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Different Daughters 3 Ed: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians Paperback – April 9, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Among the watershed books for lesbians in past fifteen years, Louise Rafkin's Different Daughters provides support for the rainbow notion that love is what makes a family. When the book first appeared in 1987, there were very few resources for the parents of gays and lesbians, and even the best-intentioned parent could end up confused and angry after a trip to the Sexual Deviance section of the public library. Revised and expanded to include a few more contemporary issues like transgenderism, bisexuality, and gay parenting, these 30 brief memoirs by mothers of lesbians will comfort any mother who worries that her daughter will never be happy, or find a long-term, stable love, or be accepted by those around her. Even hostile parents can find some reassurance here in stories about mothers who were at first horrified by their daughters' lesbianism and have struggled to achieve an uneasy peace with them. A wonderful gift, especially for mothers of lesbians who are newly out of the closet.--Regina Marler

From Library Journal

Largely due to the influence of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the last 12 years have seen several books dealing with the relationship between parents and their gay/lesbian offspring. Most recent is Carolyn Welch Griffin and others' Beyond Acceptance: parents of lesbians and gays talk about their experiences ( LJ 5/1/86). In a well-intentioned attempt to add to this literature, Muller, the mother of a gay son, has conducted interviews with 61 lesbians and gay men, and 10 parents in the Chicago area, to tell the story of relationships between adult children who are "out" and their parents. Although she acknowledges that her findings "do not necessarily draw a larger picture," she attempts to generalize from them. Though she gives an appendix of graphs and tables, the methodology is unsound; and the book is poorly organized. As its subtitle explains, Different Daughters is a collection of stories solicited from mothers of lesbians. Depicting a spectrum of racial, class, and religious backgrounds, the essays range in length, depth, and insight. Those transcribed from interviews are marked to denote them from the written pieces. The honest voices of these women are clear as they come to terms with their offsprings' lifestyles, providing a valuable perspective for others dealing with these complex issues. James E. Van Buskirk, Acad. of Art Coll. Lib., San Francisco
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press; 3rd edition (April 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573441279
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573441278
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,403,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is intimate and open and extremely valuable. While many lesbians are "out" and have been "out" for what seems like forever, this book is for those who aren't yet there, and the people who care about them. While it may seem fairly repetitive, (my mother certainly thought so)the recurring themes are a lesson; we are not alone, we are not the only ones, and what we are going through IS survivable. This book includes many stories similar yet different in their own way just as each woman's "coming out" story is hers,and hers alone. This book can be a great "jumping off place" for discussion between a mother and daughter, a teacher and student, coach and player.... there are many mentors out there who can reach out and help young women searching for a way out of the closet. This book is an honest map of the ways these women stayed on the path of life with their daughers. Their writing is sometimes amateur, and reflects that some are still trying to find acceptance within their hearts, and a road back to love for their daughters, but they are trying, and in this book, they've put themselves out there for others to see and from which to find comfort. Friends have told me that now they are aware this book exists, they will retain it in their libraries to call on when a friend or colleague says, "I think my daughter is gay.." or "I'm a lesbian, how do I tell my mom?" and if you haven't yet come out to your mother, this may be the book you should read. If it's been years and your mother is no longer here to talk, read it anyway and share it with friends or relatives in her place. It's a wonderful collection, and a wonderfully powerful book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I suppose it may be helpful for some mothers to simply know that they're not the only moms whose daughters are gay; however, I was disappointed that not one of the essays actually went into exactly why these women were all so initially distraught. Most wrote about how they came to terms with "the myths and misconceptions," but nobody actually says what they are and how they delt with them! Overall, I didn't find this book to be helpful at all.
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Format: Paperback
The essays in this book are a great source of encouragement for any woman coming out to her mother, or for any mother whose daughter has recently come out to her. While there are many good things to take away from this book, the main point is communication. Mothers who, although initially distraught, are willing to listen. That's why this book is a great way to bring up the topic. I think this book would be good for any daughter who feels she is different from the norm or from her mother's expectations.
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By pen name on June 26, 2013
My wife and I really enjoyed this book and the way it was presented. I purchased the narrated version and not the print version so I could listen in my spare time. We have a lesbian daughter that came out a few years ago. This book is very good for people that have gay or lesbian children or siblings. I also thought the narration of the book was excellent. Very professional and relaxing voice.
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Different Daughters 3 Ed: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians
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