A BOOK REVIEW, By Billy LaPointe.
Jesse Davis just revised her book "A Cathloic Mother Looks at the Gay Child" while reltlling the book to "A Mother Looks at the Gay Child". After reading this book I ordered twenty copies to send to my relatives and friends. Davis is a deeply devout Cathloic. She offers a most honest account of her having to come to terms with a gay son she loves deeply. She shares her initial emotional blocks to accepting this issue while trying everything to assist her son in changing his sexual orientation. A close mother son relationship is devastated. Her love for her son does not allow her to bury her pain and deny her loving feelings for him. She investigates and then relates, in language which is so simple, clearly and succinctly her emotional conflicts with the Cathloic church regarding this issue. Incredibly high in the moral standards of life, she offers compelling and logical philosophical arguements for the church needing to change its abusive policies against her gay son. All of this while maintaining her deep religious beliefs. This book is sure to open the eyes of the millions who struggle with what they feel in their hearts versus the doctorine from the church they hold so important in their spiritual lives. A BOOK REVIEW, By Billy LaPointe.
THE TIDINGS, Los Angeles, CA.
Jesse Davis begins her tale with finding out her son is gay. She is a traditional and devout Catholic who once admitted to her gay son that she could handle anything but the news that any one of her children might be gay. Her worst scenario is realized and the rest of the book tells about her search to make sense out of it all. She searches out the teachings of the church on homosexuality and studies the few scripture passages that condemn homosexual behavior. She clearly indicates that the churchs' position on homosexuality is not realistic and not helpful, and she goes on to give a very different understanding to the Scripture verses. Later she pleads with Church authorities to abandon traditional doctrine about homosexuality. The change she asks for is recognition of committed same-sex unions. She ends her book with a number of actual storytelling sessions of various gay persons. These stories do capture the feelings of alienation from society and church and family that profoundly shape perhaps the majority of gay and lesbian Catholics. Homosexuality is a profound mystery and a challenge that does not admit of simplistic solutions. I believe the book reveals the pain and grief of many parents of gay and lesbian children who will not remain passive when their children are driven from the church by ignorance, fear, poor understanding of doctrine or silence about it, a double standard of morality for gay people, and worst of all refusing participation in the sacramental life of the church, all of which are rights guaranteed by baptism. Do read the book and hear the cries of a valiant woman and parent. Rev.Peter Liuzzi, O.EM. Carm. THE TIDINGS, Los Angeles, CA.
CYBER-PSYCHOS, Reviewed by Jasmine Sailing
I doubt I would have read this book if it hadn't shown up in a New Falcon lump. I was leery of the Catholic word in the Title. I'm not exactly prejudiced having friends of widely varying religious persuasions but the thought of a Catholic mom's looking at gay children can make me uneasy. I dove into the book to prove my fear wrong and actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Jesse and I have definitely have different morality systems and portions of the contents felt slightly preachy to me. I thought I would most likely be lumped into the oft-mentioned category of weirdos who give everyone a bad name. She doesn't exactly take it into account that not everyone is a child of God who wants to be saved, but I suppose that is my only complaint (if it even is one). This could be the perfect read for conservative people who need enlightenment as it might speak to them in their own language. Now I have gay friends who have survived Catholic upbringings and are dealing with many perversions as a result. One of the most potent aspects of the book however was that none of my experience prevented it from horrifying me. I realized I'd never actually looked through the perspective of the parents; at the mentality of thinking you can fix it or of being capable of being furious with your kids for being gay. It's easy enough to say, 'Well they weren't being understanding.' Here you see how she was trying to be understanding and even succeeded eventually, but she initially had a difficult time grasping the reality of it. As soon as she grasped it. Though she managed an impressive turn around. Rather than merely accepting damnation for her son, she began questioning everything. She inquired into the official Catholic policy (sadly outdated) of it's ok to be homosexual, it's just not ok to commit homosexual behavior. Then she interpreted every mention of homosexuality in the Bible. And then she reached her own conclusion that she couldn't conceive of God deciding that this 10% of the population should be forced into eternal celibacy because they aren't inclined to toward reproductive sex. She partially wrote this book as a plea for a change of stance in the church. And the religious examinations here would be interesting for anyone with a fetish for theology and Biblical translation. Jesse also tried to give indications for how to spot Gay children but unfortunately most of them revolved sissy boy behavior. I know quite a few gay men who are far too masculine for my tastes. At the least however she did clarify that everyone is different and some will show no signs whatsoever. I know I don't particularly look at things the same way she does due to our different lifestyles. I see young Catholic girls having sex with birth control and wonder 'What is the difference?' (fortunately this was addressed toward the end.). Jesse had concerns over her son dropping out of high school because that would mean he couldn't have a career. I dropped out of high school at the end of my first semester there, spit at the thought of college, and am happy where I am and of course I'm also disgustingly frivolous from the staunch religious morality angle.. But putting lifestyles and religious beliefs aside. It's easy enough to relate to her in the book. I cried several times. I definitely thought a lot and best of all it's always kinda heartwarming to watch someone look at the facts and make that big of a turn around within themselves. Not only does she make the plea for religious acceptance she makes the plea for gays to be considered as what they are: perfectly natural and nothing to be discriminated against. The end of the book has an interesting and often depressing series of interviews with gay men and women. Apparently Jesse is compiling a full volume's worth of them now. And I'm looking forward to it. -Jasmine Sailing
BLADE MAGAZINE, Orange Co. CA
A book possibly more useful for heterosexuals- but for that reason of value to us, perhaps, is Jesse Davis', 'A Catholic Mother Looks at the Gay Child', which provides arguments in defense of Homosexuality against the fundamentalists' foolish fury. For an out and proud gay or lesbian, this book may offer nothing new, but for those, homosexual or not, struggling with the issues around religion and being queer, the book is a valuable tool for understanding and acceptance. Stephen Ludwig, BLADE MAGAZINE, Orange Co. CA
DIFFERENT DRUMMER BOOKS, Laguna Beach, CA.
