Cover image for You're not from around here, are you? : a lesbian in small-town America
You're not from around here, are you? : a lesbian in small-town America
Blum, Louise A., 1960-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
x, 271 pages ; 24 cm.
Personal Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ75.4.B55 A3 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In this memoir, the author tells of how, with the help of a tiny sperm vial called Dad, she and her partner decide to have a child, unleashing a storm of controversy in their small town. From a glowing article in the local newspaper, to prayer vigils, the town responds in different ways.

Author Notes

Louise A. Blum is associate professor of English at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A pregnant lesbian living in the middle of God's country: it sounds like the premise of a sitcom, but this personal narrative of love and childbirth in Wellsboro, Penn., is by turns poignant and wonderfully witty. Blum (Amnesty), a novelist and college professor, recounts the difficulties that being gay presents when one simply wants to get a mortgage, fix up a house and attend Lamaze classes in a small town. But to Blum's credit, this is no rose-colored, resolutely middle-class, "we're just like everyone else" kind of gay autobiography. She is refreshingly honest not only regarding her ambivalence about having children, but also regarding the sexual tensions the pregnancy causes in her relationship with her partner. Her descriptions of finding a sperm donor are hilarious ("He's attractive, I'd think, shaking someone's hand. I wonder what his sperm count is?"). And the book is filled with touching surprises such as that Blum doesn't admit to herself that she's gay until a year after moving in with her lover. With astonishing resilience, she describes her family's close-mindedness, as well as the prejudice she encounters from the townspeople she'd come to trust. Unfortunately, there's no escaping the miniature terrors of small-town life; as Blum points out, describing a trip across America, "Wellsboro is everywhere." (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

For most Americans, relocating to a small town, getting married, and starting a family is a clich. For gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people fearing isolation, ostracism, and worse such a step requires courage. Blum and her partner meet with obstacles not experienced by most Americans, as when they decide Blum will undergo alternative insemination and they are refused service by the first doctor they go to. After she gets pregnant, Blum is subjected to a hate sheet put out by students speculating that her child will be deformed. Even the couple's friends and supporters can't fathom the depth of their vulnerability. Blum's memoir ends at the birth of the couple's daughter, just when it becomes even more interesting: what is it like for a child to grow up with gay parents in small-town America? Blum's at times cautionary tale will be a reality check for LGBT readers and an eye-opener for straight ones. Recommended for all collections. Ina Rimpau, Newark P.L., NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Will That Be MasterCard or Visa?p. 1
Just Don't Do Anything Stupidp. 15
Maybe It's Morning Sicknessp. 25
I'm Gay!!!p. 43
Getting a Double Dose of Itp. 51
She Should Keep It in the Bedroomp. 63
Welcome to Satan's Playgroundp. 77
The Guys at the Sporting Goods Store Think You're the Greatestp. 95
If There's a Blue Line in the Large Window...p. 117
Well, Just Be Careful...p. 129
The Precocious Child of an Eccentric Writerp. 139
Why Don't Run Down to the Liquor Store?p. 149
Zoe = Lifep. 161
There Is Something Out There Known as Mother Naturep. 169
This Is Your Conscience Speakingp. 179
Hell--We're All Sinners!p. 191
Your Silence Will Not Protect Youp. 201
It's Just So Hard to Get to Brooklynp. 215
Making Room for My Babyp. 225
Give Me the Stampsp. 235
Just Make Sure Your Water Isn't Leakingp. 249
We Thought Maybe You'd Changed Your Mindp. 257