The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World (Paperback)
A groundbreaking examination of the psychology of homosexuality, why it leads to shame over one's identity, and how to overcome it
In The Velvet Rage, psychologist Alan Downs draws on his own struggle with shame and anger, contemporary research, and stories from his patients to passionately describe the stages of a gay man's journey out of shame and offers practical and inspired strategies to stop the cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior. The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that has already changed the public discourse on gay culture and helped shape the identity of an entire generation of gay men.
About the Author
Alan Downs, PhD, is a clinical psychologist practicing in Beverly Hills, California. The former CEO of Michael's House Treatment Center, Downs now maintains a thriving private psychotherapy practice and an intensive outpatient addiction program.
Philadelphia Gay News bestseller, 5/11/12 "A groundbreaking examination of the psychology of homosexuality, why it leads to shame over one's identity, and how to overcome it.... This book has remarkable staying power."
Artvoice, 11/26/15 "The clearest, most succinct delineation of the origins and consequences of internalized homophobia, and how to address them."
"Those familiar with gay men will find a good deal of honest reporting here. Without being maudlin, Downs, himself a gay man, writes movingly."—Library Journal
"Peppered with deeply personal reflections... There's no doubt that the men profiled in this sober call for "owning the injury" of growing up gay in a straight world were helped by their counseling, or that there are certainly some readers who will find their own lives reflected in that healing."—Q Syndicate
"[An] excellent new book...The Velvet Rage is a chronicle of furtive pathos, anger, compensatory fabulousness, despair, sex addiction, and flickerings of hope as its wounded actors make their way by uncertain stages toward a light of authenticity and self-acceptance their culture does not want them to find or even see. In its pages, through anecdotal moments and analytical passages, one is constantly catching glints of people one has known, behaviors one has seen and heard firsthand and often been baffled and hurt by."—San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Dr. Alan Downs has some words of wisdom....Although unnerving at first, readers might feel kinship with the case study subjects and ultimately, become empowered by the lessons learned and by the self-realizations experienced."
—New City Chicago
"While we can all hope that the collective experience will change in time, Downs' perspective is still all too relevant."—AOL's Book Maven