5.0 out of 5 stars Gut Wrenching, Could not put it down
As soon as a child comes out to their parents this book should become required reading for the parents. It shows the struggles of a boy between his religion, family and his own sexuality. Somehow the family considered themselves the same as their religion and forgot their role as parent and unconditional love. The son paid for it from his agony and eventual suicide. This...
Published on Dec 5 2003 by joannnas
3.0 out of 5 stars Prayers For Bobby
Although it's a heratbreak whenvever sa child dies, I found the author using this womans tragedy to blame religion and society for her son's death. I also found Mary simply exchanging her former Pharrasical beliefs of her past religions without question for the Pharrasical beliefs of the gay organization she now supports without question. She seemed to need to blame...
Published on Dec 29 2001
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gut Wrenching, Could not put it down,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)As soon as a child comes out to their parents this book should become required reading for the parents. It shows the struggles of a boy between his religion, family and his own sexuality. Somehow the family considered themselves the same as their religion and forgot their role as parent and unconditional love. The son paid for it from his agony and eventual suicide. This book will rip at you, it is an emotional read. It is a necessary read.
5.0 out of 5 stars wow,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)This book is a deeply moving, myth shattering triumph of gay literature! All I can say is, wow....
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy leads to understanding and outreach,
By A Customer
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)Aarons does a superior job in weaving together the complex, multi-dimensional story of the Griffith family, and the subsequent metamorphosis of Mary Griffith following the suicide of her son, Bobby. The book documents the ignorance, intolerance and hate found in much of society in the United States, as well as in many fundamentalist Christian churches as it relates to homosexuality. Aarons reveals much about Bobby's agony - we learn first hand through numerous quotes from his personal journal and through interviews with the family and friends. It is wonderful that Mary was able to evolve personally and spiritually. Her outreach to the gay community has been wonderful. Mary's message to young gay people everywhere to "not give up on love" is very poignant, profound, and timely.
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartbreaking and thought-provoking story,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)"Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son," by Leroy Aarons, tells a powerful true story. Mary Griffith was a woman who believed in a strict, oppressive version of Christianity and pressured her gay son to try to "change." But after his suicide she reexamined her theology and beliefs about homosexuality and was herself radically transformed.
The book begins with Bobby's suicide and then moves back and forth in time to tell 2 parallel stories: that of Bobby's life and that of Mary's life after his death. This is a profoundly moving story, skillfully told by Aarons. Despite the tragic subject matter, I found the book ultimately very hopeful and uplifting. It's a real story of spiritual liberation and rebirth.
This is also an important book in that it exposes the deadly danger of anti-gay prejudice. The book includes a useful appendix of organizations that deal with gay/lesbian youth and gay/lesbian issues more generally.
5.0 out of 5 stars "Prayers for Bobby" is a Blessing!,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)Author Leroy Aarons chroniles Betty Griffith's journey after the suicide death of her gay son, Bobby. While some readers may claim that this book is "too sad and depressing" I actually found it filled with hope, as I saw Mary's 180 degree turn and transformation from Prebysterian religious fundalmentalist to a woman who questions the church's position on homosexuality. Simply put it is not God who finds fault with homosexuality. It is more those that interpret the Bible and their interpretations on it. This is one book that I wish more people would read, because I think their is something here for everyone, given the current political nature of this country. Readers of this book may never know all the reason why Bobby Griffith took his life, but we can hope that out of his death many lives can be saved.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Sad and Heartrendering!!,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)This book was a very sad one inasmuch as Bobby's mom couldn't accept him for who and what he was so he ended up killing himself in a most horrific way! The story goes on to tell of the mother's strong religious background, and how she at first used it against not accepting Bobby. It was a hard lesson to learn for the family involved to say the least.
Once Mary, his mother, got past the issues of Bobby's soul going to heaven or not, and all of her grief, (at least some of it), she sets out about to help in the gay community, and helps set up programs to help other gay youngsters as Bobby was.
This book is a must read for many people. Especially if you have a gay loved one in your own family.
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING AND HELPFUL BOOK FOR PARENTS OF GAY CHILDREN,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)This book really helped my whole family. I had a gay nephew who committed suicide in 1999 and it shocked our whole extended family. His parents had been in an ex-gay group called... and tried to get him into forced treatment to become heterosexual. He had been such a sweet, bright, and cheerful boy until they tried to change him like that. He began to hate himself so much and feel worthless in his parents eyes because he couldn't become straight that he killed himself with a handgun one night crying in his room. 'Prayers for Bobby' is a similar tragedy that anyone with a gay relative should read. Thank you so much for such a beautiful book of healing.
2.0 out of 5 stars A mother's pain is on each page.....,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)Prayers for bobby could be any of our chidren, but what really grabbed me was the realization that our society is so lost in understanding homosexuality. It is greater than simply praying to God to change as Bobby, like any of us in brokeness, need to look at what our pain is actually about, not just the manifestation of how it is acted out. The picture we paint of our lives must be larger than a simple concept, which is why this book is so poignant for all of us. With only the premise that we are what we are at any given time and change cannot happen, then we are lost in the web of fear, confusion, lies, distortions. etc. For too many people have come out of homosexuality for this book to be the bottom line about the pain of homosexuality. I would ask any young person (or older; age doesn't matter, nor does gender!), "there are answers out there. Have you talked with Exodus International? Have you talked with anyone who has come out of it because they are out there..." -- For sure i would not lock them in the closet of despair by not telling them there are other ways to get help and leave homosexuality... and deal with all the emotions about it. I am sad for the mother in this book, as I am mother, also. I am sad for Bobby because there was help in Portland, OR in 1996 (and earlier) but until we start asking the right questions and looking for answers, kids like Bobby will make poor choices. I don't want this to happen to anyone else. So, why not teach our chiddren that there are many avenues for help, not just diving into the "gay" lifestyle. For the [gay people] I know, it isn't so gay. It is lonely and sad and empty. Why would anyone who is homosexual refuse to respect a person who did not want to stay homosexual and go for assistance in change? No one heard Bobby because no one knew the questions to ask. Our churches need to be as aware of the roots of homosexuality as our schools. No one is doomed to live a life they did not want. God is very affirming of that.
