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Unashamed: A Coming-Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians

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On a daily basis, author and LGBTQ advocate Amber Cantorna receives emails asking the same question: How does one reconcile their sexuality with their faith? Depression, despair, and thoughts of suicide often haunt LGBTQ Christians as they feel unable to imagine the possibility of living a happy, fulfilling life as an LGBTQ person of faith. As the gay daughter of a thirty-p On a daily basis, author and LGBTQ advocate Amber Cantorna receives emails asking the same question: How does one reconcile their sexuality with their faith? Depression, despair, and thoughts of suicide often haunt LGBTQ Christians as they feel unable to imagine the possibility of living a happy, fulfilling life as an LGBTQ person of faith. As the gay daughter of a thirty-plus-year executive of conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family, Amber lost everything when she came out as gay in 2012. However, her journey to embrace her authenticity brought her fulfillment and wisdom to share. Unashamed serves as a guide for Christians considering coming out, tackling tough subject matters such as demolishing internalized homophobia, finding an affirming faith community, reestablishing your worth as a child of God, navigating difficult family conversations (especially in cases where family is involved in church leadership/ministry), and healing from the pain of rejection. Unashamed encourages LGBTQ Christians to embrace their unique identities and to celebrate the diversity placed inside them by God.


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On a daily basis, author and LGBTQ advocate Amber Cantorna receives emails asking the same question: How does one reconcile their sexuality with their faith? Depression, despair, and thoughts of suicide often haunt LGBTQ Christians as they feel unable to imagine the possibility of living a happy, fulfilling life as an LGBTQ person of faith. As the gay daughter of a thirty-p On a daily basis, author and LGBTQ advocate Amber Cantorna receives emails asking the same question: How does one reconcile their sexuality with their faith? Depression, despair, and thoughts of suicide often haunt LGBTQ Christians as they feel unable to imagine the possibility of living a happy, fulfilling life as an LGBTQ person of faith. As the gay daughter of a thirty-plus-year executive of conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family, Amber lost everything when she came out as gay in 2012. However, her journey to embrace her authenticity brought her fulfillment and wisdom to share. Unashamed serves as a guide for Christians considering coming out, tackling tough subject matters such as demolishing internalized homophobia, finding an affirming faith community, reestablishing your worth as a child of God, navigating difficult family conversations (especially in cases where family is involved in church leadership/ministry), and healing from the pain of rejection. Unashamed encourages LGBTQ Christians to embrace their unique identities and to celebrate the diversity placed inside them by God.

30 review for Unashamed: A Coming-Out Guide for LGBTQ Christians

  1. 5 out of 5

    C.G. Drews

    I feel like this was intended to be a warm hug to Christian LGBTQ people and I definitely think it got that message across. I've never read a book like this and I very much wanted to. And it was so full of heart, I really ached and teared up on multiple pages. I especially found it empowering that the author didn't have a sparkly-easy-coming-out-story to her family. She's basically cut off completely from them and she can still talk about her love of God, the church, and encourage other gays. bas I feel like this was intended to be a warm hug to Christian LGBTQ people and I definitely think it got that message across. I've never read a book like this and I very much wanted to. And it was so full of heart, I really ached and teared up on multiple pages. I especially found it empowering that the author didn't have a sparkly-easy-coming-out-story to her family. She's basically cut off completely from them and she can still talk about her love of God, the church, and encourage other gays. basic things to know about the book: - it first and foremost is about encouragement, it's about reaffirming you are loved and valued by God (and there's no "despite of being gay" or "love the sinner and not the sin" -- those phrases are smacked down) - it does have plenty of suggestions and steps for how to come out safely in a christian (usually conservative) community who will most likely be unreceptive to you - it does stress the importance of your safety first, especially for teens (i did actually think this was aimed at teens, but it's not specified to that age group) - lots of discussion about living your authentic and true life and dismantling of inner-shame I am disappointed that it didn't spend time on talking about those damning verses in the bible about being gay (it's mistranslated yo and she only briefly notes that). It gives resources to go find books that do go deeper into discussing the theology and the cultural/mistranslations of the bible. However I think it really should have discussed that here too? At least briefly. Honestly I wanted more depth in the book, all over. And it has to be said that it does come from a privileged angle and would be most helpful to people who have resources to be self-sufficient (if their family cuts them off) and has a community. If you're christian lgbtqia+ without a community while reading this, the book would probably leave you feeling still very lost. I am really glad I read this! I wanted it to be deeper, but like w o w it was emotional to read quite a lot and inclusive and important. You don't have to change anything about your LGBTQ identity in order to be acceptable to God. You are beautiful and fully loved by God exactly as you are. Own that and ground yourself in it deep in your soul.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Neyhart

