SOCIAL SCIENCES

Headcase: LGBTQ Writers & Artists on Mental Health and Wellness

Oxford Univ. Jan. 2019. 328p. ed. by Stephanie Schroeder & Teresa Theophano. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780190846596. $29.95. SOC SCI
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OrangeReviewStarEditors Schroeder (Beautiful Wreck) and social worker Theophano consider the word headcase to be a reclamation, acknowledging the challenge of being a sexual minority in a heterosexually centric world. Few books can make the claim of being unique, but this is one of them. The work is unusual in that it's an anthology of many forms of writing, from academic analysis and letters to personal essays and illustrations. Pieces from LGBTQ contributors touch on topics such as gay-affirmative therapy, which was unknown a few decades ago, as well as the now condemned conversion therapy. Importantly, there are new definitions of what it means to be mentally ill. The editors intend to start a conversation among LGBTQ people and the therapy community about topics that are usually hidden or ignored. In this goal, they succeed admirably by opening a space for dialog among communities that have often been at odds with one another.
VERDICT This terrific and essential work will benefit all readers, especially therapists and anyone concerned with the mental health of sexual minorities as fellow human travelers.

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