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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight Parents Gay Children Hits the Mark
I have concluded my search. I have spent the last 18 months looking for a book to give my parents to help them come to terms with my homosexuality. Every other book I read had something if not many things wrong with it. This text addresses every concern a parent could have...including the religious ones without getting too bogged down in biblical translation and...
Published on May 15, 2000

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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Many good stories
Robert Bernstein's account of the development of P-Flag is emtional and inspiring. His book helps parents of gay children to learn about what gay means and how to accept their children. One flaw in this book is that all the examples he uses are men and women who have achieved high status as pretty much defined by society. Most of them are in "marriages",...
Published on August 26, 2001 by John Rice


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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Straight Parents Gay Children Hits the Mark, May 15, 2000
By A Customer
I have concluded my search. I have spent the last 18 months looking for a book to give my parents to help them come to terms with my homosexuality. Every other book I read had something if not many things wrong with it. This text addresses every concern a parent could have...including the religious ones without getting too bogged down in biblical translation and interpretation. Straight Parents Gay Children says all the thing things that would be too preachy for me to say myself. An excellent resource!
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Many good stories, August 26, 2001
By 
John Rice (Milwaukee, WI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Robert Bernstein's account of the development of P-Flag is emtional and inspiring. His book helps parents of gay children to learn about what gay means and how to accept their children. One flaw in this book is that all the examples he uses are men and women who have achieved high status as pretty much defined by society. Most of them are in "marriages", long-term relationships. All of this makes them look "just like" straight people. This position is only one of many taken by gay people and gay organizations. I wondered as I read this book where I fit in. None of those gay people were like me and I did not share many of their views. So where does that put gay people like myself in Bernstein's perspective? The book seems to whitewash much of the gay world. Bernstein does not seem to be in touch with the youth programs. As a volunteer in one of those programs, I can tesitfy that none of the teens in our project reflect the kind of gay people he described. That criticism aside, Bernstein's book attempts to fight bigotry and help straight parents climb the mountain, as one parent put it to dealing with their own issues and reaching out to their children in love.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important help for "new" parents, August 23, 2001
By A Customer
Our son came out at age 18. When I worked up the courage, 4 months later, to attend my first PFLAG meeting (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the support of people who have already been there was wonderful. This was the first book they recommended, and it made a huge difference in my ability to bring order to my thoughts (and my conflicted heart), and not just to accept but to embrace my son's courage and honesty. The book deals compassionately with parents' fears regarding potential violence to our children and the tragedy of AIDS and social prejudice. More importantly, it inspires and en-courages parents not just to continue loving our children, which is the easy part, but to become comfortable as advocates for our fine children (who happen to be GLBT) to whatever degree makes sense in our lives. I highly recommend this book.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for Parents, March 10, 2001
By A Customer
I just read this book, and it certainly answered a lot of my questions about my child's homosexuality, and why his sexual orientation comes from neither bad upbringing or perversion. This would be a good book for anyone who cares about their gay loved one.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for people coming out, December 20, 1999
By A Customer
I read this book when I was preparing to come out to my parents, and then gave it to them. Found it to be very useful
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for parents!, March 4, 2002
By 
DJS (Indianapolis, IN United States) - See all my reviews
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I just finishing reading this book. It was a good read but it is more or less for parents to read. Don't get me wrong, I learned some things: what parents go through, some things on society, history of p-flag, and such but it was not all that I hoped this book would be.
The author uses lots of high profile people as examples in this book so it was hard for someone like me to figure out just where I stand in life. As it will probably be for parents to place their child among these people who are exampled.
Most of the themes in this book are more adult rather than young teens to young adult.
It is a good attempt to give an overview of the "gay" world but it was not what I expected.
I would recomend this book for parents of gay children who want to learn more about the life style, history, p-flag, ect.
But not to learn about their children. The only way to do that is to ask them yourself.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for parents who want enlightenment, March 2, 2003
And that's the problem with this book, if it's not read within its parameters. Robert A. Bernstein, inspired to write his book after his teenage daughter came out as a lesbian, has some wonderful examples of parental support of gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered children, and support for parents is the reason for the book. And the history of the parental group (P-FLAG) of such children is intriguing and informative. Certainly, just as gay and lesbian children need the support of their families, so their parents need their unique support systems. Unfortunately, parents who reject not only their childrens' "alternate" lifestyles but their children in whole, aren't likely to read Bernstein's book simply because they probably don't want to understand what they disdain for whatever reason. The real-life parent-child relationships posited here are wonderful, and it would be truly magnificent if all parent-child relationships could be as they are here. Additionally, the children in this book are older, not necessarily pre- and teenagers, thus exluding the parents of these age-specific issues. Further, many of the children cited here are usually on track toward personal and professional fulfillment, quite likely partly because of their parents' support. Unfortunately, a great many others, if not more, have either been fully abandoned by their parents and family or, if they haven't, don't have what could qualify as anything nearing a healthy relationship with their parents. By its title, Bernstein's novel is directed toward parents, and certainly they need support just as much as their children. But to conclude that all gay and lesbian children have their families' unconditional love and support would be a tragic mistake. Unfortunately, all too many parents, presumably affected by the fears and prejudices of homophobia, will likely never accept their childrens' alternative choices and will never have a need for a book like this. But for those parents who do, Bernstein's work is a wonderful beginning toward understanding.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding and accepting your gay child, September 1, 2004
This review is from: Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together (Paperback)
The 30th anniversary of PFLAG is a fitting time for this updated edition. Former national vice president of PFLAG, Robert Bernstein has chronicled not only his own journey to acceptance and support of his lesbian daughter, but also the founding and continuing growth of PFLAG.