    This was a book I read around November of 2019. At that time I had only come out to about 7 or 8 people so I did not track this book on GoodReads at that time! Since then I have come out to everyone so now I can add this to my official Goodreads list! I remember as I was reading this thinking, "crap, I've done that, and I've done that, and I'm already in that place so I'm really going to have to come out to my people..." Anyway, I do highly recommend this book to those who need it... This was a book I read around November of 2019. At that time I had only come out to about 7 or 8 people so I did not track this book on GoodReads at that time! Since then I have come out to everyone so now I can add this to my official Goodreads list! I remember as I was reading this thinking, "crap, I've done that, and I've done that, and I'm already in that place so I'm really going to have to come out to my people..." Anyway, I do highly recommend this book to those who need it...

  3. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    While not a member of the LGBTQ community (but proud ally!), Amber Cantorna’s story resonates deeply with me. I know what it feels like to be rejected by your family simply for who you are as a person. So when I read her first book (Refocusing My Family) about coming out as lesbian and being completely rejected by her Focus on the Family family, I just could not believe the amount of bravery it must have taken her to be true and authentic and to live as her real self. I can’t think of a worse pl While not a member of the LGBTQ community (but proud ally!), Amber Cantorna’s story resonates deeply with me. I know what it feels like to be rejected by your family simply for who you are as a person. So when I read her first book (Refocusing My Family) about coming out as lesbian and being completely rejected by her Focus on the Family family, I just could not believe the amount of bravery it must have taken her to be true and authentic and to live as her real self. I can’t think of a worse place to be gay in America than in the Focus on the Family culture. Truly. Which is why I’m wanting to share her next book, Unashamed: A coming-out guide for LGBTQ Christians. I wish this book didn’t need to exist. I wish Cantorna didn’t have to warn readers to consider their personal safety when they decide to come out to their friends and family. I wish we could all celebrate each other in all the different ways we’ve been made. But unfortunately that’s not the world we live in. So I thought I’d share in case any of you need something to help light the way. It includes advice for parents and allies as well, which I found useful. #UnashamedLGBTQ

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I was raised Christian and came out as bi in 2007. So I don’t need this book now. But wow could I have used it at 20. Amber’s father worked for Focus on the Family a conservative Christian group that my family followed. I think she does an eloquent job of explaining that God made you just as you are and how to deal with coming out to people who might not be welcoming. I also liked her encouragement to adjust faith from black and white thinking to embracing the unknown, as well as how authenticit I was raised Christian and came out as bi in 2007. So I don’t need this book now. But wow could I have used it at 20. Amber’s father worked for Focus on the Family a conservative Christian group that my family followed. I think she does an eloquent job of explaining that God made you just as you are and how to deal with coming out to people who might not be welcoming. I also liked her encouragement to adjust faith from black and white thinking to embracing the unknown, as well as how authenticity brings true community. Each chapter ends with tips for families and allies along the theme. I thought this could be very useful for certain families and wished the presence of them was more apparent from the title. Amber does a good job of giving a variety of examples and conversations. I was pleased to see that she gave examples of scenarios for younger and older coming out, and did not ignore the B or the T or Q in her writing. Some readers might be disappointed that the A isn't covered. However, I do think from my own time in conservative Christianity that probably that is less needed. The church has natural room for those who are "not called to marriage," perhaps even more so than in the broader culture. So I understand why it was left out. However, it would have been more inclusive to still mention it, perhaps in the introduction along with the encouragement toward authenticity. Overall, this is a book that I am sure will be helpful to many. I'm proud of Amber for having the courage to live authentically and write a guide for others. *Thank you to the publisher through Netgalley for an advanced copy.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    An important read- also for church leaders, parents, and allies!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ajae Corbett

