“The Proximity of Seniors” by L.A. Fields from Speaking Out: LGBTQ Youth Stand Up (Bold Strokes Books, 2011).

Brandon needs a friend, and Emma Carroway is a great one. She stands up to the boys at school who bully him because he’s gay, and she and he become fast friends. That would be story enough, but the author chooses to advance time, and then advance it again, so that we get a compelling portrait of a lifelong friendship. We watch the characters grow up and each find their way. It’s very, very nice and there are fantastic word choices throughout. It should be noted that the author’s novel My Dear Watson (Lethe Press) is a finalist in this year’s Lambda Literary Awards.