Lawfully Wedded Husband: How My Gay Marriage Will Save the American Family — Available Now! “I bought more ornaments for the Christmas tree!” Mike called as he closed the front door behind him. “We already have too many ornaments for … Continue reading
Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever and What Ended Up Happening Instead — Available Now!
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A few years ago I wrote a book called Gay Haiku. Writing a book had never been a particular goal of mine, except for two weeks during the eighth grade, after I read Truman Capote’s Other Voices, Other Rooms; my resulting desire to be an author lasted until I finished Breakfast at Tiffany’s, at which point I realized it would be much more interesting to be a prostitute. But in 2003, as part of a fund-raiser for a theater company some friends of mine and I were starting, I wrote 49 haiku about all the bad dates I’d been going on and all the bad sex I’d been having since my boyfriend and I broke up. The haiku turned out well, so I wrote 20 more and sent the collection to an agent as a manuscript called 69 Gay Haiku. She liked it and sent it to a publisher; he also liked it, but he said 69 haiku wasn’t enough and 110 seemed like a more appropriate number. I was upset, not because the prospect of writing more haiku was so horrible, but because 69 Gay Haiku was the only decent title I had ever come up with for anything and I was loath to discard it. I suggested the title 69 Gay Haiku Plus 41 More but the reception with which this idea met was singularly unenthusiastic.
When the book appeared on shelves, however, I stopped being upset about the title because all of a sudden I got to tell people things like, “Monday’s no good for me, I’m having lunch with my publicist.” (The only thing I’ve ever said more glamorous than this was, “Yes, I can meet you at your apartment for anonymous sex tomorrow morning, unless I have to go to Prague.”) The fact that my publicist and I spent the entire lunch in question gushing about how vigorously we wanted to rip Chris Meloni’s clothing off didn’t matter in the least; what was important was that I could use her in a sentence. This was by far the best thing about becoming a published author.
The worst thing about becoming a published author was that, inexplicably, it did not make all my problems go away. Walking into Barnes & Noble and seeing my name on a book jacket was exciting, of course, but when I left the store the thought filling my head was not Gee, now my life is perfect but Why didn’t the cute cashier fall in love with me as I purchased my own book? Am I fat? Or could he just see that I’m a bad person?
Gay Haiku — Available Now!
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This book happened because of a bad breakup.
I suspect most books happen because of a bad breakup; one could make a case, I suppose, against The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, but secretly I think Gibbon had heartbreak on the brain when he started writing.
It was winter of 2002. My ex had moved out, taking with him the hideous couch (thank God) but leaving the dog (thank God) and a four-hundred-dollar bill for phone calls to his new boyfriend in Canada (because he couldn’t have the decency to wait until he’d left to start seeing somebody else, oh, no), and I was alone—well, I had the dog—in our vast three-bedroom apartment in the middle of nowhere in Washington Heights. Having learned just how spectacularly disastrous relationships could be from my old boyfriend, I set out instantly to find a new one.