Books

  • Raised by Unicorns
  • Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk
  • What Love Is

In recent years, the world has been saturated by endless blogs, articles, and books devoted to the subject of LGBTQ+ parenting. On the flip side, finding stories written by the children of LGBTQ+ parents is akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. Now that the world is more accepting than ever of non-traditional families, it’s time to create a literary space for this not-so-unique, shared, but completely individual experience.

In Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents, Frank Lowe has carefully edited an anthology that reflects on the upbringing of children in many different forms of LGBTQ+ families. From Baby Boomers to Generation Z, it features diverse stories that express the distinctiveness of this shared journey and of each particular family. It’s visceral, raw, and not always pretty, but love is always the common thread.

Lowe candidly reveals true accounts of this particular niche of humanity, while simultaneously creating a moving snapshot of the world in which we live. Raised by Unicorns guides the reader through an empathetic journey that is nothing short of compelling and poignant. We’ve all heard the phrase “raised by wolves.” Now we have a window into the complex world of being Raised by Unicorns.

As Heard on Episode 111
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Gabe is a teenage Jehovah’s Witness convinced God will kill him at Armageddon for masturbating. But Gabe’s not alone: there’s Peter, who writes swear words in the margins of his papers; Jihyun, the Korean kid who subsists on Ho Hos and Doritos; and Camille, who follows Gabe around, trying to be his girlfriend. There’s also Gabe’s mom, who sleeps sixteen hours a day, and his dad, an elder who decides the fate of sinners (like the married couple who confesses to accidentally having anal sex). There’s Brother Miller, an elder with a Napoleon complex, who accompanies Gabe from door to door, encouraging him to knock with confidence, and Sister Feeney, who looks forward to the day she can move into a Spanish-style house after its owner dies at the end of the world. Luckily for Gabe, there is Uncle Jeff, who used to tour with Santana and now gives Gabe the only valuable girl advice he ever receives. It’s hard when school days are spent dodging questions about your weird religion and weekends mean preaching house to house. Life looks dreary until Gabe falls for Camille’s beautiful older sister and begins to see her as the answer to his frustrations.

What is love? Aside from being the title of many a popular love song, this is one of life’s perennial questions. In What Love Is, philosopher Carrie Jenkins offers a bold new theory on the nature of romantic love that reconciles its humanistic and scientific components. Love can be a social construct (the idea of a perfect fairy tale romance) and a physical manifestation (those anxiety- inducing heart palpitations); we must recognize its complexities and decide for ourselves how to love. Motivated by her own polyamorous relationships, she examines the ways in which our parameters of love have recently changed-to be more accepting of homosexual, interracial, and non-monogamous relationships-and how they will continue to evolve in the future. Full of anecdotal, cultural, and scientific reflections on love, What Love Is is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand what it means to say “I love you.” Whether young or old, gay or straight, male or female, polyamorous or monogamous, this book will help each of us decide for ourselves how we choose to love.

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