Reconciling Religious Beliefs with Sexual Orientation in Laila Ibrahim’s ‘Living Right’
- By Kelly Frazier --
- 14 Jun 2016 --
Author Laila Ibrahim’s Living Right explores a Christian mother’s struggle with her son’s sexuality.
Laila Ibrahim’s 2014 best-selling novel, Yellow Crocus, tackled the hot button topics of race and privilege. Her new novel, Living Right, focuses the microscope on another important topic of the day: LGBTQ rights. And does so from a different point of view than the typical story about sexual or gender orientation.
Reconciling Religious Beliefs with Sexual Orientation in Laila Ibrahim’s ‘Living Right'[/tweetthis]
Many stories have been written from the perspective of the LGBTQ character to highlight the struggles of members of that community. But Ibrahim put an interesting spin on the protagonist in this tale, looking through the eyes of the mother of a gay son.
Jenn Henderson, a proud Christian mother, prays every morning and goes to church every Sunday. She defends traditional marriage after she learns that marriage licenses are being issued to same-sex couples in her neighborhood. But her world turned upside down when her son ingests a bottle of sleeping pills and she learns of his same-sex attraction.
“Profound social change often blooms from personal acts of love.”
If Henderson is “living right,” how can her son be gay? This novel examines the themes of respect, compassion, parental struggle, and the fear and liberation one can feel when revealing the true self.
Laila Ibrahim, a full-time writer, grew up in California. She attended Mills College near Oakland where she studied Psychology and Child Development. After attaining a Master’s Degree in Human Development, she realized that she wanted to do more work with children, so she opened up her own preschool, Woolsey Children’s School.
Ibrahim also worked as a birth doula and as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at the First Unitarian Church of Oakland. She currently lives in a small co-housing community in Berkley with her wife, who also works with children as a public school administrator.
Living Right was released on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats on April 18, 2016.