At his Kentucky elementary school, children taunted Brent on the playground about being gay, whatever that was. By eighth grade, he realized what they meant and came out to a friend, and vice versa.
She was an avid writer, he a voracious reader. They headed to their school library in search of stories that spoke to their lives: gay, gay in the South, gay and fearing stereotypes like "disgusting" and "worthless."
"There were tons of books about gangs and drugs and teen pregnancy and there were no LGBT books. I asked the librarian about it and she was like, `This is middle school. I can only have appropriate books here,'" said Brent, now 15 and heading into his sophomore year of senior high.