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By Rich Merritt. 2017
Here s the story of Rich Merritt - the good son, teacher's pet, Southern gentleman, model Christian, Marine officer, and… the not-so-anonymous poster boy for a New York Times Magazine article on gays in the military - whose complicated sexual past caused an international scandal when The Advocate outed him as 'The Marine Who Did Gay Porn,' putting his life in a tailspin. It's the compelling story of how a boy who never listened to pop music, never cursed, and didn't have his first drink until he was 18 exploded into a life of drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, prostitution, and pornography.
By Patrick Moore. 2006
"There are moments when I suddenly realize that I'm a nice boy from Iowa who is entirely comfortable sitting in… a room of freaks. " So begins Patrick Moore's unforgettable account of life as a crystal meth addict—a "tweaker. " Like a wild ride down Alice's rabbit hole with a guide who is darkly funny and heartbreakingly honest, Tweaked chronicles a twenty-year trip that stretches from Moore's lonely childhood in Iowa with his grandmother, Zelma—an alcoholic artist who, when loaded, turns frozen food into crafts projects —to the day he sits, naked, in a Los Angeles rental, hallucinating about psycho-robbers while talking to a possum he's sure is God. Along the way, there are acid trips at the V. F. W. , Dexetrim study halls with his Bad Girl Posse in the seventies, teeth-grinding nights of dancing and anonymous sex in New York City's hottest eighties clubs, taking pictures of Andy Warhol, losing friends and lovers, and navigating a Byzantine underworld of cookers, users, club kids, dealers, and colorful characters as intense as the drug itself. There is Lee, the glamorous, outr#65533; bad boy with a devastating wit and a taste for danger; Tony, the tweaker who likes to remove his eyebrows; Ding-Dong, the Depends-wearing, nearly blind housemate; Hisako, the artist and squatter with an impenetrable Japanese accent and a fondness for hot plate cooking; "Mother" Judy, the tough, butch rehab counselor who takes no prisoners, and countless others on the road from crystal meth hell to eventual sobriety. Candid, gripping, and ultimately triumphant, Tweaked is that rarest of memoirs—a tale so vivid and personal in the telling it feels like fiction, but every word is true.
By Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore. 2020
A meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that enforces bland norms of gender,… sexual, and social conformity. <P><P>When you turn the music off, and suddenly you feel an unbearable sadness, that means turn the music back on, right? When you still feel the sadness, even with the music, that means there's something wrong with this music. Sometimes I feel like sex without context isn't sex at all. And sometimes I feel like sex without context is what sex should always be. <P><P>The Freezer Door records the ebb and flow of desire in daily life. Crossing through loneliness in search of communal pleasure in Seattle, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore exposes the failure and persistence of queer dreams, the hypocritical allure of gay male sexual culture, and the stranglehold of the suburban imagination over city life. Ferocious and tender, The Freezer Door offers a complex meditation on the trauma and possibility of searching for connection in a world that relentlessly enforces bland norms of gender, sexual, and social conformity while claiming to celebrate diversity.
By Ginny Z Berson. 2020
The burgeoning lesbian and feminist movements of the '70s and '80s created an impetus to form more independent and equitable… social and cultural institutions—bookstores, publishers, health clinics, and more—to support the unprecedented surge in women's arts of all kinds. Olivia Records was at the forefront of these models, not only recording and distributing women's music but also creating important new social spaces for previously isolated women and lesbians through concerts and festivals. Ginny Z. Berson, one of Olivia's founding members and visionaries, kept copious records during those heady days—days also fraught with contradictions, conflicts, and economic pitfalls. With great honesty, Berson offers her personal take on what those times were like, revisiting the excitement and the hardships of creating a fair and equitable lesbian-feminist business model—one that had no precedent.
By Christopher Bram. 2009
The first collection of nonfiction from the author Tony Kushner calls "one of the best novelists writing in the world… today"<P> Over a thirty-year period, novelist Christopher Bram witnessed, and lived through, the powerful experiences of coming out, the AIDS epidemic, gay marriage, and the social changes that have occurred in lower Manhattan. From the title piece, which maps the state of gay fiction, to "A Body in Books," about the gay books that changed the author's life, the essays in Mapping the Territory form a coherent autobiographical account of Bram's life. This work wouldn't be complete without "Homage to Mr. Jimmy," his account of how his novel Father of Frankenstein grew from his imagination and writing into the Oscar-winning movie Gods and Monsters. Mapping the Territory is a thoroughly engaging and compelling look into a great American writer.
