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Paperback The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World Book

ISBN: 0738210617

ISBN13: 9780738210612

The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The gay male world today is characterized by seductive beauty, artful creativity, flamboyant sexuality, and, encouragingly, unprecedented acceptability in society. Yet despite the progress of the recent past, gay men still find themselves asking, "Are we really better off?" The inevitable byproduct of growing up gay in a straight world continues to be the internalization of shame, a shame gay men may strive to obscure with a fa'ade of beauty, creativity,...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Made a PROFOUND difference in my son's perception of himself

These are the exact words my gay son wrote to me after reading this book, The Velvet Rage: "I finally opened up and read the book you bought me, "The Velvet Rage". I was totally blown away by it. It touched on subjects in a way I have never seen before, issues that are unique to gay men. I related to many, if not most parts of it. It described aspects of my personality and reasons for certain behaviors that I had never realized in myself before. It will give me a lot to discuss with the doctor when I see him." Parents, family or friends of troubled gay men should all buy this book ASAP and send it to them. It took my son around 2 months to get around to reading it, but I suppose all have to do things in their own time, when 'they' are ready.

A Must for any Clinician working with Gay Men!

Dr. Downs has written an honest and straight forward book that speaks to the direct effects of homophobia on the psychological development of gay men. In The Velvet Rage, the author has taken a tremendous risk with his honesty. He has been willing to expose the truth about how the invalidation of this culture has resulted in self-loathing, over-compensation, and high-risk behaviors in the gay community. It gives the reader a window into the potential "whys" of these behaviors which in turn validates the experience of the gay man. Dr. Downs beautifully illustrates the problems through anecdotes from his psychology practice and his own life. I look forward to sharing this book with my gay male clients both adult and adolescent as well as parents and family members who are trying to understand their loved one. This book is a potential road-map or guide for how to avoid some of these outcomes with gay teenagers who may be starting to develop similar behaviors and character traits. It is a must read for anyone working with gay youth. In addition, Dr. Downs suggests clear solutions and provides positive examples which instill hope and optimism. His suggestions on how to overcome or prevent these outcomes from developing come from his very solid understanding of cognitive behavioral theory and humanistic psychology. I highly recommend The Velvet Rage.

Very readable with surprising insights

I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical when I picked up this book. While the subject matter is extremely interesting to me, I feared that this book would not tackle the real issues. It seems that so many authors writing in this field tend to subscribe to a "victim model": gay men have been victimized and/or marginalized by the stratight world. As a gay man, I have always found this approach somewhat less than satisfying. Sure, gay men are "different" and, unfortunately, continue to grapple with issues of subtle (and increasingly not-so-subtle) discrimination. However, all the carping that takes place in the "victimization model" seems to miss one critical fact: we all make choices in our lives, and about our lives, that drives our experiences as humans. Downs directly addresses these issues of personal choice, and that's what sets his book apart from the others. Downs' book goes way beyond the societal issues that gay men confront on a day-to-day basis, and encourages gay men to make good choices that ENHANCE their lives, and to stop making bad choices that DEVALUE their lives and self-esteem. In this sense, the book is incredibly empowering. To understand that every gay man -- as an individual -- can make big and small choices that enrich his life and his relationships, even despite a predominantly straight and disapproving culture, is to break free of the victim mentality and to move on to a fully actualized life. Downs urges his readers to take an honest self-inventory of destructive patterns and behaviors that hold them back from accomplishing great things: most importantly self-love and an honest, patient, and abiding love for a partner. Three cheers for Downs. This book should be a "must read" for any gay man who is committed to becoming his absolute best self in an increasingly crazy world. Bravo!
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