    If you're at the beginning of your "coming out" journey as a Christian, this book is definitely for you. If you're hoping to gain theological knowledge and references, this book is NOT for you. But, with that said, I think this book is a must read as it skims the surface on both subject matters. Even though the author is not an educated expert in the field, she writes with the authority of personal experiences. Sometimes, I think, that is the best kind. I gained a lot of valuable insight, directio If you're at the beginning of your "coming out" journey as a Christian, this book is definitely for you. If you're hoping to gain theological knowledge and references, this book is NOT for you. But, with that said, I think this book is a must read as it skims the surface on both subject matters. Even though the author is not an educated expert in the field, she writes with the authority of personal experiences. Sometimes, I think, that is the best kind. I gained a lot of valuable insight, directions, and suggestions from reading this book. The author discusses many different topics utilizing lists with guidelines and steps. I think they are all useful and realistic. Because this book was just recently published, the author does a great job of introducing and explaining correct terminology when referring to LGBTQ Christians. In addition, she discusses the influence of modern technology and how this affects the "coming out" process. She addresses a lot of the bias held in our society and its damaging effects. This book was easy to read and understand and is well suited for teenagers and adults. As a middle-aged Christian person who is still trying to figure out who I am and where my place in the world exists, I found this book both very meaningful and helpful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor Dote

    Two years after releasing her first book, "Refocusing My Family: Coming Out, Being Cast Out, and Discovering the True Love of God," Amber is back with an incredible follow-up. In her first book, Amber established herself as an engaging storyteller, and my fear going into this book was that it was going to lose that touch and become another textbook full of facts and arguments, but without the same heart. I shouldn't have been concerned. From the opening pages of her latest book, Amber weaves toge Two years after releasing her first book, "Refocusing My Family: Coming Out, Being Cast Out, and Discovering the True Love of God," Amber is back with an incredible follow-up. In her first book, Amber established herself as an engaging storyteller, and my fear going into this book was that it was going to lose that touch and become another textbook full of facts and arguments, but without the same heart. I shouldn't have been concerned. From the opening pages of her latest book, Amber weaves together personal stories and narratives that are engaging and thought-provoking, helping not only the Christian coming to terms with their own identity as an LGBTQ+ individual, but those around them who are struggling to accept, understand, and love their LGBTQ+ neighbors. Combined with Biblical references and plenty of places to turn for help, this is a must-have resource for anyone wanting to learn more about how to love more fully.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dana Renee

    Such an amazingly & beautifully written addition to my growing collection of LGBTQ resources. Written in a down to earth & heartfelt manner, this step by step guide has delivered far more than I even anticipated. From true life, even heart wrenching stories, to step by step advice, this is a book you must add to your home & church library. No matter where you are on your personal coming out journey, or in your support & acceptance of a loved one, this book will speak to you. Amber shares her hea Such an amazingly & beautifully written addition to my growing collection of LGBTQ resources. Written in a down to earth & heartfelt manner, this step by step guide has delivered far more than I even anticipated. From true life, even heart wrenching stories, to step by step advice, this is a book you must add to your home & church library. No matter where you are on your personal coming out journey, or in your support & acceptance of a loved one, this book will speak to you. Amber shares her heart, even more of her personal story than in her previous book, & gives us a peek into her lovely wife Clara’s journey as well. There is such a need for a practical guide such as this one, so that LGBTQ Christians can prepare to speak their “truth with boldness and without shame”. I encourage you to not only purchase this book, but underline, highlight, & think of others who need the gift of its words as well. Prepare to be blessed!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Becki

    I'm not aware of any other book like this, and I absolutely recommend it to any LGBTQ Christian. Author Amber Cantorna plays the part of big sister, faith guide, and encourager in chief- and does it very well. A large part of this book involves making peace with God and the Bible as an LGBTQ Christian. Those who are uninterested and unaffected by religion may not find this book as helpful. The remaining part is a step by step guide through the process of coming out- how to know if you're ready, w I'm not aware of any other book like this, and I absolutely recommend it to any LGBTQ Christian. Author Amber Cantorna plays the part of big sister, faith guide, and encourager in chief- and does it very well. A large part of this book involves making peace with God and the Bible as an LGBTQ Christian. Those who are uninterested and unaffected by religion may not find this book as helpful. The remaining part is a step by step guide through the process of coming out- how to know if you're ready, when and how to come out, how to deal with the fall-out. Peppered throughout are stories from Cantorna's own experience as well as many other LGBTQ Christians (she surveyed over 1500 for the book). Though the book is clearly targeted toward the LGBTQ community, each chapter concludes with a short section for Parents and Allies. Definitely recommend. I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which I am always happy to give. :) #Unashamed #NetGalley

