Friday, March 7, 2014

Openly Straight

Openly Straight
by Bill Konigsberg

Rafe has never really been ashamed of being gay.  He came out when he was in 8th grade and his parents have supported him every step of the way.

The problem is that now, wherever he goes in his home town, he's the "gay kid".  No matter what he does, people relate it to him being gay.  His mom has pushed him to become a public speaker even has she has become the president of the local PFLAG chapter.

He doesn't want to be Rafe, the gay kid; he just wants to be Rafe, the teenaged boy.

So when Rafe gets the opportunity to go to an all-boys boarding school across the country, he takes it and he reinvents himself.  He pretends to be straight and finally finds out what it's like to hang out with the jocks and just be himself.

But being Rafe, the straight kid, is much harder than he ever thought, especially when he finally finds the guy who may be "the one".

Final thoughts:  LGBTQ novel with an interesting question about how much our sexual identity and preferences really tell us about who we are.  There's quite a bit of self-reflection by Rafe as he struggles to figure out how much of his identity is made up of his being gay.  Rafe's parents are a little odd, but I love his best friend in his home town; I wish she'd been in there more.  The English teacher in me kept getting distracted by Rafe's teacher's comments after each journal entry.  Overall, a good read.

Rating: 4/5

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