Family Secrets

Gay Sons a Mother S Story

By Jean M. Baker; John Dececco, PhD
(Routledge, Paperback, 9781560239154, 258pp.)

Publication Date: December 1997

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As a clinical psychologist, Jean Baker had always considered herself open-minded and tolerant, but found she wasn t prepared for the revelation that her only two children were both gay. Family Secrets is an inspirational story of how she and her family learned to accept one another and overcome their internalized fears and prejudices as well as how they coped with a much greater challenge in their personal lives--HIV/AIDS. Family Secrets is more than a parenting memoir, however. It is a guide that draws upon research and scientific findings to capsize the myths and stereotypes that contribute to societal homophobia. It offers important insight into the developmental needs of gay children, and it discusses the issues faced by gay and lesbian youth and their families.Offering practical suggestions about how parents and schools can help gay, lesbian, and bisexual children grow up to be productive, psychologically healthy adults, Family Secrets discusses the effects of social prejudice and stigma on the social and emotional development of sexual minorities. As long as homophobia is running rampant in American society, gay children are going to be reluctant or afraid to confide in their parents, and parents will have trouble understanding and accepting homosexuality in their children. To end the secrecy and build open and healthy environments for all children and adolescents, this book discusses: tactics for reducing homophobia in non-gay youths promoting tolerance and understanding of sexual minorities at home and in school the effects an AIDS death has on families "coming out" about HIV/AIDS discussing homosexuality with your children, regardless of whether or not they are gay or lesbian sexual orientation and the interaction of biology with experienceBecause Family Secrets is written from the viewpoint of a parent/psychologist, it offers insights into the developmental needs of gay and lesbian children in a way that no other book has done. School counselors, psychologists, marriage and family counselors, teachers, school administrators, and the parents and siblings of gays and lesbians will all benefit from reading this honest, helpful, and encouraging book.

About the Author
Jean Baker is founder and president of Jean M. Baker & Associates. She is a writer, speaker and coach focused on having conversations about things that matter most, whether personal, professional, educational or political. Her use of storytelling and humor powerfully conveys her thoughts and ideas in a relatable, universal way. You can learn more about her work and read her blog at Ms. Baker holds a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and a J.D. from Drake University Law School. She volunteers as a mock trial judge at the undergraduate level, and accompanies the 2nd and 3rd grade choirs at her church. Ms. Baker lives in the Des Moines area, is married to Randy, and has two children, Kierra (married to Aaron), who lives in the Washington DC area, and Logan, who lives in Denver, Colorado, and a stepson, Joshua Robinson, who lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

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