'Not That I'd Kiss a Girl triumphantly joins the select few New Zealand examples of the autobiographical coming-out genre. Compulsively readable and very much aware of the world, O'Brien's memoir is suspenseful and engaging.' David Herkt, New Zealand Herald.
A heartbreaking and hilarious true story of coming out as gay in New Zealand.
'Not That I'd Kiss a Girl' is truly, deeply, hilarious. Lil dismisses the one out girl in her uni hall when she hears 'that she'd bragged about having a double dildo. What an attention-seeker, I'd thought. Even though I couldn't stop wondering what a double dildo was'. The humour is self-deprecating, open, and necessary. There's a lot of pain in this memoir. But even in the darkest places, O'Brien still manages to find the light.'When it comes to her sexuality, her relationships, and her failings within those, O'Brien is admirably frank. She beautifully renders experiences that many authors would find difficult, if not impossible, to delve into. Even better is her ability to recount what it's like to come to terms, as fully as one can, with one's own place in the world.' Ruby Porter, Academy of New Zealand Literature
'An absorbing, funny, bittersweet read ... it gives straight New Zealanders a keyhole window in the reality of LGBT life in this country.' Feby Idrus, The Otago Daily Times
Lil O'Brien accidentally outed herself to her parents at the age of nineteen when they overheard her talking to a friend about liking girls. Half an hour later she found herself on the side of the road, with instructions to come back and pick up her suitcase the next day.
What follows is a heartbreaking yet hugely funny story of a young Kiwi girl - the deputy head girl from a posh private school - coming to grips with her sexuality in the face of stark disapproval from her parents.
Bit by bit, Lil finds the inner strength to pull herself into an entirely new world. Along the way she's called out for looking too straight in a gay bar, tries to break in to the lesbian in-crowd and figures out how to send her internet lover back to America. She falls in lust over a knotted soccer shoelace, explores how the hell to have sex with a girl and dates four women at once - unsuccessfully.
Lil's story is an insightful and honest look at how you figure out whether you're gay, bi or whatever - and deal with what comes next. It's an essential read for anyone who's had to fight for who they are and what they believe in.
Lil O'Brien is an ex-advertising creative turned freelance copywriter who lives in Auckland, New Zealand and has been described by numerous friends as 'the gayest person I know'. She's written for a number of publications about queer topics and more, and spent two years telling her coming-out story as a part of Rainbow Youth's high-school education programme, which inspired her to write her memoir and first published book, Not That I'd Kiss a Girl.
Allen & Unwin
A&U New Zealand
Paperback - C format
Of specific Gay & Lesbian interest