It’s a big life decision to join the U.S. military during wartime. It’s an even bigger one for a bisexual teenager living in a country with a firm (and since-repealed) policy of barring openly LGBT members from enlisting.
Local writer Anthony Moll explores this conundrum in his new memoir, “Out of Step.” Its publisher, The Ohio State University Press, describes it as “a queer coming-of-age story” that is “set against the backdrop of hypermasculinity and sexual secrecy.” The book “traces Moll’s development through his military service, recounting how the army both breaks and builds relationships, and what it was like to explore his queer identity while also coming to terms with his role in the nation’s ugly foreign policy,” according to the listing.
A graduate of the University of Baltimore’s creative writing MFA program who covered LGBTQ life for the late City Paper and has published his creative work in numerous literary journals, Moll won the 2017 Non/Fiction Collection Prize from literary magazine The Journal, securing a publishing deal for his debut full-length book.
It released July 18, and a handful of reviews so far are glowing. The American Library Association’s Booklist said its “evocation of his army life is deadly serious yet always insightful,” and fellow local writer D. Watkins has called it “the type of contemporary memoir that reminds me of why I can’t live without writing.”
Tonight, Moll will be reading from and discussing “Out of Step” downtown at the Enoch Pratt Central Library. The Ivy Bookshop is also providing some copies for purchase.
6:30-8 p.m., Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St., (410) 396-5430, event website.
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