“Genderqueer: A Story From A Different Closet” is only about 200 pages, but is still able to keep things real. From the little things to the major events that shaped them, Allan D. Hunter walks through their journey to self-discovery.
There are several things that make this autobiography stand out, the first being the narrative format of the story. There are a smaller number of chapters in the novel, and each part of the story is told in fragments. The second a thought ends, there’s a paragraph break and we’re on to the next part. Everything is short, sweet and to the point.
Another key part of Hunter’s storytelling style is that every event in their life is treated with the same amount of importance. From something as mundane as to something as big as, the description style never changes. It’s as though everything that ever happens to you is as huge or inconsequential as you want it to be.
Hunter’s autobiography focuses on every detail of their life, both good and bad, never sticking too much to either side. Rightfully so, because to make the novel aggressively either would’ve been false. Life is a mixed bag of woes and winnings, happiness and hurt. To focus on only one aspect of life discredits someone’s whole experience, so it was good that Hunter paid equal attention to their triumphs as well as their sorrows.
One critique of the novel would be that there’s a bit too much time spent on some early life experience and not enough time for the college and onward part of the narrative. None of it was disinteresting, but there were parts that felt repetitive, and it felt like it took a bit too long to get to the story’s climax. By the time the story reaches its conclusion, it almost feels like there was more to talk about, and there are some thoughts that were left off the page.
By far the most compelling part of the novel is some of the final sections, where Hunter discovers the spectrum of sexuality and gender, and finds the area where they seem to fit. Though this part is towards the end, it’s clear from the beginning of the novel where the story is heading. Hunter introduces their ideas of gender at the start of the novel when they talk about their personality as a child – how they don’t identify with the rough behavior usually prescribed to the male gender – and these thoughts stay with them and influence their growing up.
When the revelation is made, it’s not something that comes out of left field. Because of course it’s not – these things don’t just appear one day like a magic trick. It’s always there, even if it’s not super obvious at first.
Overall Hunter’s autobiography, though a bit slow at some parts, was an informative and well-developed glimpse into their mind. Almost like an essay a college professor would provide for their class to read, since their autobiography is very educational.