Lee Bantle

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I got my B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota and my law degree from New York University. David Inside Out is based in part on my experiences growing up gay in Minnesota before the age of Gay/Straight Alliances, television shows like Will & Grace, and books like the one I have written. My goal in writing this book was to capture the evolving dynamics in play today while giving voice to the complicated feelings that still accompany coming to terms with one's sexual identity. I wrote the book for gay teens who are struggling with their sexual identity, but also for the girls who may date and fall in love with these guys. I also hoped to tell a good coming of age story that would appeal to everyone, no matter what their sexual orientation. I did lots of research for David Inside Out in addition to drawing on personal experience. Among other things, I read a book of teen essays called One Teenager in Ten, attended a meeting of the Gay/Straight Alliance at Westport High School in Connecticut, and interviewed many gay and lesbian people, both adults and teenagers. In the book One Teenager in Ten, one of the boys wrote about how he read men's magazines (Road and Track, Hunter's World) to try to make himself straight. I thought this was both funny and poignant and used the idea for my main character. This is an example of dramatic irony - the reader knows that the plan is not going to work, but David does not know that. My prior middle grade novel, Diving for the Moon, was about a 12-year-old hemophiliac boy who become HIV-positive.

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