Book Look: “It’s OK to be Gay”

image001It’s OK to be Gay is a collection of inspirational coming out stories from well-known figures from the LGBT community, who talk frankly about their own experiences and how their sexuality has shaped their character and success. 

BBC presenter Evan Davis did it when he dropped a bombshell on his family on Christmas Eve. Strictly Come Dancing’s Robin Windsor did it via email after proposing to his boyfriend on a New York helicopter ride. While Jamaican soul and reggae star Diana King announced it on Facebook …

For many lesbian, gay and bisexual people, coming out to family and friends can be a frightening moment in their lives. But a new book, It’s OK to be Gay, published by Accent Press Ltd on October 10, 2013, aims to make coming out easier by sharing the experiences of dozens of gay, lesbian and bisexual actors and actresses, musicians, politicians, authors and sportsmen and women. 

Launched to coincide with National Coming Out Day (October 11) and edited by Alison Stokes, It’s OK to be Gay is raising money for the charity Diversity Role Models and its work to stop homophobic bullying. The charity was founded by former school teacher Suran Dickson, who was recently ranked in the Observer’s Top 100 Gay Power List. It was also featured in the Channel 5 documentary, Gareth Thomas Coming Out: My Secret Past.

Suran Dickson, added: ‘This book will put into words the work our role models carry out when they stand up in front of a class of children and deliver the message that being different is OK. The stories shared by the contributors will give young people – and adults too – the opportunity to share in their experiences and develop empathy around what it means to be different. I’ve no doubt this book will save lives.’

Contributors include rugby star Gareth Thomas, Strictly Come Dancing professional Robin Windsor, BBC Dragon’s Den presenter Evan Davis; actress Sophie Ward; X Factor finalist Jade Ellis; Alice Arnold, journalist and partner of Clare Balding; actor Charlie Condou, who plays Marcus the midwife in soap Coronation Street; reggae star Diana King; Labour peer Lord Waheed Alli; Paralympian Claire Harvey; best-selling crime writer Val McDermid; author Stella Duffy; Paul Burston, editor of the LGBT section at Time Out magazine; Edd Kimber, winner of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off and author of The Boy Who Bakes and Say It With Cake and many more. Chapter by chapter, the celebrities talk frankly about their own experiences, and how their sexuality has shaped their character and success.   

Accent Press MD, Hazel Cushion, added: ‘We are pleased to be working with Diversity Role Models on such an important book. The stories represent a wide range of well-known faces from the worlds of entertainment, politics and sport. Accent Press has a successful track record in producing charity books including last year’s Celebrity Bake Book, which raised money for the Ben Kinsella Trust,  Food For Heroes (the official Help For Heroes Cookbook), and East Meets West which raised money for Tsunami relief.’ 

It’s OK to be Gay is available for purchase here.

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