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Now That You Know: A Parents' Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children, Updated Edition Paperback – June 1, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0156006057 ISBN-10: 0156006057 Edition: Second Edition

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Now That You Know: A Parents' Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children, Updated Edition + Beyond Acceptance: Parents of Lesbians & Gays Talk About Their Experiences + Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Second Edition edition (June 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156006057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156006057
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If the coming out process is difficult for gay people, it is often equally difficult for their parents. Confusion, anger, and fear frequently cause fathers and mothers of gay men and lesbians to disavow, strike out against, and even resent their children. For many parents, a child's coming out feels like the ultimate rejection--not only of their dreams and hopes but of their own heterosexuality. In Now That You Know: A Parent's Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children, Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward--the mothers of, respectively, a gay man and a lesbian--have charted the rough seas that almost every parent of a gay person travels.

Fairchild and Hayward presume that homosexuality is a positive good, and that it is willful ignorance and homophobia that are moral wrongs. They also believe that families can and should love all members and that it is distraught or confused parents (not their gay offspring) who must change. Mixing common sense with a firm sense of social justice and love, the authors systematically address almost all of the problems faced by parents of gay people. Answering questions on religion, AIDS, health, children, alternative families, and sex, they make the complicated gay world--often a nightmare vision for "just out" parents of gays--not only manageable but happy and nurturing. --Michael Bronski

From Library Journal

Fully revised and updated, this classic in the field is still the source of support and information for parents trying to understand their children's sexual orientation.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Daryl J. Bem on April 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
This was a very important book in 1979 when it was first published, a book that I often recommended to gay/lesbian students who wanted to inform their parents. But the authors have been very lazy and have barely changed it in the 20 years since the first edition. I was disappointed in the second edition (1989) because it was virtually unchanged from the first edition except for an added chapter on AIDS and a minimally revised discussion of the PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) organization.
The third edition is even worse. Again the first 9 chapters appear to be untouched. Even the AIDS chapter remains unchanged except for a 1 page postscript about "recent" treatments. The chapter is now such a "downer" in the light of recent developments that it will hardly reassure parents worried about their gay sons. Why not rewrite the chapter optimistically, with a warning that the crisis is not over and that safer sex is still a requirement?
Less crucial but still disappointing is that the book is still quoting old Kinsey statistics on the incidence of homosexuality rather than using more reliable data from a recent national survey. The discussion of the nature of homosexuality is still based on sources over 30 years old. Nothing is said about recent data (and controversies) over the biological correlates of sexual orientation. Any parent who has read Time or Newsweek in the past 5 years would know more about these developments than they will find in this book.
Maybe the personal stories of parents will still resonate with some families, mainly those who haven't been exposed to the mass media for 20 years.
The most valuable part of the book may be the updated bibliography.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
Upon the recommendation of others, I bought this book; however, many better choices exist for parents dealing with the new knowledge that they have a gay child. This book's information comes from the 70s. Even though the book has been republished twice, the authors have done an inadequate job of keeping up-to-date. I'm sure the book seemed heaven sent in the early 80s, but not now.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Daryl J. Bem on January 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
In my April, 1999 review of this book (somewhere among the reviews listed here), I said there were better books now available. Several people have e-mailed me asking me to be more specific.
OK. I now recommend the following to my students. They are both excellent and different from each other (as the titles imply):
Beyond Acceptance : Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk About Their Experiences; Carolyn Welch Griffin, et al.
Coming Out to Parents : A Two-Way Survival Guide for Lesbians and Gay Men and Their Parents; Mary V. Borhek
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
It's obvious that this book was useful back when it was originally written, in the 1970s. But with the changing issues involving gay and lesbian youths in the 1990s, a 1970s approach isn't applicable.
I bought this book as a guide to how to tell my parents. After reading the book for myself, I decided the book would do more harm than good, giving my parents a view about the gay lifestyle as one embodied in the 1970s, not the comfortable, main-stream life I lead today and believe most of my friends do also.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hussain Mustafa on April 27, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I heard a lot about this book and I thought it would help me deal with my coming out dilemma. but I guess its my parents who needs understanding and not me. So this book doesn't help at all in that area as my parents are not English-speaking or understanding.

I would like to know if there are some similar books that are available in Hindi for the Indian population.Or may be a translation version would be of great help.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen R. Chateau on September 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a mistake this purchase was! I bought it for a young lesbian friend, to help her in her coming-out conversation with her parents. It had been recommended by an older gay man. It is stuck in the 70's and is highly unlikely to be of any use in my friend's coming out process. If you want a bit of historical perspective, steel yourself and read this. Otherwise, don't bother.
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