Harvard Educational Review
  1. How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay?

    By Ann Heron and Meredith Maran; illustrated by Kris Kovick.

    Boston: Alyson, 1991. 47 pp. $6.95 (paper)

    "How would you feel if your dad was gay?" is the pivotal question in this children's book by Ann Heron and Meredith Maran. Jasmine, a third grader, shares with her class that she has three fathers: her divorced parents have each found male partners, yielding Jasmine's trio of dads. This immediately creates problems in school for Jasmine and her brother, Michael, as they face the taunts of other children and are not supported by passive teachers who don't intervene on their behalf.

    Jasmine and Michael return home to discuss the issue, albeit grudgingly, with their father and his partner. Both men are understanding and supportive of Jasmine's need to share her family situation with her classmates and Michael's wish for secrecy. "If you don't want the kids at school to know your dad and I are gay, you should be able to keep that to yourself" (p. 16), says their father's partner. However, they do take up the issue with the school principal, who arranges to have a "doctor" visit the school and present to the students and faculty a slide show on different kinds of families. The doctor's objective is that the children understand that all the variations on the family are normal. The principal, Mr. Kay, wraps up the assembly with a stern, "It is not acceptable for any child in this school to call anyone names or treat anyone with disrespect" (p. 39).

    Woven into the story is a subplot in which a boy named Noah wrestles with the idea of sharing with Michael the fact that his mother is a lesbian. He never does. Appropriate as a book to read alone or to read aloud for elementary school children, How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay? would be useful for any classroom teacher or parent interested in teaching children about prejudice and different kinds of families. Kris Kovick's black-and-white drawings complement the story and present for the reader a cast of mostly African American characters. Ann Heron and Meredith Maran present a story for children that is forthright and sincere.

    C.A.W.
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    Abstracts

    Introduction
    By Vitka Eisen and Irene Hall
    Youth Voices
    Stone Butch Celebration
    A Transgender-Inspired Revolution in Academia
    By Wendy Ormiston
    Negotiating Legacies
    Audre Lorde, W. E. B. DuBois, Marlon Riggs, and Me
    By Townsand Price-Spratlen
    A Gay-Themed Lesson in an Ethnic Literature Curriculum
    Tenth Graders' Responses to "Dear Anita"
    By Steven Z. Athanases
    What Difference Does It Make? The Story of a Lesbian Teacher
    By Carla Washburne Rensenbrink
    Toward a Most Thorough Understanding of the World
    Sexual Orientation and Early Childhood Education
    By Virginia Casper, Harriet K. Cuffaro, Steven Schultz, Jonathan G. Silin, and Elaine Wickens
    Race and Sexual Orientation
    The (Im)possibility of These Intersections in Educational Policy
    By Kathryn Snider
    How We Find Ourselves
    Identity Development and Two Spirit People
    By Alex Wilson
    Manly Men and Womanly Women
    Deviance, Gender Role Polarization, and the Shift in Women's School Employment, 1900-1976
    By Jackie M. Blount
    Researching Dissident Subjectivities
    Queering the Grounds of Theory and Practice
    By Kenn Gardner Honeychurch
    Cornel West on Heterosexism and Transformation
    An Interview
    HER Board

    Book Notes

    Open Lives, Safe Schools
    Edited by Donovan R. Walling

    Uncommon Heroes
    Edited by Phillip Sherman and Samuel Bernstein

    Free Your Mind
    By Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufman.

    Becoming Visible
    Edited by Kevin Jennings

    Death By Denial
    By Gary Remafedi

    Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?
    By Letha Dawson Scanzoni and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott.

    One Teacher in Ten
    By Kevin Jennings

    The Gay Teen
    Edited by Gerald Unks

    Tilting the Tower
    Edited by Linda Garber

    School's Out
    by Dan Woog

    The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader
    Edited by Henry Abelove, Michele Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin

    Joining the Tribe
    By Linnea Due

    How Would You Feel If Your Dad Was Gay?
    By Ann Heron and Meredith Maran; illustrated by Kris Kovick.

    Helping Gay and Lesbian Youth
    Edited by Teresa DeCrescenzo