Paul is openly gay and has been since he learned what the word was in kindergarten. His parents are great with it, and so is his community. In fact, his community is full of people who are out in every way - the high school quarterback is also homecoming queen! So this book takes on a really light tone that other books about gay teens don't have. At first. Because later on, we realize that everyone doesn't have it so great. Paul's friend Tony's parents aren't ok at all about Tony's sexuality. Although there are many sub-plots to the book, and Tony's relationship with his parents isn't perhaps the most important one, it is the one I found most interesting. Tony has a unique way of trying to deal with the conflict between himself and his parents, one that is rare and really mature - he talks to them. He is honest, he respects that they do what they do because they love him and that although it would be really easy to just block them out and count down the days till college, he understands that he really loves his parents, too, and he wants a real relationship with them.