Sunday, March 04, 2007

Book rave

A couple of weeks ago, when this book was reviewed at By Common Consent, I ordered it. Then this week when it was reviewed at Feminist Mormon Housewives, I started it.

I responded to that second review saying it would probably be a few weeks before I finished it. Nonfiction books are not usually books I stay up at night to read. This one was.

And then I had to stay up more to send an email to everyone in my family (my parents and siblings, I mean) to tell them to get it and read it ... and to tell them they rock!

And then I had to blog about it! It will be a wonder if I get any sleep tonight at all!

This book is almost pure stories of people who have confronted the divide between religious faith and homosexuality -- their own homosexuality or that of a beloved family member. Stories will reel me in any day of the week. I guess Sister Pearson knew that.

The thing that makes me sad is that I had asked some friends to read it with me and got one hesitant maybe. It's still scary. I understand that. It has taken me a long time to figure out how I feel about my brothers being gay. Maybe I am still figuring out. But we have to be brave and figure it out, because so much is at stake!

It's a must, folks. If you love more than about 10 people in your life, it's a must. Or if you think you someday might. Even if none of your kids are gay, at least one of your grandkids probably will be. And in the world we live in, it won't be a secret. You will know. They will tell you. They will look into your eyes searching for your response. What remains to figure out is what YOU are going to do, and what will ripple out from there. Into their lives, and bounce off the shore and come back to you.

If you want that to be openness and love, this book has some good examples. If you are thinking maybe you couldn't do openness and love with a gay person, this book has a lot of sad and scary examples to convince you otherwise.

I want to just plead with the people who feel like this is too fringy a topic and somehow convince them how much better it would be to confront their discomfort BEFORE they have someone coming out to them, desperate for acceptance. I know that plea is not going to reach everybody or sit well with everybody, even among the people I know and love best.

Still, the book made me feel like times may be changing. I don't know everything change would mean, and I certainly know I'm not in charge of it. But the idea makes me want to shout for joy. I guess that means maybe I have figured out more than I knew.

I have a big mental list of people I want to give this book to. My family. My friend in the ward who also has a gay brother. My dear Hawaiian friend L who cites the Church's stance on homosexuality as the main reason for her departure. My awesome bishop, recently called, who will almost surely find someone in his office talking about their own or their kids' homosexuality in the next several years. I wish I could fulfill all those orders. Alas, my book dollar does not go that far.

Not sure whether it's in bookstores yet. But you can get it online at


Julie P said...

This is the best review I've read. I was already interested in the book (we were in Carol Lynn's ward for a bit and I fell in love with her), but you've sold me as making it a priority.

Victoria said...

Thanks for the review Ana. I never commented before because I've been in a funk lately about some issues (aside from this) and as you know my sister is gay and honestly it's not a huge issue for me, she is who she is and I love her, period.

I guess for me there is no internal fight within myself over it, I do not ponder on it or fight it. Maybe it's because it's been so long (24 years) since I learned about it, or maybe I have just felt peace with it? Either way it's a part of my life. I only want the best for her and want her to be happy. Just like our children she makes her own choices and lives her own life, all we can do is love and be there for them even if it doesn't mesh with what we believe. :)

I think your awesome and Love ya tons!

Kari said...

Can I just say that I think you are approaching this issue of having gay family members in a very loving way.

I think too many of us just don't know what to say or think when it comes to homosexuality, so we say nothing. Unfortunately that is me. I tend to not do anything until I HAVE to.

Yes, I have one gay family member - my husbands aunt. She is nice. But we live a long ways from her and we send her a Christmas Card every year. I guess I'm a little trepedatious, and I'm being completely honest here, because I don't want my kids to become that way and so I would prefer to love them from afar.

I will have to check into that book. It is so nice to know that there is an LDS perspective on how to deal with this issue. (Notice how I have to say "this issue" instead of loving those with homosexual tendencies.) Obviously, I have some work ahead of me and Thank you for opening my eyes a little more on this.

SalGal said...

So... how come you didn't ask me to read it? I would have. Can I borrow yours?

-a said...

I just finished it as well Ana....and I was reluctant to read it....thought it might be on the fringe a bit for me...but I found it a compelling read, with much food for thought....I will try to post more I really wanted to discuss things with you....

Ana said...

Sally Lou, I will bring you my copy. I am so glad you want to read it. That is a good surprise for me. We are still doing Asilomar or something similar this Saturday, ja?