Inspired by shounen-ai manga—melodramatic Japanese comics by girls about gay boys—Tough Love is a teen romance and coming-out story about a shy boy named Brian. More realistic than Japanese manga, this story centers on the relationships Brian develops with the boy he likes, Chris, and Julie, the girl who befriends him. Serious issues like gay bashing, suicide, and coming to terms with one’s own sexual identity are depicted with an honest, gentle touch. Socially relevant, fun, immediately accessible, and a bit of a soap opera, Tough Love helps gay teenagers to be more comfortable with themselves and less troubled, especially when they’re feeling alone and misunderstood.
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