Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don't Ask, Don't Write

I recently published an op-ed in the Advocate about the particular struggles that gay authors face in getting their work out there. I love how it turned out. Please take a look!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I'm thrilled to announce that The Heart's History has been included on the list of Best LGBT Books of 2012, according to the Band of Thebes blog.  The novel was nominated by Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory and Binding the God

All the titles on the list are selected by other writers, so it's kind of like our version of the Academy Awards--an acknowledgment from your peers.  It's also a great way to find out what's out there:  it's already inspired me to add a stack of books to my must-read list. 

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Monday, November 05, 2012

I had a fantastic time at my reading at Books Inc. in San Francisco this past Thursday.  A wonderful evening with friends old and new.  The Q&A, as always, was my favorite part.  Some of the questions really took me by surprise.  Where exactly did the character of Harlan come from?  Hmmm....

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reading at Books Inc. in the Castro

I'll be reading from The Heart's History at Books Inc. in the Castro on Thursday, November 1. Please stop by if you're in the area. Reading starts at 7:30, with a Q&A session to follow. I'm really looking forward to this chance to connect with readers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review of Jeffrey Luscombe's "Shirts and Skins"

I just published a review for Lambda Literary of Jeffrey Luscombe's debut novel, "Shirts and Skins."  It's a really interesting book, and I was thrilled to be asked to review it. Please check out the review--and the book!

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Community's History

This afternoon I was privileged to spend a couple of hours with a wonderful group of gay seniors.  Openhouse, a San Francisco organization devoted to providing housing and community for LGBT seniors, invited me to read from my novel and lead a discussion. 
Every second Sunday, the group meets for a potluck lunch and open discussion on a particular topic.  Today, about 10 men participated.  As soon as I walked through the doors, I was made to feel at home.  We sat in a circle and I read a couple of passages from The Heart’s History, which sparked a lively conversation about what it means to be gay in the contemporary world.  I was particularly pleased to have a chance to discuss the topic with men from an older generation, many of whom had come out in the 1970s, or even the 1960s.  The characters in The Heart’s History—not to mention its author—have the luxury of being able to argue about gay culture and the degree to which it can or should assimilate into the mainstream.  For people of an earlier generation, coming out of the closet or holding your lover’s hand in public was an act of courage. 
We talked a lot about how to define sexual orientation:  Is it about sex?  An ability to memorize lines from Joan Crawford movies?  One person summarized it simply:  Gay people are survivors.  We keep living out loud and fighting for our rights, despite the odds.
And that got me thinking.  No matter what the Far Right wishes, or how hard they may try, they’ll never get rid of us, because you don’t need gay people to make more gay people.  We don’t have to reproduce ourselves, and we don’t have to recruit.  Straight people take care of that for us.  Mother Nature must know something that the homophobes don’t.  She knows that we’re an essential part of the fabric of humanity. 
Sitting with these men who paved the way for me, as an earlier generation paved the way for them, I was acutely aware of how essential our history is to all of us.  Ours is indeed a history of the heart.  And lest we lose sight of that, as each generation is wont to do, I saw this afternoon that there are some ways in which I simply can’t compete.  I met a man today who once had sex in a bathhouse with Michel Foucault.  Now that’s history.

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Monday, August 06, 2012

Marty McFly for President

The problems with Mitt Romney’s campaign (and they are legion) are best summarized by the name of his PAC:  “Restore Our Future.” 
It makes about as much sense as “Anticipate Our Past”—and it means precisely the same thing.
All kidding aside, as a lifelong grammarian (even longer than I’ve been a Democrat), I could never bring myself to vote for a man who can’t keep his tenses straight.  I’ll let you slide on a split infinitive, but when you think the future is the past, I must protest. 
Romney wants to bring us forward into yesterday—that glorious time when homosexuals stayed in the closet, women were mere baby machines, and greed was the only American value. 
I’ve been reading up on theoretical physics lately, and the whole concept of time travel and alternate realities completely stumped me.  But maybe Mitt’s smarter than I am when it comes to such things.  Apparently, there’s an alternate universe in which Obama lost the 2008 election, and by electing Romney we’ll somehow reinstate it.  You know, like that season of Dallas that was wiped away when Pam woke up and found the erstwhile dead Bobby in the shower.
Who needs Curiosity’s trip to Mars?  Mitt has already figured out how to take us back to the future.  I’m sure there’s a Martian colony somewhere in that future.  It’s probably where Mormon magic underwear meets the thetans of Scientology.  (Hey, I just thought of a surefire way to make the election interesting—Tom Cruise for VP, anyone?  I understand he has a little free time these days.)
I think I’m on to something here.  If Mitt let his hair go gray and went a little light on the gel, he could be a dead ringer for Christopher Lloyd.  And maybe it was a DeLorean that his dog rode atop on that infamous trip to Ontario.  It’s all starting to make sense now.
Like Marty McFly, Romney is intent on changing the past in order to improve the future.  He wants to jump into his time machine, rewind the clock a few years, and veto Romneycare.  And while he’s at it, he’ll neglect to say he’s “better than Ted [Kennedy] for gay rights.”  And erase any hint that he was ever pro-choice.  Or that his ancestors were polygamists. 
Welcome to the new world of politics as science fiction.  Hell, it’s better than when Sarah Palin turned it into a horror story.

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