Moll, Anthony. “Out of Step: A Memoir”, Ohio State University Press, 2018.
A Sense of Self
Anthony Moll’s story is one of a working-class bisexual boy who ran off to join the army in the midst of two wars and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. If you have ever wondered why a pink-haired queer would raise his hand to enlist in the military as his country is going to war, this is the book for you. If you have never wondered that, this is also the book for you. This is the book for everyone interested in having a good read and that it is set against the backdrop of hyper masculinity and sexual secrecy makes Moll’s queer coming-of-age story all the more interesting.
Today Moll is an educator and writer. In his memoir he shares his life going through his military service and he shows how the army both breaks and builds relationships, and what it was like to explore his queer identity while, at the same time, coming to terms with his role in the nation’s ugly foreign policy. Moll was a punk, nerdy, left-leaning, poor boy in Nevada who left home for the first time to become an adult. When he returned to civilian life, he was forced to address a world more complicated than he was raised to believe. His story is one of finding his identity in the face of war and changing ideals.
Moll writes with raw emotion, humor, and “unselfconscious reflection” as he shares the peace he’s made with himself, in spite of and even because of his unconventional choice to enlist. This is a personal story that is compelling and wonderfully told.
Table of Contents:
A Note on the Text
What September Left
Headlines from the Reno-Gazette Journal the Morning of September 11, 2001
Wrong as Two Boys, Pt. I
Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, Camp Carroll, Korea
Plucky and Dumb
Wrong as Two Boys, Pt. II
Sisters in the Presence of Strangers, Pt. I
My Side of the Fence
Dogs of War
Sisters in the Presence of Strangers, Pt. II