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.