Queer Me!: Halfway Between Flying and Crying, is a coming of age novel, about a closeted young man during the sixties. Written a diary – it transpires in Britain. Where the author and main character, Tim Trent give readers an exclusive look within his experiences with desire, family life, denial, and sexuality.
“I don’t mind a phase. It stops it all mattering. It means I don’t need to worry and don’t feel dirty and stuff.” – Tim Trent
Tim’s story begins on his thirteenth birthday and follows him until he’s eighteen. It depicts the struggles of a growing, closeted teenager, as he comes to terms with things around him and things occurring in him. During the progression of Queer Me!: Halfway Between Flying and Crying, I noticed Tim, downplay critical events in his life with humor or write about them briefly but never fully talk about, “odd things, families.” However, as Tim begins to try and decipher things in his life, he then became more comfortable describing hardships to his diary, “Instead of the mechanical stuff I saw his face, and the bruise on his bum, and his sore back. I never see pictures when I’m doing it, but I did last night. I only realised when I’d, ahem, finished. That was just odd.” I also noticed that as Tim grew so did his writing. “I realised this morning that I don’t have him, so it doesn’t matter if I deserve him or not. It’s all in my fucking head, I know it is. Except when it seems like it isn’t.” We’re reading these entries how his mind worked and his experiences at the ages of thirteen through eighteen.
I must admit, I wasn’t used to reading from a rather anxious and un-revealing character. However, it interested me because it felt like Tim was testing the waters. Seeing if he could trust us or maybe the things he was writing. Once it wasn’t as cold, he’d go in further and further – telling us more and more, until he didn’t realize he was all the way in. I couldn’t help but think of Tim as rather brave. Given the time period, the inconceivable nature of his parents, and Tim’s increasing feelings – not only did he trust strangers with his most private thoughts, but he wrote it down, published them; knowing it wasn’t approved of and understanding the backlash.
To write such a prolific piece knowing the backlash is both brave and inspiring. Tim Trent’s ability to capture inner conflict, loneliness, and teenage angst is truly inspiring. This isn’t just a book about a teenager interrupting constantly changing things around him; but rather a book about a boy coming to terms with embedded feelings, changes, and events constantly occurring in him. I believe that all conflicted, confused young adults, like Tim, should dive into his novel.
Josie M. Hulen
Josie Monet Hulen is a writer with a Bachelors degree in literature. She’s passionate about the written word and often spends her time with her nose in a book or in the middle of writing one. Her hunger for knowledge and determination to learn about everything she can, landed her a job as an office manager. She has also been an intern for 8 months with an online publishing company and one day hopes to be an inspiring writer.