What kinds of things?
Or, were you always given everything you asked for? Did you ever feel envy or awkwardness about money around your peers? Did you ever feel superior to other children because of what you had? Respond to the following excerpt: I was supposed to be reassured that my birth was part of God's plan, but when the troubles and misery of the years to come struck and I witnessed my mother's struggle to take care of this unplanned, unwanted child-of me-knowing this story only made me feel like a burden who should never have been born.
What important contextual information is conveyed through the setting, the historical references, and the Bible verses? Predict the extent to which religion will affect Jennings's development, as a boy and later as a young man. Can you recall a time when you felt that way? Think about your sisters and brothers if you have any. Do your parent s or guardian s have categories they use-either openly or through their behavior-to describe each of you? For example, who is considered the "good student," the "reliable one," the "troublemaker," or the "athletic one"? Are these categories useful or limiting?
Have you ever felt that the way you are categorized in your family is inaccurate? Think about some of the key messages you received about how you should behave when you were little. List as many as you can. Examples might include "Share with others" or "Be nice to younger kids. Are there any that make you uncomfortable or that you simply reject? Discussion Questions What role did sports play in the Jennings family? How did it influence each member and the family as a whole? How does young Kevin "fail" at sports? Why does it matter to him? Can you think of one of your interests or activities that your parents valued more than you did?
Were you successful in it or not? Chet Jennings, Kevin's father, became a preacher after a stint in the Merchant Marine and becoming a born-again Christian. How does Kevin feel about his father, based on the description of his conversion and ministry on pages ? Find examples from the text to support your opinion. How do Kevin's questions about God and salvation-and his parents' answers-lead him to conclude that "the world was unfair, that death and damnation loomed at every turn, and that God was more intent on punishment than on mercy"?
What kinds of mixed messages does eight-year-old Kevin get about how to behave after his father's sudden death? How does he respond to those messages? What messages didn't Kevin get at that difficult time that might have helped him? At his father's burial, Kevin begins to cry. His brother tells him, "Don't cry. Don't be a faggot. If you are a boy, describe what you have learned about what it means to be a man. If you are a girl, describe your ideas about masculinity. Alternatively, you could ask students to make a list of the defining characteristics of manhood and masculinity.
Discussion Questions How does Kevin's mother respond to his illness on the heels of her husband's death? What is Kevin's reaction to saying good-bye to his father?
TALE OF TWO MOMMA'S BOYS (TRANSVESTIA FICTION). by: Sandy Thomas ( author). Format: kindle. ASIN: BGHNJTC. Publish date. Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son has ratings and 30 reviews. Two-thirds of the way through the book it became a self congratulatory homage to his accomplishments after Kevin Jennings' life story makes for a readable memoir tracking him from sickly young boy to reluctant activist. .. previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next».
Did you expect that or find it surprising? What observations does Kevin make-about his father's death, his family's reactions, the funeral, his father's body-that sound like those of a small child? For example, Kevin still remembers the sight of his mangled birthday cake that his mother accidentally drops in the sink. What is it about that detail that is true to a child's experience?
On page 24, Kevin recalls the many times he has been asked, "When did you know you were gay? Think about a story you have heard more than once told by a parent, grandparent, or guardian. It may be a story about immigrating to this country, growing up poor or wealthy, being raised by strict or lenient parents, being forced to work at a young age, or something else. Tell the story and reflect on how this experience may have shaped the person's identity and values.
Discussion Questions Skim pages and list some of the things Jennings mentions that give you a picture of his family's lifestyle and economic status. What does the tone reveal to you about his attitude toward growing up poor? Kevin's mother's stories were "all of chores and deprivation" p. How does Kevin respond to their need for more money? What does his mother do? Kevin refers to his daily visits from his "internal policemen" p. Why does he call them that? Kevin blames himself for his father's untimely death.
How does he conflate his emerging sexuality with his father's death?
Think of a time in your life when someone either encouraged or discouraged your interest in some activity-maybe it was a sport, drama, singing, playing an instrument, writing, or learning a martial art. What did he or she say to you that made a difference-either positively or negatively? How did that encouragement or discouragement affect your interest and your pursuit of the goal? Discussion Questions Kevin's mother was forced to end her education in the sixth grade.
