By Kimberly Derting

I have three kids, and I’ve raised them all to be conscientious and loving—to see people as people rather for their sexual orientations or skin colors or religious beliefs. But it’s my youngest daughter—my 14-year-old—who is fierce about these principles, to the point of being rabid.

This was what she asked for as her 14th birthday.


“Why ban gay marriage when you can ban kidz bop?”


She wears it everywhere, until eventually I have to sneak it into the wash. I think, secretly, she wants to overhear a whispered slur just so she can jump onto her soapbox and call the offender out for their narrow-mindedness.

She was thrilled to find out the high school she’ll be attending has a Gay-Straight Alliance. She’ll be the loudest activist. The most vocal. Possibly the most annoying.

I want to be her when I grow up.

In the past few months, my daughter and I have been secretly plotting a YA book with gay and lesbian protagonists who are still living in secret, but want to come out in a wildly big way. When I mentioned the idea to my daughter, she sunk her teeth into it and started telling me these characters backstories and creating plots and subplots for them. I think at this point, she loves them more than I do!

If I write the book, it will not only be because I think there’s a story to be told, but it will also be for my daughter and kids like her who believe everyone, regardless of who they are in this world, deserve to be championed.