Bent Is Not Broken

(4 customer reviews)

A fag hag’s collection of personal and social histories


To anyone who has ever felt alienated or out of place. To anyone who has felt the need to hide behind a mask. To anyone who has ever felt different, or fragile, or a bit too close to breaking: this book’s for you.

Through a combination of memoir, interviews, and research, M.J. Buckman explores LGBT+ life through the ages and looks at what it can teach us today about tolerance, inclusivity, and sheer joy.

In the 1980s, M.J. thrived in London’s gay subculture. Being a fag hag was fun, exciting, and all-consuming. But, amongst all her ‘bent’ friends trying to find themselves, was she losing herself instead?

M.J. believed that everyone was constantly blighted by severe anxiety, and that they were just much better than her at dealing with it. She must be the odd one out because she struggled to cope.

Now turning sixty, M.J. looks back on that time and the journey she has taken to have a stronger and healthier relationship with herself. Through interviews with LGBT+ people of all ages, she explores the pain of being on the outside and the wonder of finding your tribe.

Blending these personal histories with a deep exploration of how society has represented LGBT+ people throughout history, M.J. creates an uplifting and impassioned book that unveils the importance of accepting ourselves and each other. In today’s world, where many LGBT+ people still struggle to be themselves and hate speech is on the rise, the need to stand up and be counted as an ally is as strong as ever.

This book is about the human spirit: flawed but able to cope, different from others but accepting ourselves, fearful of adversity, but somehow finding the inner resources to be true to who we are. Bent, but not broken.

Also available in ebook and paperback from all major retailers.

Original price was: £4.99.Current price is: £2.49.

About The Author

M.J. Buckman

M.J. Buckman

M.J. Buckman (Em), was born into privilege, but didn’t realize it. She spent her young years in a mediocre town in the South-East of England, living a mediocre life, before going to study in the bright lights of London. She yearned for a life less ordinary and found it with her gay friends.
She lived in London for thirty years, bringing up two sons and working in the not-for-profit sector.
Em has now retired to the south coast, where she lives with her unbelievably tolerant husband, her anxious as anything little dog and her cool as anything big cat.

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4 reviews for Bent Is Not Broken

    KC Finn
    March 24, 2024
    Bent Is Not Broken, penned by author MJ Buckman, is a work of non-fiction in the LGBTQ+, social issues, and slice-of-life subgenres. It is best suited to adult readers owing to its topical discussion of abuse, suicide, and suicide attempts. The work is a heartfelt exploration of the LGBTQ+ experience, offering solace and understanding to those who have ever felt alienated, fragile, or out of place. Through a mix of memoirs, interviews, and research, Buckman delves into the challenges and triumphs of LGBTQ+ life, highlighting the importance of tolerance, inclusivity, and self-acceptance. From her own experiences thriving in London's gay subculture to reflections on turning sixty and finding belonging, Buckman's narrative is both uplifting and impassioned. By blending personal stories with a deep examination of societal representation, Buckman unveils the resilience of the human spirit and the power of acceptance, reminding readers that despite adversity, we can remain true to ourselves. Author MJ Buckman has crafted a deeply moving work with a candid exploration of her own journey and the broader LGBTQ+ experience through the ages is both poignant and empowering. As she reflects on her time in London's gay subculture in the 1980s and her search for identity amidst societal pressures, I found myself drawn into her world with a mixture of empathy and admiration. The narrative style is concise and confident, but also teeming with warmth and the tone of a wise friend recounting valuable life lessons to us all. The interviews with LGBTQ+ individuals of all ages add richness and a more well-rounded viewpoint, highlighting the struggles and triumphs of finding one's place in a world that often marginalizes differences. Most important of all, Buckman's message of self-acceptance and resilience shines through every page, offering a beacon of hope for anyone who has ever felt misunderstood or excluded. Overall, Bent Is Not Broken celebrates the strength and diversity of the LGBTQ+ community, and I would highly recommend it to fans of heartfelt memoirs and activist writing everywhere.
    December 5, 2023
    Memoirs from a fag hag, turned ally. Full of honesty and compassion. Would recommend to anyone who's wanting to come out, or wanting to be a better ally.
    December 5, 2023
    This is such a moving, compassionate book. It weaves together scenes from the author's life with interviews and research into so many different topics, but somehow these strands all come together to produce a warm, gentle, and uplifting message.
    December 5, 2023
    Wow! What a fantastic read, not only do you get M J Buckman's honest and beautifully written personal account of what it feels like to grow up believing that you don't belong and aren't understood, but trying your best to fit in despite the cost to yourself. You also get her well researched insight into the roots of some of the major issues facing the LGBT+ community supported by many interviews with her friends in the LGBT+ community offering their own experiences of feeling like an outsider in the hope that it raises awareness, understanding and compassion. It's a traumatic roller coaster of a life with a heartbreaking but heartwarming climax that could leave you in tears, highly recommended.
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