Foreword: A memoir in a month, and a coming out story you’ve never heard before


If you want the wholesome version of this, there isn’t one. This isn’t a coming out story like on TV, where the fragile boy fights tears to admit what he is, helped by new friends and straight acceptance; mainly it’s about enemies, and it won’t make allies feel pleased with themselves. There are no speeches here about how love is love and God keeps his queer children. (God, where he appears at all, is one of the villains.) There’s sex and violence, as in any half-good story about power, and the rage of years spent unable to tell it – were it filmed, it wouldn’t be PG-13, but I won’t scrub out the unsavoury parts because thirteen year olds exist who need to hear them.

I write about being queer in one way or another every day, but my coming out story – if I can even call it that – is something I’ve never told till now. Replaying a decade of my life I’ve tried to bury plays it part, as does the fact that at the time, I couldn’t tell the truth about most events I describe, but mainly it’s just too complex to reel off in conversation. In fiction adolescent sexuality is neatly self-contained, a storyline detached from life in general, but I can’t talk about mine coherently without writing a memoir.

So that’s what I’m doing. There are twenty-seven chapters currently which will follow this foreword. I’m going to publish them in serial this month, each one its own blog post with links to those before and after. This page, which I’ll pin to the top of the blog, will be updated with a interactive chapter list below as more are added. Since I don’t have the living funds to write an entire book at once, none of them have been drafted yet – writing and uploading them, while I’ll still be posting on other topics, will be my main activity for June 2014.

Almost all those I discuss are still alive. Some of the names have been changed, others haven’t, and while I’ve thought extremely carefully about it, there’s no one guessable pattern. There’s a chance some of the people reading this were around at the time – if that’s you, and if you know the real identities of those involved, I’d like to request you don’t publicly disclose them. This is a story whose time has come, and I’m going to tell it whatever happens, but please respect that I’ve considered at great length whose anonymity to leave intact and whose not to.

To date, around fifty users on Facebook have asked to be notified as each new chapter is published. If you’d like to be added to that list, then let me know by email, on Twitter or in the comments below (I’ll use the email address for your comment to update you). You can also stay up to date by Liking this blog’s page.

Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Contents

Chapter 1 | Starman
Chapter 2 | Other Boys
Chapter 3 | The Gag Reflex
Chapter 4 | Dress-up
Chapter 5 | Friends with Benefits
Chapter 6 | The Age of Consent
Chapter 7 | Stranger Danger
Chapter 8 | Biology
Chapter 9 | Attention

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Comments

  1. brucemartin says

    I’m looking forward to reading this series. I noticed that Greta Christina thanked Alex for helping to work with her on her own recent coming out book.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2014/06/04/a-very-clear-and-persuasive-and-useful-book-amazon-review-of-coming-out-atheist/#comment-107985

    In Greta’s book, she cites having taken in over 200 different stories of people coming out (mostly as atheists, as that’s what her book is). But of course she only had room for a paragraph or so on any one story.

    To me, this brings up the question as to what is the full-length story of one of these experiences? I think it’s excellent that we will have both an overview in Greta’s book, and a more in-depth documentary in Alex’s book. These two different books will complement each other, and give a fuller picture than any one book could do on it’s own. I am very glad for both authors, that they are willing to put in the vast effort to write and to expose their inner experiences to enlighten the rest of us. Thanks very much.

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