Openly Straight

by Bill Konigsberg

Rafe came out in middle school in Colorado. His classmates were okay with it and... read more

Rafe came out in middle school in Colorado. His classmates were okay with it and his parents were beyond supportive. He began working as an advocate for gay teens, giving speeches and presentations, and ended up feeling like a poster child for being gay. It's part of what led to his decision to transfer to a boy's boarding school in New England in his junior year of high school and assume a new identity as a straight kid. His best friend back home is furious that he would betray himself. His parents are confused and hurt. But from Rafe's perspective, he's not ashamed of his identity, he's just tired of being labeled and defined by it. And indeed, from his first day at his new school, everything is different. He's embraced by the jocks, and doesn't feel like he's living a lie until he falls in love with his new friend Ben. An athlete who doesn't tolerate homophobic comments, Ben is sensitive and honest, and vulnerable after his roommate's struggle with depression. As Rafe grows closer to Ben, he begins to realize Ben can't help but feel he's been lied to once he learns the truth. Humor and emotional honestly are deftly balanced in this probing, truly funny novel about coming out-again. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

show less