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How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages [Paperback]

Judith E. Snow
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

July 14 2004 Haworth Gay and Lesbian Studies
Sometimes I fantasize about having a magic wand. How awesome it would be to wave it and completely eliminate prejudice, hate, and ignorance. Just imagine what it would be like to live in a world like that.

How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages gives voice to the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of children, adolescents, and young adults who have a gay or lesbian parent. In their own words, they talk openly and candidly about how and when they learned of their parent’s sexual orientation and the effect it had on them—and their families. Their stories echo themes of prejudice and harassment, conflict and confusion, adaptation and adjustment, and hope for tolerance and a family that can exist in harmony.

“Because it’s an issue for other people, it becomes an issue for me. I’m angry about the way it works against me.”

The stories told in How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent not only reflect the day-to-day struggle of children with a GLBT parent, they also reveal the pain inherent in high-conflict divorce and child custody cases. Children of gay/lesbian parents ranging in age from seven to 31 recall the confusion and grief created when the disclosure of their parent’s true sexual orientation ended a marriage and divided a family. The “straight” parent’s resentment can lead to angry remarks that—intentionally or unintentionally—disparage the gay/lesbian parent and threaten the natural love and affection the child feels for both.

“I guess the hardest part about having a gay dad is that no matter how okay you are with it, there’s always going to be someone who will dislike you because of it.”

The one-on-one interviews presented in How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent document first-hand the effects of homophobia on family life. Children struggle with the choice between living in a closet, shamed by peers and family members, or dealing with discrimination as a parent’s sexual orientation is used against them. Taken together, these stories make a statement for acceptance, understanding, and tolerance as children do their best to make the transition from a traditional family to a nontraditional lifestyle.

“My mom is a normal person just like everyone else. The only thing that’s different about her is that she’s gay and if you can’t deal with it, you’re just going to have to live with it.”

How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages offers comfort and support to children from those who share their journey. The book is a valuable aid for practitioners working with children of GLBT parents and an educational tool for GLBT adults considering children.

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From School Library Journal

Grade 5 Up–Thirty-two individuals between the ages of 7 and 31 provide enlightening perspectives on the confusion and prejudices surrounding this issue. Snow emphasizes that problems arise due to divorce, homophobia, and discrimination from peers and politics, not because being gay or lesbian results in bad parenting skills. The voices range from naive to experienced and philosophical, depending on the narrator's age. A black-and-white spot illustration decorates the opening page of each chapter. This inspirational, eye-opening title gives readers who have gay and lesbian parents a much-deserved voice.–Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 5-8. Thirty-two individuals, ranging in age from 7 to 31, reflect on the experience of having a homosexual parent. Of course, some are more articulate than others, but all candidly express their feelings, which typically range from initial bafflement through hurt to acceptance. In many cases, divorce and its impact seem to be larger issues than a parent's sexual orientation, though the painful consequences of bigotry and homophobia are also factors. As one 16-year-old girl wisely notes, "People don't even seem to try to understand; they just get scared and confused and act out of hate because something is different." Though primarily targeted at children of gay and lesbian parents, this book has information, insight, and understanding to offer to readers of different circumstances^B and ages. Michael Cart
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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I was eight years old when I found out my dad was gay. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into a complex issue Jan. 10 2011
By Kevin
This book is light in content, but very insightful. It's directed more at kids, but I read it as a gay parent. It gave me some important insights that I would not have otherwise considered.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for older kids Jan. 3 2007
By J. Frost - Published on
I bought this book thinking it would be good for my daughter and my partner's daughter. It has some good writing, but definitely get this for an older teen. The stories weren't really coming from kids my daughter's age (10), so they were harder to relate to for her. Perhaps in a couple years she'll pick it up and give it another try.

I love the premise of this book...and I'd like to see something just like it but written from younger kids' perspectives.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time! Aug. 3 2006
By Anglo Dad - Published on
I loved this book. I found that it's something so new over the past few years, as far as something that people talk about. We've come so far relative to diversity, acceptance, and sharing our personal stories, that a book like this is a breath of fresh air. I'm happy that it talks about things from a child's perspective, and doesn't try to be too clinical or matter-of-fact. My children loved the book (they're teens....and I'm a gay dad) and it put all of the challenges, blessings, and difficulties into perspective for them. We're all walking a different path, and it's great to see what others (and their children have gone through.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book but I need to know more about older children June 26 2014
By Mark - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book but I need to know more about older children that would be in foster care that need a stable home environment.
5.0 out of 5 stars Book April 10 2014
By VSG - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This wa a gift for a family going through custody battle and they said it helped them with seeing opinions from other people and reading it.
11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Disturbed that this come up under Mentally Ill Parents Aug. 18 2006
By Gwynne Ellen Ash - Published on
I've never read this book, but I'm very disturbed that it came up under a search of mentally ill parents. I think amazon should be ASHAMED to have classified homosexuality as a mental illness. I am SHOCKED!
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