Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child

Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child

by Michael C. LaSala
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The discovery that a child is lesbian or gay can send shockwaves through a family. A mother will question how she's raised her son; a father will worry that his daughter will experience discrimination. From the child's perspective, gay and lesbian youth fear their families will reject them and that they will lose financial and emotional support. All in all,

Overview

The discovery that a child is lesbian or gay can send shockwaves through a family. A mother will question how she's raised her son; a father will worry that his daughter will experience discrimination. From the child's perspective, gay and lesbian youth fear their families will reject them and that they will lose financial and emotional support. All in all, learning a child is gay challenges long-held views about sexuality and relationships, and the resulting uncertainty can produce feelings of anger, resentment, and concern.

Through a qualitative, multicultural study of sixty-five gay and lesbian children and their parents, Michael LaSala, a leading expert on this issue, outlines effective, practice-tested interventions for families in transition. His research reveals surprising outcomes, such as learning that a child is homosexual can improve familial relationships, including father-child relationships, even if a parent reacts strongly or negatively to the revelation. By confronting feelings of depression, anxiety, and grief head on, LaSala formulates the best approach for practitioners who hope to reestablish intimacy among family members and preserve family connections—as well as individual autonomy—well into the child's maturation. By restricting his study to parents and children of the same family, LaSala accurately captures the reciprocal effects of family interactions, identifying them as targets for effective treatment. Coming Out, Coming Home is also a valuable text for families, enabling adjustment through relatable scenarios and analyses.

Editorial Reviews

Out in Perth - Lezly Herbert

Essential reading for anyone involved in a counseling position and even parents who are having difficulties with helping their children to come out.

Out in Perth
Essential reading for anyone involved in a counseling position and even parents who are having difficulties with helping their children to come out.

— Lezly Herbert

Journal of Homosexuality

Coming Out, Coming Home is an informative and accessible book that contains myriad insights into the many obstacles, both internal and external, that families face as gay and lesbian children reach out for acceptance and support.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231143837
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
06/24/2010
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

David Jenkins

Michael LaSala does a masterful job tackling the larger view of family adjustments by incorporating the experiences of both sides of the coming out process.

Michael P. Nichols

A compassionate and insightful study of this challenging but rewarding rite of passage.

Yolanda C. Padilla

Up until now, the process of coming to terms with one's sexual orientation has been approached as a personal struggle. Michael LaSala develops a model that comprehensively analyzes the family dynamics before, during, and after a child's disclosure of his or her sexual orientation. A great deal of insight is gained by comparing the stories of the children and parents interviewed in this book.

Patrick W. Corrigan

The stigma of gays and lesbians continues to wound, even in what should be more enlightened times; still caught in the fallout are parents. Research has begun to make sense of families with gay/lesbian children; science is getting a handle on the phenomena. This book adds color to the data, partly done through an amazingly rich collection of interviews. It also arises from LaSala's experiences, both as a gay man and as a counselor with more than twenty-five years of service. The colors are deep and the hues are magnificent for many reasons, but especially for the honesty and integrity LaSala has brought to the task.

Gilbert Herdt

LaSala draws on years of working with families and their gay and lesbian children to write a warm and wonderfully compassionate book. With insight and wisdom, his study examines very real and honest stories of how gay and lesbian people cope with accepting their families and how parents and siblings work to love and protect their offspring. It takes a remarkable look into the human condition of gay and lesbian struggles in the twenty-first century, and I highly recommend it.

Jody M. Huckaby

Michael C. LaSala's research reveals a key truth: as difficult and painful as it can sometimes be to accept a loved one as LGBT, not accepting them is often more difficult and painful and can leave a permanent fracture in the family. With compassion and patience, families can find their way through the coming out process to stronger and more honest relationships. In the end, parents want what is best for their children, and what is best for children is the love and acceptance of parents.

Nancy Boyd-Franklin

This wonderful book captures the very personal challenges and triumphs of the coming out process in the words of sixty-five gay and lesbian youth and their parents. Their honest and touching comments will be a great source of comfort to young people and families going through the process. A pioneering study, it provides a very sensitive roadmap through the stages of this journey and will be a valuable tool for the psychotherapists, counselors, and family therapists. It should be required reading for everyone in the mental health field.

Meet the Author

Michael C. LaSala, Ph.D., is director of the Masters of Social Work Program and associate professor at Rutgers University. He has been in practice for more than twenty-five years and is a much-sought-after lecturer and researcher. He currently treats LGBT families and individuals at the Institute for Personal Growth in Highland Park, New Jersey, and his work can be found in Social Work, Family Process, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Families in Society, and Journal of Lesbian and Gay Social Services.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >