Browse through Amazon on your own (click below), or see some of our recommendations below:
Our #1 recommended book for ANYBODY who wants to have healthier relationships of any kind:
Undefended Love: The way that you felt about yourself when you first fell in love is the way that you can feel all the time:
by Jett Psaris and Marlene S. Lyons
In this book, two psychotherapists teach that everyone has the capacity to love without defenses or qualifications and to know themselves so deeply that real intimacy becomes a lifelong expression of their deepest nature. Problems and conflicts that inevitably arise in relationships can become opportunities for a deeper connection. Through illuminating case studies, guided self-inquiries, and challenging exercises, readers learn to engage in a deeper dialogue with their partners, express profound aspects of their nature, and discover that undefended loving can bolster inner strengths they never knew they had. "This beautifully written work is a stunning breakthrough in the field of books on relationships."
Straight Into Gay America: My Unicycle for Equal Rights
Lars Clausen, a Lutheran minister, inspired our journey, Gay Into Straight America. Don't miss his account of his own transformation that happened because of the journey he thought he was taking for "us."
Making Gay History: The Half Century Fight for Lesbian & Gay Equal Rights
From the Publisher:
From the Boy Scouts and the U.S. military to marriage and adoption, the gay civil rights movement has exploded on the national stage. Eric Marcus takes us back in time to the earliest days of that struggle in a newly revised and thoroughly updated edition of Making History, originally published in 1992. Using the heart-felt stories of more than 60 people, he carries us through the compelling five-decade battle that has changed the fabric of American society.
The rich tapestry that emerges from Making Gay History includes the inspiring voices of teenagers and grandparents, journalists and housewives, from the little known Dr. Evelyn Hooker and Morty Manford to former Vice President Al Gore, Ellen DeGeneres, and Abigail Van Buren. Together, these many stories bear witness to a time of astonishing change as gay and lesbian people have struggled against prejudice and fought for equal rights under the law.
Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Religious Right
Mel White does it again! Not since his own book, Stranger at the Gate: To be Gay & Christian in America, has someone who so fully understands the "agenda" of the religious right helped establish a deeper understanding of the path they want to take our country. He diagrams in detail how they have used homosexual people to put fear into others. This book gives an in-depth look at their tactics.
Some books that speak to the spiritual healing that will transform our world.
This book is by Pastor Eric Elnes, Co-President of CrossWalkAmerica, a journey that, like ours, is working to bridge the divide and create human connections.
The Phoenix Affirmations: A New Vision for the Future of Christianity
The Phoenix Affirmations, named for the town in which the principles were created and the mythological bird adopted by ancient Christians as a symbol of resurrection, offers disillusioned and spiritually homeless Christians and others a sense of hope and a more tolerant, joyful, and compassionate message than those we often hear from the media and some Christian leaders. These twelve central affirmative principles of Christian faith are built on the three great loves that the Bible reveals: love of God, love of neighbor, and love of self. They reflect commitments to environmental stewardship, social justice, and artistic expression as well as openness to other faiths. Transcending theological and culture wars, inclusive and generous in spirit and practice, these principles ask believers and seekers alike to affirm their Christian faith in a fresh way.
Jesus, Homosexuality & the Bible: Explode the Myths, Heal the church
In a powerful new book, evangelical theologian and former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Jack Rogers argues unequivocally for equal rights in the church and in society for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Throughout history, he observes, Christianity has moved towards ever greater openness and inclusiveness. Today's church is led by many of those who were once cast out: people of color, women, and divorced and remarried people. He argues that when we interpret the Bible through the lens of Jesus' redemptive life and ministry, we see that the church is called to grant equal rights to all people. Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality describes Rogers' own change of mind and heart on the issue; charts the church's well-documented history of using biblical passages to oppress marginalized groups; argues for a Christ-centered reading of Scripture; debunks oft-repeated stereotypes about gays and lesbians; and concludes with ideas for how the church can heal itself and move forward again. A fascinating combination of personal narrative, theology, and church history, this book is essential reading for all concerned with the future of the church and the health of the nation. "This is an extraordinary book, arguably the best to appear in the long, drawn-out debates within churches over homosexuality," says J. Philip Wogaman, former senior minister at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. "Rogers book will be useful to people of ALL mainline denomination..." says the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire. "For those who truly wish to know what the Bible does and does not say, this is a real find."
