Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Ready or Not... They're Gay"

Today we have a book review from former TNET President Dave Parker, who shares with us his thoughts on the book Ready or Not... They're Gay...

Recently Paul and Hjrody Wagner offered their new book, Ready or Not …They’re Gay to PFLAG chapters. I was privileged to review their book recently; I highly recommend it to all PFLAG chapters for their library, as well as to all those who enjoy reading about families that are supportive of their gay children.

This is a wonderful story of a family’s experiences and thoughts as Paul and Hjordy’s two sons come out to them and their community.

Their story is presented from various points of view – the mother, the father, each of their sons, and their grandmother. Each of them has a section, with multiple short chapters that bring out a specific event along this journey and the emotions related to that event. Throughout these recollections, a family with great internal strength, love, and acceptance of each other for who they are comes through.

Coming out to family and friends can be risky and traumatic, even in a loving home. Parents are often, if not usually, unaware of their child’s feelings in regard to their sexual orientation. While their child has been struggling with their identity and orientation for years, their parents feel blindsided when their child comes out to them. Ready or Not …They’re Gay provides guidance for parents and other family members in the importance of how you react. In Part IV, the book offers tips for parents, friends, and children on how best to handle this experience. Fortunately, their real life experience was quite positive and instructive.

In Part V, six brief chapters and a newspaper editorial add stories from others about their coming out experiences.

Most parents claim unconditional love for their children; it is a common goal. It is life’s challenges that test this love. For many parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender children, their child’s coming out announcement is a severe test of their love. Too many fail this test; the Wagners pass with flying rainbow colors.

- Dave Parker