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on 26 May 1998
For this, my first review for Amazon, I have chosen, what was for me, a "difficult read". I guess it was the title, which caught my eye, as I was searching through Amazon. No reviews had been posted. Having been quite close to my own mother, I was in hopes that this would be a touching story of a mother and her two gay sons. I found it to be, for the most part, therapy for the author. As a gay man, perhaps this book was not written for me, but for parents of gay children and parents in general. I would be interested in reading a review from someone in this category.
The first paragraph of the preface reads: "As a clinical psychologist who is also the mother of two gay children, I was professionally knowledgeable about homosexuality and believed I was more tolerant than most, but I was unprepared for coping with homosexuality in my own family." The rest of the book is an expansion of just how unprepared the author was.
Instead of a biography of her favorite son (my words, not hers) Gary, or even an autobiography of the author herself, you find yourself reading the words of someone who is trying to analyze every aspect of every adverse decision they have made in their lives. In the end, you hope that there will be some revelation, and if nothing else, at least the author will give you the feeling that everything is OK and though life is tough, she survived, and so can you. No such "warm and fuzzy" feelings here. I can only hope that the author has a good therapist herself.
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on 27 July 1998
This remarkable and moving book combines the personal experience of a mother as she learns that her two sons are both gay, and a psychologist's perspective on the damaging effects of homophobia upon gay youth and their families. Jean Baker, in Family Secrets, shares with the reader the heartbreak of losing a beloved son to AIDS and offers suggestions on ways to reduce anti-gay prejudice and prejudice toward those who suffer from HIV/AIDS. This is a book which should be read by all parents, prospective parents, educators and others engaged in working with youth, and also by those who themselves are gay, lesbian or bisexual.
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