Mending the Ties that Bind

Are There Closets in Heaven? by Carol Curoe and Bob Curoe

Are There Closets in Heaven? by Carol Curoe and Bob Curoe

Are there closets in heaven? is one of those unassuming gems in the slowly expanding LGBT family memoir field. This slim book (196 pages), a collaboration between a lesbian daughter and her Catholic father, describes one family’s journey from denial to acceptance. Carol Curoe and Bob Curoe alternate chapters, describing from both points of view Carol’s religious upbringing on a Midwestern farm, her coming out, and the rocky road her family took toward supporting her and her partner.

Bob and Carol have different voices and perspectives on the issues, so although the book can feel repetitive as first one then the other describes events, their interpretations of these events are different enough to make both accounts valuable. Bob’s words are honest and unaffected, and he doesn’t shy away from examining moments where his confusion and disappointment threatened his relationship with his daughter.

The narrative also touches on the political and legal roadblocks facing gay families, as Carol describes the difficulties she and her partner, Susan, faced in having and raising children, buying a house, solemnizing their partnership, and getting health insurance. The twofold story includes valuable information for families just beginning to work through these issues as well as validation and support for the emotional confusion that a gay child may cause for some families.

This is excellent for the families of gay people, giving a heartfelt, honest, and well-written account of one family’s evolution.