Walt Odets

Out of the Shadows
  • Out of the Shadows

  • 'Odets's warm and lyrical voice, his inspiring picture of how imaginative gay life can be, has sent me queuing for the couch.' Evening Standard

    '
    A gay man could read this book as if his life depended on it - and perhaps it does' Andrew Holleran, author of
    Dancer from the Dance

    Even in our modern progressive world, it's not easy to be a gay man. While young men often come out more readily, even those from the most liberal of backgrounds still struggle to accept themselves and experience stigma, shame and difficulties with intimate relationships. They also suffer from ongoing trauma wrought by the AIDS epidemic, something that is all too often relegated to history.

    Drawing on a lifetime's work as a clinical psychologist, Walt Odets uses the stories of his patients as well as those of his own deep relationships with other gay men to illuminate how these difficulties may be overcome. From a 74-year-old who only felt able to come out after his wife had died, to the boy raised in a strict religious family who worked his way to San Francisco, to the middle-aged defence lawyer who left everything behind to embrace a new life, the experiences here explore everything from grief to survival, childhood pain to the definition of gay itself. Out of the Shadows shows us how a new way forward is possible through learning to accept ourselves and others as they are, and independently inventing our own lives.

Walt Odets is a clinical psychologist and writer. He is the author of In the Shadow of the Epidemic: Being HIV-Negative in the Age of AIDS. He lives in Berkeley, where he has practised psychology since 1987.

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