Awakening is Pat’s personal story of her transition from a wife of 35 years and mother of two to her coming out as lesbian, and its effect on her subsequent life. She tells how her journey through leadership positions in PFLAG Dallas and as PFLAG Southern Regional Director following her daughter’s coming out as a lesbian at 25 that led to her own realization of her true sexual orientation.
The strength of this story is in Pat’s writing of her feelings as she works through her disclosure to her husband, family, and friends. She writes of concerns that her disclosure may impact PFLAG Dallas – and it does. Her close relationship with her husband causes her to anticipate that he will understand, accept and remain her friend – but he doesn’t. Pat reveals her emotions as she experiences her first crush on a woman, her sense of rejection when that interest is not returned and eventually finding a life partner. Even that relationship has its stresses – don’t they all?
She continues her account well past the coming out story, thus demonstrating that gays and lesbians have many of the same interests – and struggles – as the general population. She grapples with finances and weight issues, and spends a number of years dealing with her mother’s care as her mother disappears into Alzheimer’s.
Pat’s story is serious, light, informative, and sometimes humorous. For example: “I let him know that a woman of a certain age and size did not like hearing herself and the word 'bikini' in the same sentence.” It is well written, enjoyable and informative. I recommend it.
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- Dave Parker