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Dwayne Ratleff On "Dancing To The Lyrics"

The cover of "Dancing the the Lyrics" shows an African American boy with a yellow shirt and pink boa dancing down the street. There is a group of grey people walking by him.
Credit: Dwayne Ratleff

In Dwayne Ratleff’s novel, Dancing to the Lyrics, a kid growing up in East Baltimore in the 1960s knows he’s different from the other children before he quite knows what it means to be gay. He’s processing that, as well as a lot of cruelty and depraved conduct by adults in his life, balanced with nurturing support from an assortment of characters. It’s a memoir cloaked in fiction. One piece of advice that sticks is not to care what other people think of him.

Pride month celebrations continue this weekend. Check out Rockville Pride, Catonsville’s 1st Annual Family Pride, an LGBTQ+ comedy show at the Crown in Baltimore, and a “Pride Ride” fundraiser in Canton for the Pride Center of Maryland.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.