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Retro Reading: Family Outing by Chastity Bono with Billie Fitzpatrick

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With June being a month of celebrations, for those who are thinking of coming out it might be a confusing time to do so.

Whether it's due to fear of what others might think or alienation, coming out should be on your own terms, but what if you're in the public eye and are about to be outed?

This is one of the reasons why Bono wrote this book, which chronicles his coming out to the family, but there are interviews with others who have come out and how doing so changed their lives. While the stories are different, there are also interviews with parents and how they dealt with it.

Can you imagine Cher as your mother and sort of rejecting you? No stone is unturned here.

The book wasn't written as a guide to coming it, but it is a book which shows that you're not alone. Also, those who were interviewed are of varying ages and some had been married (with children) prior to coming out.

It provides an insightful look at what it was like to come out in 1998 (when the book was published) but is also topical in today's world.

The respondents are all open and honest about their lives up to the point of publication and while reading their stories, I wondered what they were doing now and how being featured in the book changed their lives.

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If you or someone you know are struggling with coming out or if you're a parent and suspect that your child may be gay, this would be a good book which might provide answers or even get the discussion started.

Unfortunately, there are no resources, but if you are looking for additional information, a good reference point is PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and there are chapters throughout the country.

Their website is www.pflag.org.


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