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--- The New York Times Book Review - "What makes this story ultimately heroic is...a reminder of all those who struggle against the stigma of who they are." --- Publishers Weekly - "Mom, I don't know how to tell you this... I'm gay," Christopher Shyer, then 26, told his mother, Marlene, on Thanksgiving Day 1987. How he summoned the courage to come out, after years of torment, isolation and self-hatred growing up in the suburbs of New York City, is revealed in a deeply moving memoir, told in alternating voices. Marlene, a novelist, children's-book author and journalist, worried obsessively from the time Chris was five that he'd become a homosexual and dragged him to psychotherapists seeking assurance that he was "normal." She eventually overcame her homophobia, but Chris's father (whom Marlene subsequently divorced) was less accepting of his son's sexual orientation: "I have no problem with it.... As long as it doesn't show." Chris, a business executive in New York, writes forcefully. "It's those who condemn and deride us, those who are ignorant and misinformed who should be scorned and ridiculed. It is homophobia that should be in the closet." --- School Library Journal - YA? In alternating chapters, Marlene Shyer and her son Christopher present a forthright account of their memories of various stages of Chris's life - from the time he was five years old (when Mom first had twinges of suspicion) until his early adult years, when he divulged, first to her and then later to other family members, the fact that he was gay. These accounts are well written: the prose pulls readers along on the whole family's difficult journey. Honesty in expressing fears, the ebb and flow of human emotions, the devastation of self-blame, and, finally, the wonderful joy and release of acceptance make this title a strong choice for any collection serving YAs and/or parents. It is a hopeful book for today's society. --- Charles Harmon, Booklist – "The Shyers, mother and son, very successfully use a rarely successful technique--telling a single story in chapters alternating their respective viewpoints but following the same chronology. As they take turns telling of Chris' maturation from repressed homosexual childhood to self-accepting gay manhood, we not only hear their words, but, more important, empathize with both of them....Not just another story of what it is like to grow up gay, this book reveals what being gay is like for both the gay person and fellow family members." --- Marlene Fanta Shyer beamed as her son Chris's kindergarten teacher delivered a glowing report on his adjustment to school. The year was 1966, her first parent-teacher conference, and Marlene was proud to hear that Chris was a "pleasure to have in class." By all accounts Chris was the perfect child - obedient, mature, bright - but Marlene felt compelled to speak up. "I've been worried about Chris," she admitted. "I'm afraid he may grow up to be a homosexual." In alternating voices, this frank memoir chronicles the long journey mother and son took from a relationship of concealment and shame about Chris's homosexuality to one of acceptance and love. Marlene and Chris tell the story of their parallel lives during the troubled years each of them kept silent about their suspicions, all the while yearning to reveal the truth. Their heroic emergence from the closet - a mire of emotional isolation and unnecessary pain - is testament to our potential for emotional growth and our need for tolerant and supportive parenting.