Oddly Normal

Oddly Normal

One Family's Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms With His Sexuality

Book - 2012
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A heartfelt memoir by the father of a gay teen, and an eye-opening story for families who hope to bring up well-adjusted gay adults.

Three years ago, John Schwartz, a national correspondent at The New York Times , got the call that every parent hopes never to receive: his thirteen-year-old son, Joe, was in the hospital following a failed suicide attempt. After mustering the courage to come out to his classmates, Joe's disclosure -- delivered in a tirade about homophobic attitudes--was greeted with dismay and confusion by his fellow students. Hours later, he took an overdose of pills.
Additionally, John and his wife, Jeanne, found that their son's school was unable to address Joe's special needs. Angry and frustrated, they initiated their own search for services and groups that could help Joe understand that he wasn't alone. Oddly Normal is Schwartz's very personal attempt to address his family's own struggles within a culture that is changing fast, but not fast enough to help gay kids like Joe.

Schwartz follows Joseph through childhood to the present day, interweaving his narrative with common questions, including: Are effeminate boys and tomboy girls necessarily gay? Is there a relationship between being gay and suicide or mental illness? Should a child be pushed into coming out? Parents, teachers, and counselors alike will welcome Oddly Normal and its crucial lessons about helping gay kids -and any kid who is different -- learn how to cope in a potentially hostile world.


Publisher: New York : Gotham Books, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781592407286
Branch Call Number: 306.766 SCH
Characteristics: xiv, 290 p. : ill. ; 22 cm


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bibliotechnocrat Aug 29, 2016

Written by the father of a gay child, this book is really more geared toward parents than any other audience. There is a lot of material on interacting with schools, teachers, and therapists; sometimes it feels like the author did all this research... so of course it has to be jammed in. It's not a bad book, but Joseph's actual story gets a bit lost in the shuffle.

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