Actress and playwright Tina Alexis Allen's audacious memoir, HIDING OUT: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives (Dey Street Books, On Sale: 2/20/2018, ISBN: 9780062565679) unravels her privileged suburban upbringing as shaped by her formidable father—a man whose deep Catholic faith and dedication to his large family hid his true nature and a life defined by deep secrets and dangerous lies. Imagine it—the moment many closeted young adults dread—when your stern, devoutly Catholic father discovers you are gay.
The youngest of thirteen children, Tina Alexis Allen grew up in 1980s suburban Maryland in a house ruled by her father, Sir John, an imposing, British-born authoritarian who had been knighted by the Pope. Sir John supported his large family running a successful travel agency that specialized in religious tours to the Holy Land and the Vatican for pious Catholics. But his daughter, Tina, was no sweet and innocent Catholic girl. A smart-mouthed high school basketball prodigy, she harbored a painful secret: she was attracted to girls. When Tina was eighteen her father uncovered the truth about her sexuality. But instead of dragging her to confession or the family priest, her father simply took her hand and said, "I buried my lover, Omar, in the war" making Tina his unlikely confidant and creating a clandestine bond that would evolve into become a web of secrets and lies.
On this episode of She Rises, host Giovanna Capozza interviews Tina Alexis Allen.
- Tina explains why she chose to write her book now, and details her “she rises” moment.
- Once she understood herself, Tina was able to write and perform shows about herself.
- Tina is the youngest of 13 kids and grew up in a devoutly Catholic home.
- Tina explains her coming out to her father and her father’s big revelation.
- Giovanna and Tina discuss how relationships changed between Tina and her family when her dad became her confidant.
- There were more secrets going on in her family life that were not apparent to her.
- Tina’s father was travelling to Russia in the 1950’s and she starts to put the pieces together.
- Tina is still waiting for her father’s information to get released to the Secret Archives of the papacy.
- Tina talks about her writing process and how it unravelled.
- We have an obligation to see our parents as human beings.
- The point of the book is to give the reader a sense of freedom to put a mirror up to their own life.
- Tina talks about where she is now with her relationship to her faith.
- I asked myself “If I could be anything, what would I be?” and I gave myself permission to answer.
- Keeping secrets is intense, you’re hiding beneath the pressure of not being who you really are.
- Yes, we can see mistakes and learn from them, but it’s not our place to judge.
- Hiding Out: A Memoir of Drugs, Deception, and Double Lives - book by Tina Alexis Allen