My Son Wears Heels: One Mom's Journey from Clueless to Kickass

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Product Details

$24.95  $23.20
University of Wisconsin Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.6 X 1.2 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Julie Tarney was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA in liberal arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After a successful career building the largest PR firm in her hometown city, working for clients like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Harley-Davidson, Julie applied her expertise to a leadership development consultancy. Representing big corporations in diverse markets, Julie realized a common thread of confusion and misunderstandings regarding gender identity. Today she travels the world as an independent speaker, consultant, and trainer, helping hundreds of businesses learn how to better build their brand by creating LGBTQ+ inclusive, welcoming, and supportive workplaces.


"Not only does the book chronicle an especially memorable mother-son relationship, it also suggests that the best parenting is the kind that does not forcibly mold a child into what he/she 'should' be but lovingly allows him/her the freedom to follow his/her own special path. A fearlessly open and frank memoir."--Kirkus Review
"A vivid, heartfelt, and ultimately joyful account of one mother's journey raising a son who did not 'do gender' by the books. Julie Tarney shows us that there is no right so precious as our right to be different, and no greater gift we can give to our children than loving them for who they are."--Harriet Lerner, author of The Dance of Anger
"This riveting account of parenting a gender-nonconforming child reminds us of how far we've come in the past twenty years, and also how far we have yet to go. Tarney shows us that, while there is no 'bubble of light' that can protect our children from all injuries, a parent's unconditional love is the most effective armor of all."--Jessica Herthel, coauthor of I Am Jazz
"An insightful, exhilarating account of parenting a remarkably savvy and self-possessed girly-boy."--Will Fellows, author of Farm Boys
"A memorable account of one young person's journey toward self-identity and a valuable parenting guide for a new era of gender awareness and acceptance."--Foreword Reviews
"Tarney does an exceptional job of tracing the zigzagging line of Harry's self-identity and recalling the inevitable questions asked along the way."--New York Times Book Review
"My Son Wears Heels is an unexpected page-turner, driven by the passion of a mother with no guideposts to understand and support a gender creative child. Julie Tarney poignantly lays bare her journey in frank tales about interactions with family, friends, schools, and, not least, the constant stretching of herself to be the best parent she can be. Every parent can learn from this uplifting story."--Drew Tagliabue, executive director, PFLAG NYC

"With candor, wit, and humor, Julie Tarney lays out the struggles and triumphs of raising a child who was very clear about who he was, even when everyone else questioned it. I found myself both teary-eyed and laughing, but mostly hopeful about the future. This powerful tale is not to be missed."--Héctor Torres, coauthor of Building a Better Man