“To the Boys Who Wear Pink” by Raven Badingham III— A Dark Experience

Badingham III, Revan. “To The Boys Who Wear Pink”, Riley Palance, 2020.

A Dark Experience

Amos Lassen

You do not always have to like the characters to have an enjoyable reading experience and we see this in Raven Badingham III’s “To Boys Who Wear Pink”. We have a bevy of unlikeable characters— some are overweight, engage in drug use and excessive drinking, practice self- harm, and involved in rape being. We get their personal histories that are shared in fascinating and interesting ways.

Told from many different perspectives that do not always make sense, we cannot help but question their existence.   The plot is a character-driven and explores the lives of several gay friends who have come together for a reunion party. During the course of the evening, we learn about them through flashbacks and what brings them together. We ultimately learn that they are brought together by a tragic event and we learn little by little what that was. 

Each guy gets his own chapter and we follow what he thinks and how he acts, both in the present and the past. Some of the characters are likeable and others are detestable. These are dark stories coming together into an even darker whole.At the party, they argue, physically fight, get drunk, take drugs, sell drugs and have sex as they share their pasts. Each person is experiencing rough time in their lives yet some of the stories are inspiring. They are all different yet they all have flaws. They speak about how they are now and who they once were. This is most certainly not a fun read but it is a fascinating one.

The night seemed never to end but there are twenty-four stories to be told and a lot happens. I am sure I will be thinking about this for a very long time.

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