In Openly Straight, a young adult book by Bill Konigsberg, Rafe, a Colorado teen, has been out of the closet since eighth grade. He doesn’t get much flak from his schoolmates for it, but he is known as “the gay kid” and this has repercussions socially. He’s athletic and reasonably smart, and just wants to be one of the guys. He convinces his parents to send him to a boarding school in New England where he can start fresh and no one has to know him as anything in particular.
At his new school, he simply doesn’t talk about his sexuality, and people make assumptions that this good looking kid who can play soccer well and immediately fits in with the popular crowd is straight. He likes this feeling of inclusion so much that
It is an interesting book, chock full of what my kids call “the feels,” and it makes you think about our assumptions about people and labels, and whether we should turn a blind eye to our differences or celebrate them out in the open. It is not graphic, necessarily, but there are some male-male romantic scenes, so if you’re squicky about that, be warned.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.