Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences
On the opening page of The Mere Future, the narrator declares, “People can get court orders to keep communication from happening, why can’t we get court orders to sit down and talk it through? That would be my idea of a better world.” In many ways, this is the notion at the heart of Ties That Bind. In crystalline, precise prose, Schulman outlines the patterns of familial homophobia (how revealing that this phenomenon—one of the foundational experiences of gay people’s lives—should heretofore lack a name), suggests concrete strategies to overcome it, and expands the concept to show how patterns learned in the family are perpetuated throughout society—in therapeutic settings, within love relationships, and throughout the larger culture.
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