3.0 out of 5 stars Prayers For Bobby,
By A Customer
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)Although it's a heratbreak whenvever sa child dies, I found the author using this womans tragedy to blame religion and society for her son's death. I also found Mary simply exchanging her former Pharrasical beliefs of her past religions without question for the Pharrasical beliefs of the gay organization she now supports without question. She seemed to need to blame someone for her sons death rather than try to understand it. I find the pflag group as hypocritical in their beliefs as I did her former beliefs as this group does not accept those gay and lesbians who are struggling with Not wanting to be homosexual and who are looking to change but get no support from the gay community. Today we know change is possible and there are thousands who have and want to change yet this pflag group and the gay community as a whole only ridicules,criticizes and makes fun of them. They are not tolerant nor offer any support for them. They are no better than those who do the same to those who "choose" to engage in homosexual activity and lifestyle. I pity Mary as she has been grosly mislead both spiritualy and mentally. She should investigate and talk to those in groups such as NARTH; PFOX; and other groups of this nature if she really wants to help our youth when they are young to learn "how to change" and "give them the tools" and "concrete direction" on "how to" accomplish this especially if they do not want to entertain these "unwanted feelings". They shouldn't have to just accept them, they no longer have to and there are resources out there to help them accomplich this! Give them the knowledge they don't have to be gay...that the old adage "ONCE GAY ALWAYS GAY' is no longer a true fact of ones life nor an imutable trait as once believed!
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting & Life-Changing,
This review is from: Prayers For Bobby (Paperback)Born in 1963, Bobby Griffith was raised as a devout Christian child, much like I have been for most of my life. Unsurprisingly, his mother Mary was nothing short of a Bible thumper. For the first sixteen years of his life, Bobby was told how to be the perfect Christian, something that he very much wanted to be. However, something deep inside of him had come into conflict with his aspirations of holiness. He acknowledged that he was gay. However, living in a society that encourages young men and women to be heterosexual, Bobby denied his emotions up until the time that he "came out" to his journal. Searching for some moral support and guidance from loved ones, Bobby came out to his family. He had thought that his mother would understand, but as it turns out, all that Mary Griffith understood was that being gay meant going to hell. From that point forward, it was all downhill. Desperate to save her son from eternal damnation, Mary began a silent campaign to convert her son. She began echoing the same prayers that Bobby had been praying for years, those prayers asking for God to make her son straight. While Bobby had prayed the same exact prayers up until his personal acceptance, Mary was convinced that Bobby had not tried hard enough. Where there is a will, there is a way, a way for God to make her child straight. For four years, she continued to do everything in her power to "save" Bobby. For every prayer answered with a "no," a TV evangelist would tell a story of how a faithful Christian was converted to the right kind of love, the only kind that was pleasing in God's eyes. Eventually, her persistence would be too much for Bobby to bear. After four years of self-loathing and alternating periods of loving God and hating him, Bobby committed suicide at the age of 20. It was a very self-conscious decision, one that involved no drugs or alcohol. On the night of August 26, 1983, Bobby Griffith backflipped off of a highway overpass into the path of an 18-wheeler. Psychiatrists later said that his particularly violent death was indicative of just how much he had grown to hate himself.
In the years after Bobby's death, Mary Griffith began the search for answers. She asked herself the classic question: what went wrong? The answer had originally seemed so simple. God had promised to cure anyone who needed help, but why not her son? Slowly, she began to realize that it was she who was wrong. She began to unite with the parents of other gay children, confirming that Bobby wasn't the only one "abandoned" by God. Three years after the death of her son, she had completed her metamorphosis from religious zealot to one of the country's leading gay rights activists. Gone from her home were the religious ornamentals and texts that she used to find solace in. Today, she only finds comfort in telling Bobby's story to others, knowing that Bobby was all right just as God created him. Her message to parents everywhere is simple: don't let this happen to one more child.
As a gay teenager myself, I know how poignant and true "Prayers for Bobby" is. This story has given me the courage to come out of my "shell" and speak openly about how much gay acceptance means to our society. This book should be read by homophobics everywhere to show them that every time they open their mouths, they are literally killing a child like Bobby. Remember, homosexuality should not kill anyone; it is Biblical literalism that killed Bobby Griffith and has made life miserable for millions of teenagers in our country. I stress the belief to other Christians that the men who wrote the Bible were just that -- men. Man is fickle and fallible. Therefore, I cannot convince myself to believe that they were representing God's opinion of sexuality.
Finally, there is one particular passage from "Prayers for Bobby" that I'd like to paraphrase because it says so much about how much stories like this need to be heard by the American public: "Every Sunday, thousands if not millions of people are sitting in pews everywhere listening to sermons of homophobia being preached in their churches. Among the parishioners are gay teenagers and young adults who cry out for help, but cannot be heard above the messages of condemnation. Before you echo "Amen" at the end of such a sermon, think . . . and remember. Children are listening."
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Prayers For Bobby by Leroy Aarons (Paperback - Aug 15 1996)
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