The gay male world today is characterized by seductive beauty, artful creativity, flamboyant sexuality, and, encouragingly, unprecedented acceptability in society. Yet despite the progress of the past century, our intimate relationships are generally short-lived, and depression and suicide occur more frequently than among straight men. Although an entire generation of gay men has freely come out of the closet, we still find ourselves asking, "Are we really better off?" Through honest individual stories and compassionate analysis, this book explores the lingering, deep-rooted shame which can be traced to our childhood experiences of feeling "other" and perhaps emotionally abandoned by the first men in our lives, our fathers. Most of us rage quietly against this shame, masking it behind a façade of beauty, creativity, or material success. Therapist Downs outlines three stages to emotional well-being for gay men and offers strategies to stop the insidious cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior.--From publisher description.