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ally Beil

    When Amber's first book, Refocusing My Family, came out, I devoured every word. When it was announced that she would be writing another book, I was ecstatic. As a Christian who identifies as a non-binary lesbian, books like Amber's are essential to me. Words can't quite describe the importance of having resources such as these books in my life. I had high expectations for this book, and no part of it disappointed me. Amber has crafted a truly useful tool that can be utilized by both Christian memb When Amber's first book, Refocusing My Family, came out, I devoured every word. When it was announced that she would be writing another book, I was ecstatic. As a Christian who identifies as a non-binary lesbian, books like Amber's are essential to me. Words can't quite describe the importance of having resources such as these books in my life. I had high expectations for this book, and no part of it disappointed me. Amber has crafted a truly useful tool that can be utilized by both Christian members of the LGBTQ community and their friends/families alike. While I have been out for a couple years now, I still found this book to be extremely informative, because, as Amber says in the book, coming out is an ongoing process. I'm going to be taking the tools she discusses in this book and put them in my arsenal for the future.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book is a valuable tool for those navigating the emotional roller-coaster of coming out as a Christian. It empowers individuals to have confidence and faith in God and themselves as they learn to live authentically. Amber has laid out a "map" that if followed, even loosely, will enable the reader to have a greater support system in place before having to explore the coming out process on their own. This is so important for good mental health. We are never alone, we just have to find our trib This book is a valuable tool for those navigating the emotional roller-coaster of coming out as a Christian. It empowers individuals to have confidence and faith in God and themselves as they learn to live authentically. Amber has laid out a "map" that if followed, even loosely, will enable the reader to have a greater support system in place before having to explore the coming out process on their own. This is so important for good mental health. We are never alone, we just have to find our tribe. Amber also includes a section in each chapter for parents and allies that provides a realistic perspective of how they can best support LGBTQ+ individuals. And the book as a whole will open the eyes and hearts of the parent/allies to the overwhelming challenges faced by LGBTQ+ Christians.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    This should be standard reading for anyone who identifies as a queer Christian.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hunter Mallone

    This book was what I needed to help me better understand how I can help my friends in my circle that are of the LGBTQ community. It was very helpful in understanding how sometimes they can feel. It helped with understanding how sometimes simple gestures to help make sure they are okay. I wanted more for the parent or allies, just a little bit more. I enjoyed this book and I’m going to recommend it to others. I really want to introduce more to my Bible Study class so that we can be a safe place. I This book was what I needed to help me better understand how I can help my friends in my circle that are of the LGBTQ community. It was very helpful in understanding how sometimes they can feel. It helped with understanding how sometimes simple gestures to help make sure they are okay. I wanted more for the parent or allies, just a little bit more. I enjoyed this book and I’m going to recommend it to others. I really want to introduce more to my Bible Study class so that we can be a safe place. I received this book from Netgalley and the publishers. I want to thank them both for allowing me to read this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    "With God there is no 'but' after 'I love you.'" Wow. I wish this book had existed when I was a teenager and was stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of denial and bargaining when it came to my sexual orientation. I did so much, as Cantorna puts it, "wrestling in isolation." Even now, after having been out for 3 years, I still struggle to reconcile my faith with my identity. But this book is like a roadmap. It is affirming, uplifting, and inspiring. The section at the end of each chapter for parent "With God there is no 'but' after 'I love you.'" Wow. I wish this book had existed when I was a teenager and was stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of denial and bargaining when it came to my sexual orientation. I did so much, as Cantorna puts it, "wrestling in isolation." Even now, after having been out for 3 years, I still struggle to reconcile my faith with my identity. But this book is like a roadmap. It is affirming, uplifting, and inspiring. The section at the end of each chapter for parents of LGBTQ children was a nice addition as well. The Catholic church as a whole has a (very, very) long way to go to reach true acceptance and inclusion of all people. And I highly doubt that I'll see any major change in my lifetime. But this book inspired me to keep fighting. To keep speaking out against oppression. To be Catholic and queer and entirely myself (even when a visiting priest calls me an agent of Satan...but that's a whole other story.) I'm reminded of one of my favorite hymns, You Are Mine: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have called you, and you are mine." (Thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book, which I received through GR giveaways.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Garcia

