Crossing Lines by Paul Volponi
Published June 9, 2011
This was certainly an interesting read – about a reluctant bully when faced with a gay/crossdresser classmate and was peer pressured into bullying him from his football “friends”. I’m putting the word “friends” in quotation marks because, honestly, they were far from friends. I found them vile, disgusting and very low-class. Okay, I understand that some guys are homophobes but I think this was going too far. Then again I never faced this type of problem during my high school years and by the time I met my first gay friends, I was in college and it was widely accepted. Maybe not accepted but at least tolerated and definitely not bullied.
I have mixed feelings about Adonis, the main character. Part of me is turned off by his inability to decide things. He treated his friends one way, his family another, the girl he likes another, and everyone else another. It was as if no one really knew the way he really thought about the situation except from the monologue going on in his brain. That was the part I really disliked but the part I did like was the part he kept hidden from everyone. While he was turned off by the fact that Alan or “Alana” was wearing red lipstick or dressing like a girl, he got over it easily. He obviously didn’t feel comfortable about the situation but he didn’t find it necessary like his football friends to needlessly taunt him about it nor physically attack him for it. So I was glad when that was the part that won when it really counted.
The other main character, Alan or Alana, was another person I had mixed feelings for. One part of me thought he was extremely brave for acting the way he did with his crossdressing and being very open about it. Another part of me found him incredibly foolish. I mean, people were already treating him terribly because they thought he was gay and then he wanted to wear red lipstick on top of that? And then when they treated him terribly, he thought it was a good idea to cross dress as well? I mean, yes I applaud his bravery but is it really bravery or stupidity? And honestly, a part of me believes he was asking for it. But regardless, I’m not familiar with any gay crossdresser so who knows what they go through to be accepted but I do know that from my experience, coming out of the closet during college is probably a much better idea. High school boys are so stupid sometimes.
I really enjoyed the writing style – I felt that it flowed really well. The one thing I didn’t like was the vagueness of what the football players were going to do to Alan/Alana. I feel like it was brushed upon but not really described so when it actually happened, I was kind of like “ohhh, so this was what they were planning. Okay now.”
Anyways, despite everything, I found the book to be short and informative about the mind of a reluctant bully and the problems that gay/crossdressers go through to be themselves. Definitely an enlightening read but I am glad it was short.