Reviews

Still Stace: My Gay Christian Coming of Age Story, by Stacey Chomiak

noralikestoread's review against another edition

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When I first saw the title and summary of this book, I just knew I had to read it. It sounded so close to my own experiences and struggles, I was very moved to see someone else’s story reflect that, and I had a feeling it would make me cry (spoiler: it did). It was a very short audiobook to listen to – I was done in a few hours – but it gave me all the feels. I read that the physical version also has beautiful illustrations by the author so I’m gonna try to find that!
Still Stace tells the real story of the author, Stacey (who is also the narrator of the audiobook), who discovers as a teenager that she’s attracted to girls. As she’s also a fervent Christian, loves her Church and learning about Jesus, she starts feeling very confused and guilty about her attraction and relationship with a girl from her youth group. And that’s how her over a decade long struggle with her own sexuality and identity, as well as the prejudice from her community and family, starts.

I’m not sure how to review this book. It was what you’d expect from a story of self-discovery: painful and sad but also full of hope. It was heart-wrenching to see young Stacey convince herself she was sinful and that something was wrong with her, talk about going back on the “right path” and taking all the burden of her parents’ happiness and approval on herself. I think there was a double layer to the story as well: on the one hand, it’s about her own journey of accepting that she can be both Christian and gay, and feeling accepted by God, but on the other it was also about the self-loathing and shame that came from her community and her own parents, and having to get through that. I was so happy when Stace met supportive and loving friends, and later on a partner, who were able to comfort her and help her throughout her personal and spiritual journey. I especially loved her brother and how they were able to be there for each other, in a very quiet but core way. I thought the contrast between her previous abusive relationship and her ultimately happy, healthy one strongly highlighted how a partner shouldn’t make you feel ashamed or wrong, but on the contrary push you closer to God if that’s what’s important to you.
In a way, I want to force everyone to read this book, both religious people who reject queer people, AND members of the LGBTQ+ community who look down on religion and how important it is to some queer people. I feel like that intersection isn’t addressed very often in the LGBTQ+ community and it was so important to me, as a queer believer (although not Christian), to read about it.

TWs: homophobia, religious trauma, parental rejection, abusive relationship.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing an audiobook ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

beckyjohnston's review

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emotional hopeful fast-paced

4.0

naturally_caffeinated_reader's review against another edition

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4.0

This was an eye opener fior me as a fellow Canadian was surprised to learn how strict and conservative Christians are in Canada always heard this about our neighbours to the south. I think this is an important read fir youth in similar situation to understand their feelings and that god isn't mad at you for being gay.

chantel_ingalls's review against another edition

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emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0

This memoir was so incredibly relatable. As someone who still struggles with identifying what my sexuality is (or is “allowed to be”) I found Still Stace to be relatable, sad, funny, reminiscent and so much more! 5 stars from me ❤️

ashbcgc's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring fast-paced

3.75


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

lgbtrepinbooks's review against another edition

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5.0

*As is the nature of a memoir, many topics are discussed and could be considered trigger warnings for many people.*

Trigger Warnings: Christianity, homophobia, christian shame/guilt, toxic relationship, control/manipulation, threats of suicide/blackmail, counseling, coming out, drinking, drugs, jail, sex, Gay conversion therapy

Representation: Lesbian, Bisexual, Christian, Canadian, Gay

Still Stace is an illustrated memoir about Stace’s journey growing up as a Christian, while also being gay. Raised in the church, Stacey loves God, her church, her church friends, and bible camp. This is thrown for a loop one summer while at camp, she meets a girl who makes her heart sing. This sparks a decade long journey of self discovery and how to feel at peace with her identity and spirituality.

This audio ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this memoir! I may be biased based on my religious upbringing but I thought this was an excellent look into what it is like to be raised in the church but also gay. I thought the writing was clear and well organized. I loved the honesty and truthfulness from the author. I loved how Stacey put her entire heart on her sleeve and was willing to be so vulnerable for her readers. I thought this was incredibly brave and made her journey so much more relatable. While I read, I was hoping for the author to identify when they were the problem more but I think that capability comes from a place of privilege and reflection, which is unfair to assume.

I felt Stacey did a wonderful job on the audiobook. Her reading was clear and smooth. She also brought true emotions to the story. Overall, a fantastic book that religious, ex-religious, and non-religious readers alike should read!

cmstein's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective fast-paced

5.0

cj_heid's review against another edition

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5.0

From the initial description of this memoir, heck, even the full title, I knew this was going to hit hard. I didn’t expect however to be crying listening to the initial dedication to Stace’s younger-self. I felt wholly seen and understood from the beginning, and continued to through out the story. Even though my own story happened differently than hers I felt like I was reading my own thoughts trying to balance inner-truth and scripture against what the church tried to teach. I could feel the all too relatable fear of your parent’s feelings and expectations. It was liberating to hear another person’s story, especially with an ending so happy. Listening to the author narrating her own story in the audiobook made it almost feel like she were telling me this story over coffee. Additionally, I didn’t realize when I requested the audiobook that this was an illustrated memoir, so afterwards I borrowed a copy from my library to flip through the pictures, and the art is also beautifully done.

thank you to Beaming Books and NetGalley for providing me access to the audiobook ARC of this title.

bfenderson's review against another edition

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3.0

Beautiful story, I just struggled with the writing.

hadestbr's review against another edition

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challenging emotional hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0