Discussion Guide: BECOMING TED

  1. How important to Becoming Ted is its setting in a quiet English seaside town?
  2. Do you see any metaphorical value in Ted’s dislike of ice cream?
  3. How much do you think Ted’s low self-esteem determines the course of his life?
  4. Do you see a parallel between the kind of man Denise used to find attractive—and, in particular, Karl—and Ted’s feelings for Giles?
  5. Ted feels like a disappointment to his parents and is grateful for their love. Would you say this is a theme that can have resonance outside the LGBTQ+ community?
  6. Oskar is scarred by his upbringing in a homophobic culture. Do you think we can sometimes forget how difficult it is for queer people living in less accepting countries?
  7. Stanley provides a link to a very different time for gay men in the UK. Did you learn anything from the disclosure of his backstory?
  8. What do you think of the use of drag in the book? Is it fundamental to Ted’s self-discovery and journey towards self-fulfillment or could he have had any other dream?
  9. In interviews, Matt Cain has said his original title for the book was Ted First, then it became Ted Over Heels, before his UK publisher suggested Becoming Ted; what do you think of these three titles and which do you think reflects the book best?
  10. Matt Cain has also said he hopes the novel inspires people to let loose the full force of their unique spirit and sparkle as brightly as possible. Has it inspired you in any way?