GRAPHIC NOVELS

The Times I Knew I Was Gay

Scribner. Oct. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781982147105. $25. GRAPHIC NOVELS
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DEBUT Caught in the traction of a permissive heterosexual upbringing, Crewes enjoyed being different for her love of goth, horror, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she found compatible friends. All along, she assumed she would segue into a future with boys and men in her heart. But her attraction to guys never took root emotionally or physically, even as she became more aware of the queer culture all around at her British art school. Unsure of her own orientation, her coming out as lesbian proceeded in start-stop stages over several years. She did not have to fight her way through family and societal pushback, but rather through her own ideas and expectations. Crewes draws with a graphite pencil in evocative, smooth sweeps, giving the feel of an on-the-scene sketchbook. Originally released as a hand-stitched zine, the memoir was expanded and reworked into this charming, relatable account.
VERDICT As Western culture becomes increasingly gay-friendly, Crewes’s experience will—fortunately—become more and more typical. The story of her journey will be much appreciated by young people who are curious about themselves and their friends.

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