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The Times I Knew I Was Gay


A charming, highly relatable graphic memoir that follows one young woman’s adventures in coming out and coming of age.

Ellie always had questions about who she was and how she fit in. As a girl, she wore black, obsessed over Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and found dating boys much more confusing than many of her friends did. As she grew older, so did her fears and a deep sense of unbelonging. From her first communion to her first girlfriend via a swathe of self-denial, awkward encounters, and everyday courage, Ellie tells her story through gorgeous illustrations—a fresh and funny self-portrait of a young woman becoming herself.

The Times I Knew I Was Gay reminds us that people sometimes come out not just once but again and again; that identity is not necessarily about falling in love with others, but about coming to terms with oneself. Full of vitality and humor, it will ring true for anyone who has taken the time to discover who they truly are.

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Eleanor Crewes is a London-based illustrator, author, and graphic artist who graduated from University of the Arts in London in 2016. Her debut graphic memoir The Times I Knew I Was Gay originated as a self-published zine in 2017. It eventually became a small book, published by Good Comics and exhibited at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Thought Bubble, Brighton Illustration Fair, and The Lakes International Comic Arts Festival. This new and expanded version represents her American debut.

"Brims with hope, and the joy that arises when one is finally ready to step out into the world."

“Crewes' commitment to telling a not-neat story is the best thing about her great memoir… When young adult Ellie looks into a doorframe filled with five of her past selves, readers have gotten to know each one, and will fully appreciate having been let in on the journey.”
Booklist, starred review

"A sweet and happy confection... queer readers will nod in recognition, and straight readers should probably consider this and other stories of coming out just as closely... Crewes's own story involves unsatisfactory romances with men, hesitant coming out, and then retreating back into the closet, but this isn't a queer narrative that ends in tragedy--we've had enough of those. It concludes with love and joy. If those are too often elusive, it's worth remembering that this isn't a fairy tale but a true story. It gets better indeed."
The New Republic

"Crewes’s debut graphic memoir of self-discovery traces her queer identity from youthful obsessions with Buffy the Vampire Slayer through uncomfortable dates with boys, and later girlfriends, as she comes to realize that coming out is a process more than a single point in time."
Publisher's Weekly

“[A] a charming, accessible story about self-acceptance that everyone—especially people struggling with their sexuality—can enjoy. A heartwarming, delightful memoir of self-discovery.”

“Will appeal to anyone who’s had to negotiate the awkward, thrilling, sometimes hilarious, sometimes bewildering loops and cul-de-sacs of the journey into adulthood and self-knowledge.”
Sarah Waters, author of The Paying Guests

“Evocative, authentic, and hilarious. As a gay woman I’m constantly looking for content that feels true to my own experiences, that helps me understand myself more -- in this book, I found that.”
Tillie Walden, author of Spinning and On a Sunbeam 

"A really poignant look at the fuzziness and confusions of queer life."
Ruby Tandoh, author of Eat Up

"I wanted to shout 'I felt like that too!' so many times while reading this book - it will help so many people feel less alone. A beautifully told memoir about accepting yourself for who you are."
Kate Davies, author of In At The Deep End

“Beautiful — I cried and couldn't stop reading. A wonderful inspiration.”
Sara Quin, of Tegan and Sara

 “Candid, so funny, and super relatable. Perfectly captures all of the confusing, complex, scary, and euphoric realizations in coming to terms with your sexuality."
Alice Oseman, author of Heartstopper

“Ellie Crewes's honesty should be applauded in quietly and succinctly challenging a social obsession with trying to fit people's sexual identities into restrictive categories.”
Nicola Streeten, author of Billy, Me & You

“In this charming, funny comic, Crewes traces the moments she realised she might be gay, from her holy communion to her first date with a woman. She describes the “burst of life” she feels when she comes out once and for all – and the regret that it has taken her so long.”
—Kate Davies, The Guardian, "Top Ten Books About Coming Out"

"Navigating one’s own relation to the world has never been simple, but Crewes’s deftly drawn lines don’t divide her from the norm, they place her lovingly within its problematic embrace."
Jenny Robins, The Quietus

“Witty, poignant, and beautifully observed.”
—Andy Oliver, Broken Frontier