My novel Losers is on the American Library Association's 2010 Rainbow List! It's composed of "recommended titles for youth from birth to age 18 that contain significant and authentic gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning (GLBTQ) content."
Each time I'm invited to be in a queer space, I feel a little bit queer -- queer in the other sense, a little bit awkward and a little bit trespassy. I think that might be where this part of Losers came from. It's from the coming-out scene, after the actual coming-out part and after Jupiter and the Gay Character crash a gay party, and in the aftermath they don't feel any less isolated or alone. Because, just because you find other people who are the same way you are -- whether it's gay, Jewish, geeky, or anything else -- it doesn't mean they're the same as you are.
Before anything could come out, he cut me off: “Don’t.”
“Don’t what?” I asked, more startled than anything.
“Don’t tell me you know what it’s like, okay? Don’t tell me that you’re different too and that you relate and that you understand what I’m going through and all that crap. Just don’t.”
I said back quietly, almost a whisper: “But I do.”
He didn’t say anything for a while. I turned my head and stole a glance at him, nervous about breaking the moment. He was still staring down the sky.
“Because I used to be the kid in school everyone shat on, and, the first day at North Shore, you made it official. And then everyone started being friends with me. Not because they actually liked me or anything, but because, somehow, I became acceptable. And still, nobody cares about me or hangs out with me one-on-one or wants to hear what I actually have to say. As long as my accent doesn’t get out of control and people like Reg and Tonya keep saying hi to me, everyone else will too. And there’s still no one I can trust, and I still wind up having fantasies about imaginary girls and CD covers.”
Thanks, of course, to the indelible Sharon for the hat tip!