Review Detail

4.7 1
Young Adult Fiction 7010
Learned a lot from Openly Straight
Overall rating
Writing Style
Openly Straight addresses the fact that being gay is just one of the traits of one person, and being gay doesn't make that person essentially different since a human being is a human being. Rafe, the main character of the book Openly Straight, transfers to a private boarding school and conceals the fact that he’s gay(or rather not talk about his sexual orientation) to his friends even though his companions doesn’t disrespect homosexuals because he does not want to be labeled as the gay boy. He felt pressured to be named by a his sexual orientation and he wants to be treated like other heterosexuals. Rafe is exasperated by other people who only looks at his sexual orientation, and that's the reason why he does not talk about which gender he likes. Being a girl who doesn't really know her sexual orientation, I don't have a lot of personal relation to Rafe, but I know that when people accept a trait, even though they don't disrespect it, they think that the trait is odd, or it is something negative that needs to be accepted. That's a super bad feeling, and I think no one will feel comfortable with being "accepted" like that.

I’d never wanted anything more in my life, but it see was as distant to me as this tofu beast was from a real pig”

My favorite part of the book is when Rafe relates the tofu pig to himself. It's a terrific metaphor and I feel that it's really a big challenge to act like yourself because sometimes we all feel that we need to change something that isn't bad for ourselves in order to fit in and liked by other people.
It's often that we are driven to change by other people. Rafe is not openly gay anymore because he does not want to have other people knowing "the gay kid" instead of knowing Rafe. Books I have read before urges people to support homosexuality, but Openly Straight tackles the problem differently. It makes me think about homosexuality a different way: when communities says it loud that being gay is ok, when someone reveals that he's gay that draws the attention of other people, and they don't look at the person's other characteristics anymore. Yes, it is hard to be someone who’s being looked at differently:

“I don’t think being gay is a curse. Definitely not. But we all know that being open about it comes with a lot of things that make life harder. Even if you have great parents and a school where you’re treated well, it adds stuff to your life. The worst to me is how everybody looks at you differently. I got so tired of being looked at”

After Rafe feels that being open about his sexual orientation will make him look different since other people will see him as the gay kid, he does not talk about his sexual orientation anymore. This book is one of the best books that I have read: it includes a love story, a different perspective of talking about discrimination of homosexuals while people are all saying being homosexual is ok, and an interesting plot+writing style.

Konigsberg, Bill. Openly Straight. New York, NY: Arthur A. Levine, 2013. Print.
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