This literary accomplishment is finely crafted to perfection, written as a thorough, organized, and detailed combination of poetry and prose. Author Courtney Carola, who describes herself as a queer, effortlessly displays a talent for poetry and a vibrant ardor for life, with the will to live it freely!
The very first poem in this collection, “this poem loves you (and it hopes you love you too)” is a poem that knows you and I personally. This selection pulls you into the book with just the right amount of hope and inspiration and begins by speaking to the LGBTQ+ community, directly, saying, “this poem is aware it is aware of the vast spectrum of identities -- sexual identities, romantic identities, gender identities -- it is aware that you fall under an umbrella of identity that appears black to the rest of the world”. Its content is personal, intimate, and acts as a comforting piece of solace to someone who feels shut out, dejected, and misunderstood.
The author’s words take you on a raw, realistic journey of truth, an expedition in which some are prepared to face, while on the other hand, others are completely intolerant of. Nevertheless, regardless of anyone’s personal feelings towards the LGBTQ+ community, Courtney stands bold and refuses to hold back in expressing her genuine feelings concerning millions of people (such as herself) who’ve been silenced for much too long about this topic. Considering this, within the content of this edition, you’ll come across reflective questions for any individuals facing troubles identifying with their outward appearance and inner identity. Carola addresses these issues (questions) tenderly, with love and understanding, making it obvious that she represents herself as a catalyst of peace and reason.
Carola explains how certain types of questions (pertaining to identity) are vital to understanding self and helps one become comfortable in their own skin. Her expressions then lead us to a single universal truth; if you can’t look yourself in the mirror and be honest, then who can you be honest with? Especially in a world warped in lies and dishonesties.
The author answers some of the most challenging and controversial questions pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community’s struggle with such precise clarity and confidence, proving she is wholeheartedly committed to helping other LGBTQ+ individuals live a healthy, safe, comfortable, and confident life. In one section, she shares an important question from an anonymous person on Tumblr: "can you do something about lgbtq youth and mental illness?" and follows this up by including some critical and disturbing statistics related to the mental health and wellness of LGBT individuals. To help keep LGBT individuals motivated she writes,
“No matter what anyone says
you will never be broken
and no matter how hard they try
they can never break you.
Inspirational messages such as this are merely a small portion of the amazing words you’ll read inside of this book! The author’s simple, yet reinforcing words instill a sense of hope, refuge…and if taken to heart can truly restore and repair the wounds inflicted from a dogmatic, critical, and paradoxical society. What makes this read even more interesting is the fact that Carola isn’t the only heroic soul that spills her heart and soul out to the world. Her experiences are collective with others, amplified by the honest testimonials of other individuals from the LGBTQ+ community. One of those valiant spirits is Julia Rose, 19 years of age. Julie writes, “When I was in high school, one of my very best friends was working on coming out as gay. He was struggling a lot, and part of the reason was that he was still coming to terms with the fact himself.”
It is moving, emotional stories and testimonials such as this that break your heart. Readers get the unique opportunity to feel, firsthand, what the members of this community experience daily. And after reading each story a beautiful lantern of hope irradiates for all the anguished and broken hearts! This section is extremely helpful for those who would like to gain a better understanding of what people from this community feel and also helps readers understand why they feel it.
Accepting who we are can be difficult, especially when the identity we attach to doesn’t seem to fit into the traditional standards of society. This book is symbolic for freedom and liberty, representing the many milestones the LGBTQ+ community and people such as, Courtney Carola, have crossed, good and bad. It is a timeless account of history, reviewing the painful past of discrimination and stereotypes imposed upon this community, plus all the internal damage rooted from it all. Which brings us to a conclusion. Through all the pain, hurt, hatred, differences, and whirlwind of emotions, love never fails.
The author finishes strong by including a powerful snapshot of one of our favorite passages in the bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8; 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” She highlights the key points in this passage and boldly points out how the idea and definition of God’s love often appears to be contradictory and tainted in our free-world society. The author’s rebuttals and refutes are stern, strong, and speak directly to those who continue to fuel the cycle of hatred and injustice by minimizing and turning a blind eye to the unlimited suffering the LGBTQ+ community has had to endure.
We believe the inclusion of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 along with the author’s sentiments pertaining to the key elements of love’ s definition is thought-provoking, rousing, and forces readers to contemplate the purity and essence of such a love as explained in the biblical verse, especially when considering the fight and controversies surrounding the LGBTQ+ community.
Overall, Courtney Carola writes proud and strong for not only the LGBTQ+ community, but for all those who have ever felt discriminated against because of their own personal preferences and uniqueness in life, period. She seals this book with multiple surges of confidence listing ‘ten reasons to love being a queer’ along with a colorful illustrated banner of ‘Equality’ to creatively summarize and celebrate her reason, purpose, and cause behind this opinionated and passionate timeless publication. This book is extremely insightful, great for individuals of the LGBTQ+ community and for anyone interested in learning more about the path, Courtney Carola, and others like her have traveled on!
Bravo, Courtney Carola! The Realistic Poetry International Honest Book Review team is pleased to present your book with a 5-star rating.
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