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Kevin Jennings: Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son

Kevin Jennings: Mama's Boy, Preacher's Son

USA 2007, 267 pp., brochure, € 13.99
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Long before Kevin Jennings began advocating to end the anti-LGBT bias in schools, he was a victim of it. In his memoir, Jennings traces the roots of his activism to his school days in the conservative South, where »faggot« became more familiar to him than his own name. The youngest son of a born-again Southern Baptist preacher, and a mother from Tennessee, Jennings led an itinerant youth among trailer parks in Southern towns where his dad would try to find work. The boy couldn't make his father proud on the football field, and already he had learned that »being a real man meant taking advantage of anyone smaller or weaker than you«. With his father's abrupt death when Jennings was 8, he became a »mama's boy«, introverted, brainy and overweight, and ridden by guilt at his incipient homosexuality. Jennings excelled in school and on the debate team and was accepted to Harvard by 1981. Jennings became a high-school teacher, agonizing over the decision to out himself.
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