ALWAYS MY CHILD: A Parent's Guide to Understanding your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Questioning Son or Daughter

Kevin Jennings, Author, Pat Shapiro, With with Pat Shapiro. Fireside $14 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7432-2649-3

Filled with real-life stories, scientific research and practical advice, Jennings' latest (after Becoming Invisible) stresses the importance of family acceptance for a child's self-esteem and the need to create a safe haven at home for GLBTQ teens, who often feel depressed, isolated, and harassed by peers and society at large. Drawing from countless anecdotal stories, as well as his own experiences growing up gay in a disapproving Southern Baptist atmosphere, Jennings encourages parents to understand their children's culture (by watching movies and television, visiting Web sites, and listening to music), recognize the myths of sexual orientation, identify warning signs for drug abuse, depression, eating disorders, and suicide, and learn how they may unwittingly be perpetuating gender stereotypes by facing their own prejudices. Models for coming out, and down-to-earth tips on dealing with the various stages of acceptance are thoroughly explained, and Jennings, writing with Shapiro (A Parent's Guide to Childhood and Adolescent Depression), includes an extensive resource section at the end of the book. He also provides sample conversations to help facilitate open lines of communication with children on every issue. Jennings' attention to the unique religious and cultural difficulties of "double minorities" and his accessible, topic-specific chapters make this a useful guide for both parents and teachers. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/04/2002
Release date: 01/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
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