Bibliophile | Miles McKenna’s ‘Out! How to be Your Authentic Self’

by Miles McKenna

Allen & Unwin

“Being true to yourself and standing proudly in your identity is a gift not only to yourself but to everyone you meet. Shining as who you are – because who you are is something to be celebrated – helps everyone you encounter feel free to do the same.”

The big question for many queer kids is how they are going to get to a place where they are proud of their identity in a world that, more often than not, makes them feel like outcasts. While they often hear that things get better, they can’t see how to navigate all the difficulties in front of them.

Miles McKenna, a transgender twenty-something guy, is on a mission to help those who are questioning their sexual orientation and / or gender identities – “enabling them to find hope in times of the dark unknown”.

Exploding with youthful energy, he shares his journey by revealing his personal journals. It is a survival guide as to how he got out, revealing what helped him to discover his sexual and gender identities. “My queerness has taught me strength, my transness has taught me patience and empathy, and my journey up to this point has shown me that standing up for who you are goes beyond sexuality and gender – it is human.”

The internet played a huge role in helping Miles figure out his authentic self and get validation from like-minded strangers and he now uses the internet to communicate with young people around the world. His YouTube videos have received millions of views.

Miles reveals how to deal with changing your identity at school, how to get away from people who don’t accept you and how to find your chosen family. The book contains information for parents as well as contacts in Australia and New Zealand that can provide support.

Miles hopes that in the future, kids won’t have to ‘come out’ but instead, “as they grow and discover who they love and who they are it won’t be up for debate by someone else.”  His journey so far has taught him that life isn’t about gay versus straight or cis versus trans but about everyone feeling content and coexisting in diversity”.

Lezly Herbert

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