Holding the Man by Timothy Conigrave
I didn’t own a copy of this book until I won one recently in a Twitter contest from the NSW Writers Centre. But I read it almost twenty years ago when I was in high school. A friend (who I mentioned in my ‘coming out story’) loaned me her copy to read as part of a push to get me to realise my own sexuality.
I found the book utterly intriguing and of course, devastating. I yearned for their love (and was sadly not rewarded) in high school, and I wanted their constant connection but feared it at the same time. I didn’t even understand what much of it meant, but I thought about everything constantly.
Having now grown and experienced many of the things Conigrave talks about in his only, brilliant novel only makes it more visceral to me. Watching Holding the Man on the big screen was cathartic and beautiful in different but similar ways to the novel, something few things can be said to be. I highly recommend reading and watching both versions.