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The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World With a title that plays on Janet Jackson's epochal 1997 LP The Velvet Rope, and its anatomy of unmet desire, therapist Downs's book describes the paradigmatic ways in which early childhood molds the future lives of gay men: scorned on the playground, disrespected by Dad, loved only by Mom until their first sex with men. Through this mechanism of rejection, gay men feel unlovable, correspondingly angry and, he says, driven to heights of creativity and "fabulousness"—in addition to shopping addiction and obsessions with fat, muscle and penis size—in a bid to distract themselves from their inner shame. For Downs, the only thing that will bring an end to this spiral of torment is, finally, "validation," which produces "authenticity." Downs is an engaging writer, though prone to repeating the same few points in different words, while his patients, quoted in sidebars, often make witty quips that rival Quentin Crisp for dry, bitter sarcasm. While many gay readers will fail to recognize themselves here, others will find Downs's logic warming and even generous. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Amazon.com

Outing Yourself: How to Come Out as Lesbian or Gay to Your Family, Friends, and Coworkers Out magazine columnist Signorile presents a 14-step program for gays and lesbians seeking to come to terms with their sexuality. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. Amazon.com

Coming Out Under Fire This major study chronicles the struggle of homosexuals in the U.S. military during WW II who found themselves fighting on two fronts: against the Axis and against their own authorities who took extreme measures to stigmatize them as unfit to serve their country. From 1941 to 1945, more than 9000 gay servicemen and women purportedly were diagnosed as sexual psychopaths and given "undesirable" discharges. Based on documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, augmented by 75 interviews with gay male and female veterans, social historian Berube recounts the purges in the military into the Cold War era when homosexuality was officially equated with sin, crime and sickness. The book reveals that the first public challenge to the military's policy came not from the gay-rights movement but from military psychiatrists who studied gay servicemen and women during World War II. This evenhanded study brings into sharp focus an important chapter in American social history. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. Amazon.com

Coming Out and Disclosures: LGBT Persons Across the Life Span ...very useful as a supplemental text in a class focused on or including discussion relating to LGBT issues and would provide not only insight into one of the most difficult and impactful processes in the lives of LGBT individuals but also concrete techniques and approaches for use in counseling practice and advocacy. This book is highly recommended for students and practitioners alike. ---The Family Journal, October 2008 Amazon.com

Coming Out Every Day : A Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning Man's Guide "Coming to terms with your sexuality is a lifetime process," asserts clinical psychologist Johnson at the beginning of this workbook conceived to aid men in pacing that course of events. Using a holistic approach, the author presents a well-structured series of exercises that allow the reader to take stock of his life, identify negative behavior patterns and emotions, and develop strategies to heal them, in conjunction with therapy if necessary. Although Johnson occasionally lapses into popular psychology buzzwords, the psychological underpinnings of the exercises are well researched, solid, and sensible, comparing favorably with those in Michelangelo Signorile's Outing Yourself (LJ 6/15/95). A fine addition to the recent spate of coming-out books, this is a good choice for public libraries and gay studies collections wishing to strengthen their self-help offerings. Richard Violette, Social Law Lib., Boston. Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. Amazon.com

The Way Out: The Gay Man's Guide to Freedom No Matter if You're in Denial, Closeted, Half In, Half Out, Just Out or Been Around the Block I have spent my entire life looking for the way out of pain. …
As an adolescent … I was in a lot of pain. But by the time I was sixteen, I was sick enough of being listless and depressed to do something about it. I decided that I wanted to be happy. And I was certain that the way to do this was to correct my imperfections.
The most serious of these imperfections was my homosexuality— it was my fatal flaw, my original sin that I had not chosen to commit. Though by my mid-teens I had accepted that this condition was never going to change, I could not really accept that I was gay. ….
My sexual attraction to men, however, was by no means the only imperfection I needed to cloak. Compared to the fabulous Pretty in Pink teens I grew up with, I was absolutely riddled with imperfections—I wasn't beautiful; I wasn't rich; I wasn't masculine; I wasn't confident; I wasn't athletic. … To remedy this I became devoted to getting gorgeous and becoming popular—in other words, to getting "perfect." And college became the set where I was able to successfully act the role of a privileged pretty boy. …
Then in 1993 I made a monumental shift in how I experienced my life when I rebelled against the depression that still tormented me and looked inside myself for the first time …. Not only did learning how to fight my thoughts mark the beginning of the end of depression for me, it awoke a nascent awareness of my power to change the reality of my life by looking inward rather than outward. …
… For the first time in my life I began to question my belief that I couldn't come out of the closet and be happy. … Then opportunity struck. … I would write an essay about life inside the closet and thereby come out in the process. As much as going through with it scared me, and as much as it seemed an impossible long shot that it would be selected, I became aware of a silent, certain knowledge about what to do next: write that essay. And so I did. ---From the book’s Introduction
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Coming Out: A Handbook for Men It may be easier in some ways for gay men to come out now than ever before, but in many ways finding your way in 21st-century gay culture is more confusing and rife with more pitfalls than ever before. Orland Outland lays out a comprehensive road map for navigating this exciting, complicated period of life in a satisfying and successful manner. The first step of outing yourself to family and friends kicks off an engaging and witty guidebook for gay men encountering for the first time the many aspects and divisions of the new gay world. To hit the bars or not to hit the bars? Where do you meet men who aren't losers? How do you take advantage of the growing number of community resources? What is safe sex, and what is unsafe, and how do you discuss it without ruining the mood? How do you get politically involved? Like a good friend, or a warm-hearted new neighbor, this book will take gay men by the hand, introduce them to the neighborhood, and make them feel right at home-maybe for the first time in their lives. ---Product description, Amazon.com Amazon.com

Coming Out: An Act of Love Taking responsibility for your life is the first step in moving forward and changing the world inside and around you. Rob Eichberg's Coming Out: An Act of Love, written for both men and women, is a step-by-step guide to understanding and accepting your homosexuality and dealing with others' reaction to it. Using clear, empathetic, and direct language, Eichberg, a trained psychotherapist, explains in detail how coming out radically alters self-perception and your relationships with others. Using examples from his own practice and letters from gay people to their mothers, fathers, siblings, and friends, Eichberg puts a positive, forceful, but gentle face on the process of coming out and the complications that it sometimes raises.
Eichberg discusses coming out as a psychological and political process that affects not only individuals but their families as well. Because this book continually reaffirms gayness as a gift for everyone--straight and gay--it can be read by gay people coming to terms with their sexuality and by their parents, friends, and coworkers. There are also chapters on how AIDS has affected the coming out process and how to deal with AIDS-phobia on a personal and political level. Coming Out: An Act of Love centers on the individual, but understands that one person's actions of self-respect and love can begin to change the world. ---Michael Bronski
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