Includes bibliographical references (pages 352-364).
Coming out / Samuel R. Delany (1949-1957) -- Cinnamon Skin / Edmund White (1954) -- He's one, too / Allan Gurganus (1957) -- Fishing practice / Philip Bockman (1961) -- Coming out. Going back in. Coming out again. etc. / Brad Gooch (1965) -- Memories of Heidelberg / Andrew Holleran (1968) -- Beyond words / Philip Gambone (1968) -- Siren song / Dr. Charles Silverstein (1968) -- Being alive / Keith McDermott (1970) -- Slow learners / Christopher Bram (1971-1975) -- Let the living creature lie / David Bergman (1974) -- Boys like us / Michael Nava (1974) -- Homo sex story / Matthew Stadler (1973) -- The other invisible man / Essex Hemphill (1975) -- Let's say / Stephen McCauley (1975) -- My fountain pen / J.D. McClatchy (1975) -- How to grow fruit / Tim Miller (1976) -- Hell's kitchen / Douglas Sadownick (1978) -- Chemistry / Ed Sikov (1979) -- The impossible city / Michael T. Carroll (1980) -- Disneyland / Norman Wong (1981) -- Out-takes / Ron Caldwell (1983) -- Ant / Scott Heim (1983-1987) -- The cure / Dennis Hunter (1987) -- January 18, 1989 / William Sterling Walker -- Explaining it to dad / Rodney Christopher (1989) -- These trees were once women / Alex Chee (1990) -- Money talks / David Drake (1992) -- Sea level / Carl Phillips (1995).
Boys Like Us presents the true "coming out" stories of a stellar line-up of gay writers, spanning two generations. Written specifically for this collection, these are powerful, often stunning evocations of the primal process by which men come to terms with their desire for other men. Coming out is undeniably central to every gay man's life, but the phrase encompasses multiple meanings. Here are accounts of revealing one's sexual identity to parents, siblings, friends, and co-workers and, in one notable instance, to a stockbroker. Men tell of their first sexual encounters from their preteens to their thirties, with childhood friends who rejected or tenderly embraced them, with professors, with neighbors, with a Broadway star. One man writes of his marriage to a lesbian poet, another of leaving his wife for a male lover. Several selections reveal the autobiographical underpinnings of famous novels. These are intense, sometimes unexpectedly funny tales of romance and heartbreak, repression and liberation, rape and first love--defining moments. Arranged chronologically from Manhattan in the late '40s to San Francisco in the early '90s, these personal essays ultimately form a documentary of changing social and sexual mores in the United States during the last half-century--a literary, biographical, sociological, and historical tour de force.