In case you just tuned in, Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender is a literary memoir that takes an unflinching but humorous look at living as a butch in a pink/blue, boy-girl, M/F world.
Here’s my theory: I’ve always been a butch. When I was a child, it was called being a “tomboy” (also known as “embarrassing my mother”). Back then, I liked to think I was a boy-girl hybrid, perhaps grown from special heirloom seeds.
Later in life, I came out as a lesbian, which explained my fondness for flannel and sensible shoes, as well as my masculine ways.
Still, something wasn’t quite right. I watched spectator-like as my hair got shorter and my clothes started coming from the opposite side of the department store. When someone called me “sir” for the first time, I realized I had unintentionally crossed over into foreign territory — that sliver of space that exists in the middle place between the absolutes of boy and girl.
Leaving Normal: Adventures in Gender is a story for anyone who has ever felt different, especially those who have found themselves living in the gender margins without a rulebook. Also, for girls who really liked Charlie’s Angels and Olivia Newton-John.
The book has been described by me as a Hemingway/Woolf/Capote/Sedaris hybrid.
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