Let’s Get This Straight

Fakhrid-Deen, Tina (with COLAGE). Let’s Get This Straight: The Ultimate Handbook for Youth with LGBTQ Parents. Berkeley: Seal Press, 2010. Paperback. 203pp. $15.95. ISBN: 978-1-58005-333-4.

“Statistics tell us there are about ten to fourteen million children living with LGBTQ parents in America alone.” So starts the beginning of Tina Fakhrid-Deen’s thoughtful handbook designed for youth with LGTBQ parents. The book delivers expectations for the intended audience by providing a timely survey of various people with LGBTQ parents who share their stories and feelings on the subject.

The book is balanced between educational narratives and journal space/questions for the reader to fill out as he/she works through the book. The chapters also include a quotes section that responds to questions, such as when the youth first realized his/her parent was not strictly heterosexual, and some poetry pieces from the interviewees. The book successfully encourages reflection and interaction, while also boasting a further reading/viewing section and different resources the reader can contact for support.

Another positive about Let’s Get This Straight is that it does not avoid controversial topics or issues that youth with LGBTQ parents may have questions or concerns about. The experiences mentioned include youth who struggled to define their own sexual identities in the face of bullying, abuse in LGBTQ families, and dealing with resentment of parents who come out later in life. As the author mentions in these sections, these may be topics that are typically avoided in order to try and help LGBTQ families look perfect in the face of intense scrutiny, but they are important issues to discuss.

Some of my issues with the book are relatively minor. The formatting is a little awkward and could stand more white space, particularly for a book intended for ages ten and up. Additionally, sometimes the quizzes on how much the reader takes a stance for LGBTQ rights are a little too black and white in saying he/she is excellent or does not try hard enough, which is a surprising contrast to the bulk of the text, which seems to allow the youth interviewed to really voice authentic and sometimes controversial feelings and thoughts on different subjects.

Issues with the book aside, this volume is a strong entry for a subject that is going to become more and more prevalent as LGBTQ families start to expand and gain legal recognition. I recommend Let’s Get This Straight for large public libraries and school libraries, particularly those with larger populations of LGBTQ families.

 

Reviewed by, Tracy Gossage
MLIS Student
Dominican University

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