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You Can't Buy Love Like That: Growing Up Gay in the Sixties

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Carol Anderson grows up in a fundamentalist Christian home in the '60s, a time when being gay was in opposition to all social and religious mores and against the law in most states. Fearing the rejection of her parents, she hides the truth about her love orientation, creating emotional distance from them for years, as she desperately struggles to harness her powerful attra ...more
Published October 17th 2017 by She Writes Press
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Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Author, Carol Anderson provides me a nice in depth look into what it was like growing up gay in the sixties. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for not only Carol and other women but men as well. It is not like today's society where people are more open and there is not much of a shock factor. In fact, if you turned on your television or even movies; you would find a greater percentage of gay characters. One of my favorite was on Glee played by Chris Colfer aka Kurt Hummel.

What I enj
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Coming of age in the '60s was difficult enough without realizing that you are a lesbian in a fundamental Christian home. Fearing the rejection of her parents and societal reproach, Carol hides her feelings for another woman and becomes engaged to a man. Carol is close to her father and regrets not telling him her truth before he dies. Not only is this a story of love and denial, it is a history lesson and reflective look back. The stress and deceit of denying her relationships to those close to ...more
Debi Lantzer
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I am a gay woman in this era, but I came out "B.E." - before Ellen - when it still had a horrible stigma. I lost custody of my son in a divorce and people deemed me crazy. I get it, I really do, but to share my struggle doesn't make me unique. It was great to read Ms. Anderson's story and I could definitely identify with her story.

Thank you so much!
Mark-Tami Hotta
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Carol is currently serving as my “life coach” and is truly amazing. She brings curiosity, insight, and an insane ability to synthesize. Her book, “You can’t buy love like that” provides a glimpse of the challenges she faced and fears she overcame, regardless of what biases others had. Her relentless pursuit of understanding and being who she genuinely is, is a true inspiration and makes her the wonderful, caring, and capable person she is today. A must-read for anyone.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads giveaway program. I enjoyed this book. I thought it was good, but I just wish there had been something more. More depth about the years she lived through, more emotions. I, for some reason, felt like something was missing. I'm just not quite sure what.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Wow, a lot of familiar scenes in this memoir, especially with the Michigan locales. I wish Anderson had come full circle to the current day, though, as the book ends before she has really accepted herself and after several disastrous relationships.
Reader Views
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (10/17)

“You Can’t Buy Love Like That: Growing Up Gay in the Sixties” is a memoir by Carol E. Anderson. It is a captivating story of her struggle with self-acceptance and her journey toward empowerment and self-love.

Raised by Baptist parents in the sixties, Carol Anderson had a tough time accepting that she was gay. An innocent crush on a female friend left Carol sure that something was wrong with her. Fearing that she was damned, she tried to suppress th
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is an open and honest memoir about growing up and living as a gay person in the '60s. Having been raised in a religious household in a church that told her that being gay was wrong and a society where there was no other option presented but to be in a heterosexual marriage, Carol struggles with the attraction she feels for women and the lack of attraction she feels for men.

Her journey is a long and h
Mandy Spiczka
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This memoir opens with a quotation from David Whyte that calls us to be more than we've ever imagined: "If you can see your life laid out before you, that's how you know it's not your life." Carol E. Anderson takes us on a personal journey of discovering this truth and inspires us to do the same with whatever limitations or circumstances we face. Her fears and her bravery, her struggles and her triumphs, her confusion and her confidence all spur us to move in the direction of our own deepest tru ...more
Elizabeth Taylor
Dec 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have savored every minute reading this book. Carol's gift for balancing the raw, pragmatic aspects of daily life [eating sandwiches with her mother at Big Boy restaurant], while enthralling the reader in the more subtle nuances of a young woman's drive and search for living out the greater, deeper parts of her inner self, was so inspiring. Regardless of whether the truth you aim to claim is your sexuality or any other facet of self, there are universal lessons to be learned from Carol. The way ...more
Beth B Free
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Carol Anderson's memoir of her journey to accepting her sexuality is thoughtful and poetic. She provides insight to human rights issues while talking about her own struggles as a young girl. The analysis of such issues can lead to segments that feel like sudden tangents, but they always lead back to the original point and can be quite eye-opening. As a young gay woman, reading about other women who went through an extremely difficult period where being out was not safe, acceptable, and dangerous ...more
I read this memoir because it was written by a lesbian woman only a few years older than I am. While I was born five years later in the more liberal northeast and was spared an evangelical upbringing, I still found lots of things that resonated. Women of our generation had to work so hard to become who we became. I suppose it's so for everyone, but for dykes in the 60s and 70s, it seemed especially challenging. We were sort of making it up as we went along; dreaming a new world and willing it in ...more
Julie Myers
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You Can't Buy Love Like That: Growing Up Gay in the Sixties is a phenomenal read. Carol's openness and willingness to be vulnerable in sharing her story was gentle, yet powerful. Her story will touch hearts, especially for those of us who have felt that same struggle. It takes courage and strength to stand up for what is inside of you and Carol certainly did that exquisitely. I couldn't put the book down.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love is Love

This story is heartbreaking for the child, young woman, and finally woman, to bear. She is lovely, smart, has good parents, but she’s gay and that’s not okay. She leads double lives to keep jobs, she tries to change who she is to no avail. Finally, she tells her mom, and in time, is able to accept and be accepted and loved by those who matter.
Maybe 3.5. Maybe there's less new to me here, because I am a lesbian and I was coming out just a little bit later, in the mid 70's. Her writing is very simple and straight forward and to me lacks depth. It doesn't seem to come alive very well. The emotion is mostly told not shown.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have nothing but love for this book! Carol did such an amazing job describing the fears, anxieties, and stress of growing up gay in a Christian household. Definitely an encouraging read for anyone struggling and feeling like they can’t be their true selves in public, for whatever reason!
Apr 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm neither female or gay but I also did grow up in the 60s. It was very interesting to read of her journey . She wrote a very tender and heartwarming memoir.
Dorothy Emerson
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Enjoyed this memoir. Helped me remember the times when it was not at all acceptable to be gay or lesbian, especially not in public. Perceptive writing.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Last year, while writing my own memoir of growing up in the 60s, I read Carol E Anderson's memoir. Wow! Our lives were so similar! However, Carol delved into the feminist movement while I submerged myself into the religious "right." Good move for her; bad move for me! Reading her excellently written memoir I had to wonder how my own life would have been different had I been able to make different decisions at the time. Thank you, Carol, for writing such a poignant account of your life and coming ...more
Bob Rich
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps the best autobiography I’ve ever read.
The very powerful start to the book immediately captured me. If you have the slightest ability to feel empathy from someone different from you, it will immediately get you to understand what it is like to live in a society of judgment and prejudice, for any reason. In Carol’s case, the reason was an automatic tendency to be feel romantic love for other women instead of for men, but she points out that skin color, nationality, religious belief
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, memoir
a really well-written and thoughtful memoir. also a powerful depiction of compulsory heterosexuality, and the fear and social expectation that can lead a lesbian into a heterosexual relationship. some aspects of the lesbian experience are universal amongst us, and i found myself relating to many feelings the author expressed--even now, decades later, in 2018.

also, i had never heard cris williamson's "sweet woman," but i looked it up on spotify after it was mentioned in one chapter, and it's such
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