Younger star and LGBTQIA+ advocate Nico Tortorella investigates love, sex, gender, addiction, family, fame, and fluidity through their personal story and the lens of their nonbinary identity
“Nico Tortorella embodies the twenty-first-century human.”—RuPaul
Nico Tortorella is a seeker. Raised on a steady regimen of Ram Dass and raw food, they have always been interested in the more spiritual aspects of life. That is, until the desire for fame and fortune eclipsed their journey toward enlightenment and sent them into a downward spiral of addiction and self-destructive behavior. It wasn’t until Nico dug deep and began to examine the fluidity of both their sexuality and gender identity that they became more comfortable in their own skin, got sober from alcohol, entered into an unconventional marriage with the love of their life, and fully embraced a queer lifestyle that afforded them the opportunity to explore the world outside the gender binary. It was precisely in that space between that Nico encountered the diverse community of open-minded, supportive peers they’d always dreamed of having.
Expanding on themes explored on their popular podcast, The Love Bomb, Nico shares the intimate details of their romantic partnerships, the dysfunction of their loud but loving Italian family, and the mingling of their feminine and masculine identities into one multidimensional, sexually fluid, nonbinary individual. Nico has become a leading voice of the fluidity movement by encouraging open dialogue and universal acceptance. Space Between is at once an education for readers, a manifesto for both the labeled and label-free generations, and a personal memoir of love, identity, and acceptance.
Praise for Space Between
“In an industry that thrives on artifice, Nico Tortorella’s candid soul-searching is precious and invigorating. As with the best truth-telling, it gives language to a thirst we had forgotten, while also quenching it. This is a book about addiction, familial trauma, and gender—yes—but more so it is about living. Living is an art form that Nico does well, and this book is an argument for making meaning from the messiness that surrounds us rather than simply muting it. Nico’s distinct and relatable prose tangos us past binaries, toward an intimacy beyond language.”—Alok Vaid-Menon
In this love-it-or-hate-it memoir, Younger actor Tortorella, who identifies as a "queer... nonbinary, bisexual (or pansexual, depending on the social-context semantics), happily married, polyamorous/nonmonogamous human being" and uses they/them pronouns, recounts their transformation from "a culturally uneducated white stoner suburban kid" to an advocate "against the rigidity of standardized gender identity." Tortorella grew up "about as white and privileged as you can get," doing theater and art on Chicago's North Shore. As a teenager, they had their first gay experience ("I wish that I could say I didn't feel dirty, but I did") before going to art school and meeting Bethany, "who had become this validation in my life that I wasn't exclusively gay" and who later became "my wife, my husband, my best friend, my partner, my everything." Tortorella traces the continuing evolution of their identity ("Through this creative process of healing, I've learned that I wasn't born into the wrong body. No, I was born into the wrong world"), their success as an actor, and their descent into addictions to alcohol and drugs. Tortorella jumps between subjects in sincere but frequently overwrought and pretentious prose ("I'm giving birth to myself right now, as I write"); this is less a seasoned literary reflection than a fierce declaration of existence. It'll please Tortorella's fans, but probably not win many new ones.