Easily one of my favorite books this year.
Conversations and Cosmopolitans by Robert Rave and Jane Rave
After moving from the Midwest to New York City at the age of twenty-one, Robert Rave finally found the resolve to mail a letter to his parents informing them that he was gay. Once Robert was “out,” both he and his mother Jane felt a new found freedom to be more honest with each other. From the discrimination Jane experienced as a pregnant teenager in a small town, to Robert’s “manscaping,” almost no topic. was off-limits in their conversations. Soon, Robert was creating a “gay glossary” so that Jane could understand the lexicon and Jane was giving Robert the same dating advice that she used to give Robert’s older sister (“men are jerks”). Conversations and Cosmopolitans is a frank, funny, and heartfelt look at coming out from both a mother’s and son’s perspective, and an inspiring memoir about building family relationships based on honesty, openness, and acceptance.
First off, anyone who knows that I am a huge supporter of LGBT rights and advocacy. It's a damn shame that even in 2011 a person has to live in fear because of who they love yet we as a society praise young men and women to be absolute whores (hello, Jersey Shore) and that's totally fine. It's kind of ass backwards if you ask me.
What also is a shame is that there are thousands of people out there who face shame and disapproval from their families because of who they are. As a parent myself my hopes for my children is that they lead the life they want and are happy. I think there are two ways to really tell how great a parent you are: 1. Does your child still worry about your approval well into their adulthood and 2. Are they able to talk to you?
Both of these are answered by the mother and son duo of Robert and Jane Rave. Robert starts this memoir by talking about the letter he wrote to his parents explaining that he is a gay man, he's OK with it, and he hopes they are OK with it. Not going to lie, it breaks my heart as a mom to think that a child would ever feel like they would be less loved by their parents but it's a reality.
This book was absolutely fantastic because Jane sounds like a really supportive and loving mom. I also really appreciated Robert's openness of his life and how he was feeling at such a turning point in his life. And to be honest, I don't think I would ever feel comfortable having the experiences and conversations he has with his mom with my own. But maybe that's why I loved the book- you can read the chapter and feel just as awkward as Robert did. I also loved how Robert would tell a story and the following chapter is Jane's point of view or add commentary that just makes the whole thing even better.
Bottom line? You need to read this book. If you are a parent then you will love this and end up hoping you end up as cool of a mom as Jane.
But one of you will get to win your own copy (US/Canada only)!
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I will close this giveaway on Monday, loves!