Fourteen is this generation’s Holding the Man – a moving coming-of-age memoir about a young man’s search for identity and acceptance in the most unforgiving and hostile of places: high school.
This is a story about my fourteenth year of life as a gay kid at an all-boys rugby-mad Catholic school in regional Queensland. It was a year in which I started to discover who I was, and deeply hated what was revealed. It was a year in which I had my first crush and first devastating heartbreak. It was a year of torment, bullying and betrayal – not just at the hands of my peers, but by adults who were meant to protect me.
And it was a year that almost ended tragically.
I found solace in writing and my budding journalism; in a close-knit group of friends, all growing up too quickly together; and in the fierce protection of family and a mother’s unconditional love. These were moments of light and hilarity that kept me going.
As much as Fourteen is a chronicle of the enormous struggle and adversity I endured, and the shocking consequences of it all, it’s also a tale of survival.
Because I did survive.
‘Teenagers should read this book, parents should read this book. Human beings, above all, should read this book.’ Rick Morton bestselling author of One Hundred Years of Dirt
‘I love this book … a beautifully written account of a young man struggling with his sexuality, overcoming shocking abuse and finding his way to pride.’ Peter FitzSimons, bestselling author
‘Shannon is unflinching in recounting the horror, but he is also funny, empathetic and, above all, full of courage.’ Bridie Jabour, author of The Way Things Should Be
‘A slice of life as experienced quite recently in the “lucky country”.’ The Hon Michael Kirby, AC CMG
Shannon Molloy is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience working for major media outlets spanning print and digital, covering business, entertainment, celebrity and human interest. He is based in Sydney.
‘I love this book … a beautifully written account of a young man struggling with his sexuality, overcoming shocking abuse and finding his way to pride. Couldn’t put it down.’
– Peter FitzSimons, bestselling author
‘Fourteen is a sun-drenched elegy for a boyhood interrupted by hate, fear and violence … This book is Puberty Blues meets Wake in Fright, a heartbreaking foray into adolescence marred by the brutality of calculated loathing and the apathy of unthinking bystanders. But because we are given these landmarks, Shannon also gives us the spaces they cannot fill; the love of a determined mother, the protection of fierce siblings and the almost imperceptible moments of sheer grace that remind us of persistent beauty. There is hope, here. Teenagers should read this book, parents should read this book. Human beings, above all, should read this book.’
– Rick Morton, bestselling author of One Hundred Years of Dirt
‘A story of misery so intense that at times I had to look away. But the resilience will wind you. It’s a story of misery, but it is also about the love of mothers, brothers, sisters and best friends. How breathtakingly vivid that love can be, and the strength so many queer people are capable of. Shannon is unflinching in recounting the horror, but he is also funny, empathetic and above all, full of courage.’
– Bridie Jabour, journalist and author of The Way Things Should Be