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A Family and Friend's Guide to Sexual Orientation: Bridging the Divide Between Gay and Straight [Paperback]

by Bob Powers, Alan Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

June 14, 1996 0415912768 978-0415912761 First Edition
A Family and Friend's Guide to Sexual Orientation helps individuals and families to bridge the divide between gay and straight, to heal wounds that often accompany individuals and families' negative feelings about lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered persons. Consisting of thirty stories by individuals who have come to accept and embrace their own sexuality, twelve of the stories are by heterosexuals who, in addition to talking about their own sexuality, speak of the homosexuality of a loved one. The book also includes five personal stories from two families.

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Editorial Reviews


Power and Ellis' book is a great next step for families and friends in various stages of coming to terms with a lvoed one being out. A Family and Freind's Guide to Sexual Orientation is rich in emotional depth...The book seems to ofer something for everyone, whether dealing with these issues in personal or professional life, from a spiritual place or some other perspective. -- Philadelphia Gay News
...while there are a lot of books on the market that address the issues inherent in coming out to friends and family, this is the first one I've come across which actively embraces the role of these other people who mean so much to us. In A Family and Friend's Guide to Sexual Orientation, Powers and Ellis have created a wonderful volume of personal essays and accessible information that will help anyone who truly wants to understand and embrace the (perhaps) new-found gay person in his or her life... In the era of the Don't Ask Don't Tell attitude that extends far beyond the military, Powers and Ellis' book affirms, and indeed encourages, a Do Ask, Do Tell policy that will help build bridges between individuals. -- Bay Windows
The moving stories in this book can help all of us in our own healing and in helping to heal the separation that often exists around this issue. -- Gerald G. Jampolski, M.D., author of Love is Letting Go of Fear
Because so many family members do not know how to deal with the sexual orientation of their loved ones, they simply refuse to talk about it. As a result, they are thrown into a (heterosexual) closet of their own making. In reading A Family and Friend's Guide to Sexual Orientation, I was struck by the possibility that this book can open their eyes in a way similar to how the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous opens the eyes of problem drinkers. -- David Berenson, M.D., Psychiatrist and Director, Family Institute of San Francisco

About the Author

Bob Powers is president of Bob Powers & Associates, Inc. Alan Ellis teaches psychology and human sexuality at San Francisco State University. They are the authors of A Managers Guide to Sexual Orientation in the Workplace also published by Routledge.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; First Edition edition (June 14, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415912768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415912761
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,944,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great collection of stories July 2, 2000
By A Customer
This book is a collection of stories about mostly straight people who had friends or relatives come out. One thing that happens to straight friends and relatives at someone's coming-out is that the gay person is out and the family or friends go into the closet. This book explores how family and friends deal with gayness and how they come out of their closets, too. There is a briefest of brief introductions that summarizes the stories to follow, and there is a fairly extensive resource guide in the back full of addresses and organizations of every kind for information, support, and advice. If you are a straight friend or family member of a gay person, this is a great resource--although I think you might also profit from books such as:
Coming Out of Shame--written for gay and lesbian people but for a straight reader an important and valuable insight into gay and lesbian people's feelings and emotional difficulties coming out
Stranger at the Gate--if you have conflicted religious views, this autobiography is invaluable
In the end, however, this is a great first step to coming to understand and support the gay or lesbian person in your life. Congratulations for considering buying this book!
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