Authors With Pride

as a gay man it took me time to slowly come to terms with my sexuality and i often think i read myself out of the closet i could explore that part of myself in books i went to college during the birth of the gay and lesbian freedom movement i was marching in the streets and go into consciousness raising meetings and starting a small magazine and being a feminist activist and then a lesbian feminist activists and that was a gateway to literature to honoring your own to become who i eventually became which was somebody who could defend myself and other people it is it's almost impossible for young gay people today to understand what it was like back then the view largely shared by the psychiatric profession was that homosexuality was a pathological condition and so when you grow up with that kind of self-image it makes for complications to put it mildly well we've definitely come a long way in my 20s I would never have imagined that LGBT rights would be on the national agenda I mean at the time it was illegal to be a lesbian in every state in the Union my novels can take a young heterosexual woman into the mind of a middle-aged gay latino man I mean I think that's wonderful books enrich us they help make us more human and they help diminish the fear that we might have of each other the thing about in such dark places the main character is gay and this was in 1973 at that time gay was a very taboo subject pretty much I knew that if I wrote this novel and wrote it the way it had to be written which I did in a way it was a coming out now and I had to make that decision and I said I'm gonna write what I want to write him addresses homosexual characters with enormous delicacy regarding them as entirely like everybody else at a time when homosexuality was still actually illegal in the United Kingdom I think we've progressed quite a bit everybody knows what we're gay means I think there's other things that gay people can strive toward make it a part of life which we're doing the people are gay and so what I was trying to show my gay characters in the whole context of their life not just as a function of their sexuality these are people just like every other person you know that we all have a lot more in common than not

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