10 Books Every Gay Boy Should Read

December 18, 2007 at 10:27 am 14 comments

I’ve often thought of how great it would be have a gay version of Big Brothers/Big Sisters in which older gay men would mentor younger gay men as they grew from bois to (ideally) healthy and happy gay/bi men. The papa gay would help the baby gay through the coming out process and learn about gay history, gay culture and the crucial differences between Madonna and Britney and Christina.

Unfortunately this kind of program does not exist and I don’t have the smarts ie the cash to make it happen. I do have a gorgeous MacBook and the public square that is the gayosphere. Hence my list of 10 (Non-Fiction) Books Every Gay Boy Should Read.

1. Ultimate Gay Sex – is a gorgeous book written by Michael Thomas Ford that provides a wonderful introduction to and celebration of sex between men. It covers more than just the mechanics of who puts what where and also provides smart information about dating and relationships, sexually transmitted diseases and coming out.

2. Making Gay History – written by Bilerico contributor Eric Marcus is an engrossing look at the first 50 years of the American LGBT movement through the stories of more than 60 people. Its an amazing testament to the gay men and lesbian who had the courage to live their lives openly and honestly.

3. From Boys to Men: Gay Men Write About Growing Up – is a wonderful collection of essays by gay men about what it is like to be gay and young, to be different and be aware of that difference from the earliest of ages. Some of the stories are funny, some touching and some will make you cry.

4. Outing Yourself – by Michelangelo Signorile is point by point guide to coming out to your family, friends and co-workers. The coming out experience is one that unifies us as gay men and one that we all struggle with. Grab this book to help take some of the drama out of revealing to your loved ones who you really are.

5. The Way Out – is written by journalist and former party boy Chris Nutter. Its about how gay men are taught by both straight culture and gay culture to see themselves in a destructive way, how to detox from the drama and the power you have to create the life that you want to live.

6. And the Band Played On – is an amazing history of the first five years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic written by Randy Shilts. It chronicles attempts to identify the virus, traces its spread in the U.S., the federal government disastrous response and how the gay community defended itself against a wave of anti-gay hostility that swept the country. It is the best book on the early years of the epidemic that has had such tremendous impact on gay men and our culture.

7. Queer in America – written by Michelangelo Signorile takes on the hypocrisy in the media which continues its double standard of reporting on every detail of of every one night stand of heterosexual celebrities like Britney while whitewashing the romantic lives of powerful gay men and lesbians and closeted gays who work for and promote business leaders and politicians who promote an anti-gay agenda. Want to know where outing began? Then this is the book for you.

8. Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America takes on the media’s fascination with the “down low” in which Black men become vectors for HIV transmission by cheating in their female partners with men. Among white gays being on the “down low” is simply called being in the closet. Writer and activist Keith Boykin dissects the racism and homophobia implicit in the media’s promotion of this story line and offers a way to move forward with a much needed discussion of sexuality, gender, race and AIDS.

9. My Life and the Paradise Garage is a memoir of the Godfather of Disco Mel Cheren. Mel tells what he calls “a story of my gay generation, the world we built, and the world we lost.” In these days of openly gay politicians and celebrities its easy to forget just how important disco was to the development of gay culture and the creation of a stronger, more vibrant and more visible community. Mel passed away on December 7th.

10. Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality – is written by conservative gay writer and blogger Andrew Sullivan In this volume Andrew takes a critical look at the current state of the movement for LGBT civil rights from both the right and left. Andrew calls for the LGBT movement to focus on two issues: marriage and military service. When those two goals are achieved he suggests closing up shop and throwing a big party. You may or may not agree with him, but he is a damn good writer with a unique perspective.


Entry filed under: Books, HIV/AIDS, LGBT, Men. Tags: , , , , , .

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Daisy  |  December 18, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    Oh, that’s a lovely idea for a program. I hope you’d include the “big sisters” half, too?

    I wonder if there’s a way to market that without raising the “gays recruit children” and “gay pedophile” tropes. Hmm

  • 2. cat with the fiddle  |  December 18, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    this is a very fine idea. you think you can come up with a list of fiction every gay boy must read?

  • 3. Michael Crawford  |  December 19, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Of course, girls and women would be included in a queer brother/sisters program. And it would be hard to market without the fundies going nuts, but some things are worth the drama.

