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Books for unaccepting parents
March 11, 2011 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Please help me compile a list of PFLAG-style books for someone.

My partner has been out to her family for roughly six years. They live in the midwest, and are quite religious (Evangelical), her mother in particular. Most of her family seems to ignore the fact she's gay (note ignoring being different from accepting); however, her mom still cries whenever she talks about it - when she does actually mention it, which is very rarely. She's never met me, and only learned I existed a year ago.

Her father is in ill health and we're past the Dan Savage recommended point of, "Give the parents an option, they can have you in their lives as an open gay person, or not at all." They have a relationship, as stilted as it is, and she is not willing to give that up nor do I want her to, so please don't suggest that.

However, her mother has offered to read some books, and we'd hopefully like to get her to a PFLAG meeting eventually. If you can, please recommend any books or pieces of reading material for parents of gay children, accepting/grieving/understanding/moving beyond. Thank you so much.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Journey to Moriah
Straight Parents, Gay Children
Beyond Acceptance
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:32 AM on March 11, 2011


Prayers for Bobby
posted by General Tonic at 8:12 AM on March 11, 2011


I don't have any specific book recommendations, but one thing that really helped the mother of a friend of mine was reading some (melodramatic) fiction written from the point of view of the gay child-- once she was able to see what the struggles of her child might be like, she was able to empathize a bit more. A lot of the books I've seen on this topic take a rational stance or a documentary stance to "why you should accept your child," but this kind of affective approach might be another tack worth trying. For my friend's mom, one thing that helped was that the fiction she found was about people who shared her racial identity, which made it resonate with her even more, so maybe something about the struggles of a midwestern kid growing up religious and struggling to reconcile faith with being gay?

Good luck!
posted by dizziest at 9:12 AM on March 11, 2011


. . . once she was able to see what the struggles of her child might be like, she was able to empathize a bit more . . . something about the struggles of a midwestern kid growing up religious and struggling to reconcile faith with being gay?

Good advice. Prayers for Bobby fits that description pretty well. But the story is intensely sad, and true.
posted by General Tonic at 9:21 AM on March 11, 2011


I read through several books before I gave my parents Now That You Know.

I'm not sure if my Mom ever actually read it (we also deal through avoidance), but it seemed like a good fit at the time.

Best of luck!
posted by jjonajason at 10:24 AM on March 11, 2011


The Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out

(about a gay son, not a gay daughter, obvs)
posted by Tin Man at 11:40 AM on March 11, 2011


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