The Mentor

A Memoir of Friendship and Gay Identity

By John Dececco, Phd, Jay Quinn

© 2000 – Routledge

206 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9781560239376
pub: 2000-03-15
US Dollars$47.95
Hardback: 9780789004963
pub: 2000-04-12
US Dollars$120.00

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Examine a moving, personal narrative about growing up gay in the south!

Students, teachers, and anyone interested in gay studies and experiences will find that The Mentor: A Memoir of Friendship and Gay Identity (a 2001 Lambda Literary Foundation Gay Male Biography/Autobiography Award finalist) delivers a captivating and honest look into the challenges of growing up gay through the context of firsthand experiences, revelations, and realizations. This unique book is an intelligent and personal narrative that considers the social, religious, and emotional aspects of what it is like to grow up as a gay male in the south and examines the enormous social changes regarding homosexuality that have taken place in America during the last half of the century.

Written to reveal the importance of the author's mentor in helping him form his self-identity and educating him about being gay, this book challenges the stereotypical idea that, unlike heterosexuals, gay men are not able to form nurturing, fulfilling bonds between themselves. The Mentor delivers an inspiring story about accepting and understanding your sexuality with the help and guidance of other men who have traveled the road to a successful gay identity.

This unique book offers the courage, strength, and support of a mentor to help guide you through the trials that many young gay men experience, such as:

  • recognizing the possibilities of exploitation by older gay men due to a lack of emotional and social experience
  • creating a loyal relationship with a man that does not include sex but which satisfies emotional needs that many gay men need and long for
  • discovering the importance of a mentor to gay youths, since there are few homosexual role models to learn from
Sincere and well-written, The Mentor provides insight into everything from the author's experience with intolerance of homosexuality by certain religions to struggles with fidelity and infidelity, illustrating the difficult yet universal challenges of life relationships. The Mentor contains suggestions that will help you recognize that your feelings of desire and love and your quest for human connection as a gay man are not the distorted reflections of a heterosexual image, but a healthy gay identity. With this unique book, you will discover how to make the shift from confusion to full acceptance of your gay identity, you will understand that you are not alone, and perhaps you will be encouraged to pass on the legacy of a mentor to other young gay men.

Table of Contents


  • Author's Note
  • Foreward
  • Introduction: Mentoring and Gay Identity
  • Chapter 1. A Short Queer History
  • Chapter 2. The Common World
  • Chapter 3. Family by Blood
  • Chapter 4. Recovering Baptists
  • Chapter 5. Mind Games
  • Chapter 6. Hunters and Gatherers
  • Chapter 7. The Importance of Dancing
  • Chapter 8. Lovers
  • Chapter 9. Family of Choice
  • Chapter 10. Tests and Trials
  • Chapter 11. Self-Storage
  • Chapter 12. Troth
  • Afterword
  • Suggested Reading  

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies