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Straight to Normal

After several failed attempts to write this book due to the fear of the law and society, Straight to Normal: My life as a Gay Man is the story of the author himself. It’s a very refreshingly unapologetic read narrating his journey from a 15-year-old, not knowing why he felt aroused watching a music video of men dancing to a 50-year-old self-aware gay man. I appreciate Sharif, the author’s courage to just cut open his life for all of us to judge.

I always wondered what is the discovery process like to finally come to terms that one is different from the norm. Years ago, I use to lead a team at work of majority gay men. I have to agree, they are admirable in many aspects professionally and personally. Many of them have the qualities of being the “Perfect Guy” but unfortunately, I hear more heart-wrenching breakup stories from them than any other. This book, gave me the insight through the various phases of the author’s life. His emotional rollercoaster, a path to self-discovery as a teenager, a constant fight between his heart and mind as a young adult, his ‘coming out’ to his family and to the world where he and many like him are still trying to belong.

Bottom line, it is not easy, and the society has never been easy on the LGBT community too. The blunt honest way of his writing is highly commendable and choices of words brings out the innocence of the character. I love the strong bond he developed with his mother since young and it grew even stronger after his confession. His mother’s acceptance and love for her son to find happiness is an ultimate emotional touch in the story. Sharif’s journey to continuously find true love throughout his life gives us HOPE!
Straight to Normal; Unfiltered.

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