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

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ISBN-10: 0231104391

ISBN-13: 9780231104395

Edition: N/A

Authors: Gilbert Herdt, Bruce Koff, Paul Beeman

List price: $30.00
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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-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.
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Book details

List price: $30.00
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 5/29/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.550

Gilbert Herdt is director of the Human Sexualities Program at San Francisco State University. The author of a number of books on gay men and lesbians, including Same Sex, Different Cultures: Exploring Gay and Lesbian Livesand, with Andrew Boxer, Children of Horizons: How Gay Teens Are Leading a New Way Out of the Closet,he is also the editor of numerous volumes including Gay Culture in America.Bruce Koff is the former executive director of Horizons Community Services, the largest social service agency for gay men and lesbians in the Midwest. He is currently on the faculty of the Chicago Center for Family Health of the University of Chicago and maintains a private psychotherapy practice specializing in work with gay men, lesbians, and their families.

Introduction: When Your Child Says, "I Have Something to Tell You"
The Heterosexual Family Myth: How It Can Be Harmful
What Affects a Family's Resilience?
When a Family Loses Its Way: Disintegration
Somewhere in the Middle: Ambivalence
The Family Renewed: Integration
You Have Something to Hear: New Cultural Ideals
Context and Methods of the Study