Something to Tell You: The Road Families Travel When a Child Is Gay

Something to Tell You: The Road Families Travel When a Child Is Gay

by Gilbert Herdt, Bruce Koff
     
 

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Even now, at the end of the twentieth century, many still have difficulty standing up and saying, "I am the parent of a gay child." Something to Tell You recounts the stories of families whose lives have been touched by the discovery that a child is lesbian or gay--how it affects and influences people's perceptions of their children and even changes the self

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Overview

Even now, at the end of the twentieth century, many still have difficulty standing up and saying, "I am the parent of a gay child." Something to Tell You recounts the stories of families whose lives have been touched by the discovery that a child is lesbian or gay--how it affects and influences people's perceptions of their children and even changes the self-image of parents themselves.

Focusing on fifty average families--not people seen in clinics or therapy--the authors found a consistent pattern of change: first negative, then positive. Sometimes the news led parents and siblings to form stronger bonds with the child, with each other, and with other relatives and friends. In many cases, their child's partner and partner's family grew to assume an important role in their own lives. In some cases, parents and siblings discovered new meaning in their lives through speaking out or joining PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and becoming part of the struggle for lesbian and gay rights. The authors found that families committed to staying together are typically able to overcome the powerful obstacles imposed by society.

Something to Tell You also shows the lasting and sometimes tragic consequences for families who falter in the process of integration. Unwilling to accept their child's sexuality, some parents sought to blame each other, and all too often their own relationships unraveled as a result. Others who failed to tell close friends sometimes lost those friends through keeping secrets. Parents who neglected to form bonds with their child's partner fostered climates of alienation that persisted for years.

A richly diverse collection of family stories, Something to Tell You is a book that will help break down widespread prejudice and put an end to destructive cultural myths. It affirms families' highest aspirations toward active love for their gay children, showing the steps to take toward new levels of support, solidarity, and love.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Caitlin Ryan
An invaluable resource for parents, family members, and mental health providers. Based on the results of a groundbreaking study, it offers a roadmap of personal experience and hope for families, together with clinical insight and guidance for social workers, psychologists, and other mental health providers who are helping families cope with a child´s coming out. A must read for every parent of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual child and anyone who works with them.
Paul Beeman
An extremely helpful book for parents and family members as they discover a child to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning. We wish we might have read it eleven years ago when our kids came out.
Susan Stewart
The parent of a gay, lesbian, or bisexual child will find this a valuable resource in helping families cope with a child's coming out. Family accounts and experiences, joined with scholarly study and guidance, provide a model for families to work through. This work would be useful in any public library.
Journal of Feminist Family Therapy
On the one hand, the book is a carefully researched and scholarly work that will appeal to researchers, policymakers, mental health professionals, and service providers. On the other, it is a highly readable, enjoyable, and informative work for families of gay sons or lesbian daughters.
Booknews
Basing their work on a survey of 50 families, Koff (family health, U. of Chicago) and Herdt (human sexuality, San Francisco State U.) explore parental reactions to children's coming out of the closet. They find that some patterns of reaction led to stronger relations that allowed families to overcome strong societal pressures while others led to total family dissolution. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231104395
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
05/22/2001
Series:
Between Men~Between Women: Lesbian and Gay Studies Series
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,199,898
Product dimensions:
6.03(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.44(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Reverend - Paul Beeman
An extremely helpful book for parents and family members as they discover a child to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning. We wish we might have read it eleven years ago when our kids came out.
Rev. Paul Beeman

An extremely helpful book for parents and family members as they discover a child to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questioning. We wish we might have read it eleven years ago when our kids came out.

Caitlin Ryan

An invaluable resource for parents, family members, and mental health providers. Based on the results of a groundbreaking study, it offers a roadmap of personal experience and hope for families, together with clinical insight and guidance for social workers, psychologists, and other mental health providers who are helping families cope with a child's coming out. A must read for every parent of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual child and anyone who works with them.

Susan Stewart

The parent of a gay, lesbian, or bisexual child will find this a valuable resource in helping families cope with a child's coming out. Family accounts and experiences, joined with scholarly study and guidance, provide a model for families to work through. This work would be useful in any public library.

Read More

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