Blood, Mar­riage, Wine, and Glitter

  • Review
By – January 22, 2014

This col­lec­tion of thir­ty essays reflect­ing the life of a polyamorous, trans­gen­der, Jew­ish par­ent is also a deeply per­son­al look at the every­day plea­sures and strug­gles of rais­ing a child with a large, unusu­al family. 

In the first essay, The Real­ly True Sto­ry: Once and for All, of How We Got Stan­ley (with Foot­notes),” Bergman intro­duces the read­er to how he and his part­ner came to have their son, Stan­ley. Bergman humor­ous­ly describes the search for a donor, real­iz­ing the impor­tance of the donor being Jew­ish, and the awk­ward hotel ordeal. Mak­ing it through all of this, Stan­ley even­tu­al­ly arrives in the world to much adoration. 

Judaism is not the focus of Blood, but it does have a con­stant pres­ence in the back­ground, and Hid­dur Mitz­vah” is an essay specif­i­cal­ly about Shab­bat and how essen­tial the tra­di­tion is for Bergman and his fam­i­ly. The sto­ry is a beau­ti­ful look at the Fri­day night rit­u­als the fam­i­ly pro­vides for Stan­ley, fill­ing their lives every Shab­bat with laugh­ter and friends. 

While Blood speaks much of Stan­ley and life with him, Bergman also address­es what it is like to be polyamorous. These essays are acces­si­ble to read­ers who may not have had much expo­sure to polyamorous people. 

Bergman suc­cess­ful­ly con­veys that he has many of the same joys and wor­ries as any oth­er par­ent as well as what it is like to be a queer indi­vid­ual in a world that is slow­ly becom­ing more accept­ing. The essays are writ­ten in a con­fid­ing man­ner. Above all, Berg­man show­cas­es how the love of Stan­ley brings togeth­er a wide vari­ety of peo­ple form­ing a won­der­ful­ly sup­port­ive family.

Relat­ed content:

Read S. Bear Bergman’s Vis­it­ing Scribe Post

Inter­na­tion­al Trans­gen­der Day of Vis­i­bil­i­ty: A Jew­ish Perspective

Tal­ie Ear­le recent­ly grad­u­at­ed with a Mas­ters in Library and Infor­ma­tion Sci­ence and a Bachelor’s degree in art his­to­ry and cur­rent­ly runs her local temple’s book club. She also writes book reviews for the GLBT Round­table for the Amer­i­can Library Association.

Discussion Questions