Gaynor Alumni Parent and Author Richie Jackson Kicks Off Gaynor Book Club

Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2021

The Gaynor Parents’ Association hosted the first-ever Gaynor Parent Book Club on the evening of May 18 with their first guest, Author Richie Jackson.

Head of School Dr. Scott Gaynor joined Mr. Jackson for a lively discussion about Jackson’s book, Gay Like Me. Mr. Jackson is no stranger to Gaynor as he is the parent to Gaynor alumnus Jackson Wong ’14, as well as being an award-winning Broadway, television, and film producer.

During the hour-long webinar, Dr. Gaynor and Mr. Jackson covered a wide range of topics, from the “double consciousness” that LGBTQ people in America must have, to the pros and cons of social media for LGBTQ youth, to his family’s experience at Gaynor.

When discussing the “double consciousness” LGBTQ people must have, Mr. Jackson talked about how as a gay man in America, he must be aware of how the country sees him.

“We battle our government, disappoint our parents, are erased in classrooms, and are discriminated against by religions,” he said. “Still we rise, stand up, and say ‘this is me.’”

Mr. Jackson also said that parents need to teach their children to be advocates, not just allies, and to actively raise awareness and support causes.

Concluding the discussion, Mr. Jackson commented on how accepting Gaynor was of his family, and how valued they felt — something he said the school does for all students.

“You take children who have been told they are broken, and you find their gifts and lift them up,” he said.