Rachel's Reviews > Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began

Saving Alex by Alex Cooper
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really liked it
bookshelves: religious-lds, non-fiction

This book is about Alex, who grew up LDS. When she came out to her parents, they kicked her out and then found a family in St. George, Utah, to convert her into being straight. Except that family wasn't licensed at all, and ended up abusing her physically, emotionally, and spiritually (and also, it's not possible to change a person's sexual orientation through bullying them).

With the help of some friends she was able to escape her abusers and return to her family, but not without a huge legal struggle to ensure her safety. Part of that legal struggle was setting a precedent for other LGBT kids in Utah; during the case her opposition argued that encouraging her to be heterosexual was part of her parents' right to raise her in their religion, but by the end of the case they decided that was not the case (I think). Reading about her custody trial also helped me understand more about how the legal system works--it seems like more of a give-and-take until both parties are more or less satisfied or tired. I also feel more sympathy for victims of abuse who decide in the end not to press charges, as it seemed like a very stressful experience (Alex decided to get on with her life rather than press charges against the family that abused her).

This book was horrifying, riveting, and emotionally draining. Five stars for being courageous and publishing this book. But I can't say I really enjoyed reading about this emotionally difficult experience, but I think it was good for me to realize what terrible things LDS exclusion of gay people can inspire. If you are an LDS parent, please decide now that you would never abandon your child or kick them our of your house because of their sexual orientation. You can hold a temple recommend and still love and support your children, even if they are queer. If you're an LGBT/QUILTBAG person struggling in the LDS community, my ears and heart, and possibly my spare room if it comes down to that, are open to you.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 4, 2016 – Shelved
March 4, 2016 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Beneth (new)

Beneth Great review. You may be interested to read The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

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