- File Size: 408 KB
- Print Length: 70 pages
- Publisher: The Atlantic Books (April 30, 2013)
- Publication Date: April 30, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CLJAMII
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition
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I grew up in a small city in the 1970s and remember well the name of its "one and only" homosexual. Sadly, that person had sexual issues that only added confirmation to the idea that homosexuality was, indeed, deviant. In my hometown, that man's name was synonymous with "queer" and was frequently flung as a teasing slur among the adolescents. It was not meant to seriously injure anyone; all in good fun, as they say. Except it would not have been so for a boy like the young Mr Rauch.
Times were different then in most American towns and cities. Homosexuals were classified as perverts and deviants. An adolescent's coming of age and sexuality are difficult enough to traverse without these labels.
This is the foundation on which the young Mr Rauch's rationalizations, inner turmoil, and denial were built. Fortunately for the reader, Jonathan the boy finally grew up to be a man who would have the ability to look back unflinching at his past and the talent to share it in what I can only describe as a sweet and endearing style.
This is much more than a story of a young man's realization that he is homosexual. It is the story of a young man who suddenly realizes he is capable of giving and receiving love. After years of denial, he realizes he is normal after all.
We all have our secret selves that we are certain, once exposed, will forever alienate us from society. For some, those secrets aren't really that different from what society expects, and time releases us from our self-built prisons. For others, the secret we hide is that we truly are different, and we must find a way to appreciate that difference in order to merge peacefully into the lives of others in our world. Whichever camp you find yourself living in, this book is for you.
In the end, the only truth that matters is that we love.
I was reading it through the filter of my straight-married-female experience, and it might sound odd, but I'd never really thought about the fact that I'd never really thought about my orientation! It was something I took for granted. That said, there are other aspects of my personality and history that I *did* have to work through, so Jonathan's message about understanding and owning who you are resonated. The moment when he finally broke through was such a relief... it's like someone opened up the curtains to the light after only knowing the darkness. I think anyone who's ever lived with a secret or feeling of shame will identify with that moment of freedom.
The star off is because I felt the narrative grew a bit repetitive at times. Otherwise, I found the writing engaging, insightful and definitely thought-provoking.
As a medical doctor, albeit retired now, I believe the message of this book is still desperately needed by the present generation of young people growing up with a feeling that they are different. While being young and gay or lesbian is easier than it was back in the fifties, sixties and seventies, it can still be a struggle and in those facing their teenage years in homes and backgrounds like my own the struggle can still be severe and often damaging. I heartily commend this book and hope it finds its way easily into the hands of many young people.