Raised by Unicorns Book Review ( @cleispress ) from @kleffnotes

Frank Lowe, who you might recognize as the man behind the Twitter account @GayAtHomeDad, has edited the collection, Raised by Unicorns, that focuses on LGBTQ families. As a divorced gay dad, Lowe has been very dedicated to working to help others in the community. He also is an exceptionally devoted dad and his son included a brief passage within his introduction to act as a transition into the book.

Raised by Unicorns shares the stories of people who were raised in LGBTQ households. The ages of these writers vary tremendously ranging from teenagers to adults over 40. Each of these stories is so different and reveals that no matter the family everyone has a different experience. There are traditional nuclear families made up of two moms or two dads, families that include multiple mothers, families that co-parent between two households, and so much more that shows how diverse families can be. There is even a story that focuses primarily on the son’s connection to his father, who he sees as the biggest influence in his life. The final chapter “Beauty and the Butch” is the only one that does not follow the essay format of the work and instead is presented as an interview between ex-MLB pitcher Joe Valentine and editor Frank Lowe. In this interview he discusses what it was like being raised by lesbian mothers and what that was like for him growing up.

There are some overarching themes within these stories that I found very illuminating. Within some of the stories those who were raised in same sex households mention that there was a feeling a shame that they learned from outside of their home. While they loved their parents and were not ashamed of them the world around them pushed them to either lie or keep quiet about their home lives. There were other stories that emphasized pride for their families, but what I saw in this discussion of shame was how the world around us, primarily within the United States as all of the stories were from American writers, limits our ability to fully express ourselves. The other element that I noticed was that in some cases children who had been raised within LGBTQ households did not feel a need to label themselves as a particular sexuality, but rather felt connected to the community and were willing to float within it. These stories were so touching and this book shows so much love. No matter how you identify Raised by Unicorns is a beautiful collection that really emphasizes the love of families regardless of who makes up that family.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, and I run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp.

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