Brendan is in his final year of high school. He's on the wrestling team, struggles with depression, and dreams at night of being a princess.
Vanessa, the only girl on the school's wrestling team, gets called a dyke. She is Brendan's girlfriend and their mutual attraction feels real.
My favourite character is Angel, a transwoman who works at a drop-in centre for queer youth. Because of her interactions with Brendan, she finds herself struggling with ethical dilemmas that give additional complexity to this story.
This is from Angel:
judge those who go
to pumping parties,
strip down in apartments
or hotel rooms,
let someone with
no medical connection
inject that silicone
right into their
chests, hips, lips.
It's judging that's trashy."Everyone feels like a freak until they make up their mind they're not." Angel's words to Brendan could equally apply to so many other teenagers.
Freakboy is a thoughtful exploration of gender fluidity.
Readalikes: Tricks and other verse novels by Ellen Hopkins