The God Instinct-Healing Your Heart's Unrest
Another favorite and fascinating book, by David Hawkins, that will keep you engaged and thinking!
Power versus Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior
Our favorite book about the importance of how we, as GLBT persons, choose to see ourselves:
Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society by Robert N. Minor Ph.D.
This book examines relationships & core issures. Dr. Minor shares ideas about what Dotti has been saying for years...we have a choice in how we see ourselves. This book will inspire and awaken you in new ways!
Our favorite books by a theologians on the Bible & Homosexuality:
What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality
by Daniel Helminiak
Helminiak, a Roman Catholic priest, has done careful reading in current biblical scholarship about homosexuality. While cautioning against viewing biblical teaching as "the last word on sexual ethics," he stresses the need for accurate understanding of what the biblical "facts" are and concludes that "the Bible supplies no real basis for the condemnation of homosexuality." Using the studies of Yale historian John Boswell (Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, LJ 7/94), New Testament seminary professor L. William Countryman, and others, Helminiak examines the story of Sodom (where the sin was inhospitality), Jude's decrying sex with angels, and five texts-Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:27, I Corinthians 6:9, and I Timothy 1:10-all of which, he concludes, "are concerned with something other than homogenital activity itself."
The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex Relationships
In The Children Are Free, Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley offer a comprehensive yet easy-to-read examination of the biblical evidence regarding loving same-sex relationships and God's attitude toward them. In Chapter One, the authors lead the reader through a discussion of each of the six passages traditionally used against gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. In their friendly and authoritative style, they demonstrate how an anti-gay interpretation is a misapplication of these scriptures. Then, in Chapter Two, Miner and Connoley turn our attention to the biblical stories and passages that affirm loving same-sex relationships. Did you know Jesus once met a gay person? Jesus' loving response is just one of the well-researched stories presented in this chapter. Chapter Three asks readers to take seriously the call of Jesus to think more deeply about biblical rules. And Chapter Four calls Christians to action, making a connection between the conflicts in the early Church and those occurring within the Church today.
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Our favorite books for people who are "wrestling" with their understanding about marriage equality for all people, including same gender couples:
What God Has Joined Together: A Christian Case for Gay Marriage
by David G. Myers, Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Coauthors Myers (who serves on the board of the National Marriage Project) and Scanzoni (of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus) "take marriage... [and] our Christian faith seriously." Bringing together those two commitments to build a Christian case for gay marriage, they begin by arguing that marriage is good for society: marriage correlates to longevity; boys raised by married parents are less likely to commit crimes; married moms are less prone to depression than single moms and so forth. Why, the authors ask, should these good things be reserved for heterosexuals? They then consider what Scripture has to say about sexual orientation, rehearsing the by now familiar arguments that Jesus has nothing to say about homosexuality, and though the Bible does talk occasionally about homosexual sex, it does not deal with "loving committed homosexual relationships." Myers and Scanzoni's tone is calm, respectful and balanced. For example, though they present some of the latest scientific evidence about the causes of sexual orientation (including a chart of "mental rotation scores by sexual orientation"!), they also freely admit that scientific studies on this issue are still in the early stages, and that even conclusive scientific information "cannot... resolve values questions." With its traditional defense of marriage and its progressive embrace of same-sex relationships, this book cannot be pigeonholed, and that in itself is refreshing.