How did she encourage her son's learning? How did she demonstrate her own intellectual curiosity?
On pages , Kevin describes a conflict with a teacher over a geography question. What is the nature of the conflict? Why is this conflict so difficult for Kevin-beyond his fear of getting struck by his teacher? How does his mother respond to his plight? This chapter details some of the bullying and teasing incidents that Kevin endured during elementary school and junior high school.
Make a list of all the ways he is teased, bullied, and threatened. Then, make another list that describes how he responded-physically and emotionally-to this abuse. How do Kevin's teacher Mr. Cultrou and his guidance counselor, Mr. Schiessekopf, make matters even worse? How might they have behaved differently toward Kevin? Have you ever had an experience when a teacher or coach either teased you or ignored your concerns? How did it feel? What did you do about it, if anything? Think about a social or political issue about which you feel strongly.
It might be global warming and the environment, poverty, domestic violence, or animal rights. How did you first become interested in the issue?
What does Kevin mean when he writes, "Change is a process, not an event" p. They have bath time, they go to the park, they cook dinner, in other words, they are a family like any with a small child. What do you think is the effect on gays and lesbians of this kind of refusal to explicitly forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation? I hope that you find a new title to share with your family no matter how many mommies or daddies you have in it. Gender identity disorder is a label given to children who believe themselves to be born into the wrong biological body.
Why do you feel the way you do about it? How does your religion, if you practice one, affect your views? Do members of your family agree or disagree with your position? Young children seldom question their parents' or guardians' political or social views. As they grow up, however, and are exposed to other points of view, children and young adults often begin to disagree with family members. Can you think of an issue or an idea about which you have changed your perspective?
For example, you might have had one position regarding the war in Iraq when it began but have a different opinion now. What influenced your change of heart? Has it caused any disagreements with family members or friends?
Discussion Questions What are the roots of Kevin's activism? Even though his parents tell him that antiwar activists were wrong, Kevin questions this perspective and cites it as the beginning of his identification with social and political action. What else does he mention as an influence in his transformation?
Kevin mentions on page 67 that his first political hero was George Wallace, Alabama's outspoken segregationist governor. He also said that he was raised to respect members of the Ku Klux Klan. How does Kevin come to understand his own racism and change? Who, in particular, influences that change? Suggest that students look at the book's dedication.
How does Kevin's visit to his brother and sister-in-law in Connecticut help to revise his view of blacks? What other realizations does he have about other people who face discrimination, like the poor and women like his mother? Bradley would be an outcast. Carol resolved to do her best. Still, these were huge changes. By the time Bradley started therapy he was almost 6 years old, and Carol had a house full of Barbie dolls and Polly Pockets.
She now had to remove them.
To cushion the blow, she didn't take the toys away all at once; she told Bradley that he could choose one or two toys a day. As his pile of toys dwindled, Carol realized Bradley was hoarding. She would find female action figures stashed between couch pillows. Rainbow unicorns were hidden in the back of Bradley's closet. Bradley seemed at a loss, she said.
They gave him male toys, but he chose not to play at all. And he would color and draw for hours and hours and hours. And that would be all he did in a day," Carol says. The whole way that he knew and understood how to play was just sort of, you know, removed from his house. His drawings, however, also proved problematic. Bradley would populate his pictures with the toys and interests he no longer had access to -- princesses with long flowing hair, fairies in elaborate dresses, rainbows of pink and purple and pale yellow.
Can you draw a boy in that picture? And then he didn't really want us to see his drawings or watch him drawing because we would always say 'Can you draw a boy? I don't know how to draw a boy. Carol says she finally sat down and showed him. From then on, Bradley drew boys as directed. Male figures with anemic caps of hair on their heads filled the pages of his sketchbook. Three-thousand miles away, on the West Coast of the United States, another family noticed their small son's unconventional tastes. Jonah was 2 when his father, Joel, first realized that no amount of enthusiasm could persuade his child to play with balls.