Moving stories of the founders and leaders of PFLAG blend with Bernstein's story. These tales underline the ability of loving parents to work together toward acceptance of their children's differences. Following their initial shock, guilt, and grief, all these parents have found their way to acceptance and respect for their special children. Their realization that this is still the child they love is the first great step. Most have gone on from this stage to help and support other parents through their early traumas and into the light and joy of truly sharing their children's lives. PFLAG plays a major role in all their lives. Many have become staunch advocates for equality and acceptance of their own and all other such children into the larger community.

Straight Parents, Gay Children includes stories of celebrities, politicians (even the Vice President of the US), and religious leaders of many faiths who have faced and accepted homosexuality for themselves or within their families. These highly visible community and national leaders stand in strong contrast to the homophobia and hatred so apparent in the public proclamations of other church and political leaders. A new chapter in this edition is devoted to these celebrities and other leaders.

Toward the end of the book is a "Survival Guide." It debunks the concept of guilt - that the parents "did something wrong" to make their child homosexual. This chapter presents arguments to overcome the shame and anger that usually erupt shortly after your child's announcement "Mom, Dad, I'm gay." You are led toward understanding and respect for your courageous child. And, if you are willing, you are led to publicly support not only your own child, but all who are subjected to marginalization due to their sexual or gender diversity.

Another new chapter in this edition, "Family Values," discusses gay and lesbian parenting. In "The Unreliability of Stereotypes," Bernstein discusses common stereotypes of policing, professional sports, and politics - where they are "...unmasked as, well, fairy tales."

As author Bernstein points out, "If you have a gay child, you are in the very best of company."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Gift!, July 11, 2001
By A Customer
This is a great gift to present to your parents when you come out to them. Or, to buy for yourself when your child comes out to you. You're not alone, and you'll be surprised at how varried people's parents' reactions are to the big news.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for parents of gay children, May 16, 1997
By A Customer
This book is a great source of "how to" for parents when they find out that their children are gay. The author details a number of different situations of inter-family conflict and resolution
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Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together
Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together by Robert Bernstein (Paperback - June 25, 2003)
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