Parents with gay and lesbian children are faced with their own coming out process upon leaming of their child's sexual orientation. For a parent of Catholic faith traditions this process can be particularly difficult as one tries to balance the love for their child, with what they understand, or in many cases don't understand, about Church teachings regarding homosexuality. Mrs. Davis has written lovingly of her own experiences in coming to terms with her son's homosexuality and how, through that process, she studied Catholic doctrine, prayed, and challenged what she knew in her heart to be the truth about sexual orientation. This book is not just for Catholics or parents of a gay child, it is a courageous and inspirational work that would be helpful to any person or parent of a person who is special or different. DIFFERENT DRUMMER BOOKS, Laguna Beach, CA.
PARENTS PERSPECTIVE, Orange County PFLAG
Recently a local Orange County parent wrote a book called'A Catholic Mother Looks At The Gay Child.' The book goes through the struggle of a mother with a young gay son in Catholic school and how she resolves this issue with her very strong Catholic beliefs. The book is good reading for anyone, especially those struggling with religious issues. Brenda Baker PARENTS PERSPECTIVE, Orange County PFLAG
ORANGE COAST MAGAZINE, Orange County, CA.
Whether you are Catholic or not, this is a must read for every perplexed mother. We all can learn from the growth and acceptance process Jesse went through. Ruth Ko, Publisher, ORANGE COAST MAGAZINE, Orange County, CA.
GATEWAY MONASTERY, Los Altos,CA.
Very helpful to parents in crisis over a gay son or daughter. Parents and counsellors will have a better understanding and compassion for their gay sons and daughters. It gives strength to get through the hard times and be supportive to your family and friends. Also provides contact information for finding or starting a support group in your area. It answers a lot of tough questions. Richard Rackley, GATEWAY MONASTERY, Los Altos,CA.
(NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CATHLOLIC DIOCESAN LESBIAN AND GAY MINISTRIES), Los Angeles,CA.
This book serves as an inspiration for all parents seeking answers to difficult questions. John H. Good President NACDLAM, (NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CATHLOLIC DIOCESAN LESBIAN AND GAY MINISTRIES), Los Angeles,CA.
STUART BLOOM, Ph.D. Laguna Beach, CA.
A courageous and inspirational work that will help any person or parent of any person, who is special or different. It addresses one of the most sacred struggles that teachers, clergy, therapists, parents and people of good will face; helping ourselves and others reclaim who we really are. I highly recommend this book. STUART BLOOM, Ph.D. Laguna Beach, CA.
COMMUNITY NEWS, Reviewed by Carl Renfrow
Jesse Davis is the title character in 'A Catholic Mother Looks at the Gay Child'. One day her youngest son Brent came out to her and it changed her life. This book is the story of how she, a devout Catholic Mother, fully came to accept her Gay son and his homosexuality. It tackles the religious issues from their perspective of a loving parent... The book is directed to parents of gay children and to gay children themselves. It deals with coming out, causes of homosexuality, the church, religioun, sexual activity, family relations, and Bible studies. The last half of the book consists of interviews of young gay people starting with Brent and his boyfriend. This would be a good book for churches, school libraries and PFLAG.
Just a note to say-Hooray! Read your book and was impressed!! It was so good and to see a book with a Faith foundation that speaks to the reader. Having the book 'user-friendly' was a change from the doctrine so common in the Religious writings found in the g/b/l/t community. Your introduction to lesbian daughters was great. I appreciated your layperson approach. I struggle with so many of the books out on the market, yours was a breath of excitement- Thank you!!!!!
DIGNITY San Fernando Valley, CA R.Z.
I have read with much interest your book 'A Catholic Mother Looks At The Gay Child' I want to congratulate you and thank you for writing a much needed book. It will help our brothers and sisters in their community-out process to their families. I am interested in finding out if a Spanish translation has been made or is in the process, as your book would also be a valuable resource for our Spanish speaking families. I hope to be of service in helping spread the message of your book.
Must tell you how your book 'A Catholic Mother Looks at the Gay Child' has been enjoyed by the members of our PFLAG Chapter. The first member to read it was one of wonderful Lesbian members who is Catholic. On her recommendation it was added to our Library and has enriched many of the other members minds. Thank you for writing it and thank you for sharing it with us. We are making good use of your rich gift.
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