The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man’s World by Alan Downs

It is my personal mission to help members of the LGBTQ+ community to lead healthier and more balanced lives by freeing their authentic selves from their automatic patterns. Alan Downs‘ excellent book, which I review here, establishes some valuable groundwork for understanding the impact of growing up gay in a hostile culture and moving beyond the patterns that helped us to get through the pain. In the article I describe some key concepts including the escape from shame, the shift from seeking approval to seeking contentment and the movement beyond body objectification.