Different Daughters: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians

Different Daughters: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians

by Louise Rafkin
     
 

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"This book will help your mom understand. Give it to her."—Betty DeGeneres Coming out to mom is a lesbian rite of passage. In Different Daughters, thirty mothers of lesbians come together to trace their journeys towards acceptance of their daughters. Facing their fears and confusion, prejudice and misunderstandings, they speak honesty and bravely about the

Overview

"This book will help your mom understand. Give it to her."—Betty DeGeneres Coming out to mom is a lesbian rite of passage. In Different Daughters, thirty mothers of lesbians come together to trace their journeys towards acceptance of their daughters. Facing their fears and confusion, prejudice and misunderstandings, they speak honesty and bravely about the difficulties and joys of life with their "different daughters." Writing about families, community, religion, grandchildren, bisexuality, transgender issues, and coming out, the authors of Different Daughters raise questions shared by all mothers: How can we accept our children for who they are? How can we love our children even when they are different from us? This updated and expanded third edition of Louise Rafkin's landmark anthology includes new stories by mothers of bisexual women and young lesbians, a sister of a lesbian, and the brave testimony of one mother whose lesbian daughter is in the process of redefining her gender.

Editorial Reviews

Lambda Book Report
Every Lesbian should have two copies of Different Daughters, one for herself and one for her mom...
Library Journal
Largely due to the influence of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the last 12 years have seen several books dealing with the relationship between parents and their gay/lesbian offspring. Most recent is Carolyn Welch Griffin and others' Beyond Acceptance: parents of lesbians and gays talk about their experiences ( LJ 5/1/86). In a well-intentioned attempt to add to this literature, Muller, the mother of a gay son, has conducted interviews with 61 lesbians and gay men, and 10 parents in the Chicago area, to tell the story of relationships between adult children who are ``out'' and their parents. Although she acknowledges that her findings ``do not necessarily draw a larger picture,'' she attempts to generalize from them. Though she gives an appendix of graphs and tables, the methodology is unsound; and the book is poorly organized. As its subtitle explains, Different Daughters is a collection of stories solicited from mothers of lesbians. Depicting a spectrum of racial, class, and religious backgrounds, the essays range in length, depth, and insight. Those transcribed from interviews are marked to denote them from the written pieces. The honest voices of these women are clear as they come to terms with their offsprings' lifestyles, providing a valuable perspective for others dealing with these complex issues. James E. Van Buskirk, Acad. of Art Coll. Lib., San Francisco
From the Publisher

"Every lesbian should have two copies of Different Daughters, one for herself and one for her mom..."
Lambda Book Report

"This book will help your mom understand. Give it to her."
—Betty DeGeneres

"Over and over, the women reiterate their love for their children, their refusal to cut them off, and their determination to maintain a mother-daughter bond."
New Directions for Women

"A successful, human and dignified statement..."
—Sarah Schulman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573448550
Publisher:
Cleiss Press
Publication date:
05/01/2001
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
162
File size:
338 KB

Read an Excerpt


"In hindsight, I can see that though I may have initially thought I was writing Different Daughters for other women, this book was crucial to my own journey toward familial acceptance. It was simple: I wanted my mother to love and accept me, and I started from the top, addressing what I thought was the most difficult block to that goal. Now I see my lesbianism more as a part of my life, part of the package of who I am and why my mother and I get along and, only rarely, why we don’t. It hasn’t always been an easy to full acceptance, yet through our struggles we have grown to love each other more deeply and, most importantly, really know each other. I am forever grateful to my mother for her bravery and for simply sticking it out and doing the work of changing.

Still, though we’ve taken huge strides, individually and collectively, there is work to be done, even in areas of my own life, which has taken some unexpected turns. My partner of six years died suddenly last year. On top of the unbelievable and overwhelming pain of this loss, I now find myself in a battle with members of her family over her life—our life. Although during her life they acknowledge our relationship, in her death they have chosen to denounce our partnership. Painfully, our commitment will most probably be debated by a cour jury. WE lesbians have won some battles, but on many levels we are still unprotected and vulnerable to a system that doesn’t yet legally recognize our love.

I hope someday there will no longer be a need for this book. Until that time arrives, I am happy that my optimistically undertaken, youthful project may help those seeking comfort and understanding. I continue to believe that love over-comes prejudice, that love us the most important thing we either give or receive, and—finally—that love makes love.”

Meet the Author

Louise Rafkin is the author of Other People’s Dirt and the editor of Different Mothers. She has been a commentator for NPR's All Things Considered and has written for Out Magazine. Her articles and essays appear frequently in The New York Times, Health Magazine, and Metropolitan Home. She lives in Oakland, CA. Different Daughter "Every lesbian should have two copies of Different Daughters, one for herself and one for her mom..." —Lambda Book Report "This book will help your mom understand. Give it to her." —Betty DeGeneres "Over and over, the women reiterate their love for their children, their refusal to cut them off, and their determination to maintain a mother-daughter bond." —New Directions for Women "A successful, human and dignified statement..." —Sarah Schulman

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