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 nomoregoodbyes.com.