When I Knew

( 3 )

Overview

When I Knew is a collection of smart, hilarious, and often poignant stories about that revelation for all gay men and women: when they first knew. In this gorgeously illustrated, cleverly designed, and colorful book, acclaimed fashion and celeb-rity photographer Robert Trachtenberg brings humor and style to the EUREKA! moments of more than eighty contributors, including B. D. Wong, Arthur Laurents, Simon Doonan, Stephen Fry, Marc Shaiman, Michael Musto, and more. Also mixed in are tales about when parents knew ...

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Overview

When I Knew is a collection of smart, hilarious, and often poignant stories about that revelation for all gay men and women: when they first knew. In this gorgeously illustrated, cleverly designed, and colorful book, acclaimed fashion and celeb-rity photographer Robert Trachtenberg brings humor and style to the EUREKA! moments of more than eighty contributors, including B. D. Wong, Arthur Laurents, Simon Doonan, Stephen Fry, Marc Shaiman, Michael Musto, and more. Also mixed in are tales about when parents knew and when everyone else knew, as well as laugh-out-loud coming-out stories.

Readers will fall in love with these anecdotes, from the seven-year-old who looked under the television set to sneak a peek under Tarzan's loincloth, to the inquisitive grandmother who asked her grandson, "You don't like a girl to get married? You prefer a boy?", to the courageous field trip participant who passed up the universal favorite burger-and-fry combo in favor of the fruit plate with cottage cheese.

Filled with original art by New Yorker illustrator Tom Bachtell, historical images, and personal photographs from the contributors, When I Knew is a vibrant and witty celebration of that sometimes glorious, sometimes painful, but always captivating moment when everything suddenly makes sense.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"It was 1983. I was seven years old. Cyndi Lauper declared 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun.' I knew even then that I wanted to be one of the girls." This coffee table book's concept is simple. Photographer and documentary filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg asked gay men and women when they realized they were gay; when their parents realized they were gay; and when everyone else realized they were gay.
No Source
3rd Place, Special Trade-General Category, New York Book Show
Publishers Weekly
When I was six," writes Tammy Lynn Michaels, "I loved my first grade teacher so much I knew I would have to grow up to be a boy so I could come back and ask her to marry me." Documentarian Trachtenberg (American Masters: On Cukor) brings together the comical, sometimes bitter and always poignant moments when gay men and women first realize (or admit) the truth about their own sexual preference. Trachtenberg has gathered some famous names for his collection (Gavin Lambert, Arthur Laurents, B.D. Wong, Simon Doonan), but perhaps the freshest stories come from voices unknown. What surprises is how often these moments stem from confrontations with an ostensibly heterosexual mass culture: TV, Broadway, the movies, organized sport-all of which are represented in the lavish set of collaged color illustrations that fill most every page, along with comics and candids of the contributors. Eugenio Zanetti recalls watching Miyoshi Umeki being kissed by Brando in Sayonara, in a theater in Buenos Aires in the 1950s, and leaning back in his seat "at the exact same angle as Miyoshi." For Eugenia Kurt, it was a mesmerizing encounter with Rosalind Russell in the nun comedy The Trouble with Angels. This book is composed of equal parts insight, shame and soul. (June) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A collection of anecdotes by 80 gay men and women about that "moment" when they first knew at some level the truth of their sexual orientation. Each story is accompanied by a photograph or cartoon that helps make the book visually appealing. Some of the selections are comical; others are poignant, like the one about the grandmother who made her grandson cry when she denounced parents who couldn't accept the truth. These people tell their stories with humor, courage, and defiance. There is plenty of food for thought and discussion within these pages.-Peggy Bercher, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060571467
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/31/2005
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 819,051
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Trachtenberg's fashion and celebrity photographs have been published in the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, and InStyle, among many other publications. He has also directed documentaries on George Cukor, Gene Kelly, Irving Thalberg, and Cary Grant. He lives in Los Angeles. He always knew.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2007

    Stereotypes Galore

    There is really nothing to this book. I thought it would be funny and sweet to hear times when people 'knew' but it was a very disappointing book. There are only stereotypes. All the guys knew when they were 'acting like girls' and visa versa. Plus only one or two lesbians and no bisexuals, only gay guys. Could have been done much better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2005

    Adorable

    I got to read a galley of this book, and it was truly adorable and beautiful, funny and painful, all of the words you'd expect it to be. It's a must-have for anyone interested in gender performativity, sexual identity, and cute little kids' behavior. I loved it. And it made me remember just what happened when I first discovered my own identity.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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