Friday, January 11, 2013

" I write my books to empower these teens." Guest Blog: Coffey Brown, Author of YA LGBTQ literature

Today, I invited Stacey (aka Coffey Brown) for a guest blog. I think that LGBTQ YA is extremely relevant in terms of visibility and equality. Let's hear from Coffey Brown about the importance of this genre:

I chose to write in the LGBTQ YA genre for many reasons. One of the main reasons I leaned toward this genre was because when I was growing up there weren’t books available to me that didn’t focus solely on the negative aspects of homosexuality. There was no one that I could relate to that was experiencing the same feelings that I was. Things have improved but we need to do more to support this group of teens. 

I found that a large number of the LGBTQ books were geared toward gay males and not lesbians. My books have both gay and lesbian teens in them but I have decided to have my main characters be lesbian teens. In addition, I will also include LGBTQ characters of color. We all develop a better understanding of things when we can relate to the experience. These kids, teens, and young adults deserve to be able to read about reflections of themselves as their heterosexual counterparts do. 

Realizing that you aren’t like your peers is difficult even when it’s a small issue (weight, hair color, etc.). When you start to think and feel “different” it can be frightening. The coming out process begins then. One either accepts or rejects those feelings. Some people never accept these feelings and live a life they think others want for them. Once the feelings are accepted one makes the decision to share it with those that are closest to them. The response after the admission is powerful and directly affects their journey. There are kids that “come out” to their families and are ostracized or disowned. Others may be embraced. These responses and reactions direct the individual’s journey toward self-acceptance.

The issues I address in my books are universal issues that we all face. My characters just happen to be LGBTQ. I write my books to empower these teens. I believe that if we empower them they will become healthier adults. The goals of my stories are to show them the positive aspects of their experiences. My characters offer a glimpse into what some teens face along their exploration toward finding their truest self. Love is love but it becomes challenging when we live in a society that uses religion to define what love is.

In some ways society has made it easier to come out but a large number of families haven’t changed. Religion and geographic locations isolate some teens more than others creating different experiences for them as well. 40% of America’s homeless youth are LGBTQ. That’s incomprehensible to me. I have chosen to donate a portion of my proceeds to The Ali Forney Center in NYC and Time Out Youth in Charlotte, NC. Both of these agencies do tremendous work with LGBTQ homeless youth. In summary, I write in this genre since it wasn’t done for me.

Stacey aka Coffey Brown

Stacey's books are available on Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, B & N, etc.
 Amazon links:

Find out more at

Coffey Brown Books


Thank you for joining me today!

Next week (January 18th), I'll have an interview with Special Effects Makeup artist Michele Mulkey, where we talk about her work and inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I love the idea of writing books to help out LGBT teens. I've been trying for a while now to come up with a way to help young people come to grips with their identity and I've also wanted to some way help them stand up to their tormentors in school. Excellent work Ms. Brown. I'll help spread the word to teens about your books and I may just take your idea and come up with a YA series of my own dealing with these issues.
    -Alison Holt