How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School, and in the Community

1st Edition

Jean M Baker

Routledge
Published December 26, 2001
Reference - 238 Pages
ISBN 9781560231646 - CAT# HW12440

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Summary

Homophobia hurts kids. Explore ways to minimize that trauma!

This book illustrates the ways that children growing up to be gay are harmed by homophobia before anyone, including themselves, even knows they are gay. This compelling and sympathetic volume describes many simple ways that these children can be helped to understand that they can grow up to lead normal lives, with hopes and dreams for their futures. How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School, and in the Community brings home the voices of these children. They describe their experiences to show how they came to the frightening recognition that they are part of a group held in disregard by the rest of society, even sometimes by their own families.

Dr. Jean M. Baker, the author of How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School, and in the Community is a clinical psychologist and the mother of two gay sons. In this book she shares her experience as both psychologist and mother to show how the myths and fallacies about homosexuality have influenced parents, schools, churches, and lawmakers to send children the cruel message that if they are gay, they are not normal and will not be able to lead normal lives.

In this unique volume you'll find:
  • a chapter on identity development, following the Eriksonian model
  • interviews with high school students who are self-identified as gay
  • firsthand descriptions of the harassment and victimization of those perceived as gay in schools
  • research on how victimization at school affects gay youths
  • a discussion of the relatively new phenomenon of gay/straight alliances (gay support groups or clubs)
  • a chapter on transgender identity with interviews with four transsexual persons who describe their personal childhood experiences and their transition process
The focus of How Homophobia Hurts Children: Nurturing Diversity at Home, at School, and in the Community, centering on the social and familial experiences of children who will grow up to be gay but have not yet come to that realization, is unique. But beyond that, this book also explains how homophobia affects the attitudes of non-gay children by leading them to believe that it is acceptable to mistreat homosexuals. Finally, specific suggestions are made for changes in parenting and changes in school/classroom practices that could help prevent the harm that is inflicted upon so many of our gay children. Everyone who comes in contact with children on their way to becoming gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender adults needs to read this book!

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