Book Review: Raised By Unicorns
I reviewed this book, which was provided for free by the publisher. However, I do not receive any compensation for reviews. All book reviews are my personal and subjective opinion. As someone who enjoys slice-of-life stories, I was very interested in reading Raised By Unicorns. Being completely ignorant of what children of LGBTQ+ parents might go through, I found Unicorns to be much more different than I anticipated--it wasn't all rainbows and glitter (though there were a fair amount of rainbows). More importantly, I didn't expect how much I would relate to these stories. Anyone who's ever had a family secret can identify with the authors, whether it be an alternative lifestyle, religion, incarcerated parent, addiction, teen pregnancy, or some form of abuse. In fact, to quote The Woman Who Refuses To French Braid Her Hair, an account by Emily Grubbs:
"I want to prove that anyone can relate to my experiences. All people experience pain, rage, shame, and fear."
Frequently finding themselves straddling between the worlds of gay and straight, self-proclaimed "unicorn kids" are a unique group that hasn't had much representation previously. Forced to grow up too quick, unicorn kids speedily identify their own views on sexuality, gender, and love to serve as a champion for their LGBTQ+ loved ones to curious and judgemental outsiders. The reoccurring themes of trauma and shame felt by the authors may be surprising to readers--as it should be. If these feelings were not inflicted upon them by those with puritanical morals, the unicorn kids would have a normal childhood. Raised by Unicorns may prove eye-opening to those with a conservative background or studying sociology.
I feel Raised By Unicorns is informative for those of LGBTQ+ orientation, sharing their history and bridging gaps between various sectors. Raised By Unicorns provides perspective for new members of the community on how children fit in, showing that the children have suffered the same stigma as their parents. Covering stories pre- and post- Marriage Equality, Unicorns may also help connect the younger and older generations. For LGBTQ+ couples who are thinking of adoption, or parents who came out later in life, Raised By Unicorns may reveal a glimpse as to what the children may go through and how others have handled the life change. Lastly, for current unicorn kids, Raised By Unicorns can provide solace, showing them they're not alone, and that it gets better. To these ends, the author, Frank Lowe, has wisely and helpfully included resources at the end of the book, including a personal favorite, It Gets Better.
If you're interested in reading Raised By Unicorns yourself, you can purchase it here.
About the Author
Frank Lowe is a gay, divorced, 41-year-old dad. He is best known for his acerbic handle on Twitter and Instagram (@GayAtHomeDad), and has worked for publications such as The Advocate, HuffPost, and Gays with Kids. His goal is to bring attention to the world of gay parenting. As a result, he has been interviewed by CNN, CBS, OUT, Ozy, HuffPost, and The Today Show, to name a few. He currently lives in Northwestern Connecticut with his precocious 8-year-old son.