Making Room

Making Room

By: Carl Siciliano

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From the founder of the nation’s largest housing program for homeless LGBTQ youth, a tender, uplifting account of his friendship with a nonbinary teenager and dozens of queer kids who inspired him to live a life of service and resistance

“This heartfelt narrative serves as both a reminder of the challenges faced by marginalized communities and a testament to the transformative power of service and love.”—Kristen Lovell, director of HBO’s The Stroll

Our need for family is not easily extinguished.

Carl Siciliano met Ali Forney—a Black nonbinary teenager overflowing with life—in 1994 while working at a daytime center for homeless youth in New York City. Nineteen years old and driven from home, Forney was the heart of the community, known for infectious laughter, fierce loyalty to friends, and an unshakeable faith that “my God will love me for who I am.”

Then Forney was murdered, a moment of horror and devastation that exposed the brutality that teenagers like Forney faced in a city marked by gentrification, housing insecurity, and the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic. Motivated by Forney’s spirit, Siciliano fought to create a home where unhoused teens could live and feel loved—bolstered by his own exclusion from the church as a gay Catholic man.

This is Siciliano’s story of mending hearts broken by displacement and rejection, including his own. Siciliano shares what he learned from Forney and thousands of other queer teens—wounded, brave, vibrant people who lived true to their inner experiences and created family under desperate circumstances—while he helped lead a movement that compelled New York City to invest millions of dollars in kids who’d been ignored for decades.

Written with heart and profound insight, Making Room is a landmark personal narrative, bringing to life an untold chapter of LGBTQ history and testifying to the power of community, solidarity, and the human spirit.

Details & specs

Publisher name:
The Crown Publishing Group

Publication date:

Paperback / softback | Trade paperback (US)

Penguin Random House

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