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By Martha Mattson

“Amazons the Forgotten Tribe tells the secrets of sexual attractions and the truth about being gay. This nonfiction book is a HETEROSEXUAL’S JOURNEY into the gay and lesbian world to understand sexuality in all its complexity, and, surprisingly, simplicity.

Includes twelve personal stories, the author’s journal, a TIME LINE social and legal history of homosexuality and the prejudice against it. The biology and genetics of sexuality, the BIBLE and sexuality, and more. Eleven charming full-page ink drawings by Chris Briscoe illustrate the stories. Includes a GLOSSARY of the vocabulary of the gay community. Why are men fascinated with Amazons? Do they exist? What does a man want in a woman? Why are heterosexual men attracted to lesbians? Learn about the mysterious relationships between the sexes — heterosexuals and homosexuals. What is it like to find out you’re married to a gay man? How many sexes are there? Read about GENDERBLENDS. Lesbian women and gay men tell their stories: how they discovered their sexuality and their private lives and feelings. Meet the tough CEO of her own company, the ex-Mother Superior, the grandmother, Sally who’s painfully in the closet, and Ted who finds true love after a disastrous year. This book tells the real causes of homosexuality (not your relationship with your father) and the pain of being without a family. Understand your lesbian daughters and gay sons. A new look at the Bible and homosexuality. We all relate to each other sexually we need to understand the truth about sexuality. All your questions answered. Mattson asks the questions you want to ask. This positive and objective book has been enthusiastically received by both heterosexual and homosexual readers, clergy, and the full age-spectrum of readers from teenagers to people in their nineties.”

Published in: 1998

Review 6 cover

Read and reviewed: March 2013

While the intentions of the author were entirely and clearly good in writing this book, she fell short with many aspects of this book. She sought to get straight people to understand what life is like for Lesbians and Gay Men. It’s very obvious from the beginning that she wants to help fight homophobia with her book. My favorite parts were the real-life stories of her gay and lesbian friends. These were the experiences of gays and lesbians whom lived and loved during the second half of the 20th century- a time that vastly changed society. The book is culturally interesting in this way.

However, there are quite a few parts of the book where the author kind of shot herself in the foot. The appendices “A Fox in the Hen house” and “The last to know” were so terribly stereotypical. These appendices were lists to try to help straight women spot lesbians in their group of friends or tell if their husbands are actually closeted gay men. While I see why she might have done this, she could have gone about it in a better way. Yes, sometimes gay men still do marry straight women to hide their sexuality and Lesbians have crushes on their female friends but the amount of stereotypical identifiers used in these two sections were horrifically bad.

It should be noted that this book is incredibly dated. It was printed in 1997. I doubt that something like this would be printed today- at least not by an LGBTQ activist group. While the book constantly contradicts itself, it does have some interesting insight into a real lesbian community. I wouldn’t suggest this book for straight people seeking to become allies unless they are already very aware and comfortable with the LGBTQ community. There is too much reinforcement of really bad lesbian and gay stereotypes (even though it’s unintentional) for someone who is completely unaware of the LGBTQ community to be reading. They might get the wrong impression of gays and lesbians from this book. Unfortunately, it is so full of mixed messages.

My rating: 3 stars (mainly for the personal stories as they were interesting)

Add this book to your book shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2236118.Amazons_the_Forgotten_Tribe