Symptoms of Being Human OverviewRiley Cavanaugh, the main character of the novel The Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, is much like any other teen. Riley likes rock music, has trouble paying attention in precalculus, and tries their best to fit in with other students. However, Riley actually identifies as gender fluid, saying that their orientation to gender feels more like a dial than like a switch. Even though Riley has formally come out to neither their parents nor their peers, bullies sense what Riley calls their "differentness" (6) and bully them about their sexual orientation and gender identification. When Riley transfers from Catholic private school to public school at the beginning of the novel, they hope for a chance to just blend in with the other students, and dress in a neutral-gender manner every day in an attempt to avoid confrontation. Instead, Riley is bullied to a point where they feel they must make a stand for themselves and for other LGBTQ people like them. Themes in the novel include the power of communication, the intricacies of identity, and the prevalence of violence toward members of the LGBTQ community.
The Symptoms of Being Human Study Pack contains:
Symptoms of Being Human Study Guide
Symptoms of Being Human Lesson Plans contain 171 pages of teaching material, including: