinson’s story, though full of triggering topics such as depression and self-harm, is ultimately one of hope, and certainly one that still needs to be heard by so many LGBTQ+ youths who are struggling to accept themselves in a world that keeps trying to change them.