46 pages 1 hour read

George M. Johnson

All Boys Aren't Blue

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | YA

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Part 3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 3: “Teenagers”

Part 3, Chapter 11 Summary: “Boys Will Be Boys…”

Content Warning: Part 2, Chapter 11 and the Part 3 Analysis discuss sexual abuse/assault and anti-gay hate crimes.

Chapter 11 is about Johnson’s first involuntary sexual experience with their cousin, Thomas. This experience is incredibly complex for the author and is both a source of personal trauma and a lesson in communal queer trauma. The incident takes place on Christmas night and happens to be Johnson’s first queer experience, awakening feelings they tried to repress as a child. Though Johnson makes it clear that abuse occurred, they still find empathy for their cousin as an adult looking back on events; Johnson imagines that their cousin, who is now dead because of a hate crime, was a victim who in turn victimized Johnson.

Johnson is violated a second time when a boy called Evan inappropriately touches them in the bathroom. These two experiences, which introduce Johnson to intimacy, make them anxious about further intimacy in the future. Johnson ends the chapter by tying these events to concepts of masculinity that demand heterosexuality/heteronormativity—the kind of masculinity embraced by the men who killed Thomas for being gay.