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Rumpelstiltskin reviewed Not Like Other Boys Growing Up Gay: A Mother and Son Look Back on
"Mom, I don't know how to tell you this...I'm gay," Christopher Shyer, then 26, told his mother, Marlene, on Thanksgiving Day 1987. How he summoned the courage to come out, after years of torment, isolation and self-hatred growing up in the suburbs of New York City, is revealed in a deeply moving memoir, told in alternating voices. Marlene, a novelist, children's-book author and journalist, worried obsessively from the time Chris was five that he'd become a homosexual and dragged him to psychotherapists seeking assurance that he was "normal." She eventually overcame her homophobia, but Chris's father (whom Marlene subsequently divorced) was less accepting of his son's sexual orientation: "I have no problem with it.... As long as it doesn't show." Chris, a business executive in New York, writes forcefully. "It's those who condemn and deride us, those who are ignorant and misinformed who should be scorned and ridiculed. It is homophobia that should be in the closet."