Long-Distance LGBTQ Love In Kevin Tyler Norman's Book 'Shelter'


Olivia Lucero

“Shelter” is a poetry book that follows the rise and fall of author Kevin Tyler Norman’s passionate, long-distance romance. Kevin takes us through his process of falling in love, having that love shattered by infidelity, and mending the pieces of his broken heart. It’s gripping in a way our Menders can relate to more than most. A must-read for everyone going through heartbreak, the poems remind you that mending is messy, raw, and anything but a straight line, and yet it is still universal. Heartbreak is so unstructured yet everyone experiences similar things. Kevin puts into words feelings we can hardly even form into thoughts. As you read, you’ll find yourself processing his story in terms of your own, using his poetry to make sense of your own mind.

Kevin, a young man from Burbank, fell in love with a man who lives in Australia, and yet the way he wrote about it makes you forget about both distance and sexual orientation, it’s simply a love story. Long-distance relationships can be incredibly uncertain. Though insecure and anxious about it, Kevin was certain the distance between them was only a matter of intimacy, not miles. He was certain this love would last, only to come to find out his love interest loved two people, leaving him absolutely broken. Walk with Kevin on his mending journey to see how he mended and how to find shelter in the body that you are given.

I imagine the book is called “Shelter” because it is about how love makes us build shelters in crazy places, like within the love or even merely the arms of someone else, and how heartbreak forces us to leave and seek out a new shelter within ourselves. To me, this book is largely about coming home to yourself, after making a home out of another human being. Mending is about giving your love, your soul, your heart and your musings a shelter inside of you, finding this home, and filling it with love and peace that build your self-esteem until you are able to treat your self and your body as a sanctuary and demand the same of anyone who wants in.

Definitely journal in the margins as important thoughts surface and feelings begin to make sense. It’s important to not only read but also reflect because reflection is a prerequisite to transformation. We hope Kevin’s beautiful poetry helps you find shelter in yourself while you mend.

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