Available now in print and electronic formats from Riverdale Ave. Books!
Disgusta is a YA novel about growing up in the suburban South in the 90s. High school kid Matt wrestles with belief in God, a disintegrating conservative family, and transgender feelings that just won't go away. Disgusta explores themes of belief in God, LGBTQ identity, rebellion, and coming of age. It provides some fun 90s nostalgia and a realistic look at growing up queer in the evangelical community.
When fifteen year old Matt Bailey is expelled from his evangelical Christian high school, he enters public school for the first. There he first experiences the world beyond the strict, conservative Christianity he has grown up with. When he befriends wannabe Warhol Michelle, he is finally able to be open with another person about how he has always longed to be a girl.
As he learns more about the world and starts to accept his transgender feelings, Matt’s doubts about his faith grow. Matt worries about his own soul as well as those of his non-Christian friends. Ultimately, Matt is forced to decide between his family’s faith and accepting himself as transgender.
Music is a major part of the main characters' lives and so here is the novel's unofficial soundtrack. Though it should be listened to late at night on CD if you want to be 100% accurate.
A Note from the Author
Yes, I grew up in the suburban South in the Nineties. Specifically, it was the city of Augusta, Georgia. We had many names for the town. The Land of a Thousand Strip Malls. The Land of a Thousand Smells (espeically on the south side by the paper plant), and of course Disgusta. It was a typical American town cluttered with strip malls, chain restaurants, and wide streets. To those of us who were teenagers it was the most boring place on the face of the earth. We drove around aimlessly, we smoked endless cigarettes, drank beers when we could ge them, smoked weed, dropped acid, and hung out. There was no where to go, nothing to do, but lots of great friends to do it with. As much as Disgusta is a personal story of my own queer, spiritual journey, I also wanted to capture a snapshot of that moment in space and time. Growing up as a teenager in the Nineties, in Augusta, GA was typical in many ways. But it was also had its own unique quirks and moments. My goal was to capture those in amber for all the people who were there, or who lived their own similar tales.