For Immediate Release

Contact: Catherine J. Kelly
Publicist for Dr. Robert Minor
(816) 769-4139 or

Scared Straight Exposes the Relationships Among Hot Issues in the News

• Catholic Church Rocked by Priest Sex Scandal, Cover-up, Blaming Homosexuality
• Surgeon General’s Report Says 1 out of 5 Women Report Being Sexually Assaulted
• Male Students Continue To Shoot Fellow Schoolmates
• National Boy Scouts Organization Refuses to Bend to Local Councils to End Discharge of Gay Scouts
• Dramatic Rise in Cosmetic Surgery Reported in Teenage Girls
• Military Discharges of Gay Men and Lesbians Rises to Its Highest Since ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
• Latino Men’s Susceptibility to HIV Rises with Homophobia, New Study Says
• Human Rights Watch States U.S. Government’s Failure to Protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth in Schools is a Human Rights Abuse
• National Christian Denominations Divide Over Acceptance of Gay People
• Harvard Medical School Researcher Calls Suppression of Their Emotions ‘The Primary or Ultimate Cause of All Violence’ in Adolescent Boys

(Kansas City, MO, August 1, 2002) “These are all directly related issues,” says Professor Robert N. Minor, author of the book Scared Straight: Why It’s So Hard to Accept Gay People and Why it’s So Hared to Be Human, published June 1,2001 by upstart HumanityWorks! in St. Louis. “And that’s something that deeply affects all of us but we seem to be missing this in the national discussion.”

Minor’s book was a finalist for a 2002 Lambda Literary Award, but in 2001 it was quickly named “Book of the Week” July 23-29, the nation’s premier website on male issues,, and in 2002 a finalist for an Independent Book Publishers Award in recognition of the fact that this is more than a “gay” issue. Though not a textbook, it’s already been adopted as a text in Women’s Studies, Sociology, and Religious Studies courses at the University level. The White Crane Journal says: “This is a brilliant book. It ought to be required reading for every human being.” The Greenwich Village Gazette called it an “extraordinary journey.”

Scared Straight is an eye-opening and penetrating analysis of U.S. culture. From the criticism of our universities as purveyors of hopelessness to the dynamics of "getting laid," it lays bare why accepting the full humanity of gay people divides people and organizations.

Dr. Minor shows how homophobia and discrimination against transgender and bisexual people and lesbians and gay men is a major ingredient in our way of defining the world. Without sparing any of our cultural institutions, Scared Straight identifies our culture as fear-based and in denial. Like software installed in a computer, our system's messages install a "straight role" in us that actually has little, if anything, to do with sexual orientation. In the end it has little to do with religion, tradition, or the Bible, and everything to do with maintaining quite limiting definitions of a "human being," a "real man" and a "real woman."

Being “straight,” torn from their full human potential, and squeezed into molds that support our dominant institutions, hurts people of all sexual orientations. Human relationships with either sex are incomplete and unfulfilling. Chapters on "How to Be Straight" and "How to Be Gay" describe the roles straight and gay people are conditioned to live in order to maintain this status quo. Yet, not content to merely identify the problem and its depth, in the final chapter Dr. Minor describes the dual elements of healing that this cultural disease requires.

His comments about the place of religion in these discussions are refreshing and potent. One reviewer said, “Read this book, if only for the first chapter. I've never seen a more concise explanation of why neither Christians nor Atheists should be using the Bible to argue for or against us queers."

Reviews are appearing throughout the country and the University of Kansas Religious Studies Professor has appeared as a guest on talk shows such as the “Kathleen Dunn” show on Wisconsin Public Radio, September 4, and the Greg Freeman Show, “St. Louis on the Air,” October 17 on public radio’s KWMU.

Professor Minor makes a lively, insightful guest. For a media kit and copy of the book contact the distributor, “The Fairness Project,” at the above address email or fax number, check out, or contact the author directly at