Welcome to Straightville
Gay Population: 1

Matthew Aaron Browning Straightville

At least that’s how sixteen-year-old Devon Bennett feels. As far as he knows, he’s the only gay person in the entire Appalachian coal town of Tateville, West Virginia. In a place full of confederate flags, four wheelers, deer hunters, and churches on every corner, he’s terrified to admit – even to himself – that he likes guys.

Lucky for Devon, no one has figured out his secret yet, except perhaps Eric Hale, his school bus nemesis with a certain fondness for that awful F word – you know, the one that rhymes with maggot? But suppressing his feelings becomes nearly impossible for Devon when a gorgeous and mysterious new kid named Alexander Pratt steps onto the bus one morning, sending Devon hurdling down the path to self-acceptance whether he’s ready or not. Before long, Devon is falling in love with a boy and determined to find more people just like himself in a town where the word gay is an insult and redneck is a term of endearment. 

Aided by his nosy best friend and an eccentric teacher, Devon sets out to grab headlines in the school paper by exposing gay life in Tateville Straightville. 

Coming soon. Watch the site for publication information. And in the meantime, check out my new FREE ebook "One Way In" for a look at Alexander's life before moving to Straightville!


Free ebook ONE WAY IN available now!

OneWay sign_lgname

"A great story, sensitively told."Brent Hartinger, author of Geography Club

"An entertaining, informative story." – Rainbow Book Reviews

Teenager Alexander Pratt's first trip to a gay bar leads to a night of new experiences and big decisions that impact his life in ways he can't even imagine. 

A prequel to Welcome to Straightville, ONE WAY IN is part of Brent Hartinger's Real Story Safe Sex Project, a not-for-profit venture designed to shed light on safe sex choices among gay and bi men and young adults, while also shedding light on the sex behind those choices. This story takes place in the months and days before Alexander moves to Tateville and Welcome to Straightville begins. To honor the scope and vision of the Real Story Safe Sex Project, it does feature sexual situations not appropriate for all readers.

Read the story behind ONE WAY IN, and download it for free at Amazon and Smashwords.