Book Review ~ "The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World"

Ken Painter By Ken Painter, 31st Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/224pbtvd/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Health, Family & Lifestyle

if you're a gay man in a troubled relationship or having difficulty trying to come out of the closet, or you know someone who is, then you need this book, NOW! Alan Downs, Ph.D. a gay man himself has been treating gay men for years, and if he hasn't got "us" figured out then I don't know who has. Do yourself a favor. READ IT!

Book Review ~ "The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World"



Any gay man who eventually comes out of the closet will tell you that the internal process one goes through to get to the point where he can feel comfortable enough in his own skin to crawl out of the hell of being entombed in that web of deceit and lies is something akin to thawing out in front of a fireplace after coming in from off the cold and frozen lake after a day of ice skating and needing to thaw out the aching bones, hands, and feet from near frostbite. It’s life renewing and lifesaving depending on how well it’s handled and maintained.

That’s why I call this book by Alan Downs, Ph.D., The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World so extremely important that I often refer to it as the gay man’s Bible. Having just completed my second reading of it, I really mean it!

Downs is a Ph.D. practicing gay psychologist who, just like me, got married to a woman for awhile in his closeted state of denial, but having the gifted tools of a deeper understanding (and the case studies of the gay men he was treating in his own private practice) began putting the pieces together. From these studies and the mistakes of his own life, Downs his been able to extrapolate this 200 page little masterpiece of gifted understanding to help explain us to ourselves. Any gay man who chooses to read this will have the gift of recognition of himself on many of the pages and chapters as he tours this book, and he will recognize his lovers and gay friends, family members in their reactions to his behavior growing up and since. Alan Downs has been perceptive to it all.

In pointing it out for our benefit, Downs has identified the source of our rage as gay men (growing up gay in this straight world, and he’s identified all of the source markers which precipitate our rage) and then categorized the three stages in which we fall into as gay men in society. We are either in Stage 1, Overwhelmed by Shame; Stage 2, Compensating for Shame; or Stage 3, Cultivating Authenticity. Of course, we as gay men are not doing any of this consciously, but it is really beneficial for all of us to get to the third stage whether we realize it or not. Many never do, and this wonderful book explains all the reasons why and why not.

But it’s not only a book for gay men. Anybody who has gay friends or family members, loved ones, straight folks who are gay supporters would benefit greatly from reading this book very simply because it describes us so well. Be warned, it’s not a book about lesbianism though, and Downs explains why at the beginning of the book. It’s strictly about gay men. But if you’ve ever wondered why we are the way we are Alan Downs has probably got it figured out here in The Velvet Rage. And aren’t we the more fabulous for it?


Link to my autobiography about struggling with a gay identity in a straight world and suppressing it for a long time . . . http://nut.bz/1db-8lks/

Tags

Coming Out, Coming Out Of The Closet, Gay, Gay Community, Gay Couples, Gay Experience, Gay Love, Gay Men, Gays, Glbt, Lgbt, Psychological, Psychological Problems, Psychology, Psychotherapy

Meet the author

author avatar Ken Painter
Retired Chicago public school teacher. Singer, songwriter, musician, author, & opinionated old curmudgeon. Married to my husband & living in Colorado, USA. Also a father & grandfather.

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Comments

author avatar writestuff
3rd Nov 2013 (#)

Thanks for this honest and informative post.

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author avatar Ken Painter
3rd Nov 2013 (#)

You're most welcome. I just feel it's a most important book!

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author avatar joyalariwo
4th Nov 2013 (#)

sounds like great read, so I guess I will check it out.

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author avatar Ken Painter
4th Nov 2013 (#)

Please do. It's quite an eye opener no matter what your gender identity is. Plus it's an easy read.

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