By Craig B. Highberger. 2015
A vivacious, rollicking tribute to one-of-a-kind Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis Based on author Craig Highberger's documentary of the same name,… Superstar in a Housedress is a striking oral biography of avant-garde, cross-dressing performer Jackie Curtis. Even among Andy Warhol's orbit of dramatic personas and colorful characters in the sixties and seventies, Curtis stood out. Whether done up in drag or portraying James Dean--to whom he bore an uncanny resemblance--he dazzled in films, plays, and cabarets. Friends fondly recall how he brought his onstage eccentricities to everyday life, holding court in the backroom of the iconic nightclub Max's Kansas City wearing tattered thirties housedresses, torn stockings, fabulous wigs, and glittering makeup. Curtis died of a drug overdose in 1985, but not before leaving an indelible mark on New York City's underground art scene. More than just a performer, Curtis translated his fixation on fame and its trappings into his own poetry and outrageous plays, such as Glamour, Glory and Gold and Vain Victory. With snippets of his work alongside colorful recollections from his friends and acquaintances--including Lily Tomlin, Michael Musto, Holly Woodlawn, Harvey Fierstein, and Paul Morrissey--this is a fitting and touching tribute that evokes the spirited, creative energy that radiated from Jackie Curtis.
By Eric Cervini. 2020
From a young Harvard- and Cambridge-trained historian, the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation… before Stonewall. <p><p> In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual, and after a series of humiliating interviews, Kameny, like countless gay men and women before him, was promptly dismissed from his government job. Unlike many others, though, Kameny fought back. <p> Based on firsthand accounts, recently declassified FBI records, and forty thousand personal documents, Eric Cervini's The Deviant's War unfolds over the course of the 1960s, as the Mattachine Society of Washington, the group Kameny founded, became the first organization to protest the systematic persecution of gay federal employees. It traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, lesbian activism, and trans resistance. Above all, it is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and ultimately victory. <p> <b>A New York Times Bestseller</b>
By Brian Bradley. 2020
Lights! Camera! Outrageous! Superstar female impersonator Craig Russell and the birth of drag on the international stage. Craig Russell was… an internationally admired entertainer and actor, known for his outrageous impersonations of some of Hollywood's greatest female celebrities: Mae West, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Carol Channing, and Judy Garland, to name a few. Lori Russell Eadie, a shy theatre lover, was Craig's No. 1 fan and, eventually, his wife. Together they were fun, fabulous, and eschewed convention. But behind the curtains, Craig and Lori's lives were troubled by their mental health, drug addiction, sexual assault, and abuse. Through nearly one hundred interviews and extensive research, Outrageous Misfits reveals the life and legacy of one of the world's most popular female impersonators and his biggest fan.
By Rosanna Warren. 2020
A comprehensive and moving biography of Max Jacob, a brilliant cubist poet who lived at the margins of fame. Though… less of a household name than his contemporaries in early twentieth century Paris, Jewish homosexual poet Max Jacob was Pablo Picasso’s initiator into French culture, Guillaume Apollinaire’s guide out of the haze of symbolism, and Jean Cocteau’s loyal friend. As Picasso reinvented painting, Jacob helped to reinvent poetry with compressed, hard-edged prose poems and synapse-skipping verse lyrics, the product of a complex amalgamation of Jewish, Breton, Parisian, and Roman Catholic influences. In Max Jacob, the poet’s life plays out against the vivid backdrop of bohemian Paris from the turn of the twentieth century through the divisions of World War II. Acclaimed poet Rosanna Warren transports us to Picasso’s ramshackle studio in Montmartre, where Cubism was born; introduces the artists gathered at a seedy bar on the left bank, where Max would often hold court; and offers a front-row seat to the artistic squabbles that shaped the Modernist movement. Jacob’s complex understanding of faith, art, and sexuality animates this sweeping work. In 1909, he saw a vision of Christ in his shabby room in Montmartre, and in 1915 he converted formally from Judaism to Catholicism—with Picasso as his godfather. In his later years, Jacob split his time between Paris and the monastery of Benoît-sur-Loire. In February 1944, he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Drancy, where he would die a few days later. More than thirty years in the making, this landmark biography offers a compelling, tragic portrait of Jacob as a man and as an artist alongside a rich study of his groundbreaking poetry—in Warren’s own stunning translations. Max Jacob is a nuanced, deeply researched, and essential contribution to Modernist scholarship.
