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Recommended Reading

The Other Side of the Closet
by Amity Pierce Buxton, PhD

This book is aimed more for the straight spouse than it is for the gay or bisexual spouse. However, it is a good reference in understanding the conflict surrounding the coming out of a gay or bisexual spouse.  It offers an outlook on the impact that the disclosure has upon the straight spouse and their children.  It also has examples of how some couples have renegotiated the marriage contract and remained in a mixed marriage. It one of the more balanced books on the topic.

Becoming A Man: Half A Life Story
by Paul Monette

This book is written by a gay man who was raised in Massachusetts in the 1950's.  He was from a middle class family but he went to a New England prep schools on scholarship. He has a gripping style of writing and unique imagery.  You will laugh and cry with him on his coming out experience.  Even though he is from a prior generation to mine, I found myself identifying with his struggles for authenticity.  I even found myself crying to his realizations about his life as it so mirrored my own. This is a must read for any gay man.

Outing Yourself
by Michelangelo Signorile

This is the book that I used in my coming out process to help me deal with my internalized homophobia and to help me to rebuild my self-esteem. Signorile tells the reader to become comfortable with the words that the straight world has thrown out at us. His suggestion is to own each word such as queer or faggot.  Another suggestion that he made is to sit in front of a mirror and exercise self-love. I used to hate myself and the way I looked. I told myself that I was ugly and unlovable.  This book has helped me in innumerable ways and I would recommend this for any newly out gay or bisexual.

When Husbands Come Out of the Closet
Edited by Jean Schaar Gochros, PhD

This book is a bit analytical in discussing the disclosure process in a marriage.  It offers many clinical examples of spouses who have come out as gay.  It doesn't however broach the topic of bisexuality. In most of the examples provided, the gay spouse left the wife and in many cases without regard for his family.  This book angered my ex-wife so I wouldn't quite recommend it.  However, it is a good source of information.

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Uncommon Lives: Gay Men and Straight Women
by Catherine Whitney

This book is no longer in print but if you can find it, I would consider it a must read. It is more sympathetic to the gay or bisexual spouse and it has numerous examples of how other couples have renegotiated the marriage.  It provides hope for those gay or bisexuals who want to remain in a mixed marriage.  My ex-wife did not like this book. Her claim was that it was too pro-gay spouse.  The wives in most of the case studies gave up more than the gay or bisexual spouse did in the renegotiation process. This angered her.

Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories
by Patrick Merla

This is a collection of short coming out stories by various authors with a foreword by Patrick Merla.  I read this book a few years ago as I was struggling with my own coming out. I found it quite useful. I think as gay men coming out we need to know that we are not alone in our struggles. We have spent most of our childhood feeling alone and isolated.  The constant feeling that "I am the only one" left us with the need to tell our story. In telling our tale, we help others come to terms with their own coming out. Each tale presents us with how our brothers have come to terms with their gay identity. In so doing, we build a bond between us that is stronger than the oppression that the straight world has challenged us.

Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?: A Positive Christian Response
by Letha Scanzoni & Virginia Ramey Mollenkott

I read this book when I was first struggling with being a gay Christian. It is a book written by the parents of gay sons. It is a compassionate but slightly misguided attempt at reconciling homosexuality with Christian dogma.  The writers attempt to present the bible in a more positive light and to dispel the myth of the biblical condemnation of homosexuality.  Their short comings is that they don't fully embrace their gay sons with the constant refrain of "Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin" morality.  However, despite its shortcomings it is a good book to read as it helps to present a more positive spin on the biblical perspective of homosexuality.

Stranger at the Gate : To Be Gay and Christian in America
by Mel White

I have not read this one but I have had it recommended to me on several occasions.  If you are a gay Christian, it is recommended reading.  Mel White was a ghost writer to such evangelical Christian leaders as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. He relates his coming out story in response to the homophobia present in the present Christian right movement who formerly employed him.

Not Like Other Boys
Growing Up Gay: A Mother and Son Look Back
by Marlene & Christopher Shyer

This book is written in both perspectives of the son growing up gay and the parent dealing with homophobia and denial.  It relates the struggles of a gay son dealing with his budding homosexuality and trying to hide his true identity from his parents.  The mother presents her side of the tale of her lifelong suspicion that her son is a homosexual. It is a unique tale of how two individuals live in denial of the homosexuality of the son. I found myself relating to the son in his struggles as his life mirrored my own.  It is recommended reading for anyone with a gay in the family.

God Grant Me Serenity, Courage, Wisdom
by Ron Catherson

"A true accounting of how the author came to recognize and accept his sexual orientation and how it affected his family." I know the author personally via an email group and he is a bisexual who currently is still in his marriage and has a husband Bobby who is an integral part of the relationship. He often refers to himself as "Ron, one of three". You should check out his book if you identify as a bisexual man. I would imagine that is is an interesting read. Unfortunately, I haven't read his book so I can't give you a better review.

Page last updated on 11/17/2002
Copyright 2001 by William R. Strutts.  All Rights reserved.