    I am working on a list of fiction. Stay tuned.

  • 4. Scott  |  December 19, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Ohhhhhh Michael. Dunno why, but yer little diatribe on this post made me smirk. I’m bored at work (often) and enjoy your blog quite a bit. So who are you? Yer “About” section leaves a little to be desired. Blessed Google helped though.

    I got to get to DC sometime… blasted Phoenix leaves a lot to be desired.

  • 5. Jim Pickett  |  December 19, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    Michael, while I cross posted this on LifeLube, I still wish you had included The Joy of Gay Sex. This book was absolutely pivotal for me as a baby gay. I remember buyingg it at the mall – a Waldenbooks in Greendale, Wisconsin – when I was 17 (a long time ago)with about twelve other books and magazines to try and obfuscate the GAY SEX stuff. I read this baby once if I read it 100 times, and being that it was published in the mid 70’s, there was STD info but NO HIV – a truly wonderful time when sex wasn’t automatically linked with death and dread. Some of it really freaked me out – like stuff on rimming (I was 17, remember), but it did so much for me in terms of mechnical info, relationship info, gay culture info, and mostly making me – a gawky skinny nervous kid – feel like a normal person for being attracted to men.

    I still have this book, and while many of my books find their way into rummage sales and other people’s shelves, this one stays put. Forever!


  • 6. Cruising the Gayosphere « Bloggernista  |  December 20, 2007 at 9:38 am

    […] by my post 10 Books Every Gay Boy Should Read my fellow Bilerico contributors Serena Freewomyn and Rebecca Juro offer 10 Books Every Lesbian […]

  • 7. Bill in Portland Maine  |  December 26, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Wow. I’m rather stunned to see nothing by Paul Monet. His “Becoming a Man: Half A Life Story,” which won the National Book Award, gave me (and many others) the courage to come out.

    It’s one of the most touching and beautifully-articulated books about coming out that’s ever been written.

  • 8. 10 Films Every Gay Boy Should See « Bloggernista  |  January 30, 2008 at 8:34 am

    […] Boy Should See Posted on January 30, 2008 by Michael Crawford Following up on my list of 10 Books Every Gay Boy Should Read, here are 10 Films Every Gay Boy Should […]

  • […] Also check out 10 Films Every Gay Boy Should See and 10 Books Every Gay Boy Should Read. […]

  • 10. Adam  |  October 11, 2008 at 7:05 am

    this is a great list, but i would also add ‘At Swim, Two Boys’ one of the most moving beautifully written books i have ever read about two boys falling love in ireland during first world war, stunning book, a must for everyone, gay, lesbian, straight,


  • 11. jacob  |  November 10, 2008 at 10:45 am

    okay these may not be quite what ur looking for but these books helped me through alot during high school. rainbow boys1.
    rainbow boys2. and
    rainbow boys3.
    by Alex Sanchez, just trust me these are some very good books!

  • 12. Steve  |  February 4, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Every gay man should have “The Joy of Gay Sex” on his shelf. And “The Celluloid Closet”–it’s such brilliant cultural criticism that it cuts far beyond just a discussion of film.

  • 13. Dryg Tests  |  March 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    […] by my post 10 Books Every Gay Boy Should Read my fellow Bilerico contributors Serena Freewomyn and Rebecca Juro offer 10 Books Every Lesbian […]

  • 14. Inukumaru  |  May 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I came upon a very nice novel called Sodom’s x a song for the end by K.R.COLUMBUS a nice sci-fi novel with religios overtones. Mind you it has more than 2 gay fat characters in it and they are all unique oh and it has great sex scenes
    check the plot – As predicted by Isaac Newton the second coming happened and as the world waited to see what was about to happen an appointed man was sent to meet God, hours later God had vanished and the man came out immortal; no apocalypse, no destruction and no salvation. This gave birth to a chain of holy wars that almost chattered Earth’s civilizations and so giving birth to a mass colonization of planets to ensure peace by separation. Thousands of years later all was at peace by until Endings were born; humans connected to their planets in such a way that they are capable of destroying them should they wish it. Now Earth’s Ending has been born and the day to pass judgment draws near.
    it can be found here


    Apart from that it is very hard to find


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