Daniel Winunwe Rivers: Radical Relations

Behind Me A Memoir of Flying Life The next time some dimwitted Evangelical is complaining about being oppressed ou might direct them to this book which details decades of actual oppression of LGBT parents people losing their jobs children and sometimes freedom it was illegal to even read a book with homosexuality mentioned in it in some states Society has far to go until we reach full euality for all but obvious progress has been made In Radical Relations Daniel Rivers traces a sixty ear history of ueer families which refutes and debunks the image of gay and lesbian couples as being incapable or dangerous parents Beginning with a discussion of the double lives lived by gay and lesbian parents in the 50s Rivers then moves into an analysis of gay liberation and lesbian feminismseparatism in the 60s focusing especially on the issue of custody cases where orientation was the basis of the suit Following this he provides separate accounts of lesbian mother and gay father groups in the 70s which were separated by both gender and types of discrimination Finally he moves into a discussion of the shift from radical politics into the integrationist platform of domestic partnership marriage euality and the complications which arise when divorced non married same sex couples sue for custody of biological and nonbiological children Rivers work provides a clear analysis of the emergence of LGBT families in the US since the 1940s paying homage to a lineage of brave parents who would not let their Radical Relations be uashed by the homophobia and patriarchy of the American social and legal spheres Daniel Rivers was one of my favorite college professors so I was really excited to read this book In particular the information about lesbian feminist family politics was really interesting to me I couldn t help but feel that each chapter of the book was so tantalizing that. Essfully challenged legal and cultural definitions of family as heterosexual These efforts have paved the way for the contemporary focus on family and domestic rights in lesbian and gay political movements.

Kes for granted Similar to the reaction during the AIDS crisis the LGBT communities response to the parenthood crisis forced people to take charge of their own destiny and to challenge the system by organizing Dykes Tykes Daughters of Bilitis many gay fathers mothers groups formed across the nation to band together against discrimination Laws were challenged In the Bowers Vs Hardwick case sodomy laws were upheld laws that took custody of children away from men and women Lawrence Vs Texas removed this onerous legal ruling but lesbians and gays continued to lose their children for one specious reason or another Divorcing LGBT people routinely lost their kids because judges ruled them unfit The determined and politically astute leadership of the LGBT community found ways to break down legal constraints against parenthood and met with much success Donna Hitchens developed The Lesbian Mother Litigation Manual Once this organization became widespread and strong cases began to be settled out court Rhonda Rivera law professor at Ohio State said in 1981 that cases probably were negotiated The tide began to turnWhat seems to have propelled the struggle onward is the inevitability of civil marriage euality Rivers book focuses on past struggles to address the assumption of straight only parenthood with so called gay marriage a peripheral theme But he infers that euality for all in civil marriage will be the final arbiter of a long and colorful fight our LGBT friends have waged to call themselves parents Much than a simple linear depiction of one marginalized group s fight to be seen and heard in American society Radical Relations tells many stories just like all families do The history of the LGBT community is a story of the joy of parenthood a history of the children of those families and an important insight to LGBT history itself Byron Edgington author of The Sky. War era a period marked by both intense repression and dynamic change for lesbians and gay men Rivers argues that by forging new kinds of family and childrearing relations gay and lesbian parents have succ.

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Here we have a definitive rendering of the struggle toward parenthood when the prospective parent s sexualgender identity threatens America s social norms Disclosure As a straight white American male who attained adulthood in the middle nineteen fifties and parenthood in the seventies this reviewer is in many ways unualified to elucidate this book That said I encourage anyone and everyone with an interest in current LGBT rights particularly the way those issues attend to the idea of parenthood to read Radical Relations cover to cover Take notes Read it again Daniel Rivers has written the seminal text of this struggle the long tortuous complicated heartrending and unfinished path to parenthood that our LGTB friends and neighbors have endured From the earliest days of the LGBT rights movement and even before that struggle became public knowledge lesbians and gays earned to be parents That simple fact flew in the face of American Ozzie Harriet hetero normative cultural bias of course thus those parental arrangements were ignored dismissed dismantled by court order and marginalized routinely Rivers book addresses what Adrienne Rich labels the compulsory heterosexuality of the American family Carol Morton Linda Lunden Don Mager Bonita Jeffries Norma Jean Coleman Mary Jo Risher Jeanne Jullion all these people have one thing in common with straights in America they earned to be parents Indeed this book is nothing if not a story of real people with real families struggling to get along in a society that systematically threatened to break them apart It relates the heartbreaking story of bullied children of LGBT parents the fear of coming out when a loss of one s child is not a possibility but a certainty the legal challenges to adoption IVF custody childcare discrimination and such prosaic items as depictions in school texts that our hetero normative society ta. In Radical Relations Daniel Winunwe Rivers offers a previously untold story of the American family the first history of lesbian and gay parents and their children in the United States Beginning in the post.