The Boy of Hearts
"I was a skinny Black kid from the projects, but I was determined to transition from a poor, nappy-headed boy into a princess even prettier than my mother."
The Boy of Hearts by Sirbrian Spease is a deeply touching autobiography detailing the experience of a young child from the "hood" navigating homophobia, poverty, abuse and PTSD. Readers will come to know a young Sirbrian, his childhood love Prince, his protective older-brother Chris, and his dark alter-ego Devon in this gripping story of a child whose imagination was his greatest defense against the adversities of an abusive home and the foster care system.
"Heartbreaking and affirming, Sirbrian shares his struggle of growing up navigating homophobia, neglect, and abuse from his parents. A girl in a boy's body, Sirbrian creates a safe place to be authentic with the love, protection, and acceptance of Prince, Devon, Donna, his older brother Chris, and neighborhood friend Teka. Removed to a boy's home, Sirbrian comes to further embrace his femininity while learning to control his rage and PTSD. I couldn't help but be impressed at Sirbrian's strength in the face of ongoing adversity. Using his imagination to cultivate love and self-acceptance, the dialogues deflecting hate and remembrances of horrific abuse made me gasp in shock and cringe with fear for what Sirbrian endured. Artwork and photos complimented the book, painting a fuller picture of this beautiful person telling their truth. The sheer bravery of sharing this story is inspiring, and I hope there will be sequels to share Sirbrian's journey as it continues to unfurl."
"I felt connected to the part of the book about Sirbrian's mom's reaction to her being gay. While I was never physically abused for it, I was emotionally abused. I believe this book could open the minds of those questioning or discovering their sexuality so that they know they are not alone when it comes to abuse and torture for being who they are, and how they may find ways to fight that abuse. It should open the eyes of people who are not familiar with the LGBTQ community to the every day torture these people are forced to endure through no fault of their own, and that LGBTQ people need to be protected as much as any other class of society. I would recommend this book to others with the warning that this book holds a very realistic and ugly view of the persecution members of the LGBTQ community must face every day."