I had to read this with my mind set 6 months ago, when gay marriage was not yet legal in Texas. But I had to remind myself that the views of some people now are still what they were back then. I grew up in a home where gay jokes (and racist ones, too) weren’t a big deal. I think it might be a culture thing; Filipino films and media are notorious for casting a token gay man and making fun of dark skinned people. I don’t think my family has changed even though the world has. And while many of my beliefs are directly opposite of what I was brought up with, it didn’t stop me from marrying someone who disagrees with me on the issue of gay marriage. We didn’t talk about it before we were married, but knowing he was a devout Christian with traditional values, I had an inkling.
Farrar’s characters resonated with me because of this. The circumstances were different, Tammy wasn’t particularly a supporter of gay rights and Ed goes as far as trying to bully her into submission, but I could relate all the same. I know what it is to question the practices of traditional Christians who act cruelly or think callously about the oppressed in the name of Jesus. The dialogue in this book is very real to me and I will probably research more about the idea that “homosexual” is used in the Bible but it was a word that did not exist at the time of writing. Some may cry, “Semantics!” but my curiosity has been awakened.
I love that this book brings up PFLAG (formerly known as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and gives a behind the scenes look of how they help the community. The chat sessions with 15 year old Seth are particularly heart wrenching.
My only criticism is that I think the author overreaches on how many scenarios Ed faces at one time: his son bullies a gay boy in school, he’s fighting against gay rights in his political position, his trustworthy assistant comes out that she’s in a gay marriage, someone close to him passes away and the organs go to a gay recipient, his other close friend recently finds out his son is gay… It was a little overkill for plot’s sake. It made it a little less believable. But otherwise, a wonderful and eye opening read.
Check out my previous post for the excerpt and author information.