Saturday, December 23, 2006

No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones

Read this book:
I bought it a few weeks ago, but hadn't had the chance to dive into it until yesterday, when I had a long day of travel from New York to Salt Lake City. I started it on my flight from Newark to Chicago and finished it about 20 minutes before I landed in Salt Lake.

It is, in a word, remarkable. Carol Lynn Pearson is a voice of compassion and understanding for gay people and their families, particularly those from religious backgrounds. Of course, she comes to the topic from a very personal place. She married a gay man (and told the story of her marriage in the book Goodbye, I Love You), and her daughter married a gay man. She has befriended and comforted hundreds of gay people and their families since she began dealing with the "issue" of homosexuality in her life decades ago.

If you are gay, read this book. If you have a gay family member, read this book. If you have gay friends, read this book. If you want to better understand homosexuality, read this book. If you believe in love and family, read this book.

As I read the last few pages, I was overcome with emotion. I was sitting on a plane, surrounded by strangers, quietly weeping. They weren't tears of sadness. They were tears of gratitude that we have voices of compassion such as Carol Lynn Pearson's urging us on to be better than we are, to not accept what is as what must be. They were tears of gratitude that my family has circled their wagons around me, their gay loved one. And when I speak of my family, I speak of Keri and her parents and siblings, who have loved me through a crisis that led to a transformation of our family relationships. The one constant has been love. I am so grateful to be here with them for the Christmas holidays. I love them, and I know they love me. They are my family.

Read this book.


Anonymous said...

i suggested this book for the book club; it was rejected in favor the 'the black cauldron'

oh well.

Mike Kessler said...

Hi, Chris -- I've read "No More Goodbyes," too, and was pretty blown away. First, Carol Lynn Pearson's compassion infuses every word in the book. Second, I walked a very different path than yours -- I knew I was gay when I was a teen, came out in my early 20's, was (also) accepted by my parents and family, but I missed out on dreams of getting married and having a family, since I always believed that being gay meant I'd have to live my life alone. Ironically, I now have both marriage and family with my husband, and grandchild #2 is on the way. But "No More Goodbyes" helped me understand pain and suffering other gays and lesbians have gone through, what other parents experienced and expressed, and ultimately, hope for a brighter future for us all.

Please let KK and family (including yourself) know that love and hugs are sent from our home to yours.