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46 pages 1 hour read

George M. Johnson

All Boys Aren't Blue

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | YA

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Key Figures

George Matthew Johnson

George Matthew Johnson is the author and narrator of the memoir. They are an activist for queer and Black rights and a journalist whose work has appeared in publications such as Teen Vogue and Buzzfeed. They were born in Plainfield, New Jersey, where most of the chapters up to Part 4 take place. They attended the HBCU Virginia Union University, where they became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Johnson intends All Boys Aren’t Blue to be both a resource for Black and queer youth and a primer for their cisgender/heterosexual and/or white peers. Johnson’s life experience as a queer person growing up is not extraordinary, except perhaps for their very accepting family. By writing of experiences familiar to many kids who feel different, Johnson creates possibilities for queer youth to see themselves in Johnson’s story. The Black family dynamics that feature prominently likewise provide Black representation not often seen in literature.

Johnson writes primarily to queer youth in the way Johnson wishes somebody had written to them. This makes Johnson’s writing accessible but leaves some things unexplained. For example, Johnson does not define terms like “transgender” and leaves its opposite, “cisgender,” out of the memoir entirely.

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