Prayers for Bobby by Leroy Aarons
Weight: 3 oz
Method of Disposal: I am going to leave it somewhere in the Metro-Atlanta area unless anyone out there wants it. UPDATE: Sending to Jenn C.
I read Prayers for Bobby a long time ago, way before it ever became a Lifetime movie starring Sigourney Weaver. At least, it seems like a long time ago. I was a totally different person in 1996—a much younger person who had just realized that she was into women but had no idea how queer-fabulous she really was. At that time, I loved this book. It broke my heart and made me stronger at the same time (I use clichés because my feelings at the time were trite and overdone). I needed this book in order to understand the kids at school, my upbringing, what I would eventually go through at the hands of strangers. Bobby had a very different life than I did, but there were some small, important connections.
I wanted my father to read it, my mother, my friends, everyone. I gave it to my deeply Christian friend, Jacque, and told her that I would go to Church one time in exchange for her reading it. I really do not remember what happened around that. I am fairly certain I never went to Church with her though I had been many times in the past and would go again. I want to say she read the book, but I am not certain. I have it now so if she did borrow it she did not neglect to return it. We still talk, and she is still a Christian woman, and I am still a queer woman. The book came up one last time in some letters we wrote to each other during college about a boy who attended her Presbyterian (?) School.
The book is wrinkled, bent, used. There are just a few markings in it. I read the passages that are highlighted and cannot fathom what it was about those particular sections that made me feel so bold. I do know, even now, that this was an important, sad, and redeeming book about a mother who suffers greatly after the death of her son. She realizes that all the help she had tried to offer him in life was actually detrimental, painful, and tormenting to Bobby. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to realize that after someone you love commits suicide. I am glad she went on to be an advocate, and I hope she is able to find some peace. After all this time, I still recommend reading this book. I think I will even give in and watch the Lifetime movie. I hear Weaver won a Golden Globe when it was all said and done.