Book review: Loving Boldly: Issues Facing Lesbians, Esther D. Rothblum and Ellen Cole

The GLBTRT has been reviewing books and movies in its newsletter since the early 1990s. Trace the evolution of queer publishing through these historic reviews. This review was originally published in Vol. 3, No. 1 & 2, Fall 1990/Winter 1991.

Cover of Loving BoldlyRothblum, Esther D. and Ellen Cole. Loving Boldly: Issues Facing Lesbians. Harrington Park Press, 1989. (Women & Therapy Series: Vol. 8, Nos. 1-2). Paperback text edition. $14.95. (ISBN 0-918393-58-2).

Originally published as “Lesbianism: Affirming Nontraditional Roles,” a special issue of the journal Women and Therapy, this collection is edited by Rothblum and Cole, professors of psychology and co-editors of the journal.

The book begins with a brief but informative introductory essay by Rothblum entitled “Lesbianism as a Model of a Positive Lifestyle for Women.” She describes the legal status of lesbianism worldwide, as well as the history of the research on lesbianism. She also asks the question, “Who is
qualified to treat lesbians in therapy? ” (p. 9) The other 16 articles in this book not only answer this question, but they also discuss many of the issues therapists must address with their clients. Most of the articles have been written by therapists, and all include bibliographies. A frequently cited reference is Lesbian Psychologies by the Boston Lesbian Psychologies Collective, 1987. This would serve as a valuable companion volume to Loving Boldly, as similar issues are covered.

Rothblum and Cole include articles on lesbian mothering, self-identity, relationship violence, sexual assault, nonmonogamy, chemical dependency, and lesbians in academia. The writing is good, but some of the articles that deal with the practice of therapy itself are not intended for
the layperson. I would recommend Loving Boldly for academic libraries with collections in social work, clinical psychology, women’s studies and gay and lesbian studies.

Reviewed by Lisa N. Johnston
Sweet Briar College, Virginia

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