Growing Up Gay Author To Speak In Ithaca

Alex Sanchez, the author of the acclaimed “Rainbow” trilogy of novels centering on the lives of gay teenagers, will give two presentations during a visit to Ithaca on Monday, April 14. Sanchez will speak at 3 p.m. in Klingenstein Lounge in Egbert Hall on the Ithaca College campus and at 7 p.m. in the Ezra Cornell Reading Room of the Tompkins County Public Library. Both talks are free and open to the public.Sanchez’s 2001 debut novel, “Rainbow Boys,” was the story of three gay high school seniors coming to terms with their sexual identity. The American Library Association selected it as a “Best Book for Young Adults,” while the “School Library Journal” praised it as able to “open eyes and change lives.” Sanchez took the trio through the rest of their senior year in the follow-up “Rainbow High,” then concluded the series by chronicling their post-graduation summer road trip in “Rainbow Road.”Sanchez has also written “So Hard to Say,” a novel for younger readers that was honored with the Lambda Literary Award; “Getting It,” which has been described as “Cyrano de Bergerac meets ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’” and won an award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights; and “The God Box,” which focuses on a Christian teenager who doesn’t want to accept that he is gay.Originally from Mexico, Sanchez received his master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and worked for many years as a youth and family counselor. He says the idea for “Rainbow Boys” came to him at a time when he was struggling with his own coming out issues. When not writing, he tours the country to speak with teens, librarians and educators about the importance of teaching respect and integrity. For more information, visit www.alexsanchez.com/.Sanchez’s visit is sponsored by the Ithaca College Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services; Tompkins County Public Library; Ithaca LGBT Task Force; and Youth Guardian Services. For more information, contact Lisa Maurer, LGBT Center coordinator, at (607) 274-7394 or lmaurer@ithaca.edu.

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