Trans folks take the lead in Briar Rolfe’s ‘Get Your Story Straight’

Hachette Australia has announced they will release the debut YA graphic novel Get Your Story Straight by non-binary Melbourne-based author and illustrator Briar Rolfe.

Get Your Story Straight follows Henry, a 19-year-old trans man who is out to everyone except his conservative Christian parents. When Henry realises his best shot at accessing top surgery is by faking an engagement to his friend Cooper, he learns it isn’t easy to plan a wedding, even a fake one.

His mum wants to control everything, his dad is convinced that nonbinary Cooper is a closeted gay man, and Henry might be developing feelings for his fake fiancé—and the Australian Government has just announced the 2017 Marriage Equality plebiscite.

Is the cost of staying closeted worth the pain of coming out? What does a fake wedding mean if you’re not allowed to have a real one? And is a person really torn to pieces by a crocodile in North Queensland every three months?

Get Your Story Straight is my big transgender love letter to the romcom genre (specifically, literary classics like As You Like It, She’s The Man, and The Proposal),” Rolfe said of the work.

“I’ve always resonated with stories about false identities, cross dressing, and fake relationships, because if you grow up in the closet, those tropes are just part of everyday life.”

“I’m excited to work on this book because I’m getting to represent parts of the Australian queer experience I’ve never seen before – growing up rural, share housing in the city, the marriage equality debate, and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” Rolfe continued.

“It matters to me to be able to draw a story that feels like it belongs here! I love Australian characters, landscapes, and Australian storytelling and comedy. This is a graphic novel with gum trees, magpies, trams, and Hills Hoists in the background, and Australian experiences in the foreground.”

Get Your Story Straight follows in the vein of Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper graphic novels, also published by Hachette, which are currently enjoying huge success on the heels of the hit Netflix series.

Get Your Story Straight is due for release in 2024.

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