Fire engines gathered dust. Joel says Jonah much preferred girl toys, even his stuffed animals were female. Like Bradley, as Jonah grew older, these preferences became more pronounced. Jonah is physically beautiful. He has dark hair and eyes, a face with China-doll symmetry, and a small and graceful frame. Occasionally, while running errands, casual acquaintances, fellow shoppers, passers-by, would mistake Jonah for a girl. This appeared to thrill him. And, Joel says, Jonah would complain bitterly if his father tried to correct them.
And Jonah just came running up and said, 'Why do you have to tell! Why do you have to say anything! Then around the age of 3, Jonah started taking his mother Pam's clothing. He would borrow a long T-shirt and belt, and fashion it into a dress. This went on for months -- with Jonah constantly adjusting his costume to make it better -- until one day, Pam discovered her son crying inconsolably. He explained to his mother that he simply could not get the T-shirt to look right, she says. Pam remembers watching her child mournfully finger his outfit.
She says she knew what he wanted. Before then, or since then, I don't think I have seen her so out of her mind happy as that drive to Target that day to pick out her dress," Pam says of Jonah. Pam allowed Jonah to get two dresses, but felt incredibly conflicted about it. Even though Jonah asked, she wouldn't allow him to buy any more dresses for a year afterward, so Jonah wore those two dresses every day, nothing else, until Pam got sick of looking at them.
After a year, she and Joel finally began to permit other small purchases. But every item, Joel says, provoked a crisis. Or, you know, the girly hat, or the girly jacket with the frills? Like, what are we doing? Are we encouraging this? Are we doing something that we shouldn't be? Joel and Pam also ended up in front of a gender specialist -- Diane Ehrensaft, a psychologist in Oakland. Joel remembers an early session when Pam talked about her concerns. In fact, Diane Ehrensaft's approach could not have been more different than the approach of Bradley's therapist.
Like Zucker, Ehrensaft is a gender specialist. She says she has seen more than 50 families with children who have what Zucker would describe as gender identity disorder. Ehrensaft, however, does not use that label. She describes children like Bradley and Jonah as transgender. And, unlike Zucker, she does not think parents should try to modify their child's behavior. In fact, when Pam and Joel came to see her, she discouraged them from putting Jonah into any kind of therapy at all. Pam says because Ehrensaft does not see transgenderism itself as a dysfunction, the therapist didn't think Pam and Joel should try to cure Jonah.
Ehrensaft did eventually encourage Joel and Pam to allow Jonah to live as a little girl. As a teacher, I really appreciated the matter of fact way it embraced diversity. It makes mention of some families having two moms or two dads in the same vein as all the other similarities and differences. Great book, cute illustrations , and children love it. When the zoo keepers noticed that they were in every way a matched pair, they also noticed that they prepared for a baby just like the other penguins.
Time after time they were sad until they were given an egg to care for. Just like all families love and care is what matters when creating a family and baby Tango and his two daddies have thrived. My son loved this book and asked me to please see the penguins when I was in NYC. That aside the book does a good job of explaining what this little boys life is like. The books explanation of what gay means is really simple and perfect for the books audience.
Are we missing a book you think should be added to the list? Leave a comment and let us know so we can check it out! These are excellent books. Teaching children to accept the diversity all around us is a gift to them. Thank you for sharing this post. I will no longer subscribe to you emails. This post disappoints me.
I will not respond to any comments added below mine. What a lovely roundup of books! They do not have a disease , they were not born with abnormalities , they are children , just like every other child and the issue is people who still refuse to believe a stigma still exsists. You are right they are normal. What a great a round up of books. Thanks for sharing this. We will be requesting many of these from the library and I know the boys will love The Family Book.
What a great lineup for all families to read. Good for you for sharing these resources! I got your website from a friend and have to say, it is wonderful to see someone standing up for MY family! With five kids from all walks of life, some of these books are lifesavers. It really makes a difference! Thank you for this list! My good friend and her partner are going to have a baby soon and it is great to have a compiled list if books to refer to. It is so important for all children to appreciate the variety in family structures.