Title: Light Bulb
Author: Nevo Zisin
In: Kindred (Michael Earp)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: LGBTQI, Mental health
Dates read: 24th May 2020
Format: Short story
Publisher: Walker Books
5th sentence, 74th page: I started holding it in.
Most people are afraid of the dark. But for some, it is the dark that welcomes them. That helps them feel the things that they’ve kept hidden inside.
I’ve never read a story about a gender-fluid person. Or someone who isn’t quite sure of their gender. Except for the Magnus Chase series – that has Alex who changes their gender identity according to their needs and drives. Which, of course, I loved. But, I digress. Alex’s experience is one that feels mostly positive. This story is a much darker and more heart-wrenching version of coming to terms with a gender identity that doesn’t fit into the binary expectations.
Reading a few horror stories lately meant that I was expecting something quite tragic at the beginning of this story. After all, it is a tale which starts with a child loving the dark. Not wanting to be in the light. And this constant imagery of a light bulb switching on and off. It makes for an incredibly dark beginning to the story. And a very symbolic imagery when you realise what is happening in the mind of the narrator.
Aside from the great symbolism, this story somehow really drove home the confusion and feeling of marginalisation that comes with being gender fluid, or not of a gender binary. This whole story had me on an intense and uncontrollable emotional roller coaster ride. One that made me feel so much sympathy for those who are in this situation…