For many gay men and lesbians, Betty DeGeneres, the mother of actress Ellen DeGeneres has come to represent the mother stolen from them by homophobia. For many parents she has provided the inspiration to reconcile with their own children. In her new book, Just a Mom, Betty talks directly to parents, children, friends, teachers, employers, and politicians in a straightforward and heartfelt manner on homophobia and the destruction it causes in loving families and society at large. She counsels parents on how to react when their child tells them he or she is gay. She advises children on how to tell their parents and when. And, most importantly, she shows how to cross the divide of intolerance so families can be whole again. Now an activist and a national figure, Betty DeGeneres is a mother first, and in Just a Mom she is calling for love, compassion, and reconciliation for all gay men, lesbians, and their families from the bottom of a mother's heart.
Betty DeGeneres first gained national attention when her daughter Ellen came out on national television. Her first book, Love Ellen; A Mother Daughter Journey, told the story of her own journey to acceptance, pride, and finally activism. As a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, Betty speaks extensively on behalf of greater tolerance for gay men and lesbians, and writes an advice column on issues of coming out on PlanetOut.