BOOK REVIEW : Openly Straight by Bill Konisberg

GOODREADS: Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write.

And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time.

So when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible.



And please don’t be a hypocrite and tell me – I do. “It doesn’t matter to me if I’m popular or not”. Because you do – It’s our highest form of need, Belongingness. It may be not as life consuming goal for others, but you do. But in that road to belongingness, sometimes we lose ourselves, we lose sight of who we are – because what we actually want is to be ACCEPTED AS WE ARE, NO PRETENSIONS, NO JUDGMENTS – JUST YOU.

  1. I was thinking about how snakes shed their skin every year, and how awesome it would be if people did that too.
  2. Then I did a little dance, because you gotta dance when you get into the zone.
  3. I had always wondered what it would be like to be at the top of the food chain
  4. We’re all out of place in our own way.
  5. Can we know others if we don’t know ourselves?
  6. What do you think we gain by writing about ourselves?
  7. I want to be entirely label-free
  8. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in the world where no one thought that being gay was even something to ride someone about?
  9. It’s not exactly a bucket of ice cream to be different around here.
  10. Stay strong. Don’t ever let that light flicker out, because your situation, it’s not ever going to be easy, and it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.
  11. And perhaps, the best answer is not to tolerate differences, not even to accept them. but to celebrate them. Maybe then those who are different would feel more loved, and less, well, tolerated.
  12. I got this amusement park feeling in my stomach.



  1. Hey, you’re gonna be a rock star, rafe.
  2. I could show up one day as Lady Gaga dressed as Little Red Riding Hood and Mom would say, “How was your day honey?
  3. Rafe’s parents playing along his front of being straight.
  4. Upon leaving for school: “get a boyfriend”.
  5. If she would see us, she would even probably be teaching us the right to do. (in bed)
  6. Rafe’s parents throwing him a party for finally coming out of the closet.
  7. Welcoming rafe home for thanksgiving and preparing a tofu pig.



  1. Mind vs Body. Since your mind is telling your body what to do, then are you your mind?
  2. Acceptance vs Tolerance
  3. Poeple often mistreat you or label it as wrong when you change – and that change was not witnessed.
  4. Agape vs Eros
  5. Nothing that comes from love could ever be wrong.


One thought on “BOOK REVIEW : Openly Straight by Bill Konisberg

  1. Pingback: BOOKS: BOOKS OF 2016 | Venice Dela Cruz

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