- 19 Nov 19
Carmen Maria Machado breaks every rule in her memoir of domestic abuse. Each “chapter” takes a different approach: from a one-sentence epiphany through a three-page narrative to a 10-page choose-your-own-adventure.
By recounting her time in the Dream House, a real abode where she was abused by her ex-girlfriend, Machado had added something special to the archive of queer abuse. However, it’s her ability to shed fresh light on the often-problematic trope of queer villainy that makes this a must-read.
Here’s the conundrum: the disproportionate media representation of the LGBTQ+ community as villains has forced us to work twice as hard to be accepted as humans.
Writing about queer abuse could, therefore, harm the reputation the community has worked so hard to build. But Machado is bold enough to demand equal representation of queer people’s achievements and their mistakes.
After all, it’s the combination of both that makes us human.