Cowboys, Armageddon, and the Truth: How a Gay Child Was Saved from Religion

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Overview

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child Was Saved from Religion offers an illuminating glimpse into a child's sequestered world of abuse, homophobia, and religious extremism. Scott Terry's memoir is a compelling, poignant and occasionally humorous look into the Jehovah's Witness faith-a religion that refers to itself as The Truth-and a brave account of Terry's successful escape from a troubled past.

At the age of ten, Terry had embraced the Witnesses' prediction that...

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Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child Was Saved from Religion

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Overview

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child Was Saved from Religion offers an illuminating glimpse into a child's sequestered world of abuse, homophobia, and religious extremism. Scott Terry's memoir is a compelling, poignant and occasionally humorous look into the Jehovah's Witness faith-a religion that refers to itself as The Truth-and a brave account of Terry's successful escape from a troubled past.

At the age of ten, Terry had embraced the Witnesses' prediction that the world will come to an end in 1975 and was preparing for Armageddon. As an adolescent, he prayed for God to strip away his growing attraction to other young men. But by adulthood, Terry found himself no longer believing in the promised apocalypse. Through a series of adventures and misadventures, he left the Witness religion behind and became a cowboy, riding bulls in the rodeo. He overcame the hurdles of parental abuse, religious extremism, and homophobia and learned that Truth is a concept of honesty rather than false righteousness, a means to live a life openly, for Terry as a gay man.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A memoir of growing up gay in the West amid Jehovah's Witnesses preparing for the end of the world. Terry's mother left him and his sister, Sissy, when he was 3 years old. Four years later, his stepmother, Fluffy, an ornery Jehovah's Witness, informed him that he had been traded to his father, Virgil, for a horse. She also treated the children like dogs and cautioned them not to plan for the future, at one point shouting, "You're never gonna have kids! Armageddon will be here soon!" Terry escaped by throwing himself into his religion: going door to door, Watchtowers in hand, "hunting for people to convert" to "the Truth." He warmly recalls summers in the "earthly heaven" in Orland, Calif., with his "Okie" grandparents, catching "feesh." But his growing suspicion that he had more than platonic interests in the beefy men of professional wrestling and in an overgrown classmate, Matt Spiterri, presented an existential quandary and a challenge to his faith. After a foiled attempt to run away to Las Vegas, Terry ended up with his Aunt Dot, an Auntie Mameā€“like figure who gave him motivational tapes and helped him find success as a rodeo bull rider and as a gay man. Terry's pop-cultural references from the 1970s (Lawrence Welk, The Brady Bunch, The Thorn Birds) add humor and keep nostalgia from acting as a drag on a story rich with recognizable scenes and characters. The book even treats his stepmother generously. Discreet signs of Terry's gradual sexual awakening create small, at times steamy, moments that speak volumes, as when the author spots a construction worker and is "inexplicably drawn to his nakedness." Overall, the book displays a liberating understanding that "things that aren't normal can sometimes become normal when you don't know any different." Most powerfully, it serves as a heartfelt thank you to those who allowed a "worldly homosexual apostate" to find his own "small-t" truth. A lively, affectionate autobiography with messages of inspiration and acceptance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590213667
  • Publisher: Lethe Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 787,910
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Without going into the details of his story, what really impress

    Without going into the details of his story, what really impressed me was the childlike honesty with which Terry expressed himself. How much he took for granted that the way he was treated was not unusual. It just struck me that he could endure all that and not end up vindictive in his portrayal of "Fluffy", the classic wicked stepmother. His descriptions transcend sexual orientation or religion to paint a portrait of, not just survival, but he ability to thrive in spite of what happens to us. Truly and inspiring read for everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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