The Last Coming Out Story by Michael Whatling

How does the president of the school's “Rainbow Club” go from being the most popular student to the most hated? Though not for being gay.

***NEWS*** The Last Coming Out Story is now available as part of the short story collection A Vigil for Joe Rose. Available on Amazon.

Spencer is trying to stay under the radar. He’s already the token Anglo at his high school in Montréal, Canada – he doesn’t need "gay" added to that Shepherd’s Pie. That is until Jean-François, the hottest boy at school, starts a “Rainbow Club,” dragging Spencer along with him.

Spencer’s motto is “Tall boys are worth the climb,” and it’s uphill all the way if he’s going to win J.F.’s heart. He might even have to become an in-your-face activist, if that’s what it takes. But he isn't prepared to witness the object of his desire break a speed record for going from the most popular student to the most hated.

Based on a true story.

Set in Montreal, Canada, the place for outdoor cafés, festivals, same-sex marriage, and love. Gay or otherwise.

A postmodern take on coming out stories. Inspired by The Great Gatsby.

Movie Pitch: "Milk" in high school. :)

  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Feb. 24, 2009
  • Last updated Feb. 24, 2009
The Last Coming Out Story
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  • HarperCollins's avatar
    HarperCollins wrote 6 years, 1 month ago
    Your writing is quite strong and there are many lovely turns of phrase that made me nod appreciatively as I was reading. It’s clear you are exceptionally observant, and the insights you offer into, especially, the Quebec culture are fascinating. However, at times the length and frequency of these asides begin to slow the narrative, particularly near the beginning where you are establishing your characters. I think in many cases that although your explanations are genuinely interesting, they are not ...
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  • C.I. DeMann's avatar
    C.I. DeMann wrote 5 years, 7 months ago
    michael, this is a good read. a very interesting look into both the life of a gay teen and life in a Quebec school. you have a very good way with words and have developed some good characters. I was happy to see that you've been published in a short story collection. nice to know that authonomy writers move on to the big time. good luck with all! I've written a YA story of my own and (shh, don't tell ...
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  • C.I. DeMann's avatar
    C.I. DeMann wrote 5 years, 7 months ago
    michael, this is a good read. a very interesting look into both the life of a gay teen and life in a Quebec school. you have a very good way with words and have developed some good characters. I was happy to see that you've been published in a short story collection. nice to know that authonomy writers move on to the big time. good luck with all! I've written a YA story of my own and (shh, don't tell ...
    Read more
  • david brett's avatar
    david brett wrote 6 years, 1 month ago
    Isn't this true. have not some others suggested you have a problem with length?.... My worthless suggestion would be - find a good model (Andre Gide, Symphonie Pastorale e.g or Benjamin Constant ( I assume you have good French) and see what they do in 30k words. Then go for a finished, perfect novella which will not get published easily: and then start another. Your overall scheme seems to me really good, but publishers have pretty queer ideas about what ...
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  • fifi's avatar
    fifi wrote 6 years, 1 month ago

    I'm really surprised about how much I've been enjoying this when I wasn't expecting to (somewhat over too many 'high school' re write!) But this is really good engaging writing.
    Shelved & I'll come back & read the rest as I want to read on. (got to the end of chapter 3 so far, but have to go and do things now :-) )

  • Wade's avatar
    Wade wrote 6 years, 1 month ago
    This comment has failed moderation.
  • pictureingrey's avatar
    pictureingrey wrote 6 years, 1 month ago

    What a wonderful book - I was with Spencer every step of the way, following his and J.F.'s journey. He is an excellent narrator, full of charisma and with a definite, clear voice. You treat the issues you write about incredibly well and I certainly had tears in my eyes by the end of it.
    Apologies for such a short comment, but I could easily gush some more about how much I enjoyed this. Keep up the excellent work!
    ~pictureingrey/Phoebe

