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Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies Paperback – May 10, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1st edition (May 10, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060951044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060951047
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This very accessible basic guide for youth and those who care about them includes many valuable, practical suggestions and pointers to additional resources. Bass and Kaufman cover it all in chapters from "Friends" and "Love" to "Religious Life" and "Living in Your Community."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Although the fact that June is Gay Pride Month has been well publicized in recent years, it may have escaped notice that June is also Lesbian and Gay Book Month (see News & Views, p.1636). This June brings the 13 titles reviewed here, one of which introduces a solid new mystery series hero: a trifle too hard-drinking reporter named Ben Justice. Other volumes of more than slight interest are a long-lost short novel by Margaret Anderson, who edited one of the most important little magazines in U.S. literary history; the first novel in 13 years from Andrew Holleran, the godfather, so to speak, of the modern gay novel; and Judy Nelson's report on life after Martina and Rita Mae and . . .

Like most popular literature on homosexuality, Bass and Kaufman's adviser for youth plays a mite fast and loose with social science research. Still, it is an excellent resource. The authors pepper the text with the words of a few dozen young people who have been through the experiences that the book's six sections address: self-discovery and coming out, dealing with friends and first love, dealing with family, defending and asserting oneself in school, finding solace in spirituality, and locating community support. Further, for the allies mentioned in the subtitle, Bass and Kaufman offer such chapters as "our pride and joy" (for parents) and "making changes in churches and temples" (no initial capitals are used in titles and headings). Of course, the book will infuriate those who give homosexuality no quarter and also, on account of its safe-sex counsel, those who don't want children to hear about sex. Even friendly adult readers may be discomfited by the glossing over of historical and religious complexities. Well, no book is perfect, and this one remains very good. Ray Olson


More About the Author

A pioneer in the field of healing from child sexual abuse, Ellen Bass currently teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University in Oregon. Her poetry books include Mules of Love and The Human Line.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ben Symon on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm a gay teen who didn't know anyone who was gay and really needed to know that I was the only guy out there going through this stuff. Free Your Mind is an awesome book in many ways, because it's so full of comments and stuff from other people who share similar experiences, that it's hard to feel so alone and different after reading the book. The authors, as well, are really nice people, I've e-mailed them several times and they are incredibly friendly, supportive and loving. When I got it, I kinda hoped that Free Your Mind would provide me with all the answers... it doesn't, nothing can, but it provided me with a sense of hope, pride and one really intensely important message : I am not alone.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By dta104@aol.com on June 16, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have been actively researching homosexual youth and teen suicide for many months now. I could bury myself in books. I have also contacted guidance counselors across the U.S. to see what programs different schools have in their areas. It has taken me many, many hours. I could give you a synopsis from all I've read, however, most youth and parents included, will never do as much research as I have. I recently reread this book and I can honestly say that if I was able to offer one resource to a confused child/parent or other, this would be it. It focuses on just about every subject that one might have a question about. The book is not "sugar-coated" or biased it is only candid and honest. The current research I have been doing has brought me to this book. It is somewhat of a bible of the 30 or 40 books I read. If you have questions...read it! If you don't, read it anyway, you will be better for it. Kudos!!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have to say, that I have read and reviewed a lot of books for a resource list that my non-profit has prepared to give to educators and youth in the local school systems. Of all that I have read, this is the one that I would suggest for just about anyone. It has so much helpful information for teachers/clergy/friends/family/parents and gay youth themselves. I wish that every educator, service provider, counselor, clergy-person that works with youth would read it and have a copy to give to others. It's that good!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is simply the best book resource available for gay and lesbian young people - and those that want to give them support.
It offers practical advise not only for youth, but also gives space to parents, educators, and other adults who want to lend support to bisexual, gay, and lesbian youth. It features personal comments from teens who have been there/done that - including two persons who grew up to be instrumental in the popular XY magazine for gay teens.
While not a cure-all, this book can help young people accept themselves, make rational decisions on coming out, and deal with parents, friends, faith and religion, and many other topics... and serve as a primer for those adults who would like to help gay teens, but aren't quite sure how to go about it.
Well researched, well presented, and of all things, still current in terms of content and resources both, this book is the Bible for gayTeenresources.com
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By roz@surfnetcorp.com on April 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is not only a good resource for GLBT teenagers, but a great book for those of us who are allies of these teens. I am a teacher in an all-girl Catholic high school and currently this book is being passed around to the lesbian-sympathetic faculty. While the book seems to gloss over some of the intricacies of the problems traditionally associated with religion, it still is a sound guide for the average teen and ally. I would highly recommend that this book be in every high school library and guidance resource center.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I advise a gay,lesbian,bi,transgendered youth group and have found Free Your Mind to be a powerful help to these coming out youth. The book's comprehensive overview of what being a sexual minority means lends a balanced picture to the often comfused gay youth. They read it, their parents read it and so do their friends. It even provides ideas for discussion topics when we meet every week. I highly recommend this valuable guide to our GLBT youth! Oh, if it were available 40 years ago for my generation.
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