RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 644018941 LA English T1 If you knew then what I know now A1 Van Meter, Ryan,, PB Sarabande Books PP Louisville, KY YR 2011 SN 9781932511949 1932511946 AB Overview: The middle American coming-of-age has found new life in Ryan Van Meter's coming-out, made as strange as it is familiar by acknowledging the role played by gender and sexuality. In fourteen linked essays, If You Knew Then What I Know Now reinvents the memoir with all-encompassing empathy-for bully and bullied alike. A father pitches baseballs at his hapless son and a grandmother watches with silent forbearance as the same slim, quiet boy sets the table dressed in a blue satin dress. Another essay explores origins of the word "faggot" and its etymological connection to "flaming queen." This deft collection maps the unremarkable landscapes of childhood with compassion and precision, allowing awkwardness its own beauty. This is essay as an argument for the intimate-not the sensational-and an embrace of all the skinned knees in our stumble toward adulthood.