Why Marriage Matters : America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry Review From Publishers Weekly
A nationally renowned attorney and director of Freedom to Marry, Wolfson hails the movement for marriage equality as "one of the first important civil rights campaigns of the 21st century" and grounds support for it within the logic of the long-established protest traditions in U.S. history: abolition, the women's suffrage movement and the racial equality movements of the 1950s and '60s. Unlike those who support gay marriage as a way to regulate what they see as the self-destructive sexual practices of homosexuals (David Brooks, Jonathan Rauch, Andrew Sullivan), Wolfson sidelines the issue of morality and discusses the right to marry as part of each citizen's inalienable claim to what the Declaration of Independence calls the "pursuit of happiness." Framing his argument strictly in terms of civil rights and grounding it in conventional definitions of the public significance of marriage, Wolfson is refreshing, smart, thorough and easy to follow. Most provocatively, Wolfson excises "gay marriage" from the debate entirely, writing that the term "impl[ies] that same-sex couples are asking for rights and privileges that married couples do not have, or for rights that are something lesser or different from what non-gay couples have. In fact, we don't want 'gay marriage,' we want marriage." For now, it is available in Boston.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gay Marriage, Real Life by Michelle Bates Deakin
This intimate account of ten same-sex couples brings to life how the decision to marry has affected them and their extended families. These personal journeys present a range of experiences, from a mother who became a gay rights activist when her youngest child came out as a lesbian, to a girl whose realization that her fathers were not married spurred the men to join the gay marriage lawsuit in Massachusetts, to a lesbian couple and devoted mothers of twins who fight for same-sex adoption rights in Oklahoma. Deakin chronicles both their private strides toward acceptance and their public struggles to advance gay rights. Thoughtful and timely, Gay Marriage, Real Life tells the powerful and dramatic story of same-sex marriage in America today.
Our favorite books for learning how to "frame" your progressive values:
Don't Think of An Elephant!/ How Democrats And Progressives Can Win: Know Your Values And Frame The Debate: The Essential Guide For Progressives
This DVD/Book package is the essential toolkit for all progressives.
The DVD features a lively interview with George Lakoff, television news clips, and illustrative graphics. This is a must-see media tool for everyone who wants to better understand and communicate progressive values. Includes "How to Debate a Conservative,""Know Your Values," and much more. Each DVD includes a summary card of key points.
The book, Don’t Think of An Elephant!, is the antidote to the last forty years of conservative strategizing and the right wing’s stranglehold on political dialogue in the United States. This best-seller explains how conservatives think, and how to counter their arguments. Lakoff outlines in detail the traditional American values that progressives hold, but are often unable to articulate and provides examples of how progressives can reframe the debate.
About the Author
George Lakoff is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a founding senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute. He is one of the world's best-known linguists.
Our 2 favorite books for people of faith who have wondered how to overcome an upbringing of religious dualism:
If God is Love...Rediscovering Grace in an Ungracious World
by Phillip Gulley and Jim Mulholland
Gulley, a minister, and Mulholland, a theologian, turn the popular slogan "God is love" into a question that opens a Pandora's box of unanswered queries that some prefer remain unanswerable. If God is love, how are those who profess belief in God to act? If God is love, how does Christianity explain the vastly accepted dualistic theology of heaven and hell? If God is love, how can Christians live in God's grace? How can we continue to hate, slander, murder, and condemn our neighbors? If God is love, and God commands us to love our enemies, how can we justify war? Gently taking organized religion to task for perpetuating its power to control people, and only slightly lacing their discussion with their personal political opinions, the two Quakers propose ways to live, work, play, and be in a state of grace. Many may fault their approach for seeming overly simple at times. Yet anyone searching for a "graciousness primer" might look on this book as a commonsense example of such a manual
If Grace is True...Why God Will Save Every Person
by Phillip Gulley and Jim Mulholland
Gulley, author of the best-selling stories set in fictional Harmony, Indiana, and theologian Mulholland have been friends since they first met at seminary, and they speak as one voice and in the first person--as they take great pains to emphasize: for though they are very different, they have had remarkably similar spiritual experiences. To many people, their book's subtitle and premise that God will save every person, without exception, amount to a controversial stance, to say the least. Some will think theirs is an awfully generous interpretation, and others--those who grew up being assured that some would be saved and most damned--will be appalled. Despite such reactions, including angry outbursts from friend and foe alike, Gulley and Mulholland stick to their guns as they tell their stories and the stories of people they have met with compassion, hope, kindness, and grace--and the lovely conviction of universal salvation.
Our #1 recommended book for individuals wrestling with their own understanding of being gay and Christian:
Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay & Christian in America,
by Rev. Dr. Mel White.
