How it Feels to Have
a Gay or Lesbian Parent

A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages

Judith E. Snow, MA

 
 
Judith E. Snow, MA
About the Book
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 to an alternative family.

"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.
Derived from the Publisher's website
Inside the Book
Foreword (Felicia Park-Rogers)
Preface
Acknowledgements
1. Chris, Age Seventeen
2. Keila, Age Seven
3. Meredith, Age Twenty
4. Trisha, Age Twelve
5. Sister and Brother: Taylor, Age Eight; Justin, Age Ten
6. Ruth, Age Twenty
7. Angel, Age Seven
8. Sophia, Age Thirteen
9. Jarod, Age Twenty-Six
10. Three Sisters: Miranda, Age Seven; Lilly, Age Nine; and Avery, Age Eleven
11. Erin, Age Fourteen
12. Stacey, Age Eighteen
13. Tara, Age Thirteen
14. Kelly, Age Twenty
15. Ally, Age Ten
16. Nicole, Age Thirty-One
17. Alanna, Age Eight
18. Lydia, Age Twenty-Five
19. Andrew, Age Thirteen
20. Chloe, Age Ten
21. Clara, Age Twenty
22. Ricky, Age Fourteen
23. Brother and Sister: Nathan, Age Sixteen; Rachel, Age Eighteen
24. Renee, Age Twenty-Eight
25. Brian, Age Eighteen
26. Bernadette, Age Fifteen
27. Jaime, Age Eighteen
28. Alicia, Age Sixteen
Summary
Resource Guide
Index
Book Reviews
"INVALUABLE for anyone wanting to know what happens to children of parents who come out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual and the complex context in which their dealing with this challenge takes place. THE VALUE OF THIS BOOK IS ITS SPOTLIGHT ON THE CHILDREN, often forgotten in the crisis of a married or divorced parent's coming out."

Amity Pierce Buxton, PhD, Executive Director, Straight Spouse Network

"TIMELY, NECESSARY. . . . A USEFUL SOURCE OF INSIGHT for parents, children, judges, lawyers, and child custody evaluators. . . . By telling the stories of dozens of children of different ages, Judith Snow has presented a tableau of simple tales that can help different professionals understand the lives and needs of children who have GLBT parents."

Julie Kunce Field, JD, Attorney and Mediator, Office of Dispute Resolution, Colorado

Derived from the Publisher's website

"IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE. . . . A refreshing compilation of children's own voices, as they describe and comment on their families. Children are the ultimate truth-tellers, and in this book they give us a rare look into their lives by speaking directly about what it has meant to them to have one or both of their parents be openly gay."

Ellen C. Perrin, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, the Floating Hospital for Children, New England Medical Center, Boston.
© 2004-2014 Judith E. Snow