Lowe, Frank, editor. “Raised by Unicorns: Stories from People with LGBTQ+ Parents”, Cleis Press, 2018.
Unique Storytellers, Unique Stories
LGBTQ+ parenting has been a hot topic in the news lately Everyone seems to have a unique way of parenting and that made me think as it did Frank Lowe, the editor of this collection. If someone has a unique way of parenting, do they also have unique stories to tell their children. Why is it that the stories we heard as children no longer suffice for today’s world? Now I have thought about this for a while now but Frank Lowe went a step further and investigated and voila, here is the fruit of his labors— a collection of stories for children of LGBTQ+ parents. This was no easy task as you can well imagine but somehow he collected fourteen stories that as an adult I loved to read.
I must confess that for as long as I have been reviewing LGBT literature, I always face the same problem when I have a collection or anthology to review. Do I look at the book as a whole and review it as such or do I review each and every story? In this case, I am going to look at the book as a whole. I do have a request though. As you read this review and/or the book, think about whether we need to have separate stories for the kids of LGBTQ+ parents. Granted we have unique individuals in our community but then so does every community. I think, however, if we consider the past lives of those who are parents today and the problems they faced getting to be where we are now, perhaps this is what needs to be shared with our children.
This collection has all kinds of stories just as the world is made up of all kinds of people. We are most certainly more accepting of non traditional families than we were when I was growing up and perhaps, indeed, the time has come to “create a literary space for this not-so-unique, shared, but completely individual experience.”
Lowe’s collection “reflects on the upbringing of children in many different forms of LGBTQ+ families.” His selections are as diverse as the colors of the rainbow and there is a story (or even more) for everyone. Sometimes we try so hard to fit into society that we forget that our journeys are different from the non-LGBT world. There are differences even within our shared journeys. Many of the stories are based upon actual events this providing others with a view of how we have lived.
I am not a parent but I love stories and I love each of these stories probably because they are a reflection of ourselves. I realize that I have not really reviewed the book but talked around it and that is a reflection of how we had to grow up. We had to talk around who we are but those days are over and today our kids can have some really good stories to read and to hear. Start them off with these.