Beth's Reviews > Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever

Swish by Joel Derfner
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's review
Sep 09, 08

bookshelves: glbt, biographies_memoirs
Read in August, 2008

Funny, touching, insightful, goofy, subversive... lots of things going on here, more than one might guess from the title (which ought to be ...Gayest Man ever but that's quibbling). Derfner has a lot of emotional baggage, which he seems quite comfortable opening up and unpacking for his readers. Meanwhile he's often witty, with an episodic style that I found much more effective than it often is in contemporary novels or memoirs. I loved reading about his attempts at being a cheerleader and a go go boy, and I thought his brief reflections, scattered throughout, on his relationships with his parents were thoughtful and fascinating. His last chapter, on his experiences going "under cover" at an ex-gay conference, was unexpected and, yes, subversive. He had surprising sympathy for many of the attendees he met, while never letting the movement off the hook for the damage it does to queer people. A great read. And I'd love to meet the author in person!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Lychee (new)

Lychee Sounds like a fun read. I'll look forward to your review (and perhaps adding it to my queue). Not that I've found much time to read lately -- hence no updates from me in ages. Sigh. Need to stop biking and start riding the bus again!

Joel Derfner I'm so glad you liked my book! I have a new one out that you might enjoy too--it's called Lawfully Wedded Husband: How My Gay Marriage Will Save the American Family.

If you do end up reading it I'd love to know what you think.

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