When I received a book called A Year Straight: Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Lesbian Beauty Queen, I was already skeptical. It sounded like some sort of bizarre experiment. But since it was published by feminist and super-lesbian friendly Seal Press, I thought I’d give it a go.
The first problem with this memoir is that the title is misleading. It’s not “a year” that author Elena Azzoni “goes straight.” It’s actually a book about someone who identified as a lesbian and then finds herself attracted to one man. When he finds out she’s a lesbian and disses her, she continues on a journey to find a man to date. She finds many, ranging from one night stands to her eventual boyfriend. It reads like chick lit with the lesbianism she used to identify with factoring very little into anything besides Elena’s being scared to hang out with her gay girlfriends once she starts dating men.
The second problem: Bisexuality is not once mentioned. The idea of either being a lesbian or being straight is the perpetuation of a terrible stereotype. Elena doesn’t even consider the fact that her attraction to men could mean she’s interested in exploring her sexual fluidity instead of a quarter-life crisis indicating she’s meant to be with a guy. In fact, the whole reason she starts dating guys is because she felt a connection with her yoga instructor. And when she shares her crush with a coworker and gets a Brazilian wax, she decides to keep trying to date men because she didn’t want to let all that go to waste.
You can read the first chapter of A Year Straight on The Huffington Post, but I wouldn’t encourage purchasing the book. In fact, I’m shocked Seal Press would publish something that touts the switching of sexuality like an on-and-off switch.
I’m glad that Elena Azzoni is happy in finding love and finding herself, but I don’t enjoy the perpetuation of “you’re either gay or you’re not; there’s no grey area or in between.” It’s an insult to bisexual women and the book is a memoir that is ultimately more about the writer’s narcissism and poor attempts at making her switch LOL-worthy.
“Boy-crazy” is right, but that’s about all the title is telling the truth about. It’s movies like this that get made into even worse romantic comedies. Please don’t let this happen!