Posted by: irenesroth | August 13, 2013

Book Review: For “Shorn”

Shorn coverShorn: Toys to Men
A Memoir
Dennis Milam Bensie

This is one of the most honest memoirs that I have ever read. It kept me at the edge of my seat and propelled me to read the whole book, from start to finish.

Dennis had a really difficult upbringing. He was molested when he was a young boy and had a very critical father who was ashamed of him and criticized him every day because he was effeminate. He was bullied mercilessly as a child in school by his peers because he was considered to be a sissy.

In order to please his family, Dennis does get married to a woman, while struggling with the realization that he is a gay man. Being the loving person that he is he stays married to the woman so as not to hurt her feelings, her family or worse yet his family. He wants to impress his father, who doesn’t know how to show his feelings for his effeminate son.

Eventually Dennis cannot handle living that lie and gets divorced. Dennis struggles with trying to find the right person to share his life with knowing what he now knows about himself. This is the basic struggle of all human beings, finding love, loving and being loved. The big difference is to find love with the right person of the same-sex while society looks down on you.

But through the tears and all the hardships, he was able to find the one thing that would transform his life from all of these difficulties to a life of acceptance and peace. That one thing that he found was the theatre. He loved the theatre, and after having a successful beginning in community theatre he moved up to professional theatres where he was also very successful. He turned his private sexual conflict over haircutting into a successful career as a skilled theatrical wig designer.

Dennis’ book is humorous and honest. It will make the reader and cry at times. It is a book about a uniquely tangled love story, a triumphant quest for love, forgiveness and self-acceptance. And I am glad to report that Bensie achieves all of these things and he finally finds himself.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth


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