Via press release from Penguin Random House:
Carl Siciliano met Ali Forney—a Black nonbinary teenager overflowing with life—in 1994 while working at a daytime center for homeless youth in New York City. Nineteen years old and driven from home, Forney was the heart of the community, known for infectious laughter, fierce loyalty to friends, and an unshakeable faith in their essential human value.
Then Forney was murdered, a moment of horror and devastation that exposed the brutality that teenagers like Forney faced in a city marked by gentrification, housing insecurity, and the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic. Motivated by the memory of Forney, Siciliano fought to create a home where unhoused teens could live and feel loved.
In MAKING ROOM Siciliano shares what he learned from Forney and thousands of other queer teens—wounded, brave, vibrant people who lived true to their inner experiences and created family under desperate circumstances—while he helped lead a movement that compelled New York City to invest millions of dollars in kids who’d been ignored for decades.
“This book is a love story.” Siciliano writes. “About the love Ali held for their friends in the streets. About the love Ali and I held for each other. And finally, about the radical change unleashed when a community challenges itself to embrace its most marginalized members.”
MAKING ROOM includes dozens of never-before-told stories of the lives of disowned LGBTQ teens, which read like cinematic, absorbing vignettes. Siciliano’s voice and advocacy are a rudder of wisdom and affection, guiding readers to connect both with themselves and this compelling world of queer, homeless youth.
In an era of unprecedented anti-LGBTQ political assaults—especially directed at TGNC people and youths—his urgent call for their protection could not be timelier.
Written with heart and profound insight, MAKING ROOM is a landmark personal narrative, bringing to life an untold chapter of LGBTQ history and testifying to the power of community, solidarity, and the human spirit.
The release date is May 21st and you can pre-order the book right now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, and other major booksellers.
JMG Note: Carl tells me that in the book he “sings the praises” of the JMG community for coming to the financial rescue after Hurricane Sandy destroyed their drop-in center in Chelsea, which remains one of my proudest moments for this here website thingy.