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Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth: How a Gay Child was Saved From Religion Paperback – October 6, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Lethe Press (October 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590213661
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590213667
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,455,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An inspiring depiction of human endurance and the heart-healing balms of generosity and kindness.   -- Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory

Nominated for the Over The Rainbow Book List by the American Library Association in July 2012

Cowboys, Armageddon and The Truth tells a real hero's journey. Terry proves to be a wonderful model of the sensitive gay man rising up through and out of religious orthodoxy and coming into his own. This book is about the gay hero's journey.
--Toby Johnson, author of Gay Spirituality

''Scott Terry's gritty, colorful account of his church-choked years is insightful and cringe-inducing--a window into the lives of people with a terrible need to confine themselves in rigid little boxes. I shuddered at his predicament, marveled at his resilience, and was heartened by his breakthrough.'' --Will Fellows, author of Farm Boys

''Scott Terry's stirring memoir illustrates the maiming pain that families can inflict on their members, especially the young and powerless, and the many ways that orthodox religion can isolate and warp its believers.'' --Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory

''A lively, affectionate autobiography with messages of inspiration and acceptance.'' --Kirkus Reviews

From the Author

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth was named one of the Top 20 Must Read Books of 2013 by Advocate Magazine. It is the winner of the 2013 Rainbow Book Award in the LGBT Non-fiction category, and was named Best Debut Gay Novel of year by Elisa Awards.  It was named one of the best LGBT releases of 2012 by Out In Print and Band of Thebes book lists.  It is a Bronze Medal winner in the Living Now Book Awards, a finalist in the Next Generation Book Awards, and a finalist in the International Book Awards.

More About the Author

In 2007, Scott Terry sent an excerpt from his yet-to-be published book, Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth, to the San Francisco Chronicle. An hour later, he received a freelance contract and a request for more, leading to many stories for the paper.

In his book, Terry has produced a gritty and poignant autobiography of a young boy escaping an abusive and fanatical childhood. Scott Terry was raised as a devout Jehovah's Witness, and spent his childhood praying for Armageddon to come and asking God to heal him of his homosexual thoughts. By adulthood, he had escaped the Witness religion and no longer believed in an upcoming apocalypse. Indeed, as a gay man and a real cowboy, he was riding bulls in the rodeo, abandoning all faith in religion.

Cowboys, Armageddon, and The Truth was named one of the Top 20 Must Read Books of 2013 by Advocate Magazine. It was named one of the best LGBT releases of 2012 by Out In Print and Band of Thebes book lists, and was a Bronze Medal winner in the Living Now Book awards, a finalist in the Next Generation Book Awards, and a finalist in the Rainbow Book Awards. Scott's writing has been featured in the Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Alternet Magazine, among others.

For more information on Scott Terry's work, visit his web page at www.ScottTerryProjects.com. For information on events or upcoming book signings, visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CowboysArmageddonAndTheTruth.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book was a fast easy read.
mary
Thank you for having the courage to share such a deeply personal and difficult story with those who read this book.
Stephen
Scott Terry's story is one to read, savor and share.
W. coyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen on October 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the story of a young boy constantly reminded that he was unwanted and unloved while growing up in a religion that he looked too for hope, but instead only found unrelenting guilt as he slowly comes to grips with his sexuality.

I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness myself. I am also gay. So obviously this book resonates with me on several levels. While I never underwent the neglect and abuse that Scott suffered in his life, the constant reminder that "Armageddon was coming", "it's just around the corner", "you'll never even finish High School, so don't worry about ... " was such a huge part of my life as well.

Many of the tales of his blossoming sexuality are also reminiscent of experiences and feelings that I had as a young kid. Praying for Jehovah to "straighten me out", constantly asking for forgiveness over random thoughts about men, and never getting even a slight hint that anyone was ever listening.

The story of Scott's life is a painful one to read, and even the triumphs and help from outside members of his family that he eventually experiences are shadowed by guilt and pain left over from a cultish, homophobic upbringing and abusive parents.

If you are a Jehovah's Witness, used to be one, know one ... you NEED to read this book. There are a ton of books out there that deal with the doctrine and dogma of this religious, but none so capture the emotional damage that false expectations of a end time that never comes will cause, especially a young child.

Ultimately, this is a heartfelt, and heart wrenching tale of a young boy battered and left alone with only an unresponsive god to turn too for hope and support, but who still manages to pull himself up by his bootstraps and carve out a happy, fulfilling life.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Johnny on October 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a man who grew up gay in rural Texas, in a very religious family, I found much to relate to in this memoir. This is a tale of bravery in the face of what most would find to be insurmountable odds; especially considering the age at which the young boy must learn to deal with a very abusive situation. Anyone who who has struggled against forces he has no control over will see himself or herself in this story. Scott Terry has a voice that I very much want to hear more of. You can bet I'll be watching for his next publication.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rabid Readers Reviews on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
Scott Terry has an elegantly understated way of writing. He and his older sister grew up on the edge without a sense of home. Everything belonged to their stepmother. The house was "Fluffy's house" and they were only allowed in it by permission. Food was "Fluffy's food." In a scene later in the memoir Terry is 14 and on a family trip when he tries Fluffy by taking a Dorito from a bag that his step-siblings are sharing. Fluffy yells at him and he runs off crying. How isolated he was, especially after his sister left, is highlighted. Terry and his sister were unwelcome visitors in the home of their father's wife. The abuse Terry suffered was poignant in that he doesn't outline the attacks for us in graphic detail but hints at them. He remembers Sissy screaming and the next day he had bruises on his body and a cut on his head. His experiences resonate with the reader and cause the heart to bleed for these children to whom society and their father seemed to turn a blind eye.

I would think that readers would identify with Terry's struggles with sexuality and coming to accept himself as an adult. He prays daily for Jehovah to remove the "wicked" feelings, he has girlfriends and misleads team-mates and ultimately he comes to the realization that happiness is being himself and there are people in his life who accept him and those who don't don't matter.

No one could blame Terry if he was bitter and used a memoir as a vindictive rant against and an abusive stepmother and a father willing to turn a blind eye. He was locked out of his home for hours in Wyoming in winter, he was forced to go hungry, accused of stealing and beaten. Bitterness is not the focus. Terry gives a relatable and compelling story of struggle, escape and ultimate success. He is a survivor and this is his story.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lind on October 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Freelance journalist and artist Scott Terry has written a captivating and deeply disturbing memoir of his childhood, growing up without his birth mother in a dysfunctional, emotionally and physically abusive home of devout Jehovah's Witnesses. Originally, he and his sister, Sissy, both lived with his father's new wife, Fluffy, who treated them as second-class citizens, not allowed to stay in the house alone, given meals that were inferior to what the adults and her own children ate, and constantly reminded that they were likely sinners like their mother who had abandoned them. Eventually, Sissy left home, and Scott was not permitted to have any contact with her, or even to mention her to the others. It was not until Scott was in his teens that he also ran away, and went to live with a relative, that he fully realized the severity of the situation he had survived. Yet, he retained a basic belief in the teachings of Jehovah, anticipating an Armageddon would destroy the earth, which had been drilled into him, was the only path to survival.

This is not an easy book to read, because of the seemingly hopeless childhood Scott endured, but is somewhat redeemed by seeing that he was strong enough to latch onto whatever positives that he could salvage in his life, reconciled his homosexuality that he had long repressed, and lived a satisfying life, despite it all. Four stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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