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Publisher's Summary

The most important issue in a gay man’s life is not “coming out”, but coming to terms with the invalidating past. Despite the progress made in recent years, many gay men still wonder, “Are we better off?” The byproduct of growing up gay in a straight world continues to be the internalization of shame, rejection, and anger - a toxic cocktail that can lead to drug abuse, promiscuity, alcoholism, depression, and suicide.
Drawing on contemporary psychological research, the author’s own journey, and the stories of many of his friends and clients, Velvet Rage addresses the myth of gay pride and outlines three stages to emotional well-being for gay men. The revised and expanded edition covers issues related to gay marriage, a broader range of examples that extend beyond middle-class gay men in America, and expansion of the original discussion on living authentically as a gay man.
©2005, 2006, 2012 Alan Downs (P)2012 HighBridge Company
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Matthew Phelps on 08-30-12

Must read for any gay man

Would you listen to The Velvet Rage again? Why?

There was quite a bit of information presented, and I think listening to it again might help me access more of it.

What did you like best about this story?

The inclusion of anecdotes really helped me relate my own life to the issues described in the book.

Which scene was your favorite?

Chapter 14, where he talked about life skills.

If you could give The Velvet Rage a new subtitle, what would it be?

An owner's manual for the gay life.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By JSTAR on 04-19-14

Very Profound for Me

Would you consider the audio edition of The Velvet Rage to be better than the print version?

Yes - I enjoyed Alan Downs reading his own words. There are subtleties in his voice that add significance.

What did you like best about this story?

How much I can relate to the struggle and the potential for growth he offers.

Have you listened to any of Alan Downs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I haven't. This is the first.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Probably the first chapters where he discusses shame, its origins and manifestations etc. I'd never though about my own shame in those terms before. Very helpful!

Any additional comments?

Really worth the read, guys.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By lianghh on 07-29-15


If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Gay men of older generation and those of the upper class might perhaps more identify with what life the author profiles. As a private psychologist, he obviously only sees highly paying patients. But even then, I question the sweeping statements made by the author of what he thinks is typical for gay men.

What was most disappointing about Alan Downs’s story?

I thought this would be a book that guides one to how to cope better with various fates that being gay seems to attract but instead it seems that the author wallows in misery and 2/3 through the book I feel worse about being gay than before.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator's mellow voice adds to the feeling of misery

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 09-25-13

Interesting BUT very flawed in presumptuousness

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The demographic Alan Downs celebrates throughout his pages, are very rich A list gay men. He talks about shame, but manages to shame many readers with the 'normality' of their lives that are nothing like his consulting room in Santa Fe! Frustrating generalisations about gay life, no discussion on gender aspects, differences, diversity and though interesting and some good theory, just too insipid and American at times!

For a British audience and worldwide audience and for many in America, the assumption of the 'prevalence' of the Pink Pound and snobbery is hard to bear at points.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

No ending, but the model though based on CBT is interesting, but seems to get twisted for an American audience. If based on mindfulness, I've listened to far better CBT/ mindfulness based books. Yes a lot of the stereotypes are true and are brave, but it all seems a little glib and boastful.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, despite it flaws a good listen, but at moments irksome and hard to identify with. Nevertheless an important book to make your mind up over.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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