My newest book, Unbroken will be released on the last day of summer, September 20, 2013. I am excited. I am terrified. I am excited to share a story of one courageous boy and the boy he loved.
And I am terrified. I am terrified the book is terrible. I am terrified the book is brilliant. I am terrified that no one will read it. And also that everyone will read it and…see…me. Unbroken is my most personal work to date. In the story, which is fictional, as well as in life, the line between the real and the imagined often blurs. I am terrified the boy I fell in love with at twelve, a man now, will read it and know finally that I loved him at twelve, that, at twelve, I dreamed of a life with him.
That said I am happy I wrote Unbroken and I owe a big thank you to All Things Queer in South Africa (@AllThingsQueer.co.za) who, in June 2012, posed a question on Twitter: “How old were you when you first realised you're gay/lesbian/bi/trans/queer?”
Reading their tweet, I quickly thought back to “the moment” and tweeted: “I was 12 & in 7th grade. He was the new kid. His name was Jose. He walked into 4th period music, smiled & changed everything”
That 140 character tweet eventually became Unbroken.
Unbroken was a difficult book to write, in part because in the telling, I felt exposed and vulnerable but also because I had to remember what love felt like at six, at twelve, at fifteen, had to remember what desire felt like at twelve, at fifteen, at twenty, at forty. And I had to remember it without the coloration of maturity and experience.