It can be a devastating blow when an adult child announces he or she is homosexual. Many parents have a difficult journey accepting the sexual orientation of their child(ren); however, many books exist to help parents understand and cope with an adult child (or teenage child)’s decision to come out of the closet. It is highly recommended for a parent of a gay or lesbian child to try and accept the lifestyle, and to continue to love the adult child as unconditionally as before. This article reviews a few excellent literary choices for helping parents adjust to understanding their needs.
One of the absolute best books for recently new parents of a gay and lesbian child is Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together by Robert A. Bernstein. This book is published by Thunder’s Mouth Press and is available on Amazon.com. Bernstein is the father of a lesbian daughter, and in this book, he helps other parents become heroes to their children rather just tolerating or ignoring the reality of their sexual orientation. One of the most interesting points of this book is that Bernstein demonstrates how difficult it can be growing up gay in a straight-world. This can be a real eye-opener for parents to understand the emotional struggles of a gay or lesbian child. Bernstein tells his personal account of accepting his daughter’s lesbian lifestyle, and it can be very powerful for other parents because he also experienced the same initial shock most parents face when they first hear, “I am Gay”.
Another great book Is it a Choice by Eric Marcus, explores the nature of being born gay or lesbian. With all of the science in genetics, it is a great read for understanding the reality of not being able to control sexual orientation. The book addresses 300 questions and answers regarding homosexuality. Some of the questions include, “What does the Bible say about Homosexuality,” “What to do if you are the parent of a gay or lesbian child,” and “Do gay parents raise gay children”. This is a great book for getting over the initial hump of acceptance. Marcus is gay, and it is nice to have the answers provided by someone who lives the homosexual lifestyle. This book can be especially helpful for older teenagers having difficulty accepting their true identities.
Loving Someone Gay by D. Clark is also an excellent awakening for a parent of a gay or lesbian child. It has chapters on gay marriage, and it explains why a gay or lesbian couple would want to marry. The focus on marriage helps parents understand how a gay or lesbian child wants to live as normally as possible, and how marriage is just another part of life for a gay or lesbian couple. Clark is also a gay writer, and as such, really addresses feelings with sincere sensitivity. It was first written in 1977, when many people were too frightened to come out to the world, which makes it valuable for younger gays and lesbians, and parents who aren’t comfortable accepting their child’s sexual orientation.
Many websites also offer book lists for parents of gay and lesbian children. Most of these books can be found at local libraries or purchased on Amazon.com very inexpensively. Many writers of gay and lesbian subjects are more for promoting understanding than making money. People wanting more information on gay and lesbian books should check out the following websites: