Help With a Book About Being Disowned

I’m sure most of you are aware of Ashley Miller’s recent experience of being disowned by her father because she’s in an interracial relationship. And I bet some of you have been disowned by parents for coming out as atheist or gay. Bridget Gaudette, who has experienced this herself, is writing a book on the subject along with others who’ve gone through the same thing, including Ashley.

The book is called Grieving for the Living: Effects of Disownment in Adulthood. And you can help! If you’ve gone through this and been disowned by your family, whether it’s because of race, religion, sexual orientation or some other dispute, they want to hear your stories. You can take a brief survey about your experiences that will help document the problem in more detail.

You can also donate to their Kickstarter project. Even though it says that they’re already over the goal of $1500, they’re hoping to raise more for a variety of things connected to the book, including possibly doing videos of all the authors telling their stories.

I’ve been lucky. I come from a family that is highly divided religiously (one of my parents is an atheist, the other is Pentecostal), so I’ve never had to experience such things. Nor have I lost any friends over my non-belief. But I’ve had many friends who have been disowned by their families, either over religion or sexual orientation, and it’s heartbreaking to see. I’m glad to see those stories being told.

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  • otrame

    I remember the day very well. I was sixteen. I had just finished reading the Bible. I told my mother “I just don’t believe it. It doesn’t make sense.” She shrugged, “You’ll figure it out.”*

    That was because she loved me, respected me, and didn’t care more about what the neighbors thought than she cared about me. Hell, she didn’t give me any shit about the fact that my best friend a few years later thought she was a boy in a girl’s body, even though my mom thought that was just unbelievably pathological.

    Honestly, I think a family who completely disowns you for interracial dating or being atheist or being LGBT does not deserve you. Fuck them.

    (Yes, I know it is not easy. Yes, I know that some families later decide that they do love you more than they love their prejudices. But that is their problem, not yours.)

    It will be an interesting book.

    *Actually, she figured it out. She’s an atheist today.

  • Artor

    My sister was attending the Air Force Academy when she was raped by a fellow cadet. The base security interrogated her and threatened to tell her parents about her sexual history. In defense, my sister called home and told our parents herself, and my dad disowned her for being bisexual, in the middle of this serious crisis. He’s since gotten over it, and they now have a good relationship, but I was never more ashamed of my father than when he pulled that kind of unconscionable bullshit. WTF?!?

  • matty1

    I find the whole concept hard to understand, how can someone value an ideology more than a person especially their own child?

  • raven

    One of my friends in college got disowned.

    Her father read her journal and somehow decided she was gay. He grabbed her around the throat and started strangling her. Her mother had to pull him off.

    She left the next day in terror and never went back.

    The irony: She was never gay. Her problem was being too boy crazy, if anything.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Two words: Damon Fowler.