BOOK REVIEW: Straight Expectations by Peggy Cryden

Straight Expectations

The Story of a Family in Transition

Peggy Cryden

A memoir of a mother’s experience of raising both a gay son and a gay, transgender son that acknowledges her own upbringing in an adopted family. Peggy, mother of two and hardworking professional in the field of mental health uses her lived experience, a great deal of humour and some startlingly simple insights to guide us through her personal narrative of raising children with her partner from birth to early adulthood.

Cryden as author offers insights with an engaging and pleasant prose, keeping both the energy of the story going along with the necessary learning and sharing from the growing as her family continues to challenge, change and develop into healthy and well-adjusted people.

Cryden allows us into her family life with a constructive viewpoint but doesn’t aim to gloss over or hide any of the difficulties and challenges along the way, but provides hope and clear constructive advice and further resources for other parents of LGBT children.

There are some wonderful anecdotes and stories featured in this book, and the book progresses up the current day with some honest and refreshing comments on her own personal journey into self-discovery and parenting.

An excellent book and most useful to any parent/s experiencing gender diversity matters with their children or who yearn to learn from lived and loving experience in how to equip their children to live without labels and grow up in a world apparently obsessed with them. With a short introduction from Janet E Goldstein-Ball to contextualise the flexible use of pronouns in the unfolding narrative.

Timely, insightful , recommended.



For more info or to buy the book see the publisher’s website* here:

*Jessica Kingsley Publishers is an independent company, committed to publishing books that make a difference.

The company publish books for professionals and general readers in a range of subjects. Are well known for book lists on the autism spectrum, social work, and arts therapies and have started to publish extensively in the fields of LGBTQ, gender and intersectionality, mental health, counselling, palliative care and practical theology.

They also have an interesting range of graphic novels across these subject areas and books for children, on issues including bereavement, depression and anger. Well worth checking out the books lists of this innovative fully inclusive publishers.




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