In the children's book classic Heather Has Two Mommies, Leslea Newman offered kids a chance to read about nontraditional families. Now Garner, who created the site FamiliesLikeMine.com, attempts to do the same for teens, young adults and their families by interweaving her experiences growing up with a gay father and straight mother with those of other children who were raised by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender parents. She intends "to advocate for our families to be just that: families." Although there is no exact figure for the number of children who have grown up in LGBT families over the past two decades (estimates vary from one million to 16 million), the issues Garner raises about the messages that we pass on to our children "on what a "well-adjusted" child is; on the risks and advantages of coming out (for both parents and children); and on the effects of a "homo-hostile" world "affect increasing numbers of children whose parents are straight or queer. Despite Garner's decision to interview only children in their 20s and 30s, their concerns about finding a way to name family members (e.g., should a lesbian mother's long-term partner be called a "step-mom"? Are that step-mom's children stepsisters or -brothers?) and learning how to maintain nontraditional families in the wake of a parent's death or the breakup of a relationship between parent and partner, will reverberate for young people confronting similar difficulties. Nor does Garner flinch from addressing the complex issues surrounding what it means for children raised in LGBT families, herself included, to be, in the words of advocate Stefan Lynch, "culturally queer, erotically straight."
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Researchers commonly cite the estimation that one to three million American children are being raised by lesbian, gay male, bisexual, and transexual (LGBT) parents. Family rights activist Garner created a Web site for LGBT parents who are seeking guidance and resources, and she lectures nationwide on LGBT family issues. A straight daughter from a gay family, she chronicles and articulates the experiences of other adult children like herself, whom she has come to know during her eight years of community organizing, activism, and from almost 300 responses by potential participants in her research. Compellingly written, fortunately including definitions as needed (e.g., of colager as derivative from the organizational acronym COLAGE [Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere]) and resource-referral guidance for LGBT families, this should quickly become a mainstay resource for many family service agencies and public libraries serving LGBT patrons. Whitney Scott
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this was a gift for a family going through a custody battle and they said they enjoyed the book they recommend the bookPublished 16 months ago by VSG
While this book is not primarily about my and my daughters situation it was helpful none the less. I came out as a transgender woman in 2002. My youngest was twelve at the time. Read morePublished on November 6, 2011 by Gillian Lee Miller
Wonderfully written...from the heart. Abigail has been to my Woodbury MN home to talk to a group about her experiences with gay dads. She is a powerful spokesperson for equality.Published on May 28, 2011 by JSH
I think this book is as important for LBGT parents to read as it is for the children of LGBT parents. Read morePublished on September 3, 2010 by Jemdad
As a gay male looking into parenting, it was great to read about the children of gay and lesbian parents.Published on January 19, 2010 by James Tilley
Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
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I'm 23 and have been raised by lesbian mothers since birth. Reading this book has caused me to become more aware of the ways in which my upbringing has affected all facets of my... Read morePublished on March 13, 2009 by Cody B
Whether you're a gay parent or the child of gay parents (or neither!), you'll want to read this wonderful book. I found it compelling and engaging. Read morePublished on December 25, 2007 by palomita
I just finished reading your book, and it made me cry. (And I don't cry easily.) Your insights and perspective were profound, for me, and I'm sure for countless others who have... Read morePublished on July 13, 2007 by Eric Akridge