    Amber gave me the opportunity to read an advance copy of Unashamed as she wanted my honest opinion as a member of clergy and a Licensed Professional Counselor. I was moved by the stories of individuals who have struggled with how to come out to family members who are Christian. I have heard so many narratives about fear and rejection. Amber helps the reader to understand the need for love and acceptance by family and how we all play a part in creating a world where God's love can overcome the fe Amber gave me the opportunity to read an advance copy of Unashamed as she wanted my honest opinion as a member of clergy and a Licensed Professional Counselor. I was moved by the stories of individuals who have struggled with how to come out to family members who are Christian. I have heard so many narratives about fear and rejection. Amber helps the reader to understand the need for love and acceptance by family and how we all play a part in creating a world where God's love can overcome the fear a parent may have for their child. We all want to be loved by those who raised and nurtured us. Amber provides sound advice on how to come out. She also walks with family members through the tough questions they have and assures parents love will overcome.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

    I loved this book and cannot thank the author enough for writing it. Though I am now part of an open and affirming congregation, I still experience the after effects of being told I couldn't be both Christian and lesbian. I wish I would have had a book like this 20 years ago, and I am thankful that it exists for today's generation. I found myself highlighting so much of this book. I appreciate the quotes and the Bible verses that offer hope and encouragement, and I appreciate that each section e I loved this book and cannot thank the author enough for writing it. Though I am now part of an open and affirming congregation, I still experience the after effects of being told I couldn't be both Christian and lesbian. I wish I would have had a book like this 20 years ago, and I am thankful that it exists for today's generation. I found myself highlighting so much of this book. I appreciate the quotes and the Bible verses that offer hope and encouragement, and I appreciate that each section ends with "for the parents/allies." I will be looking into the back of amount of resources that are included as well. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Santy

    This was a great book which I think accomplished what it set out to do; which is provide guidance on how best to come out for Christian LGBTQ+ individuals. Contrary to what the masses spew all over the place, I think Christianity was borne out of love and what better way to show love than to accept everyone regardless of their sexual orientation? This was a good show of that. And really, LOVE IS LOVE IS LOOOOVE!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karla Lott

    I did have some problems with this book, but because it is a much needed book and the only one of its kind that I am aware of, I am giving it five stars. Amber Cantorna speaks from her experience as an out and proud gay Christian raised in a very conservative anti-LGBTQ religious environment. She also speaks from her experience as a speaker, writer, and advocate for LGBTQ affirmation within Christian communities. This book is a very helpful guide for LGBTQ Christians trying to navigate the compl I did have some problems with this book, but because it is a much needed book and the only one of its kind that I am aware of, I am giving it five stars. Amber Cantorna speaks from her experience as an out and proud gay Christian raised in a very conservative anti-LGBTQ religious environment. She also speaks from her experience as a speaker, writer, and advocate for LGBTQ affirmation within Christian communities. This book is a very helpful guide for LGBTQ Christians trying to navigate the complexities of the coming out experience. There are some things I loved about this book. To begin with, I love how Cantorna emphasizes the importance of self-acceptance. I also love that she emphasizes the importance of creating healthy boundaries, especially when working out relationships with friends and family who do not accept our sexualities or gender identities. Furthermore, I really appreciate her covering a wide range of life situations which closeted LGBTQ folks may find themselves in and offering helpful coming out advice for those various situations. Lastly, I admire her honesty about how painful and difficult it can be to deal with unaccepting family and friends, especially when they make statements that express conditional love. However, there were a few issues I had with this book. First, I did not like that Cantorna chose to use homophobia as a catch all term for both homophobia and transphobia. That felt a bit like erasure to me, especially considering how transgender people often face more rejection and oppression than other LGBTQ folks. Secondly, I really did not like that Amber recommended to not use the word Queer when coming out. I understand her concerns because of the way that word has been used as a slur in the past (and still on occasion even today), but that term is also the preferred identity of many people and we should all respect that fact. Some people feel more comfortable with the term Queer than they do with any other sexual or gender identity. If the people we are speaking to are confused or offended by the term Queer, they can always ask questions for clarification. Thirdly, on the chapter about needing one another I appreciate Cantorna pointing out the helpfulness of being in an affirming Christian community, but I wish she had added more information about secular resources as well. For starters, many people have a hard time finding an affirming Christian community that works for them. Furthermore, in my experience it has been very educational and encouraging to be involved in the larger LGBTQ community and not just stay within my Christian bubble. Lastly, I was not a fan of the short paragraphs at the end of each chapter written for parents and allys. I admire Cantorna's desire to reach out to such people, but the short messages didn't seem to offer more than what the average parent or ally probably already knows. I think it would have been nice to either extend those passages or possibly even better to just do away with them and keep the focus on LGBTQ Christians and our experiences (since that will be the vast majority of people who will read the book anyways). To conclude, I really appreciate all of Cantorna's work, and I'm so happy she wrote this important and necessary book. While the book has some flaws and I do not agree with all of her opinions, I do think it will help many LBGTQ Christians who are searching for guidance and solidarity in their coming out processes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly-Dawn Quinn

