Family Outing: What Happened When I Found Out My Mother Is Gay

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
San Diego print and radio journalist Johnson details the painful metamorphosis he underwent from homophobic child to a mature adult who could accept his mother's sexual orientation. At age ten, her ex-girlfriend chose to break it to him that his mom was a lesbian. This surprising revelation tested the delicate family balance established years earlier when his parents had divorced: While his sister raged and acknowledged her feelings of betrayal, Johnson drove his pain and anger deep within. The ensuing period of delinquent behavior put an agonizing strain on his relationship with the mother he had always considered his soul mate. Recalling with self-deprecating sarcasm the vandalism, drug and alcohol experimentation, rampant promiscuity, gay trashing and born-again Christian phases he underwent, the author also examines how he and his sister hurt their mother. "During therapy," he writes, "my mom explained that we had scared her deep into the closet-past the hamper, past the shoes, into the mental crawl space behind the insulation. Because we called people we didn't like fags and things we didn't like gay, she really thought her kids hated homos." It was only when he was in college that Johnson finally made the decision to accept his mother as she was. Still, he admits, such acceptance is an ongoing process: "There's no parade where a papier-mache replica of my old, bigoted self burns in effigy and everyone drinks champagne until we're happy. We can only do this one uncomfortable moment at a time." A master of the declarative, the author offers numerous thoughtful observations on the emotive force of family dynamics and how internalized shame can stunt a life. Revealing, irreverent andstrangely tender. Agent: Andrea Somberg/Harvey Klinger. First printing of 15,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559708715
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing
  • Publication date: 6/16/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents


Author's Note: Before I Offend You...     xi
Tattle Dyke and Freckle Spawn     1
To Deal or Not to Deal     12
The Secret of the Locked Door     17
Mommy's Little Lesbian     24
Mommy's Little Metrosexual     36
Mother Theresa Has an Active Vagina     49
God Hates Fags     59
You're Such a Fag     71
Coital Overcompensation     80
Natural Born Delinquent     98
Puberty Kills     110
Charter: Not a Story about Boats and Exotic Seafaring     115
Home o'Phobia     135
Freaks Everywhere     142
The Man of My Dreams     147
Not in My House, Lady     152
You Might Be One, Too, Kid     156
My Great, Dwindling Humanity     163
Growth Through Expletives     178
More Homo-Aversion Therapy with My Homeboy Jesus     191
Suspecting Your Genes of Treason     206
You Can't Think Yourself into Comfort     212
Frat Boys Hate Fags, Too     214
My Sister's Wedding     223
The Afterlife     227
It Never Ends     232
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