Title: The Complications of T
Author: Bey Deckard
Pages/Word Count: 15800 Words
At a Glance: The Complications of T is a timely story that had me cheering because Stuart Leandro, our narrator, raises the questions so many of us have contemplated but are, perhaps, afraid to ask.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: A bite-sized trans* love story:
Stuart Leandro knows he’s washed up, both on the big screen, and in his marriage. Then, when things take an even bigger turn for the worse one night, he winds up blind drunk and lost in a foreign city.
Thankfully, someone’s there to rescue him before his face ends up plastered all over the tabloids.
Wary of the motives of the reclusive stranger who brings the fading star into the quiet shelter of a hip but isolated loft, Stuart nonetheless can’t deny his curiosity… Or his attraction. Tim is unlike anyone the actor has ever met, but underneath the mystery and quiet attempts at invisibility, Stuart discovers someone whose life has been intertwined with his own for years.
Neither could have predicted that Tim’s act of kindness would lead to one of the most intense encounters of their lives—but, are they willing to weather the media storm their extraordinary relationship will cause?
Review: It’s no great secret by now that I’m a fan of Bey Deckard’s work, not for the least of the reasons that his characters are always compelling, whether they be pirates or soldiers. This novelette, however, is yet another departure for the author, not a story set in a past or future alternate universe but a very real, compelling, and timely story that had me cheering because Stuart Leandro, our narrator, raises the questions so many of us have contemplated but are, perhaps, afraid to ask.
Beginning with the title, which has a meaning significant to the plot in a dual way, this story presents what, on the surface, seems as though it’s going to be a simple tale of a man and woman meeting and falling into a whirlwind love affair. It’s not until Stuart, who is not only going through the breakup of his marriage but is publicly very drunk, is taken home by his rescuer—someone he believes to be a woman who’s just saved him from the paparazzi, not to mention a sure social media and PR nightmare—and we are presented with an altogether different complication.
Tim White, movie critic and Stuart’s would-be nemesis, is a trans* man and a fantastically sympathetic character—not because we feel a sense of pity or despair for him but because we admire him for his courage and the strength to live life on his terms and to be the man he was born to be. Tim’s forthright answers to Stuart’s question about his biological anatomy and sexual preferences are not only questions I’ve had myself, but are also questions my kids have asked as well, sparked by Caitlin Jenner’s forthright and public transition. The end result of those discussions boils down to sexuality not being something that can be analyzed and deconstructed and then tucked into neat little boxes of conformity. Human sexuality is simply something we accept in others, and that’s the result of Stuart’s relationship with Tim. It’s not about being gay, bi, male, female and all the various permutations, but Stuart simply accepts Tim for who he is and embraces his feelings so honestly to the point that Tim has to play the voice of reason, and does so in a way that prevents this story from falling into the predictable.
I loved The Complications of T, beginning to end. Its characters are relevant, the topic important, and I would recommend it wholeheartedly as a story whose time has come.
You can buy The Complications of T here: