Recommendation: Tango

Erica recommends…

Book cover of "Tango"

Though it deals with trigger-warning worthy topics such as homophobia, transphobia, and sexual abuse, Justin Bond’s memoir about v’s childhood in small-town Maryland is definitely worth reading. Bond, a “boy”, is obsessed with old-time Hollywood stars like Rita Hayworth, listens to Elton John with his best female friend, and dances like Ginger Rogers. All of these interests are treated by v’s family as if they were symptoms of a shameful secret. Struggling with difference in a world out of the reach of the 1969 Stonewall riots, v and his grade and high school friends stumble through homosexual desire, sexual abuse, and trans issues while on boyscout trips, in tree houses, or in middle-class girl’s rooms lined with stuffed animals.

The lies that simmer under the surface of tranquil suburbia aren’t a new theme in literature, but Bond takes a trope usually used in midlife crisis stories and reworks it as aggressively queer. This isn’t a coming out story so much as a portrait of what LGBT looked like before gender theory and the Internet age busted these secrets wide open.

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Posted by on August 7th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: books, recommendations Comment »

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