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Straight Expectations: The Story of a Family in Transition
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Straight Expectations: The Story of a Family in Transition

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Ever since they were young, Peggy Cryden noticed her children's gender expression did not correspond with society's expectations of their biological gender. In this moving and honest memoir, Peggy details the experiences and challenges of raising both a gay son and a gay, transgender son and shares her family's journey of adversity and growth, which has helped inform her w ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published May 18th 2017 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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Barbara
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it

Peggy Cryden is a family therapist who specializes in a number of areas, including gender identity and sexual orientation. Peggy's expertise stems, in part, from her own experience raising a transgender son and a gay son. In this memoir Peggy tells her story.

Peggy's determination to unconditionally support her children may have been fueled by her own difficult upbringing. Both Peggy and her brother were adopted as infants by a middle-class, Jewish couple: Joan and Joe. Joan was a painter and ta
...more
Alex Morra
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
There are two good reasons to read this book:

1. If you are a parent who deeply needs to know they aren't alone in raising LGBT+ children and need to hear a story from another parent who has been there.

2. You need a starting place to get resources: check out the section between 85%-93% of this book, in which Peggy Cryden speaks of what she's seen as a therapist. Even more helpfully is the appendix, which has a wonderful list of resources, who to contact and why.

As for the rest of it, no.

Nope.

Nuh-
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
This book has both good sides as well as bad sides (as any other - tell me something new, right?) But I would say it leans more towards the good. Especially if you're someone in a transitioning family, it's a good book to read to lift your spirits, but I doubt its worth as a resource alone. It's because the bigger part of the book is dedicated to the personal backstory of the author and it doesn't actually even talk about the kids all that much. Up to 35%, you'll only be hearing about the mother ...more
Lestat
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Picked this up from Netgalley and it's pretty much what you'd expect. The author is the mother of two LGBTQIA+ children, and works as a psychotherapist as well, which gives the book an analytical, rather than preachy style. It's good to see people talk about their 'unconventional' family dynamics, especially regarding the flexible spectrum of gender and sexuality. It's the 21st Century, we need to be more open and aware about each individual's differences.

While the book is supposed to be about h
...more
Kat
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this title. This was such a fascinating look at the dynamics in family relationships and how they shape the people we become. It both raises the issue of how much of who we are is set in stone, while highlighting the importance of a supportive home environment versus one where a child felt abandoned. Jake and Jay are so lucky to grow up in a home where they are accepted for who they are and given the chance to express th ...more
Nigel
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read and would be particularly so to anyone affected by similar issues. 3.5/5 probably and full review nearer publication.
Liana
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review: https://forloversofbooks.wordpress.co...

Ever since they were young, Peggy Cryden noticed her children’s gender expression did not correspond with society’s expectations of their biological gender. In this moving and honest memoir, Peggy details the experiences and challenges of raising both a gay son and a gay, transgender son and shares her family’s journey of adversity and growth, which has helped inform her work as a psychotherapist.

Each chapter explores a particular year in th
...more
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

This is a poignant, educational and informative memoir of a mother dealing with the transition of her FTM transgender child, and the effects it has on the family. Peggy, who was adopted and raised by a mentally ill mother and a father who was emotionally unavailable, starts her story in her early childhood and takes us through her childhood and into becoming a wife and later a mother herself. Peggy works hard to make sure she is the wife and mother her mother never was.

She later takes us
...more
Jennie Rosenblum
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
The cover states a Story of a Family In Transition. But mostly this is an autobiographic book about Peggy. I had hoped it would involve ways that she experienced and dealt with the issues her family went through when one of your children is gay and the other is transgender. Instead I got a lot of how wonderful she was that she was open to these kids after her awful childhood and unsupportive husband. She spent more time on the steps to get her child's name/gender change than on the actual transf ...more
Jessica Rickert
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very honest and intimate look into a mother's none judgmental love for her children. This book really opened my eyes and made me want to improve my skills as a mother. In the end, no matter what mother's should just want to see their children happy and healthy no matter what. Great job Peggy!

I won this book for free on the Good reads giveaways.
Lisa Paradis
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-won
Good read for someone interested in LGBTQ issues. I was a bit let down in that it is advertised as a story in transition, but the first half of the book is about the mother's childhood history. I think she could actually write a memoir about her childhood. I would have liked to see a bit more of the not so happy feel good things that the family went through during their children's transition.
Kristen Lauderdale
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting life story of a mother and her children but it kind of skimmed over a lot and felt like it needed a bit more substance and connection.
Jill Madsen
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
One mother's story of being a very different kind of mother than she experienced and helping both of her children become their true selves.
Eve beinguniquebooks
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a must read for anyone unsure or challenging their sexuality and/or their gender too. Also their family may find it useful as a guide to accepting the changes ahead.

After a detailed look into years of Peggy's own life, alike us all she grew up through a lot of turbulent events within family members, abusive partners, breaking up of relationships, teenage curiosity and growth.

Growing up is hard enough, but for Julia, she knew there was a bigger issues. Self doubt buried away for year
...more
Azabu
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Co author Cryden observed her ‘children’s gender expression was not congruent with their biological gender’ soon after giving birth. She and her daughter-now-son Jake have embraced the role as spokespersons in this uncharted territory, appearing on Oprah to ‘educate the ultra-conservative population’ on a ‘biological, medical reality’ -- a brave step certain to be a growing category in the field of parenting. Dickens would approve of her title.
Carlene
rated it liked it
Feb 17, 2018
Lauren (Shooting Stars Mag) Becker
I'm glad I was given the chance to review this one - I'll have a full review on my blog ASAP - but for now, I just want to say that this was a well done memoir. It focuses on Cryden's life growing up in the beginning - and while this is interesting and relates to her outlook as a parent - I did find myself eager to get to the parts about her sons. Cryden has a nice, almost conversational way of writing, so it makes everything easy to follow and understand. This is a good one to read whether you ...more
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