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Embracing Queer Family: Learning to Live Authentically in Our Families and Communities

Read this book if the transgender community is unfamiliar, and you are seeking understanding. Read it if you want to be a better friend to the trans community. And add it your library of resources for church members who may be wrestling with this reality. — Amy Pagliarella

Nia Chiaramonte and Katie J. Chiaramonte
Broadleaf Books, 219 pages
Published May 14, 2024

After 14 years of (heterosexual) marriage, Nia came out to Katie as a transgender woman. While this was a surprise (they were traditional Christians who had married young and were raising five children), it was not a shock (deep down, Katie knew). They embarked upon a journey to move away from shame and to become healthy and whole — as individuals and as a family. Katie pursued therapy for her anxiety and came out as queer, while Nia received therapy for her depression and to support her as she transitioned.

Embracing Queer Family is their story; as they describe their process, they take turns sharing the emotions and questions along the way. It’s also a “handbook” to assist others wondering about their own sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The Chiaramontes are warm and accessible guides, and they include the whole family, making this equally useful for family members eager to support a loved one who has come out — there’s even a brief sidebar from a sister, as well as Katie’s “lean in” with advice for spouses.

Read this book if the transgender community is unfamiliar, and you seek to understand those with a different experience around their own gender identity. Read it if you want to be a better friend or family member to those this book addresses. And add it to your collection if you’re creating a library of resources to offer church members questioning their own identity — or understanding someone else’s.

Presbyterian Outlook supports local bookstores. Join us! Click on the link below to purchase Embracing Queer Family: Learning to Live Authentically in Our Families and Communities from BookShop, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. As an affiliate, Outlook will also earn a commission from your purchase. 

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