“Straight Jacket: Overcoming Society’s Legacy of Gay Shame” by Matthew Todd— A Call to Action

Todd, Matthew. “Straight Jacket: Overcoming Society’s Legacy of Gay Shame”, Transworld,  2018 A Call to Action Amos Lassen In “Straight Jacket”, Matthew Todd sends out a   revolutionary clarion call for gay men, the wider LGBT community, their friends and family.  Todd’s book is part memoir and part polemic and it looks beneath the facade of contemporary gay culture and asks if gay people are as happy as they could be—and if not, why not? He then gives us practical advice on how to overcome difficult issues. The call to action that he sends out is for the gay and wider community to acknowledge the importance of supporting all young people and helping older people to transform their experience and get the lives they really want. Todd focuses on some of the issues that disproportionately affect the gay community (depression and anxiety to drug and alcohol addiction and body and eating disorders) and does so with candor and brutal honesty.  He also focuses on the crisis of shame facing the gay community and how it can be solved. Todd uses his own childhood experiences, and the long-term mental health and addiction issues he has suffered. He wants a government inquiry into the experiences of LGBT children at school. In looking at gay shame, we see that there are some uncomfortable and terrifying truths that must be confronted. This is a book that needs to be read by everyone regardless of gender or sexuality, race or religion.

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