These honest, thought-provoking, poignant essays written by youth between the ages of 14 and 18 offer a first-hand account of the world of pain and alienation young people face when forced to live a secret life. But they also serve as a testament to the dedication, courage, and insight of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, and often their families and friends as well. The presence of these essays in Harvard Educational Review, as well as their prominent position in the journal, reflects the editors' commitment since the planning stages of this issue to include youth voices. It is a well-known irony that youth are rarely given a voice in setting educational policy, even though it greatly affects them. Youth are usually not invited to sit on school policymaking boards or town councils, nor are their thoughts or opinions regularly solicited. The editors of this Special Issue on Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender People and Education have purposefully sought to reverse this trend, as these youth have powerful lessons to teach the adults around them — their parents, teachers, neighbors, and ministers.

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