SECRETS OF A GAY MAN GROWING UP IN THE 1950S

 


SECRETS OF A GAY MAN GROWING UP IN THE 1950S

by Jonathan Feinn


GENRE:  Memoir



The Blessing of Self -Acceptance


I decided to write my memoir when I reached my mid-eighties. Given the gift of longevity, I felt a strong need to review my life openly and to recall both the joyful moments as well as the days and nights of feeling anguish and hopelessness. Highlighting events and experiences in my life has given me the opportunity to better understand the emotional and physical cost over the years of denying the person I am and the pain of self-rejection.




Enjoy an Excerpt:


My maternal grandparents in contrast were Americanized. My grandmother was born in the United States however, she and a sister and brother were abandoned by their father when they were very young.  An aunt, Fanny, was married to a respected tailor who made suits for prominent businessmen and politicians in Chicago took the family in and fed them. Aunt Fanny was very domineering and intrusive. When my mother took me to visit her she would ‘push me’ to eat more food.  I was already an overweight child and after finishing a more than adequate lunch she insisted I have more dessert or at least a candy bar or cookies. As a people pleaser, I was unable to assert my independence and say no.


My maternal grandfather was very gregarious, had a sense of humor and though devoted to his Jewish traditions, was highly respectful of all faiths. He was born in Poland and came to America as a very young child.  He did not speak Yiddish but was very devout and taught me morning Hebrew prayers, some of which I can still repeat from memory. 


He owned a picture frame and art gallery business where he developed long term ties with the Catholic Church which was located directly across the street from his store. Apparently, the nuns ‘loved him’.


From time to time my mother took me to visit my grandfather at the store and everyone made a ‘fuss’ over me. I was their first grandchild and perhaps he was especially proud that I was a boy. I loved my grandparents and felt safe with them. When I visited each would each take me aside and give me money admonishing me not to tell the other grandparent. It was usually several single dollars and it made me feel very special. When I think of them, I smile and feel my love for them. They passed away six weeks apart when I was sixteen and their deaths were a terrible loss for me. After all these many years, I still think of them.



About the Author:


Jonathan holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois and was trained to serve both as a teacher and administrator providing guidance to staff and to children and adolescents with identified emotional disturbance and behavior disorders. He has served as a consultant to differing programs in both public and private school settings and was the director of a high school off-campus learning center serving students who required part-time placement outside the main building. 


He has held faculty positions at National College in Evanston, Illinois and Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania where he taught students studying for both Master’s degrees and state certification. Prior to his retirement, he taught gifted elementary students in a ‘pull-out’ program. He is currently retired and continues his love of travel. To date he has visited 22 countries where he developed meaningful and lasting friendships with people in differing settings throughout the world.


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Gay-Man-Growing-1950s/dp/1614688540/ref=sr_1_1



GIVEAWAY


Jonathan Feinn will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner 


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