Meet Tina Alexis Allen for her memoir HIDING OUT
Join us for a talk with Tina Alexis Allen, author of HIDING OUT. HIDING OUT is a riveting and cinematic true tale stranger and twistier than fiction, an astonishing story of self-discovery, family, secrets, and the power of the truth to set us free.
About the Book + Author
Actress and playwright Tina Alexis Allen’s audacious memoir 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.
The secret Tina and her father shared about their sexuality brought them closer--Tina and Sir John spent nights dancing in gay clubs together, experimenting with drugs, and casual sex—all while keeping the rest of their family in the dark. Outside of their wild escapades, Sir John made Tina his heir apparent at the travel agency. Drawn deeper into the travel agency, Tina soon became suspicious of her father’s frequent business trips, his multiple passports and cache of documents, and the briefcases full of cash that mysteriously appeared and just as quickly vanished.
With possible ties to the highest levels of the Vatican, and a life lived in the shadows in more ways than one, Sir John remained, for his wife, children and especially his youngest daughter, a mystery. And, as their secrets came to light, it was up to Tina to find her way to peace. HIDING OUT is a riveting and cinematic true tale stranger and twistier than fiction, an astonishing story of self-discovery, family, secrets, and the power of the truth to set us free.
Tina Alexis Allen is a GLAAD Award-nominated actress, producer, scriptwriter and playwright. Allen is a cast member of the TV series Outsiders (WGN America), and co-starred in the feature films Moving Mountains (2014), Tom's Dilemma (2016), as well as the web-series Looking for Kathleen. Allen is also the co-founder of Gina Raphaela Jewelry's mission-driven No More Violence collection.