    I'm not quite sure where to place this book on my collection of Christian LGBT+ books. It's not a Bible study, doesn't deal with the "clobber verses" and although is very autobiographical it is not a memoir. I honestly found myself frustrated. It's promoted as a book about coming out and conservative Christianity. I was beginning to count how many times the author referenced her own blog or recommended the reader to read other author's books. I couldn't understand why she couldn't include her ot I'm not quite sure where to place this book on my collection of Christian LGBT+ books. It's not a Bible study, doesn't deal with the "clobber verses" and although is very autobiographical it is not a memoir. I honestly found myself frustrated. It's promoted as a book about coming out and conservative Christianity. I was beginning to count how many times the author referenced her own blog or recommended the reader to read other author's books. I couldn't understand why she couldn't include her other writing into this book. I think the author's personal journey and loving marriage are very encouraging. Her honesty about her family's reactions and her alienation from them is an uncomfortable reality for many in the community. There will be people, places and churches that will be neither welcoming nor affirming. So there is value in facing that and seeing how others come to decisions pertaining imperfect choices of quiet desperation, pretenses or separation from our family of origin. Quite honestly, that would be the person I recommend this book to - one facing these agonizing choices. The author has navigated these troubled waters and helps to clarify the options for the reader. I believe this author has found peace in being Unashamed. . #NetGalley #Unashamed

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Cantorna speaks from her own experience, so this book has power and authority. The book is aimed at those who struggle in coming out, and being open and honest about their LGBTQ reality. Part of that struggle is often connected to the judgment and hatred pointed toward LGBTQ people by Evangelical Christians. Cantorna knows; her father was a leader in Focus On the Family. Cantorna lovingly and gently leads the reader through the coming out process - the preparation, the process, and the follow up Cantorna speaks from her own experience, so this book has power and authority. The book is aimed at those who struggle in coming out, and being open and honest about their LGBTQ reality. Part of that struggle is often connected to the judgment and hatred pointed toward LGBTQ people by Evangelical Christians. Cantorna knows; her father was a leader in Focus On the Family. Cantorna lovingly and gently leads the reader through the coming out process - the preparation, the process, and the follow up support. The book also offers guidance at the end of each chapter for parents, family, and friends of LGBTQ people who seek to be supportive in their coming out process. Ultimately, the book concludes with an item of upmost importance - a scriptural affirmation that God love and accepts LGBTQ people just as they are. God sees us as normal, as beautiful, and gifted just as we are. Coming out is not easy. It will be a journey filled with pain, and set backs, and difficult decisions. Yet the journey will be incredibly rewarding, and will help restore full healthy and well-being. An incredibly important book for anyone who is struggling with how to be open and honest about who they are and who God created them to be.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Richey

    I'm not really the right person to write a review: I'm not gay, I'm evangelical (ish), I do not believe that scripture affirms same-sex relationships and I believe in the authority and reliability of scripture, and my experience is just so other than the author and intended reader of this book. For the intended reader, this book may feel as though it has some value, but I tend to believe that it will not serve you well. This book does not at all advocate for any sympathy for the non affirming pa I'm not really the right person to write a review: I'm not gay, I'm evangelical (ish), I do not believe that scripture affirms same-sex relationships and I believe in the authority and reliability of scripture, and my experience is just so other than the author and intended reader of this book. For the intended reader, this book may feel as though it has some value, but I tend to believe that it will not serve you well. This book does not at all advocate for any sympathy for the non affirming parents, friends, or relatives of the person coming out (it does advocate praying for them). The assumption of the book seems to be that such people should "affirm me or shut up." There isn't room for dialogue or discussion. In fact some of the boundaries set will precede any discussion at all. I am trying not to make these critiques as a partisan on the issue, but from the perspective of someone who would hope for a loving continued relationship between people who disagree on important issues. The author is estranged from her parents. This makes me sad. But, if I were Gay and decided to live it, I would really hope to somehow keep the relationships alive that had meant a lot to me. Listening to this book's advice would break those relationships.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tangled in Text