By Doris Grumbach. 2000
A New York Times Notable Book: A moving glimpse of a life shrewdly examinedExtra Innings follows a year in the… life of Doris Grumbach, beginning with the release of her previous memoir and journal, Coming into the End Zone, and revealing that the devoted essayist, novelist, and critic possesses as keen an eye in her seventies as she did when she wrote The Spoil of Flowers thirty years earlier. Grumbach details each passing month and the trials and tribulations therein. Age and experience have tempered her anger, allowing her to view the world in a rosier light than she has before. In this eventful period that concludes with her move from Washington, DC, to Maine, Grumbach travels between signings and speeches, describes her home life in a new state, and deals not only with her own mortality, but with that of her daughter. Grumbach's wisdom and wit endure as she looks back on her own memories, seeing the world as only Doris Grumbach can.
By Doris Grumbach. 1996
A look into the daily life of one of America's great memoirists At seventy-seven Doris Grumbach is as sharp as… ever, and in Life in a Day she examines the experiences of her later years, from the dreaded writer's block to the many hours she has spent reading to the effects of an increasingly modern and interconnected world. Imbued with Grumbach's characteristic candor and verve, Life in a Day is a celebration of the meaning to be found in the quotidian.
By Ned Rorem. 2013
A magnificent collection of essays, opinions, and reflections on life, culture, art, love, and music--always lyrical, witty, and brazenly provocative--from… one of the most acclaimed contemporary American composersTime magazine has called Ned Rorem "the world's best composer of art songs." But his genius does not end in the realm of classical music. Rorem has a rare gift for writing, as well, and the wide acclaim that has greeted his memoirs, essay collections, and published diaries attest to this fact. An Absolute Gift is a cornucopia of Roremisms--essays, reviews, and opinions on a vast array of fascinating subjects, from music to film to drama to sex. Here also are candid diary entries, displaying the frankness and remarkable insight for which Rorem is known. Whether he's lambasting or celebrating the world's great musical works and their creators (and, according to Stephen Sondheim, "He is one of the best writers about music that I have ever read"), offering intensely personal musings on death and love, or brilliantly dissecting the artist's craft, Ned Rorem is always fascinating, always provocative, and enormously entertaining.
By Ned Rorem. 2013
A sterling collection of essays, commentary, reviews, and personal recollections on art, love, and the musical life, from Ned Rorem,… award-winning composer and author extraordinaireNed Rorem, the acclaimed American composer and writer, displays his incisive, sometimes outrageous genius for artistic critique and social commentary with a grand flourish in this engaging collection of essays and diary entries. Fearlessly offering opinions on a wealth of subjects--from the lives of the famous and infamous to popular culture to the state of contemporary art--Rorem proves once again that he is an artist who tells unforgettable stories not only through music, but with a pen, as well. Setting the Tone gathers together essays and commentary previously published elsewhere and combines them with pages from Rorem's ongoing diary, offering readers a vivid and enlightening view of Rorem's world along with an honest portrait of the author himself. Whether he's lambasting critics and former friends and acquaintances, vivisecting opera, or presenting his views on theater, film, books, or composers and their music, Rorem is ingenious, incorrigible, and madly entertaining.
By Ned Rorem. 1950
The esteemed American composer and unabashed diarist Ned Rorem provides a fascinating, brazenly intimate first-person account of his life and… career during one of the most extraordinary decades of the twentieth century <P> Ned Rorem is often considered an American treasure, one of the greatest contemporary composers in the US. In 1966, he revealed another side of his remarkable talent when The Paris Diary was published, and a year later, The New York Diary, both to wide critical acclaim. In The Later Diaries,Rorem continues to explore his world and his music in intimate journal form, covering the years 1961 to 1972, one of his most artistically productive decades. The Ned Rorem revealed in The Later Diaries is somewhat more mature and worldly than the young artist of the earlier works, but no less candid or daring, as he reflects on his astonishing life, loves, friendships, and rivalries during an epoch of staggering, sometimes volatile change. Writing with intelligence, insight, and honesty, he recalls time spent with some of the most famous, and infamous, artists of the era--Philip Roth, Christopher Isherwood, Tallulah Bankhead, and Edward Albee, among others--openly exploring his sexuality and his art while offering fascinating, sometimes blistering, views on the art of his contemporaries.
