Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-06-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

I'm Walking as Straight as I Can
BOOK REVIEW Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Terri Schlichenmeyer
2011-11-02

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


by Geri Jewell with Ted Nichelson, $19.95; ECW Press; 252 pages

"You can't."

Ever since you were able to understand language, those were two words that inflamed you the most. They meant denial. They were a barrier to what you wanted. They were frustrating, too. And, perhaps unbeknownst to the speaker, they were a challenge to you because they only made you work harder.

Once author Geri Jewell's parents received the diagnosis of cerebral palsy for their daughter, they never let her think she couldn't do anything. In her book I'm Walking as Straight as I Can ( with Ted Nichelson ) , Jewell talks about her life and her determination.

Geri Jewell made her worldwide debut in September 1956—three months early due to a car accident involving her mother. Eighteen months later, after her parents noticed developmental delays and begged doctors for an explanation, Jewell was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Although institutionalization was recommended, the Jewells were adamant that Geri would be treated like their other children. They moved from New York to California so that she could get first-class care and they enrolled her in schools that could accommodate her disabilities. Even though she sometimes met discrimination, Jewell remembers a good childhood.

After graduating from high school, Jewell went to college, where she fell in love with acting. She wanted to fall in love, too, but she writes that she was emotionally stunted—"a child"—and she was also very confused.

Jewell was attracted to women, but swore that she was not gay.

Her emotional immaturity didn't stop her determination, though. Having found her funny bone, Jewell accepted as many comedy gigs as she could find and she clawed for her place in entertainment. Humor gained her lots of fans, which led to a TV career on The Facts of Life, as well as a wildly popular stage show.

However, like many Hollywood careers, Jewell's had its problems.

She was unceremoniously ousted from Facts for reasons she still doesn't know. Her hearing impairment got her into trouble, as did her emotional immaturity. Jewell was naïve and too trusting, which almost landed her in jail. She was broke, divorced, depressed, addicted to prescription drugs and still in the closet when a chance encounter in a pharmacy line gave her the lifeline she needed most.

As Tinseltown memoirs go, I'm Walking as Straight as I Can isn't bad.

Although author Geri Jewell is a star herself, it's refreshing to read about her brushes with other celebs. She drops names and tells tales with obvious wonder, much as any fan would and that's a sweet humility that readers—tired of tabloid-type Hollywood drama—will love.

On the other hand, the trademark Jewell humor is largely missing in this book and there's a lot of ( often-justifiable ) complaining that felt repetitious to me after awhile. That, some odd anecdotes, and repeated comments on urination detracted from this bio.

Overall, this book is worth a look-see but it might be best enjoyed if you're a big Geri Jewell fan. For you, in particular, I'm Walking as Straight as I Can is a book you can't miss.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Elledge at bookstores June 20, 22 2018-06-12 - Jim Elledge—the author of The Boys of Fairy Town: Sodomites, Female Impersonators, Third Sexers, Pansies, Queers, and Sex Morons in Chicago's First Century—will ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Tough Mothers 2018-06-12 - By Jason Porath. $24.99; Dey St; 244 pages First of all, Tough Mothers, which is a charmingly illustrated encyclopedia of exactly ...


Gay News

Children's Museum hosts drag queens on Family Equality Day 2018-06-12 - A packed crowd of pudgy-faced kiddos accessorized in handmade rainbow-beaded bracelets and PFLAG identity pins waved rainbow flags high above their heads, beaming ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding 2018-06-06 - —The Original Island Shrimp House ( http://www.originalislandshrimphouse.com/ ): Did you know that National Lobster Day is June 15? Well, one of the places ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Two new picture books tell story of the rainbow flag 2018-06-06 - Pride season is here, and so are two new picture books that tell the story of the rainbow flag and the individuals who ...


Gay News

LGBTQ-inclusive CAKE comics expo hits Center on Halsted 2018-06-06 - The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo ( CAKE ) landed at Center on Halsted to celebrate the world of alternative comic art June 2-3. ...


Gay News

Lambda Literary awardees include Carmen Maria Machado, John Rechy, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor 2018-06-05 - NEW YORK, NY - On Monday, June 4th, Lambda Literary, the nation's leading organization advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ...


Gay News

Queer Comics in the U.S. panel June 14 TALK CANCELLED 2018-06-04 - NOTE: This event has been cancelled. From the 1960s underground comix scene in San Francisco, to LGBT newspapers and magazines in the'80s and'90s, ...


Gay News

Chicago Public Library celebrates Pride Month 2018-06-01 - In honor of Pride Month in June, Chicago Public Library will feature a variety of programs for kids, teens and adults highlighting the ...


Gay News

Pride month brings Pride Open Mic, LGBTQIA Storytelling to Feminist Bookstore 2018-05-30 - Pride month brings events at Women & Children First Books, 5233 N. Clark St. Chicago, Chicago's only feminist bookstore: Friday, ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.