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Scared Straight: Why It's So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It's So Hard to Be Human

The popular, critically acclaimed book by Dr. Minor

Named both a Lambda Literary Award and Independent Publisher Book Award Finalist for 2002 as well as a "Book of the Week" by www.menstuff.org, Scared Straight is an eye-opening and penetrating analysis of U.S. culture. From the criticism of our universities as purveyors of hopelessness to the dynamics of "getting laid," it lays bare why accepting the full humanity of gay people divides people and organizations.

Dr. Minor shows how homophobia and discrimination against transgender and bisexual people and lesbians and gay men is a major ingredient in our way of defining the world. Without sparing any of our cultural institutions, Scared Straight identifies our culture as fear-based and in denial. Like software installed in a computer, our system's messages install a "straight role" in us which actually has little, if anything, to do with sexual orientation. In the end it has little to do with religion, tradition, or the Bible, and everything to do with maintaining quite limiting definitions of a "human being," a "real man" and a "real woman."

People of all sexual orientations are hurt by being "straight," torn from their full human potential, and squeezed into the molds which support our dominant institutions. Human relationships with either sex are incomplete and unfulfilling. Chapters on "How to Be Straight" and "How to Be Gay" describe the roles straight and gay people are conditioned to live in order to maintain this status quo. Yet, not content to merely identify the problem and its depth, in the final chapter Dr. Minor describes the dual elements of healing that this cultural disease requires.