book notes: the velvet rage: overcoming the pain of growing up gay in a straight man’s world

i just finished the velvet rage: overcoming the pain of growing up gay in a straight man’s world. it has brought a lot of light to my understanding of gay men in my life. it has some pretty serious limitations in its lessons and audience (i.e. the lessons are clearly drawn from the experiences of and directed towards gay men who are mostly white and wealthy), but it’s still pretty good overall. 

here are some major points that i want to be able to remember in the future:

the three stages of dealing with shame for gay men

  1. [being] overwhelmed by shame
  2. compensating for shame
  3. cultivating authenticity

note: rage is the result of unacknowledged and process shame.

the three things that make up contentment:

what mom didn’t know & dad couldn’t accept – lessons on being an authentic gay man

  1. don’t let your sexual tastes be the filter for allowing people into your life
  2. adopt a nonjudgmental stance as often as possible
  3. when you have a problem with someone, speak with him/her about it first (instead of everyone else)
  4. it’s never a bad idea to be completely honest about the facts.
  5. others are often put off by perfection
  6. don’t act on every emotion you feel
  7. put off having sex until you feel comfortable that you really know him
  8. actively practice accepting your body as it is right now
  9. intentionally validate those you love, but never validate the invalid
  10. whenever you encourage a relationship problem, first assess your own responsibility before blaming someone else

ps - huge shoutout to will for not only saying i should read this, but giving me his copy to make it happen. +1.