Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society

Title: Gay and Healthy in a Sick Society
Author: Robert Minor
Publisher: Humanity Works! St. Louis, Missouri
Year: 2003

A problem every teacher, counsellor, social worker, psychologist, and community leader faces is determining when to help people adjust to existing society, and when it is appropriate to encourage people to reject dominant societal views and to try to change society. There are no easy answers. In some cases, people need to be taught how to fit into society. Other times, societal attitudes and practices are responsible for creating a lot of pain, and people can be encouraged to reject the specific faulty societal attitudes and values that are responsible for causing pain. To Robert Minor, gay people need to adopt values and behaviors that are more healthy than the values and behaviors of wider society.

Robert Minor seems to believe gay people need to stop blaming themselves for societal problems, stop living in ways that are detrimental, and initiate personal changes that will improve their own lives and that will improve society. Instead of trying to fit into unhealthy straight patterns of behavior, Minor challenges gay people to live healthy.

There are some very problematic elements in traditional straight marriages, parenting styles, ways of celebrating holidays, ideas of romance, and traditional family values. Gay people who attempt to copy straight patterns of behavior are seen by Minor as not having a healthy life style.

Gay people can be more healthy when they are able to stop acting as victims, stop acting like straight people, take pride in who they are, and show the world that gay people are not constantly depressed. Robert Minor gives some practical ways gay people can stop living like victims inside the gay community and within the broader society.

Robert Minor is profound and challenging. Not everybody will agree with Robert Minorís major thesis, but gay and bisexual people are encouraged to read this book, to reflect on how they live, and see if they need to make any changes in how they live.

Many of Minorís ideas are counter-cultural. Christians are used to being counter-cultural - living by principles that may oppose the principles held by the larger secular society. Gay Christians may find Minorís challenge to live a healthy counter-cultural life helps them better understand how to live out their faith as gay Christians.