The Race is a story of one man’s triumph over sexual abuse and bullying, striving to find his own sexual identity. Growing up in an ultra conservative, religious family, Stephen aimed to pray the gay away before anyone could find out his secret. Stephen’s life became a constant battle, up to the point where he couldn’t hold on any longer. A failed suicide attempt finally put life into perspective, and Stephen came out, not just as a gay man but as a survivor of sexual abuse.
A week in the hospital with too much time to think, resulted in flashbacks that plunged him back into his nightmarish childhood and adolescence. What began as Stephen’s attempt to exorcise his demons, ended up being a story of hope for others who have also suffered sexual abuse.
His message? No matter how much you stumble coming off the starting blocks, you can still win the race.
A percentage of all sales of THE RACE will go to 1in6.org
About The Author
Stephen Mark Land Jr was born and raised in the greater Phoenix area in Arizona. His family, a very conservative and religious family, was very involved in church activities & events, and all held positions within the church.
Stephen being a young gay man had to make decisions for himself when coming to terms with his sexuality and facing his childhood abuse. He was afraid of being chastised, condemned, and worst of all disowned by his family; he kept the secret of his abuse and his identity as a way to protect himself from being pushed away. At least the love he did have from his family was true and why ruin the only good thing you have?
Stephen has faced violence and sexual violence in many different forms from rape, molestation, verbal harassment and bullying, his story is important and far too common and overlooked. Stephen decided to speak out against sexual violence and bullying after a failed attempt at suicide.
Stephen went to college at both Northern Arizona University and Southern Oregon University where he was highly involved in leadership rolls, student activities, and student life. He studied Political Science and International relations; his love for politics led him to lobby on issues like Student Aid Reform, Education Reform, Health Care Reform, Immigration Reform, More Comprehensive Legislation regarding Sexual Abuse and Bullying, International Affairs Issues and many more. He had goals of running for office but his story became his main priority and now he wants to travel to elementary, middle and high schools, colleges and universities and conferences to tell his story and motivate others to speak out against the violence.
The Race is his story and an important one.