    I read this book before buying it for the teen girls in my book club. They have questions that I don't have answers to and I'm trying to find some good reference material, while making sure it won't be triggering for them, to help navigate their lives as they become more confident and own their identities. I couldn't imagine a better author to represent this guide than Amber Cantorna, a daughter of a Focus on the Family exec. She definitely knows her stuff and handled this topic exquisitely. Thi I read this book before buying it for the teen girls in my book club. They have questions that I don't have answers to and I'm trying to find some good reference material, while making sure it won't be triggering for them, to help navigate their lives as they become more confident and own their identities. I couldn't imagine a better author to represent this guide than Amber Cantorna, a daughter of a Focus on the Family exec. She definitely knows her stuff and handled this topic exquisitely. This covered so much more than simply "coming-out". It was such a comprehensive guide that looks out for the readers mind, body, and soul. She helped in understanding and confidence then making sure the reader is mentally and emotionally prepared by discussing possible outcomes and walking them through how to handle each. I loved hearing about Amber's resilience as she very honestly shares her own coming-out story that sadly resulted in her being excommunicated from her family. The love she still has and the fight that the exclusion inspired is powerful.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh

    I began reading this book in order to try and understand the author's view. This is the first coming-out guide I have read since I don't identify as gay; however, it didn't seem much different than any other guide one might read. The fact that it is aimed at Christians led me to believe the author would back her position scripture, yet she rarely cites any. It breaks my heart that both extremes in the church do the LGBTQ community a great disservice, one through failing to build relationships, t I began reading this book in order to try and understand the author's view. This is the first coming-out guide I have read since I don't identify as gay; however, it didn't seem much different than any other guide one might read. The fact that it is aimed at Christians led me to believe the author would back her position scripture, yet she rarely cites any. It breaks my heart that both extremes in the church do the LGBTQ community a great disservice, one through failing to build relationships, the other by compromising the truth. The author espouses love, but creates a false sense of security in offering an altered version of the gospel. We are all broken and that is why we need Jesus.(Romans 3:23) By changing the gospel to say what feels good, the author puts the eternity of her readers in jeopardy. (1 Timothy 1)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Spencer

    This book will change lives. The beauty of it lies in the simplicity and practicality of the advice and guidance offered in Amber’s writing. What she suggests is not groundbreaking, but for someone who doesn’t know what to do, who doesn’t have anyone to ask advice from, it will help to guide them through one of the most difficult series of actions they could ever undertake. As someone who is not fully out, this book has helped me as I prepare my own next steps. While this book is geared towards a This book will change lives. The beauty of it lies in the simplicity and practicality of the advice and guidance offered in Amber’s writing. What she suggests is not groundbreaking, but for someone who doesn’t know what to do, who doesn’t have anyone to ask advice from, it will help to guide them through one of the most difficult series of actions they could ever undertake. As someone who is not fully out, this book has helped me as I prepare my own next steps. While this book is geared towards a specific audience, I believe it would be beneficial for non-LGBTQ+ people to read this, especially affirming Christians, as it shows what LGBTQ+ people from conservative Christian families are going through or have gone through.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    This book is filling a gaping hole in the resources available to lgbtq people. About a year ago, in Barnes and Noble, the only "coming out guide" I could find was published in 1980. It also was lacking a faith component. Amber's book is a much needed answer to prayers, providing support on my journey that I so desperately needed. Lastly, I want to point out that at the end of each chapter, Amber included tips for family, friends, and allies. This was a thoughtful and brilliant addition to each c This book is filling a gaping hole in the resources available to lgbtq people. About a year ago, in Barnes and Noble, the only "coming out guide" I could find was published in 1980. It also was lacking a faith component. Amber's book is a much needed answer to prayers, providing support on my journey that I so desperately needed. Lastly, I want to point out that at the end of each chapter, Amber included tips for family, friends, and allies. This was a thoughtful and brilliant addition to each chapter! I have already, and will continue to recommend this book whenever I have the chance! Amber's book is a gift to our community.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Victoriamlarsoncomcast

