Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Twenty-something British journalist and drag queen Rasmussen, who goes by the stage name Crystal, delivers a cheeky, irreverent debut memoir in diary form. Rasmussen covers such topics as sex, career, and self esteem--and doesn't shy away from sharing graphic sex stories with vivid details of their dating app hookups. Rasmussen also discusses writing about queer issues for magazines; being verbally and physically attacked for going out in drag; struggling to make it as a drag performer; and the freedom of being a drag queen ("drag allows you to become the kind of superstar you never thought you were allowed to be"). The memoir nods to Sex and the City (Rasmussen identifies as a Samantha and later as a Carrie) and often reads like a queer Bridget Jones's Diary (like Bridget, the author is a broke writer, and they're emotionally entangled with a Mark Darcy figure). Beyond being an entertaining romp, this memoir serves as an education for those living outside queer and drag circles. This exuberant, irreverent confessional is loud and proud with its message of acceptance and inclusion. (Apr.)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
A British queer performer's account of the tumultuous year that became their defining moment. In this gloriously outrageous memoir, Rasmussen, who speaks both as "Tom" and their performance alter ego "Crystal," tells stories about the tribulations and triumphs of life as a drag queen. Born to a working-class family in Lancaster, Rasmussen went to Cambridge to study veterinary medicine. When the book opens, the author has graduated and is working in the New York fashion industry: "It's a fairly usual First Job in Fashion: latte runs, bollockings for eating too much at breakfast, being reminded I'll never make it in this business." On the side, Rasmussen dragged, worked as a journalist, and had copious sex while pining for their best friend/love of their life, Ace. Rasmussen returned to England to make their career in London and be close to family and friends. At first, the obstacles seemed overwhelming. Ace was in love with a man, steady dragging work was nowhere to be found, and Rasmussen was forever overdrawn at the bank. Then the author slept with a "handsome brunette bear" writer and editor who helped them begin making connections in the world of journalism. They accepted a job as an intern at an influential London fashion magazine only to be "gently dismissed" shortly afterward for telling magazine editors their work was racist. While Rasmussen's journalistic career, which would eventually blossom, temporarily stalled, their performing career and personal life began to take off. Their queer performance group played Glastonbury, where, high on ecstasy, Rasmussen and Ace began the journey toward a committed relationship after their "first sexual experience together," in a Portaloo. Soul-baring, shamelessly explicit, and wickedly funny, Rasmussen's relentlessly entertaining book gets beneath the glitter and drama of drag to reveal how a practice often dismissed as misogynistic can serve as a kind of salvation for many nonbinary people. Ultimately, it is a revolutionary "kind of self-care that makes you totally healed, a complete person, even if just for a night." A sharp-eyed and hilarious memoir. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.