Introduction

The author wishes to thank her daughter Morgan and friends Diane and Alice for reading drafts of the text.

All rights reserved by the author. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a critical article or review. The author may be contacted via her website: www.lisalees.com

First edition September 2005; minor revision October 2010. Copyright Lisa Lees. Originally published as a print book via Lulu.com in 2005 with ISBN 1-4116-4268-6. This edition was published via Lulu.com as an e-book in June 2012 with ISBN 978-1-105-86204-5.

This novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is coincidental. Details about actual locations and places have sometimes been altered for the purposes of the story.

The cover was created by artist Jade Gordon (www.jadegordon.com).

Preface

The votes are in: marriage is between a man and a woman. What do two young people in love do, if those words don't work for them? Carys and Jami may be girls, but Carys has never willingly worn a dress and Jami, who has, is intersexed. Though being a teenager in love is never easy, for Carys and Jami falling in love with each other is a terrifying journey in self-discovery and, ultimately, trust.

In my reading I had noticed that most young adult coming of age / coming out novels feature somewhat stereotypical gay and lesbian characters, with very few trans and no intersex folks in sight. I decided to try and change that situation.

The main characters in Fool for Love are two eighteen year old girls, in the final months of high school and home school. (Of course "girls" is the label applied by the culture in which they live; it's not necessarily a label with which either of them is completely happy.)

Jami is intersexed. I am deliberately vague about the details, because intersex is a complex topic. I didn't want to make it difficult for readers to identify with Jami, and I didn't want to bog the story down in esoteric medical details. Jami is into photography, computers and thinking. Her main conflict comes from feeling that she's actually something very different from what she appears to be (a charming and attractive young girl). To step out of that role is to step into danger, on many levels.

Carys falls somewhere between butch dyke and transgender in the genderqueer spectrum. She's a theater person, a clown (literally) and a big Sherlock Holmes fan. Carys has some problems with her parents and with school, where she's in the GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance). As the kind of person who is called "dyke" while she's walking down the street, Carys has a rather different set of issues than Jami.

There are a couple of what I consider to be fairly emotional scenes as Carys and Jami get to know each other. There is no graphic detail, but I try to at least hint at the emotional minefield that surrounds the question of sexual intimacy for some people, and what it can mean to be involved with such a person.

I hope my characters will be familiar to some of today's queer and questioning youth who aren't eager to own one of the usual labels. I know from experience how nice it is to finally find yourself in a book, after being disappointed so many times when characters who seem promising turn out to be something else.

Please remember that this is a novel about two particular people, not a political treatise about queer and/or intersex identity in general. Neither of these people is me, or anyone else I know, though I certainly drew on my life experience in writing this book.

Finally, this is a "happy book." No one dies deservedly, kills hirself, is beaten, raped, or even kicked out of their home. Some bad stuff happens, of course, but things turn out okay in the long run.

— Lisa Lees, 2005

"Many people have suspected there is a hidden transgender agenda. You are correct. We hope to immerse everyone in high potency metaphysical concept solvent to strip away the social facade that keeps our souls in shadow and prevents us from interacting on the level of pure energy. When one day we cast aside our prejudices in a planetary embrace we will merge to give birth to a new sun and our love will shine to the edges of the universe and the ends of time!" — Carys