Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finally Out--Letting Go of Living Straight by Loren A. Olson, M.D.

From the Publisher

Dr. Loren A. Olson has frequently been asked two questions: How could you not know that you were gay until the age of forty? Wasn't your marriage just a sham to protect yourself at your wife's expense? In Finally Out, Dr. Olson vigorously answers both questions by telling the inspiring story of his evolving sexuality, into which he intelligently weaves psychological concepts and gay history. This book is a powerful exploration of human sexuality, particularly the sexuality of mature men who, like Dr. Olson, lived a large part of their lives as straight men - sometimes long after becoming aware of their same-sex attractions.

My Take

When I saw Finally Out—Letting Go of Living Straight on the LibraryThing list, the subject matter intrigued me. I have an uncle as well as friends who are gay so I thought I could learn something from the book.  

Dr. Olson is very informative and provided a ton of data and statistics on a multitude of topics. Much of the information is taken from past studies, medical literature, interviews and the like. The book is basically a compilation of all this information and presented in one consolidated location.  Almost like a textbook or reference book.  Finally Out is a great “self help” type book for those people questioning their sexual orientation later in life—both the individual with those questions and the spouse of that individual. Beware, however, if you are more on the conservative side. There is explicit language and activities mentioned in there.

All that said, I was prepared for a totally different of book. I was looking forward to a more personalized story.  There were some blurbs about Dr. Olson’s personal journey but I was expecting much more of his story.  All the data provided could be found on the internet if someone were inclined to do some research. I wanted to hear more about his thoughts, emotions and feelings—what he went through during that time in his life.

I guess if I were in the situation of needing a book to let me know I’m not alone, this is the book I’d want. On the flip side, if I was looking for more of a touchy-feely book (no pun intended), I don’t think this is the book I’m looking for.  Based on those thoughts, I’m giving this book 3 out of 5 stars. It’s well written and full of information, just not the book I was expecting.

About the Author

Loren A. Olson, M.D. is a gay psychiatrist who came out at forty. A father and grandfather, he is also a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a recipient of the "Exemplary Psychiatrist Award" from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. He has presented findings from his research on mature gay men at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Prague. In 2009, Dr. Olson legally married Doug Mortimer, his partner of twenty-four years. They live on a farm in Iowa where they produce grass-fed beef from their herd of Belted Galloway cattle.

I received this book free from the publisher through the LibraryThing book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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