Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memoir Book Review: One Gay American

Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Coffeetown Press (September 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603811532
ISBN-13: 978-1603811538
Price $13.95

This is a first for Families Matter. We don’t normally review books outside of the children’s and young adult markets, but we decided to make an exception for Dennis Bensie and his memoir “One Gay American.” 
One thing Families Matter prides itself with is being a blog for all families. One hot topic of late has been gay families and if same sex couples are fit parents to children. Many celebrities have adopted children and we see the headlines of these same sex couples or mix families, however, Hollywood is never a benchmark in judging the family value system on any level. Hollywood is a world of its own and not like the average world most of us live in. But it still leaves that question in our minds, can same sex couples raise a child in the same manner of male/female couples? Hard to say; but Dennis in his memoir does share about a same sex couple (a friend of his) and their quest to do exactly this. He also shares about his quest to find love, raise a family along with the hardships and joys of being openly gay. 

What we loved about this book is it helps parents of children with same sex attraction have a better understanding of the struggles their child maybe going through as Dennis shares about his journey about life from trying to fit the norm of what society wants to what he personally feels is right for him inside…ultimately he learns to love himself.

This is a must read for anyone dealing with difficult choices that can turn a family upside down or just to understand we all have trails, though they may be different from each other. No matter your views about same sex attraction/marriage, this memoir will help you understand the other side and (at least we hope) help bridge the gap between us as people. 

Parents of gay children, we highly recommend this book for you and your family. No matter what, love your child for who they are. You may not agree with everything they do but love and understanding goes a long way. 

Two thumbs up to Dennis for reminding us of this important fact.

“A coming-of-age story that is universal, especially topical in this current political environment.”

About the Book:
Dennis Milam Bensie is One Gay American. Born in the 1960s and raised with traditional values in Robinson, Illinois. Bensie desperately wanted romance, a beautiful wedding, and a baby to carry on the family name. He denied his sexuality and married a woman at nineteen years old but fantasized of weddings where he could be the bride. The newlyweds "adopted" a Cabbage Patch Doll and ironically witnessed a Cabbage Patch Doll wedding (a successful fundraiser staged by a local women's club) where the dolls were granted the type of grand ceremony off-limits to gay couples.

In search of his identity as a gay man, Bensie divorced his wife and stumbled through missteps and lessons that still sting his generation: defending against bullies, "disappointing" his parents, and looking for love in gay bars, bathhouses and restrooms. He helped his straight friends plan their dream weddings and mourned his gay friends dying of AIDS.

Although true love has not yet come his way, Bensie has learned to love himself. Bensie is the author of the much-lauded memoir, Shorn: Toys to Men, which recounts his battle with paraphilia. One Gay American tells the rest of his story and draws parallels to gay history, decade by decade, with newspaper headlines and quotations. Bensie is the gay neighbor that you either love or hate. Either way, he's got a lot to say and says it with no apologies.

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*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.