Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies

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9780060951047: Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies

Free Your Mind is the definitive practical guide for gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth -- and their families, teachers, counselors and friends. For too long, gay youth have wanted to be themselves and to feel good about it, but most have been isolated, afraid, harassed, or worse. Their very existence has been ignored, whispered about, or swept under the rug.

But each day more and more lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are standing up, speaking out, breaking down stereotypes, demanding rights and recognition -- shining. In this book, young people share their joy and their pain, their hopes and fears, the formidable obstacles they have faced and overcome, and the exciting opportunities they have discovered.

Free Your Mind speaks to the basic aspects of the lives of gay, lesbian and bisexual youth: Self-Discovery; Friends and Lovers; Family; School; Spirituality; Community. Alive with the voices of more than fifty young people, rich in accurate information and positive practical advice, Free Your Mind talks about how to come out, deal with problems, make healthy choices about relationships and sex, connect with other gay youth and supportive adults, and take pride and participate in the gay and lesbian community. Free Your Mind also presents detailed guidance for adults who want to make the world safer for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth.

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About the Author:

A pioneer in the field of healing from child sexual abuse, Ellen Bass currently teaches in the MFA program at Pacific University in Oregon. Her poetry books include Mules of Love and The Human Line.

From Booklist:

Although the fact that June is Gay Pride Month has been well publicized in recent years, it may have escaped notice that June is also Lesbian and Gay Book Month (see News & Views, p.1636). This June brings the 13 titles reviewed here, one of which introduces a solid new mystery series hero: a trifle too hard-drinking reporter named Ben Justice. Other volumes of more than slight interest are a long-lost short novel by Margaret Anderson, who edited one of the most important little magazines in U.S. literary history; the first novel in 13 years from Andrew Holleran, the godfather, so to speak, of the modern gay novel; and Judy Nelson's report on life after Martina and Rita Mae and . . .

Like most popular literature on homosexuality, Bass and Kaufman's adviser for youth plays a mite fast and loose with social science research. Still, it is an excellent resource. The authors pepper the text with the words of a few dozen young people who have been through the experiences that the book's six sections address: self-discovery and coming out, dealing with friends and first love, dealing with family, defending and asserting oneself in school, finding solace in spirituality, and locating community support. Further, for the allies mentioned in the subtitle, Bass and Kaufman offer such chapters as "our pride and joy" (for parents) and "making changes in churches and temples" (no initial capitals are used in titles and headings). Of course, the book will infuriate those who give homosexuality no quarter and also, on account of its safe-sex counsel, those who don't want children to hear about sex. Even friendly adult readers may be discomfited by the glossing over of historical and religious complexities. Well, no book is perfect, and this one remains very good. Ray Olson

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Ellen Bass; Kate Kaufman
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