A book that does exactly what it says on the tin, this is a celebratory guide to life as a boy who fancies other boys, covering topics like coming out, dating, body issues, and sex. It features advice and reassurance from a diverse range of happy, successful gay adults, from Stephen Fry to James Kavanagh.
Khalaf is a journalist and a popular Youtuber. He‘s an extremely effective communicator with a consistently upbeat tone. The scope of the book is very wide, as is the target age range (from starting puberty right up to going out clubbing). While the informational sections are generally well handled, the real highlights are the biographical details at the start of each chapter. Khalaf’s account of coming out to his parents is particularly poignant. He is very incisive when discussing how he projected anger onto his father in anticipation of rejection, and it would have been interesting to see a similarly deep exploration of some of the other experiences that he shares in brief, like his family’s complex relationship with two conservative religions, and his confusion about the implications of being read as ‘feminine’ when he was a little boy.
McFeeter’s papercut illustrations are plentiful, and each one is an absolute delight. Her sense of whimsy and irreverence offers a nice balance to Khalaf’s relentless cheerfulness.