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LGBTQI+ - Nonfiction

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Gay & Healthy in a Sick Society: The Minor Details

ISBN: 9780970958112
Binding: Paperback
Author: Robert N. Minor
Pages: 236
Trim: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Published: 12/31/2003

In this collection of short articles, Dr. Robert N. Minor, author of Scared Straight: Why It's So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It's So Hard to be Human, a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award, applies his critically acclaimed insight to specific examples the issues of life today.

Written as monthly columns, Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society challenges LGBTQ people and their allies to see how not being or acting "straight" is actually a healthier approach to life. LGBTQ people are just fine, Dr. Minor affirms. It's society that's very sick. Most societal perspectives, attitudes, and solutions prevent all people from living fully, stifle their abilities to relate to themselves and others as human beings, and keep society stuck using the same old failing political, social, and religious answers to life's challenges.

Dr. Minor doesn't waste energy complaining about those opposed to LGBTQ people, but speaks to how lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people, and their allies see themselves, respond to their critics, and define their own life. Admiring the values of the sickness around them may help people fit in but not contribute to personal or societal healing. Instead, Gay and Healthy proclaims, LGBTQ people must not bury, but value, their own language, definitions, answers, and insights into the variety of problems which hurt everyone but which society would prefer to act out against LGBTQ people rather than find healthier more humane approaches.


A national resource on gender issues and gay/straight relationships for organizations, businesses, educational and governmental institutions, and media outlets, Robert N. Minor, Ph.D. has been speaking, consulting, and leading workshops for thirty years.

He is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas where he taught for 33 years and was the chair of the Religious Studies Department for six. He received the Ph.D. in Religion from the University of Iowa and an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity Divinity School in Chicago.

He is the author of eight books. His first five were scholarly writings on his first specialty religious thought and practice in South Asia and their relationships to culture.

Popularly, he has authored When Religion Is an Addiction, and Scared Straight: Why It's So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why It's So Hard to Be Human which was named a Finalist for both a Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award. Dr. Minor writes a column of analysis and opinion entitled "Minor Details" on current issues.

He was a member of the Values Panel for the Kansas City Star (the city's daily newspaper) for its award-winning "Raising Kansas City Project," a member of the Communities Against Hate Crimes Task Force of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, and the Diversity Advisory Committee of KCPT, the public television station for Kansas City, MO. He has served on other boards and task forces, such as the Advisory Board of the Center for Religious Experience and Study of Kansas City, the LGBT Task Force of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri, and as founding Chair of the Kansas City Workers' Rights Board.

"Bob" leads workshops on gender roles, homophobia, and diversity for universities, colleges, churches, businesses, government organizations, and community and religious groups throughout the US. He is a conference presenter for PFLAG. In 1999 GLAAD awarded him its Leadership Award for Education; in 2012 the University of Kansas named him one of the University's Men of Merit; in 2015 the American Men's Studies Association presented him with its first Lifetime Membership Award; and in 2018 Missouri Jobs with Justice presented him its Workers' Rights Board Leadership Award.


"Robert Minor's gift for clarity turns this amazing new book into the most compelling and consequential reading experience conceivable. I cheered his illuminating viewpoints from cover to cover. As a stellar contribution to current dialogues, Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society will remain unsurpassed for many years to come." - Jack Nichols

"Dr. Minor demonstrates that a sex-positive and gay-positive perspective on life naturally results in socially and ethically desirable attitudes and behaviors. In transcending polarized gender roles and gender expectations, gay people represent a beacon to a society hopelessly drowning in negative anti-sexual and life-denying attitudes. Minor holds up that light for all to see. Readable, entertaining and unfailingly sensible, his analyses of modern life, especially modern gay life, from GayToday and Liberty Press deserve this second incarnation in Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society." - Toby Johnson

"Every queer girl and boy ought to have a wise lesbian aunt or gay uncle around, offering advice, explaining life, nudging along the coming-out process. Few, alas, do. This kindly collection of clear-headed musings on how gays and society intersect is a dandy substitute. Minor has written these articles since 1998 for publications — with remarkably slight dating and refreshingly scant overlap. The author has shuffled them into a dozen assorted categories...a deft process that gives his writing some useful thematic discipline. Most everything he has to say is sensible, but chapters on 'Romance' and 'Sex' are blessed with particular clarity: he is enthusiastically positive about sex and thoughtfully honest about romance, compressing hundreds of how-to pages into just a few hundred essential words. His talent for pithy analysis is one of the collection's strengths; so too is its accessible, compassionate — heck, avuncular —tone." - Richard Labonte

"This collection is divided into a dozen categories, each with a number of previously published articles (between two and seven, depending on the topic) that range in subject matter from gay myths to debating whether a popular singer is gay, from sex to romance, from patriotism to politics, and more. Insightful, interesting, often humorous and always highly readable, this collection reminds LGBTQ readers that, although society around us has some skewed values, we don't have to buy into them. We can choose to live our lives more fully and in a more healthy manner, according to Minor's articles. Not a 'self-help' book per se, Gay & Healthy will nonetheless aid readers in helping themselves. Minor makes his points succinctly, yet in an affirming, non-preachy manner. An excellent addition to any library, this book will leave you feeling perhaps somewhat better about yourself and the contributions you can and do make to society." - Ravigo Zomana

"Gay & Healthy is the book anyone who is gay or thinks they are (at what ever stage of life or level of comfort and openness about their sexuality) should read. It is the text book we have been waiting for and I challenge anyone who reads it not to be inspired, challenged and re-awakened to themselves, LGBTQ issues, and the world around us. In this ground breaking book, Minor does away with the need so many of us have to justify, defend and play the victim role as gay people. Instead he shows us, by example, how to realistically see ourselves, respond to our critics and define our own lives and community. Minor's main theme is that rather than try to assimilate into a sick society, we should value our own language, definitions, community and culture. And even more, if we do this, he insists, we will not only heal ourselves, but help the rest of society become healthy." - Gaby Dixon