The JCC of Mid-Westchester will host a lecture, book-signing and question/answer session with New York Times reporter John Schwartz, author of Oddly Normal, One Family’s Struggle To Help Their Teenage Son Come To Terms With His Sexuality (Gotham Books), at 2:00 pm on Sunday, December 2, at 999 Wilmot Road in Scarsdale.
Schwartz’s personal story about Joseph Schwartz, Jeanne and John’s gay child, is shared in the hopes that it will help other parents of gay kids — and parents of any kid who is different, who is mistreated by others, or who just may not accept himself — to know that they can find their own way to help their child handle the pain that comes from not fitting in. “Adolescence can be such a vulnerable time, and being different can feel like something between a crime and a disease,” Schwartz writes in a recent New York Times article.
Oddly Normal is a funny and affecting memoir that proves it can get better for parents and their children as they stand up to bullies and find acceptance. Though Joe Schwartz came out at the age of thirteen, he says he knew he was gay from age eight. But as Joe got older, he began to face bullying at school and became known for being different. While Joseph was dealing with pressures from the outside, he had growing stress on the inside, too. His moods and attitude worsened, and he began acting out at school. Oddly Normal recounts John and Jeanne’s struggles as they faced educators and administrators who made their troubles worse.
John Schwartz is a national correspondent with the New York Times, where he has covered law, science, technology, business and a broad range of other topics. Prior to that, he worked at the Washington Post and Newsweek, and his writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, GQ, Wired, Texas Monthly and other publications.
Admission for this lecture is free. Advance registration is requested at www.jccmw.org. Jacques Steinberg of Larchmont and author of The Gatekeepers and You Are an Ironman will introduce Mr. Schwartz.
The JCC of Mid-Westchester, a proud beneficiary of UJA-Federation of New York, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the community by providing cultural, social, educational and recreational/fitness programs, human services and Jewish identity-building opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds. For more information visit www.jccmw.org.