  • LeeHodges's avatar
    LeeHodges wrote 6 years, 1 month ago
    Hi Michael Sorry that it’s taken so long to get to Last Coming Out; I suppose that now you’ve made the “desk”, my opinions will not matter that much, but here’s my thoughts anyway! I must admit to being thrown straight away; the narrative starts by ‘telling’ us about the gay club only to jump in the next sentence to ‘show’ us real-time outside of the ceremony. I’m having to read and re-read this to see if I’ve misread it, ...
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  • G.S. Williams's avatar
    G.S. Williams wrote 6 years, 1 month ago
    Sorry it's taken me so long to get to this, but it's been a busy month. Now that I'm reading: the first chapter indicates you have a very strong narrative style, with an excellent command of your narrator's voice. However, it's so confident and fluid that I don't for a second feel like I'm reading the thoughts of a teenager. His concerns about fitting in and homophobia are normal enough, but he writes like an educated adult. I admire your ...
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  • Neek1981's avatar
    Neek1981 wrote 6 years, 1 month ago

    I like your narrator's voice. He's honest, funny, and so...young! He's a breath of fresh air. The way he describes J.F. and people in general reminds me of people I know. I think a lot of people will identify with this voice--both hetero and homosexuals. Shelved. Good luck. :)

  • Foxy Crystalwood's avatar
    Foxy Crystalwood wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Well-paced and obviously, well thought out novella about a pretty common subject of late. But I found myself invested in the story. It is easy to see why this is such a quick riser. Best of luck with it!

  • Wilf Morgan's avatar
    Wilf Morgan wrote 6 years, 2 months ago
    Hi - a little late in getting my comments to you - but you made it to the ED without them, anyway! Got to say, I really liked this - the narrative is brilliant. Quirky, snappy, witty, engaging, the kind you could just sit and listen to all day talking about whatever came into his head. It's so good, you get away with dropping various bits of info in there that I otherwise would have found boring and slowing the ...
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  • Efadul Huq's avatar
    Efadul Huq wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    This is a very important story and has been presented in a tight, entertaining, easy way. You have my backing.

  • Lorelli's avatar
    Lorelli wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Hi Michael

    I only saw your message this morning so have only had the chance to read the first few chapters - but so far i'm really engaged. Vivid narration and interesting setting have me hooked :-)

    It's shelved - although i guess you may not need that as i see you've already got that fabulous gold star so many, many congratulations.

    Lorelli

  • Retired user
    Justis Call [Retired] wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    The Last Coming Out Story

    I like Spencer, I like his idiosyncracies. This novella is interesting with its French references/words and the twists it presents. Having only begun the book, I believe it to be something that will be watched, scored, and challenged in most venues -- which is good.

    Best to you!
    Justis
    Prestidigitations

  • Cealarenne's avatar
    Cealarenne wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Michael, I know this is late in the day, but you've got a great style, and a great book. I don't think you need my shelf space, but I offer it gladly.
    Cealarenne

  • jumes's avatar
    jumes wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    I've just read chapt 1 ....and I know that I'm going to like this ...so I'm shelving this book and I hope to read more soon..
    Julie
    Thank-you for your kind comments on my Dad's book ,'Never Again'.As you probably know , its very difficult to have to face certain memories.....especially after spending years trying to bury them .I'm very proud of his work .
    Good Luck with your book ......

  • aislingb's avatar
    aislingb wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Hi, I just read the first chapter of this as the time is nearly up for the editors desk. This is light and well-paced. The dialogue is excellent. I especially liked the line 'Tall boys are worth the climb'. I think this will turn into a very good story once I've read further. A

  • Authorfiction's avatar
    Authorfiction wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    This will be a great book for teens who are in the same place as your MC,I think it is a great read and well written you are making it to the editors desk my friend!!!

  • BHK's avatar
    BHK wrote 6 years, 2 months ago

    Quite different from my regular reading material but thoroughly enjoyable and tightly written.