    This book is a “treasure trove” of advice for the LGBTQ community and their allies. AS the daughter of a minister myself, I connected with Amber’s description of her strict religious upbringing, specifically, “hiding the mess” and “judging others who struggled”. I found the chapter on boundaries to be very informative and her advice about debating (or not debating) scripture and inclusion was particularly helpful for me, as a parent, advocate and an ally. Amber leaves “no stone unturned” in this This book is a “treasure trove” of advice for the LGBTQ community and their allies. AS the daughter of a minister myself, I connected with Amber’s description of her strict religious upbringing, specifically, “hiding the mess” and “judging others who struggled”. I found the chapter on boundaries to be very informative and her advice about debating (or not debating) scripture and inclusion was particularly helpful for me, as a parent, advocate and an ally. Amber leaves “no stone unturned” in this wonderful book that provides valuable information for allies and fantastic tools for every member of the LGBTQ community to help them live fully, completely and unashamed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Carole May

    Amber Cantora offers a valuable perspective for LGBTQ Christians, their parents, and allies in her new book, "Unashamed." Her writing is straightforward and compassionate. It showcases her immense talent as a author from the LGBTQ+ stance. She takes a complex and complicated subject and turns it into a simple, easy-to-follow format. Allies and parents will appreciate the well thought-out notes at the end of each section that guides them in coaching and supporting their loved ones. Amber weaves her Amber Cantora offers a valuable perspective for LGBTQ Christians, their parents, and allies in her new book, "Unashamed." Her writing is straightforward and compassionate. It showcases her immense talent as a author from the LGBTQ+ stance. She takes a complex and complicated subject and turns it into a simple, easy-to-follow format. Allies and parents will appreciate the well thought-out notes at the end of each section that guides them in coaching and supporting their loved ones. Amber weaves her way through hot-button family, friends, and religious issues; she points the way forward of how to live a fulfilling life in God's presence. She is a testament to dignity.

  28. 5 out of 5

    K Kriesel

    This is an excellent introduction for gay, cisgender, white, Evangelical Christians. It's very simple and supportive. I also think this would be a good book for straight, cisgender, white Christians to read just to get a basic introduction to what gay, cisgender, white Christians are going through. This book is very white - white people are the only people who talk about diversity as a desired quality for its own sake. And while it mentions a handful of transgender people, the focus is overwhelmi This is an excellent introduction for gay, cisgender, white, Evangelical Christians. It's very simple and supportive. I also think this would be a good book for straight, cisgender, white Christians to read just to get a basic introduction to what gay, cisgender, white Christians are going through. This book is very white - white people are the only people who talk about diversity as a desired quality for its own sake. And while it mentions a handful of transgender people, the focus is overwhelmingly on cisgender people. Even then, only same-sex relationships are discussed. Gender expression, the nature of queer friendships and support networks, Pride, etc. are barely touched upon.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ari

    "Diversity is such an important part of the family of God. We have no reason to fear or be intimidated by it. Rather, we should be inspired, in awe, and encouraged to celebrate the uniqueness that each of us brings to the family." This is an important read for any LGBTQ Christian, and any Christian in general. The advice offered up within the pages encourages safety in all aspects, above all else. It's nice to see a piece of Christian literature where the self is valued, and not shoved aside as j "Diversity is such an important part of the family of God. We have no reason to fear or be intimidated by it. Rather, we should be inspired, in awe, and encouraged to celebrate the uniqueness that each of us brings to the family." This is an important read for any LGBTQ Christian, and any Christian in general. The advice offered up within the pages encourages safety in all aspects, above all else. It's nice to see a piece of Christian literature where the self is valued, and not shoved aside as just a perceived vessel of ministry.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mitchell

    I could tell fairly quickly that this book was REALLY not for me, in terms of scope as well as purpose. The only reason I decided to write a review was just to say that if you are a trans person this book may not be for you. In a short skimming session I found examples of misgendering a person up until the point of transition in their life, an over reliance on terms like "male" and "female," relying on the "born in the wrong body" conception, and only mentioning GNC and enby folks in a footnote- I could tell fairly quickly that this book was REALLY not for me, in terms of scope as well as purpose. The only reason I decided to write a review was just to say that if you are a trans person this book may not be for you. In a short skimming session I found examples of misgendering a person up until the point of transition in their life, an over reliance on terms like "male" and "female," relying on the "born in the wrong body" conception, and only mentioning GNC and enby folks in a footnote--not in the text. Be wary.

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