Three memoirs about isolation, aging, and death from an author whose “private self is as intelligent and generous as her… public persona” (Publishers Weekly).Fifty Days of Solitude: Faced with a rare opportunity to experiment with true solitude, Doris Grumbach decided to live in her coastal Maine home without speaking to anyone for fifty days. A New York Times Notable Book, the result is a “quiet, elegantly written” recollection about what it means to write, to be alone, and to come to terms with mortality (Publishers Weekly). The Pleasure of Their Company: As her eightieth birthday approaches, Doris Grumbach uses the event as an opportunity both to look backward and to grow. She weaves a delightful tapestry of “surprising and meaningful observations,” allowing readers a glimpse into her life and the characters that have peopled her nearly eight decades on Earth (Library Journal). Extra Innings: This New York Times Notable Book follows a year in Doris Grumbach’s life, beginning with the release of her memoir Coming into the End Zone, and revealing that she possesses as keen an eye in her seventies as she did when she wrote The Spoil of Flowers thirty years earlier. In this “clear, honest picture of her own old age,” Grumbach details each passing month with their trials and triumphs (Library Journal).
By George Whitmore. 1988
Three powerful profiles of men and women whose lives were changed forever by the AIDS epidemic<P> "Some of my reasons… for wanting to write about AIDS were altruistic, others selfish. AIDS was decimating the community around me; there was a need to bear witness. AIDS had turned me and others like me into walking time bombs; there was a need to strike back, not just wait to die. What I didn't fully appreciate then, however, was the extent to which I was trying to bargain with AIDS: If I wrote about it, maybe I wouldn't get it. My article ran in May 1985. But AIDS didn't keep its part of the bargain." --George Whitmore, The New York Times Magazine<P> Published at the height of the AIDS epidemic, Someone Was Here brings together three stories, reported between 1985 and 1987, about the human cost of the disease. Whitmore writes of Jim Sharp, a man in New York infected with AIDS, and Edward Dunn, one of the many people in Jim's support network, who volunteers with the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization in the city. Whitmore also profiles a mother, Nellie, who drives to San Francisco to bring her troubled son, Mike, home to Colorado where he will succumb to AIDS. Finally, Whitmore tells of the doctors and nurses working on the AIDS team in a South Bronx hospital, struggling to treat patients afflicted with an illness they don't yet fully understand.<P> Expanded from reporting that originally appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Someone Was Here is a tragic and deeply felt look at a generation traumatized by AIDS, published just one year before George Whitmore's own death from the disease.
By Andrew Gelwicks. 2020
Meet the LGBTQ+ dealmakers, trailblazers, and glass-ceiling breakers in business, politics, and beyond.The people who are creating national public policy,… running billion-dollar tech enterprises, and winning Olympic medals. Andrew Gelwicks interviews the leaders who have forged their own paths and changed the world. From Troye Sivan to Margaret Cho, George Takei to Billie Jean King, Shangela to Adam Rippon, each person credits their queer identity with giving them an edge in their paths to success. Their stories brim with the hard-won lessons gained over their careers. With variances in age, background, careers, and races, key themes shine through: Channeling anger in a positive way -- using it as rocket fuel to succeedLeveraging your difference to beget new ideas and strategiesBridging generational gapsAccessing resources to conquer crippling denial, internalized homophobia, and doubtThe power of the Internet as a tool of self-discoveryUsing your sensitivity and attunement to read the room, deciding when to fit in and when to stand outFinding a queer tribe and learning to help and lean on one anotherCollecting incisive, deeply personal conversations with LGBTQ+ trailblazers about how they leveraged the challenges and insights they had as relative outsiders to succeed in the worlds of business, tech, politics, Hollywood, sports and beyond, The Queer Advantage celebrates the unique, supercharged power of queerness.
By Stephen Brunt, Brian Burke. 2020
The gruffest man in hockey opens up about the challenges, the feuds, and the tragedies he's fought through.Brian Burke is… one of the biggest hockey personalities--no, personalities full-stop--in the media landscape. His brashness makes him a magnet for attention, and he does nothing to shy away from it. Most famous for advocating "pugnacity, truculence, testosterone, and belligerence" during his tenure at the helm of the Maple Leafs, Burke has lived and breathed hockey his whole life. He has been a player, an agent, a league executive, a scout, a Stanley Cup-winning GM, an Olympic GM, and a media analyst. He has worked with Pat Quinn, Gary Bettman, and an array of future Hall of Fame players. No one knows the game better, and no one commands more attention when they open up about it.But there is more to Brian Burke than hockey. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and an accomplished businessman with hard-earned lessons that comefrom highly scrutinized decisions made at the helm of multi-million-dollar companies. And despite his brusque persona on camera and in the boardroom, he is nevertheless a father with a story to tell. He lost his youngest son in a car accident, and has had to grapple with that grief, even in the glare of the spotlight. Many Canadians and hockey fans knew Brendan Burke's name already, because his father had become one of the country's most outspoken gay-rights advocates when Brendan came out in 2009.From someone whose grandmother told him never to start a fight, but never to run from one either, Burke's Law is an unforgettable account of old beefs and old friendships, scores settled and differences forgiven, and many lessons learned the hard way.
