Theall's new book, which hit stores on Feb. 25, pairs her struggles as a gay adolescent in the Texas Bible Belt with her later experience as a mother in a same-sex relationship. Theall says she was inspired to pen the memoir in 2010, after she learned her adopted son would be expelled from his Catholic school in Colorado because his parents were lesbians.
Interestingly, the book's title was inspired by a Siamese cat Theall had as a child. Since Theall had initially wanted a puppy, she spent much of her free time trying to get the cat a dog's tricks -- a metaphor, the author says, for her own life in the closet.
"I had to teach myself to sit still, to be who I was and really have that self-acceptance," she says. "It's very difficult to find yourself in the first place, and then to fully accept yourself and not try to acquiesce and become what other people -- particularly our mothers -- want us to be."