A Straight Mom Reads a Gay Book

A small bit of background:

I picked up This Book Is Gay because my ️‍ LGBT+ child was interested. An older child at the support group was seen with it and, well, when we see people we look up to reading something…

I wanted to preview it because my child is not really interested in sex and it seemed from perusing it that there would be some things that they might not be ready for. In our house, school is the priority, as are loving oneself and others—non-sexually. I have no problem with them becoming sexually active, but since there are billions of people in the world and barely a handful we ever have sex with, it seems a good idea to learn how to love people on a non-sexual basis.

I thought it would also be a good idea for me to understand a bit more where my child is coming from. Most things people are or experience are often defined by people who haven’t. I tried to read a book about Trans youth once that was mostly written and completely edited by a straight cis white person. I found it lacking. My goal is to read ️‍ books only written by ️‍ people.

(As an aside, there is editing, then there is editing. In this context I am not discussing the sort of editing a person who looks for grammatical errors does.)

This is where I’m starting from. I have very little experience with LGBT+ issues. ️‍ I was raised in Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism. Sadly, I voted against equal marriage because that was just going to be the downfall of our nation.  But, like the Transgender bathroom law in my state, I noticed very quickly that all the hype was hooey. When Dobson and Franklin Graham started telling parents to kick their ️‍LGBT+ kids out of the house (I had no idea my child was at the time) I realized these people were just bigoted jerks. I had already begun my slow walk away from religion at that point and it was just one of the big pushes along the way.

If we are supposed to love everyone as I had been taught, why not ️‍ people who I didn’t find doing any more damage around them than straight people. Growing up in Fundy-ville Church of God, I had been taught that as a woman I could not divorce my husband even if he tried to kill me, or murdered or raped my children. God hated divorce more than those great evils. Furthermore, I was taught that I had to live with my abusers and was, at several points, told I should seek them out, including those who had sexually abused me, in order to witness to them. Yeah, it’s just a big old ball of hypocrisy over there.

There are good people and there are bad people. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with it. Neither does one’s religion.

I feel it’s important to express this before reviewing a book that will be entirely foreign to me, conceptually. However, I also know that the differences are minor in comparison to our humanity. It is the experience, though, that is the main difference. As a straight, cis-gender woman, most people are not going to question my sexuality. (Though most people assume I’m a lesbian because I have really short hair.)

I’ll post only one chapter a week, on Sunday, because aside from being a mom I am also a full-time student with a dual major in Biology and English. On Monday, summer school begins and I am taking Calculus. Five days a week, two hours a day, plus at least four hours of homework each day–I think I’m gonna be a little busy. There are fourteen chapters so, well, you can do the math, I’m not mathing until Monday. 😉 (It’s 3.5 months approx.)


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