Gay Life


I was wandering the sere deserts of Amazon trying to find something interesting to read amidst the novelty napkin things that look like buttholes and all the other flotsam their highly praised algorithms seem to think I just can’t live without.  I did not want an anal napkin ring.  I wanted a book

Foolishly, I went looking in the Gay Fiction.  All the things I found there made me think maybe butthole napkin rings might be the best thing on offer after all.  There is never anything except Coming Out stories and how very hard they were.  You know how I came out to my family?  I had a tee shirt that said SEATTLE GAY PRESS on it under the regular shirt I was wearing and I got warm and took off the top shirt and suddenly I was out.  I mean, it wasn’t like it was some state secret.  I just stopped pretending like it was.

Anyway, one of the “books”that was not included in the megalith of Coming Out dramas has this as their description:

Teddie Parks White thinks he’s got the perfect marriage. His husband, Aiden, is a sweet, tender man who works hard to take care of him. They both come home from their jobs in the evening, make dinner together, then watch their favorite television shows on Netflix before turning in.

Does that sound like the makings of thrilling literary adventure?  Does it?  It sounds more like the start of every “domestic life is a living hell” story ever chiseled out by some bored housewife. Is this where a struggle out of gay ghettos has landed us?  Somewhere in the ABC Family Hour?

This is why I keep re-reading Barbara Pym.   She wrote primarily in the 1950s when the media was refining this pap as nirvana and Pym regarded it with a wry and suspicious eye.  But how many times can you read “An Excellent Woman?”  Seems like we’ll be finding out.


How come we have to read about some boy like this fretting that his marriage has lost its magic?  I want to read about how he’s debased by a gang of, I don’t know, somebodies.  Pirates maybe.  I like pirates. Just not zombies.

15 responses »

  1. You may have read this. If not you might like it. I’ve read it a few times and enjoyed it each time.

    How Long Has This Been Going On?
    by Ethan Mordden

    How Long Has This Been Going On? brings together a rich and varied cast of characters to tell the tale of modern gay America in this remarkable epic novel. Beginning in 1949 and moving to the present day, Mordden puts a unique and innovating spin on modern history. An adventurous, adroit, and fascinating novel by one of the finest gay writers of our time.


    • I LOVED How Long Has This Been Going On. I remember being irate at the dismissive hostile reviews. The book spoke so eloquently to me and all my friends and the times we were going through and at the same time, reminding us that The Gays have always been among us.

      Love it. Thank you for an excellent recommendation. Keep ’em coming.


      • I have a fantasy the Ryan Murphy will do How Long Has This Been Going On as one of his extended shows.

        Mordden’s buddie book series was good as well. I suppose you read them as well. I only found out a few years ago he wrote another one after he had announced he wasn’t going to. I reread them all.


  2. That sounds vomit inducing. I don’t want to read about sweet and tender men watching telly together, I want to read about big Russian brutes buggering drug addled trade down back allies, something dark and menacing. Failing that, William Corlett books are a good read ‘Now and Then’ and ‘Two Gentlemen Sharing’ are my particular favourites, though it’s been years since I last read them.


  3. That book description seemed pretty vile, until I realized there has to be a plot twist after Teddie and Aiden turn in for the night. A 747 has to crash into their condo, or their dog turns out to be E.T., or there’s a rare tsunami on Lake Erie or something…!


  4. “…then watch their favorite television shows on Netflix before turning into raging weregays and terrorising their ultra-conservative neighbourhood under a full moon (provided by the seemingly shy young man in your picture).”

    Or something…


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