Out Of The Ordinary Essays On Growing Up With Gay

PFLAGNYC is often asked to recommend books on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) subjects. From the early stages of learning about an LGBT loved one or coming out, to finding out more about the LGBT community and current issues, the books listed here are helpful in becoming well-informed.

Clicking on a book title will take you to the book at Amazon.com, where all purchases from this page will help support PFLAG NYC.

Parents & Families

This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life
Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo
Chronicle Books, 2014

Is It a Choice?: Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gay and Lesbian People
Eric Marcus
HarperOne, 2005

Always My Child: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, or Questioning Son or Daughter
Kevin Jennings
Fireside, 2002

Out of the Closet, Into Our Hearts
Laura Siegel and Nancy Lamkin Olson, ed.
Leyland Publications, 2001

Beyond Acceptance: Parents of Lesbians and Gays Talk About Their Experiences
Carolyn Welch Griffen, et al
St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997

Now That You Know: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children
Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward
Harvest Books, 1998

Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Lesbian or Gay Child
Michael C. LaSala, Ph.D.
Columbia University Press, 2010

Side by Side: On Having a Gay or Lesbian Sibling
Andrew R. Gottlieb
Routledge, 2004

Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey
Betty Degeneres
Harper Paperbacks, 2000

My Child Is Gay: How Parents React When They Hear the News
Bryce McDougall, Ed.
Allen & Unwin, 2007

Something to Tell You
Gilbert Herdt and Bruce Koff
Columbia University Press, 2000

Straight Parents, Gay Children: Keeping Families Together
Robert A. Bernstein, Robert MacNeil and Betty DeGeneres
Da Capo Press, 2003

Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide for Parents
Irwin Krieger
Genderwise Press, 2011

Different Daughters: A Book by Mothers of Lesbians
Louise Rafkin
Cleis Press, 2001

My Son Eric: A Mother Struggles to Accept Her Gay Son and Discovers Herself
Mary V. Borhek and Christine M. Smith
Pilgrim Press, 2001

Finding Out: The ABC’s of Same Sex Relationships
Homer and Sue Spencer
Fithian Press, 2002

The Family Heart: A Memoir of When Our Son Came Out
Robb Forman Dew
Fawcett Books, 1995

Prayers for Bobby: A Mother’s Coming to Terms With the Suicide of Her Gay Son
Leroy Aarons
Harper San Francisco, 1996

Parenting & Raising Children

How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School and in the Community
Jean M. Baker, Ph.D.
Routledge, 2002

Coming Out

Outing Yourself: How to Come Out to Your Family, Friends and Co-Workers
Michelangelo Signorile
Fireside, 1996

The Way Out: The Gay Man’s Guide to Freedom
Chris Nutter
HCI, 2006

Crisis: 40 Stories Revealing the Personal, Social, and Religious Pain and Trauma of Growing Up Gay in America
Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker
Greenleaf Book Group, LLC, 2008

The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World
Alan Downs
Da Capo Press, 2006

Transgender Topics

Transgender 101: A Simple Guide to a Complex Issue
Nicholas M. Teich
Columbia University Press, 2012

Trans Forming Families: Real Stories About Transgendered Loved Ones
Jessica Xavier, Mary Boenke and Arlene Istar Lev
Oak Knoll Press, 2003

Transgender Explained For Those Who Are Not
Joanne Herman
AuthorHouse, 2009

Transitions of the Heart: Stories of Love, Struggle and Acceptance by Mothers of Transgender and Gender Variant Children
Rachel Pepper, ed.
Cleis Press, 2012

She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders
Jennifer Finney Boylan
Broadway, 2004

Becoming a Visible Man
Jamison Green
Vanderbilt University Press, 2004

True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism - For Families, Friends, Coworkers and Helping Professionals
Mildred L. Brown and Chole Ann Rounsley
Jossey-Bass, 2003

Gender-Expansive/Gender Non-Conforming Children

The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes
Diane Ehrensaft, PhD
The Experiment, 2016

Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender-Nonconforming Children
Diane Ehrensaft, PhD
The Experiment, 2011

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals
Stephanie A. Brill and Rachel Pepper
Cleis Press, 2008

LGBT Families & Parenting

Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: Firsthand Advice, Tips and Stories from Lesbian and Gay Couples
Eric Rosswood
New Horizon Press, 2016

Families of Value: Intimate Profiles of Pioneering Lesbian and Gay Parents
Robert Bernstein
Da Capo Press, 2009

The Complete Lesbian and Gay Parenting Guide
Arlene Istar Lev
Berkley Trade, 2004

Children of LGBT Parents

Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
Abigail Garner
Harper Paperbacks, 2005

Love Makes a Family: Portraits of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Parents and Their Families
Gigi Kaeser, Peggy Gillespie, Kath Weston and April Martin
U. of Massachusetts Press, 1999

Out of the Ordinary: Essays on Growing Up With Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Parents
Noelle Howey, Ellen Samuels, Margarethe Cammermeyer and Dan Savage
Stonewall Inn Editions, 2000

How It Feels to Have a Gay or Lesbian Parent: A Book by Kids for Kids of All Ages
Judith E. Snow
Routledge, 2004

Books for Children

Heather Has Two Mommies: 20th Anniversary Edition
Leslea Newman and Diana Souza
Alyson Books, 2009

How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay?
Meredith Maran
Alyson Books, 2000

And Tango Makes Three
Peter Parnell
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2005

Who’s in a Family?
Robert Skutch
Tricycle Press, 1997

Books for Teens

What If Someone I Know Is Gay?: Answers to Questions About What It Means to Be Gay and Lesbian
Eric Marcus
Simon Pulse, 2007

Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and Their Allies
Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufman
Harper Perennial, 1996

GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens
Kelly Huegel
Free Spirit Publishing, 2003

Fiction for Teens

The Vast Fields of Ordinary
Nick Burd
Dial, 2009

Boy Meets Boy
David Levithan
Knopf Books, 2005

Annie on My Mind
Nancy Garden
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007

Deliver Us from Evie
M.E. Kerr
HarperTeen, 1995

History & Society

Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights
Eric Marcus
Harper Paperbacks, 2002

Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military
Randy Shilts
St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005

Positively Gay: New Approaches to Gay and Lesbian Life
Betty Berzon and Barney Frank
Celestial Arts, 2004


God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
Matthew Vines
Convergent Books, 2015

Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View
Rabbi Chaim Rapoport
Mitchell Vallentine & Company, 2004

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality
Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D.
Alamo Square Distributors, 2000

Do’s & Don’ts of Dealing with the Religious Right
Marc Adams and Todd Tuttle
Window Books, 2000

Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America
Mel White
Plume, 1995

Fights were frequent, brutal, and bloody. Once, when I went to the bathroom, a classmate emptied my backpack, chained it to a desk, and scattered its contents around the room like a treasure hunt. I grabbed a chair, crossed my legs, and took a seat in front of the door. No one left that room until my backpack was delivered to me as it once was. Another time, my high school’s Christian Coalition, a group that weaponized tenets of Christianity, surrounded me during lunch. They came to pray for me and ask the Lord for guidance. I smiled politely and then said, “Let’s pray I find a man.” Their faces burst in anger, and they never approached me again. It didn’t get better, I forged it.

I always knew the world belonged to me. How could it not? All I had to do was breathe and the world quivered. There were those who wanted me to atrophy; many still want me to. They want me to slouch my shoulders and drag my feet, to feel uncomfortable in every space. Even now, at times when I open my mouth and speak, I hear gasps or snickers. Occasionally, as I walk down the street in my new home of New York City, epithets and insults that never held weight to me are occasionally tossed my way. I do the same thing I did when I was eight. I hold my head high. I let my height and beauty glow, and I tilt back my head, giggling. And if you look carefully, down my rigidly straight spine, my hands are still flexed, ready.

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