Straight Jacket : Overcoming Society's Legacy of Gay Shame

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You've read The Velvet Rage, now read the best-selling book that takes you to the next step of understanding and tackling the issues which are holding you back from being a happy and fulfilled gay person!

'Straight Jacket' is a revolutionary clarion call for gay men, the wider LGBT community, their friends and family. Part memoir, part ground-breaking polemic, it looks beneath the shiny facade of contemporary gay culture and asks if gay people are as happy as they could be – and if not, why not?

Meticulously researched, courageous and life-affirming, 'Straight Jacket' offers invaluable practical advice on how to overcome a range of difficult issues. It also recognizes that this is a watershed moment, a piercing wake-up-call-to-arms for the gay and wider community to acknowledge the importance of supporting all young people – and helping older people to transform their experience and finally get the lives they really want.

This updated edition features a new Afterword written in November 2017, which brings in the author's reflections on events which have happened since the original publication, including the Pulse Nightclub massacre, the death of George Michael, the election of Donald Trump, homophobic crackdowns in Russia and other countries, the rising use of PrEP, and the effects of movies like Moonlight, God's Own Country, Call Me By Your Name and Love, Simon. There are also two appendixes with contact information for a wide variety of organisations on all aspects of sexuality (including trans), addiction, and health, plus a bibliography of books on subjects like shame, sex addiction, eating disorders, alcoholism, drugs and many others.  

Paperback, 383 Pages, Orig. Publ. 2016, This Edition Publ. April 2018

Author: Matthew Todd

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY NOEL: Matthew Todd was the editor for 8 years of the British gay magazine, Attitude, and worked closely with Dr. Alan Downs (author of The Velvet Rage) when Downs was writing that magazine's advice columns. Here, Todd takes the underlying principles of gay shame, and uses it to look at how it operated in his own life, then addressing the wider issues of alcohol, drugs and sex addictions within the gay culture, and also body image, perfectionism and depression. But what really lifts this book to the next level is that he provides concrete steps and support mechanisms for making things better! Todd explores why statistics show a disproportionate number of gay people suffer from mental health problems, and why significant numbers experience difficulty in sustaining meaningful relationships. This is a fantastic resource and support for GLBT people, not only gay men, and the author clearly explains the different ways in which we can all have issues, and get the right support for them. His British, and journalistic outlooks also make it a point of difference with Allan Down's 'Velvet Rage', and as it is more recent, it also addresses the hook-up app and chemsex culture.

'This is an essential read for every gay person on the planet' - Elton John

“ This book should have been written a long time ago, but it wasn't...Everyone, no matter what their background, will benefit from reading this book. A much-needed and healing work of tough love, written with love. ” - John Grant

“ Matthew Todd dares to shine a light on the dark legacy of gay shame [and] it’s not a pretty sight…There are some uncomfortable and downright terrifying truths to be confronted in Todd’s brilliant, essential new book. It’s difficult to underestimate the importance of Straight Jacket. If you are struggling and want help and don’t know where to look, this book is a great place to start. But even if you’re not, [it] is by far one of the most important books you’ll read this year. ” - Gay Community News Ireland

“ An essential book... Part sociological polemic and part self-help book, it zones in on some of the issues that disproportionately affect the gay community, from depression and anxiety to drug and alcohol addiction and body and eating disorders. I found myself both deeply upset and hugely relieved by its candour. After reading the book, tender as it is, you can’t help but want to share your own experiences." - The Independent


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