Mom knows--and feels, cares, and fights--in this exceptional collection of essays by Catherine Tuerk. There's something for everyone here: Allies will be better educated, advocates will be inspired to fight even more, those who are hostile to gays will be challenged. Gay people themselves will be moved and grateful that people like Tuerk exist--and write so well. She's bold in the topics she covers--from why some gay men have sex in public bathrooms to how she has met gay men and women in numerous countries where homosexuality is harshly punished. Mom Knows
is full of memorable characters like Uncle Johnnie, brother-in-law Richard, and spunky Mother Tuerk. None, however, is as spunky as the author herself, who challenges the reader just as she has challenged herself to be more open, knowledgeable, loving, and strong. Accompanying her, from Pride parades with PFLAG to touring in Tanzania, is a trip one won t quickly forget. --Rabbi Bob Saks, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Bet Mishpachah (founded by members of the Washington, DC, gay community in 1975)Mom Knows
is a compelling account of the historical progression of one mother who set out to educate herself and make the world a better place for people of all sexualities and genders. In her eloquent writings of more than two decades, Catherine Tuerk weaves together her professional expertise, maternal wisdom, and boundless activist commitment, educating us and encouraging us to join her. A must read for parents, educators, health and mental health professionals, policy makers, advocates, and anyone who wants to understand more deeply the challenging road to affirmation for LGBT and gender-nonconforming people and their families. --Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, author of Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children
; director of Mental Health, Child and Adolescent Gender Center, Oakland, California
A leading force for acceptance of LGBT persons in our society, Catherine Tuerk has written a heartfelt book that is the culmination of her many years of work with gender-nonconforming children and their parents. Her tales bear sad witness to societal, medical, and psychiatric approaches that were misinformed and steeped in homophobia, profoundly harmful to children and parents alike--a legacy that is still with us. --George R. Brown, MD, DFAPA, Professor of Psychiatry, East Tennessee State University; Board of Directors, World Professional Association for Transgender Health
About the Author
Catherine Tuerk, MA, APRN, is a psychotherapist in private practice. In recognition of her volunteer service as president of the Metro DC chapter of PFLAG, she received the Starr Award, the national organization's top honor for exemplary leadership by a parent in the local community. Co-founder and past co-director of the Gender and Sexuality Advocacy and Education Program at the Children's National Medical Center, she now serves that program as senior consultant. Advocates for LGBT people in their Jewish community, Catherine and her husband, Jonathan Tuerk, live in Washington, DC, where they raised their son and daughter and now entertain their five grandchildren.