There are plenty of clergymen's coming-out stories (most by Anglican priests) and plenty of gay replies to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other antigay Christian evangelists, but on both counts, this is the one everybody's been waiting for. Raised in the same mold as those religious-right leaders, White was their colleague and collaborator. He ghostwrote two books for Falwell (including Mr. Moral Majority's "autobiography"), one for Robertson, and speeches for nonclerical gay-baiter Ollie North and the less problematic Billy Graham. Before the ghosting, White pursued a hectically successful career as an evangelical filmmaker, conference and retreat organizer, and occasional preacher. All the while, he, a married man with two children, struggled with homosexuality, which he says he felt from his earliest awareness of sexual consciousness. He lasted 25 years as a committed family man before he and long-suffering wife Lyla agreed he had to come out completely and divorced. Although decidedly egotistical (we especially wish White would say more about his heroic wife), this autobiography is moving, inspirational, and not a little spectacular--which makes it all the more readable.
#1 recommended book for a person whose partner is gay
The Truth Shall Set you Free: A Memoir by Sally Lowe Whitehead
One reviewer said, "This book was engrossing as I felt the struggle of this couple dealing with being a married couple in the south with one partner being gay. It led to me read Mel White's book STRANGER AT THE GATE: TO BE GAY AND CHRISTIAN IN AMERICA. Both of these books take the reader into the heart of their struggle with the Christian church. And both reveal true healing and connection with the church."
Six recommended books to better under transgender persons:
A biography: Jennifer Finney Boylan. She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders
New York: Broadway Books, 2003.
A biography: Donna Rose. Wrapped in Blue: A Journey of Discovery
A history: How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Joanne Meyerowitz. How Sex Changed: A History of Transsexuality in the United States. Cambridge, MA and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2002.
An introduction to transgender people and culture: Mildred L. Brown and Chloe Ann Roundsley. True Selves: Understanding Transsexualism. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1996.
A wild ride through political thickets: Pat (now Patrick) Califia. Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism. San Francisco: Cleis Press, 1997.
Women becoming men: Our #1 recommended book for individuals wanting to better understand female-to-male transsexuals. Jamison Green's book is a goldmine of information, offering education, while reflecting warmth and compassion aquired through his own journey.Becoming a Visible man
by Jamison Green
Written by a leading activist in the transgender movement, Becoming a Visible Man is an artful and compelling inquiry into the politics of gender. Jamison Green combines candid autobiography with informed analysis to offer unique insight into the multiple challenges of the female-to-male transsexual experience, ranging from encounters with prejudice and strained relationships with family to the development of an FTM community and the realities of surgical sex reassignment.
For more than a decade, Green has provided educational programs on gender-variance issues for corporations, law-enforcement agencies, social-science conferences and classes, continuing legal education, religious education, and medical venues. His comprehensive knowledge of the processes and problems encountered by transgendered and transsexual people—as well as his legal advocacy work to help ensure that gender-variant people have access to the same rights and opportunities as others—enable him to explain the issues as no transsexual author has previously done.
Brimming with frank and often poignant recollections of Green’s own experiences—including his childhood struggles with identity and his years as a lesbian parent prior to his sex-reassignment surgery—the book examines transsexualism as a human condition, and sex reassignment as one of the choices that some people feel compelled to make in order to manage their gender variance. Relating the FTM psyche and experience to the social and political forces at work in American society, Becoming a Visible Man also speaks consciously of universal principles that concern us all, particularly the need to live one’s life honestly, openly, and passionately.
Our #1 favorite novel. Why? Although a novel, it reminds us why lies and secrets are so toxic, a good lesson for any of us, particularly gays, lesbian, bisexuals, transgenders and allies. In the book, it says
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ("...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.")
--Gisele Toueg, Amazon.com
Two of our favorite books that we recently read, along with a couple of notes on why we liked them. Utilizing the principles of these two books could dramatically change the acceptance, inclusion, justice and equality for GLBT, queer and questioning persons in our society.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, by Malcolm Gladwell
A brilliant and groundbreaking book. Author looks at why major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly.
Note from Dotti & Roby: Let's create a tipping point for social change, equality and justice regarding acceptance and inclusion of GLBT, queer and questioning persons. Think about this. Who would have ever thought that the wall would fall in Germany during our lifetime? Yet, it happened. There was a tipping point created by people's action. It can happen again!
Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell
Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.
Note from Dotti and Roby: Consider the possibility that we, as GLBT people, can affect how others "thin-slice" our community. How? By being more open and accessible. We have the power to destroy the myth. Our openess and willingness to be known will take away the "thin-slicing" of us into caricatures that society has often been taught.
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