Synopses & Reviews
Its hard enough coming out, but playing basketball for a nationally ranked school and trying to figure out your sexual identity in the closeted and paranoid world of big-time college sports—thats a challenge.
Kate Fagans love for basketball and for her religious teammates at the University of Colorado was tested by the gut-wrenching realization that she could no longer ignore the feelings of otherness inside her. In trying to blend in, Kate had created a hilariously incongruous world for herself in Boulder. Her best friends were part of Colorados Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where they ran weekly Bible studies and attended an Evangelical Free Church. For nearly a year, Kate joined them and learned all she could about Christianity—even holding their hands as they prayed for others “living a sinful lifestyle.” Each time the issue of homosexuality arose, she felt as if a neon sign appeared over her head, with a giant arrow pointed downward. During these prayer sessions, she would often keep her eyes open, looking around the circle at the closed eyelids of her friends, listening to the earnestness of their words.
Kate didnt have a vocabulary for discussing who she really was and what she felt when she was younger; all she knew was that she had a secret. In The Reappearing Act, she brings the reader along for the ride as she slowly accepts her new reality and takes the first steps toward embracing her true self.
"Fagan, a columnist for ESPN and former University of Colorado basketball player, recounts her experiences coming to terms with her sexuality in this well-crafted memoir. She focuses squarely on her college years, with a few flashbacks to her childhood and a brief ending on her post-college life. Under pressure from several of her teammates, she joins the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and spends a couple years as a believing evangelical. Her slow realization that she is gay competes with her burgeoning faith as what she calls a 'temporary Christian.' Fagan recounts her ultimately unsuccessful attempts to reconcile being an evangelical Christian and being a lesbian along with larger discussions about homophobia in women's college athletics. Despite the subtitle, Fagan only discusses her sexuality with few people while on the team. The memoir's greatest strength is its glimpse into how a variety of lesbian athletes and coaches navigate the homophobic culture of college sports. Although she offers little hope for reconciling homosexuality and Christianity and repeats many of the same types of stories of other coming-out tales, Fagan's work will appeal to readers hoping to better understand the complications of being gay in sports." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kate Fagans The Reappearing Act is a much needed personal story about the struggles and anxiety surrounding sexual identity. In a humorous, intimate and endearingly vulnerable way, Kate shares her lonely but ultimately triumphant battle of coming to terms with being gay. Her memoir will serve as a guide and source of confidence for many others fighting the same internal conflict.”
Julie Foudy, analyst for ABC/ESPN and former midfielder for the United States womens national soccer team
Kate Fagans beautifully written coming-of-age memoir is raw, wise, honest and courageous. The Reappearing Act reminds us that it may seem impossible to reconcile the worlds expectations with your hearts, but if you stay true to yourself, you may just get what you want. I love this book.”
Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN investigative reporter and New York Times
best-selling author of First Off the Tee, Wonder Girl, and Her Way
A sensitive, witty and altogether moving coming-out story told with the salty, sharp verve of a sports writer? Thats what Kate Fagan has given us. The Reappearing Act is a treasure, a must-read for people inside and outside the sports world. I bet it will also make a difference in the lives of a lot of young people coming to grips with the act of growing up.”
Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation
I didnt think any writer could weave so many themescollege sports, evangelical Christianity, sexual identity, family dynamicsinto an accessible and easy-to-read narrative. But in The Reappearing Act, Kate Fagan has done that and more. Shes written a moving, funny and revelatory memoir that entertains even more than it informs, which is saying something.”
Gary Belsky, Time.com columnist and former editor in chief of ESPN The Magazine.
"This well-crafted memoir . . . will appeal to readers hoping to better understand the complications of being gay in sports." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Kate Fagan: Kate Fagan is a columnist and feature writer for espnW, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine
. She is also an in-studio contributor for The Word
, a digital video segment that examines hot topics in sports. Previously, Fagan spent three seasons covering the 76ers for the Philadelphia Inquirer
. Her work has earned her multiple awards, and she has been featured on Longreads, a site that curates the best in long-form journalism and fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.