here's to changing demograph-ics. Gay men and lesbians with children form one of the fastest-growing niche markets in North America. It's estimated that there are now well over a million queer-headed families.So The Queer Parent's Primer has hefty audience potential. Thing is, queer parents are getting more and more savvy, so a guide to gay family life has got to have the goods.
This one does, though at this stage of the game any how-to book can only be based on basic anecdotal experience. Author Stephanie Brill, a midwife and lesbian parent herself, has a lot to offer, and I say this speaking as a lesbian mother myself.
The book starts by assuming you've already made the decision to have children. So there's no advice on how to decide or where to find a sperm or egg donor. As the title suggests, it's all about navigating the straight world once you've decided to become a parent.
Two sections stand out. One on how to tell your parents about your plans is bang on. It advises against putting it off, while warning that having a queer kid with kids usually forces parents to go through their own coming-out process. Another on how destructive it is to stay in the closet if you're a queer parent is passionate and poignant. Secrets always hurt, says Brill, and perpetuating this kind of homophobia within our own families is regressive and repressive.
Also useful, an excellent bibliography and resource list offers ideas on materials to provide to schools, daycares and any other institutions you'll come in contact with.
And it's worth noting that much of The Queer Parent's Primer, especially sections on conscious parenting and raising children with gender awareness, would be helpful to any parent with a pulse, regardless of sexual orientation.
Some of this stuff is definitely not for queers only.
Write books at firstname.lastname@example.org