To Be A Gay Man by Will Young

This is another book I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of from Virgin Books, Random House through NetGalley. I’ve got to admit, it really wasn’t what I expected at all.

I had made the assumption that this book was essentially Will Young’s autobiography and I have always liked him and enjoyed most of his music so I was genuinely interested. On one hand it was an autobiography, but focused very much on his experience of being gay.

Again, I’m actually really eager to learn about experiences of minorities; hence some of the non-fiction books I’ve read like I Am Malala and In Order To Live, and the queer fiction books too; Red White and Royal Blue and Kate In Waiting. However, this book just didn’t resonate with me very well.

Don’t get me wrong, I did learn quite a lot about Gay shame and dealing with mental health issues as a whole. However, I felt the book was largely unstructured moving from topic to topic without much purpose, and at times it felt more like a rambling than a published piece of work. There were some very poignant points around media portrayal and abuse of LGBT+ individuals which I thought were really important and I thought the comparison to those of ethnic minorities and describing how his sexuality could be hidden so he sympathised more with them was really interesting.

Maybe this book would be really helpful to young people struggling with their own journey of acceptance. Or with individuals who have gone through something similar being able to relate. And maybe it is just my absolute ignorance, but I felt that his experience was generalising the experience of many. Does that make sense?

Like I say, it’s not something I have or ever will experience personally. It was an interesting insight, with some very well validated points which made me angry on behalf of all minorities. But ultimately I just don’t think I was the right audience for this story.

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