By Tan France. 2019
A USA Today Hottest Book of the Summer for 2019!A Best Nonfiction Book for 2019 in Women's Day!One of Hello… Giggles's "Most Anticipated Books of 2019 to Add to Your Reading List"!“Just when I thought I knew everything about Tan, he hits me with this. His story is so heartwarming, and wickedly funny.” —Antoni PorowskiIn this heartfelt, funny, and touching memoir, one of the stars of Netflix’s Emmy Award-winning smash-hit Queer Eye reveals how an Englishman raised in a traditionally religious home became a fashion icon—and the first openly gay, South Asian man on television—simply by being Naturally Tan.In this heartfelt, funny, touching memoir, Tan France tells his origin story for the first time. With his trademark wit, humor, and radical compassion, Tan reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional South Asian family, as one of the few people of color in South Yorkshire, England. He illuminates his winding journey of coming of age, finding his voice (and style!), and marrying the love of his life—a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City. From one of the stars of Netflix’s runaway hit show Queer Eye, Naturally Tan is so much more than fashion dos and don’ts—though of course Tan can’t resist steering everyone away from bootcut jeans! Full of candid observations about U.S. and U.K. cultural differences, what he sees when you slide into his DMs, celebrity encounters, and the behind-the-scenes realities of “reality TV,” Naturally Tan gives us Tan’s unique perspective on the happiness to be found in being yourself.In Tan's own words, “The book is meant to spread joy, personal acceptance, and most of all understanding. Each of us is living our own private journey, and the more we know about each other, the healthier and happier the world will be.”
By Naomi Wolf. 2020
From New York Times bestselling author Naomi Wolf, Outrages explores the history of state-sponsored censorship and violations of personal freedoms through the inspiring, forgotten… history of one writer’s refusal to stay silenced. Newly updated, first North American edition--a paperback original In 1857, Britain codified a new civil divorce law and passed a severe new obscenity law. An 1861 Act of Parliament streamlined the harsh criminalization of sodomy. These and other laws enshrined modern notions of state censorship and validated state intrusion into people’s private lives. In 1861, John Addington Symonds, a twenty-one-year-old student at Oxford who already knew he loved and was attracted to men, hastily wrote out a seeming renunciation of the long love poem he’d written to another young man. Outrages chronicles the struggle and eventual triumph of Symonds—who would became a poet, biographer, and critic—at a time in British history when even private letters that could be interpreted as homoerotic could be used as evidence in trials leading to harsh sentences under British law. Drawing on the work of a range of scholars of censorship and of LGBTQ+ legal history, Wolf depicts how state censorship, and state prosecution of same-sex sexuality, played out—decades before the infamous trial of Oscar Wilde—shadowing the lives of people who risked in new ways scrutiny by the criminal justice system. She shows how legal persecutions of writers, and of men who loved men affected Symonds and his contemporaries, including Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Algernon Charles Swinburne, Walter Pater, and the painter Simeon Solomon. All the while, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was illicitly crossing the Atlantic and finding its way into the hands of readers who reveled in the American poet’s celebration of freedom, democracy, and unfettered love. Inspired by Whitman, and despite terrible dangers he faced in doing so, Symonds kept trying, stubbornly, to find a way to express his message—that love and sex between men were not “morbid” and deviant, but natural and even ennobling. He persisted in various genres his entire life. He wrote a strikingly honest secret memoir—which he embargoed for a generation after his death—enclosing keys to a code that the author had used to embed hidden messages in his published work. He wrote the essay A Problem in Modern Ethics that was secretly shared in his lifetime and would become foundational to our modern understanding of human sexual orientation and of LGBTQ+ legal rights. This essay is now rightfully understood as one of the first gay rights manifestos in the English language. Naomi Wolf’s Outrages is a critically important book, not just for its role in helping to bring to new audiences the story of an oft-forgotten pioneer of LGBTQ+ rights who could not legally fully tell his own story in his lifetime. It is also critically important for what the book has to say about the vital and often courageous roles of publishers, booksellers, and freedom of speech in an era of growing calls for censorship and ever-escalating state violations of privacy. With Outrages, Wolf brings us the inspiring story of one man’s refusal to be silenced, and his belief in a future in which everyone would have the freedom to love and to speak without fear.