CRISIS:40 exposes the pain of growing up gay in America

Their's are stories of teenage angst and long-term turmoil from growing up gay in America.

They are 40 public individuals, middle America teens and philanthropists who share their personal struggles in the book CRISIS:40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay In America, edited by longtime human rights advocate Mitchell Gold with Mindy Drucker.

Scott Touchstone and Ben Collins, owners of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in Green Hills, are hosting a book signing at the Hill Center store on Friday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The book features the stories of many well-known figures including designer Nate Berkus, Bishop Gene Robinson, actors Richard Chamberlain and John Amaechi and many more. The stories comprise what Gold envisioned as "an exposé of a mental health crisis in this country that can easily be solved," as explained in the book's forward, by revealing the pain, depression, isolation, and fear gay teens past and present have experienced.

"My deep-rooted fear was that because I was different I’d lose the love of the people close to me—that my family and friends would be disgusted by who I am. That fear stayed with me for years," Berkus says in the book. "From ages thirteen to seventeen, growing up in the suburbs of Minneapolis in the 1980s, I was in crisis mode. I couldn’t think about anything other than being gay and how to deal with it."

By showcasing such moving, albeit unfortunate, stories, the book is dedicated to helping teens find the love, support and acceptance they need from family, friends, teachers, political leaders and clergy.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit several groups including; Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and The Trevor Project, among many others.

Event coordinators request RSVPs be sent to

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