The Family Outing: A Memoir

Harper One. Oct. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780063079014. $27.99. MEMOIR
Hempel, host of the Hello Monday podcast, shares the story of her family’s personal and collective coming out journeys in this magnetic memoir. Within five years, Hempel and her father had each came out as gay, one sibling as bisexual, the other as transgender, and her mother as a trauma survivor. She writes of the resulting challenges of these revelations, the liberation of living authentically, and moving forward as a family. She revisits these experiences with her family by conducting virtual conversations during the pandemic referred to as “The Project,” which she incorporates into the book by giving her family space in their own story, adding a unique, insightful layer to this memoir. Hempel’s writing is evocative and approachable. It will appeal broadly to fans of literary memoir and will hold particular significance for LGBTQIA+ readers and anyone on their own journey to live as their true selves. Readers seeking more memoirs on the intersections of queer identity, family dynamics, and generational trauma may also enjoy Putsata Reang’s Ma and Me.
VERDICT A stunning memoir and contemporary exploration of the diversity of family dynamics and coming-out narratives.
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