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A gay psychologist demonstrates how to heal the trauma of being a gay man in an uncompromisingly straight world Whether he is flamboyantly fashionable with a body chiseled to perfection or chronically dissatisfied and without lasting relationships, the stereotypical extremes of male gay behavior are fueled by the same dark force: shame. The inevitable byproduct of growing up gay in a straight man's world, the experience of shame in childhood and adolescence sends a boy the message that he is other and that he is worthless. To avoid feeling shameful later in life-and even after he is no longer explicitly shamed by his sexuality-a gay man will quietly rage against the memory of this message and strive to excel dramatically to prove it wrong. The stereotypical manifestation of this inner battle is a gay man's success in the arts, fashion and in his body image; as with all the other forms of beauty, creativity and success, he is hiding behind the facades he creates. Building on the collected psychological research and the author's own experience of the past twenty years, The Velvet Rage will help gay men profoundly understand their dichotomous extremes. Explaining the psychological underpinnings of the forces at play in their lives, it also offers helpful strategies to stop the insidious cycle of avoidance and rage. Empowering and validating, The Velvet Rage will influence the public discourse on gay culture and positively change the lives of gay men who read it.