Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heelsby Justin Vivian Bond
A moving and hilarious coming of age story about love, sex, and attention deficit disorder.See more details below
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A moving and hilarious coming of age story about love, sex, and attention deficit disorder.
“Thank you, Justin, for your courage in writing the truth of what you went through as a transgender child in this society. Thank you, also, for your sense of humor. This book is very important, and fun to read as well.”
"Tango is a raw nerve touching an electric soul, a beautiful book, written with honesty, pain, and joy from one of our great modern day shamans."
"Justin Vivian Bond is a lightning rod, a solid steel structure in heels that attracts burning chaos and disciplines it into orderly submission. Am I allowed to say that Justin is God?”
"Tango should be in the hands of every child who can read, and of every adult who cares about that child."
Michael Warner, author of The Trouble with Normal
“Reading Tango is like listening to your favorite eccentric cousin or auntie tell you hair-raising tales of innocence lost and found, friendships forged of adversity, and bullies bewildered by their own perversity. Justin spins a one-of-a-kind story that you won't be able to put down.”
Kate Bornstein, author of Gender Outlaw
“When I say Justin Vivian Bond is a true original, what I mean is, Justin doesn’t resemble anyone else on the face of the planet. When I say Justin Bond is touched by genius, I mean exactly that.”
Michael Cunningham, author of The Hours
A brief yet remarkably candid memoir of growing up different, by a world-renowned cabaret performer and transgender advocate.
Prompted to recall his childhood after learning of his neighbor and longtime tormentor's arrest for impersonating a police officer, Bond remembers in vivid detail his unusual adolescence, including the peculiar relationship he formed with the now-jailed local bully. Living in suburban Maryland in the '70s, the author obsessed over Rita Hayworth and other stars of her time, danced like Ginger Rogers and enjoyed wearing lipstick out in public, all of which continued despite his parents' best attempts to "straighten" him out, including wallpapering his bedroom with a cowboys and Indians theme, to Bond's despair. Throughout this time, he hid a deep secret: a years-long, often abusive sexual relationship with Hunter, a popular, older boy who tantalized, humiliated and even threatened him. Beginning at age 11 on a boy scouts camping trip, Bond and Hunter had sex in pools, snow forts and tree houses. Accused by Hunter's mother of "using" her son for his pool, Bond remembered the sexual favors he would perform with Hunter for the opportunity to enjoy the pool. Outside of their physical encounters, Hunter either ignored Bond or harassed him, calling him a "fag" and spreading ugly rumors at school. Generally friendless except for a girl, who later took an overdose of pills, Bond's situation gradually improved in high school—he got his first car, decorated his room according to his tastes and even dated a girl. He finally broke it off with Hunter, threatening to out the older boy if he continued to demand sex.
Poignant and funny, Bond offers insight into the childhood and mindset of gay and transgender individuals, but the graphic depictions of sex between young boys may frighten some readers.
- Feminist Press at CUNY, The
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