Gr 6 Up-A sympathetic, fair-minded presentation that will provoke controversy and discussion. Hyde and Forsyth provide a detailed history of same-sex relationships from ancient times to the present. Significant events, such as the 1973 decision of the American Psychiatric Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses, are highlighted. The discussion includes the 1992 election backlash against gay rights, the 1993 March on Washington, the increasing number of private companies that provide benefits to homosexual partners, and the gradual decriminalization of homosexuality on a state by state basis. Myths and stereotypes are addressed, and the authors assert that there is no single homosexual lifestyle. They reassure readers that adult homosexual role models do not cause homosexuality in the impressionable young. They trace much homophobia to fundamentalist religious belief, and argue for a liberal Christian interpretation of the Bible, citing ``Jesus's central message of love and reconciliation'' and inclusion. Lesbians get less attention here than male homosexuals. Basically upbeat about future gains for gays and lesbians, this book does not seek to minimize difficulties and the continuing hostility or ambivalence of the public. Mark McCauslin's Lesbian and Gay Rights (Crestwood, 1992) presents the useful but not as detailed perspective of a passionate advocate.- Libby K. White, Schenectady County Public Library, NY
Although it occasionally reads like a term paper, with quotes and statistics sometimes awkwardly plugged in, the latest book by a team of reliable nonfiction authors contains a wealth of information about gays and lesbians. In the course of 96 packed pages, the writers attack stereotypes, survey history, examine cultural responses and current controversies (gays in the U.S. military, for example), and review religious responses to homosexuals. An occasional personal story makes the facts go down more easily while illustrating the subject at hand. There's no soft soap here; the authors clearly show how pervasive homophobia still is and how it hurts those who experience it. And there's little that's cheerful in their discussion of what it's like to grow up gay these days. But the authors note throughout that attitudes are changing, and they make it clear that knowing about homosexuality is a first and crucial step toward furthering dignity for all. An extremely useful overview that includes a little bit about a lot that's important to understand. Notes, further readings, and a list of organizations having additional information are appended.