Friday, December 27, 2013

BOYS: An Anthology - Paul's Review


Title: BOYS: An Anthology
Editor: Zach Stafford & Nico Lang
Year Published: 2013

Synopsis: Boys is an anthology of essays showcasing the voices, stories, and lives of gay, queer, and trans* men from around the world. Through these essays, readers are allowed an intimate glimpse into moments like the time one of the boys accidentally came out as gay on MySpace, another was kidnapped by his mother who wanted to “pray the gay away,” to the first time a boy went to a leather bar after transitioning to male and before he became a famous porn artist and performer. Boys shows readers that at the end of the day, there isn't one type of boy in the world, but lots of boys with all their own stories

Review: I first heard of this anthology from R.J. Aguiar on his twitter account. I downloaded it the day it came out. It's full of stories from so many different queer perspectives. I like how many minorities within the gay community are thoroughly discussed such as trans men and people of color. Some of the stories reminded me of similar experiences I've had or of things friends of mine have gone through. I'd suggest this book to any gay man from 19 to 99, but especially those in their 20-something's. I give this anthology am overall 4/5. 

I'm going to list just a few things about each of the stories. 

1. Vomit: This story reminds me of my own growing up. AIM as well as early college experiences and feelings. I had different experiences, but I think everyone has the same feelings as they experience their own coming of "(g)a(y)ge" story.

2. A Trip Down Route 666: This is a sad story of a family that refuses to love their child. It's unfortunate that there are so many people that have similar experiences.

3. Confessions of a Snow Queen: This is a really interesting story of race in the gay American scene from the perspective of an Indian. And then what it means to be an American with Indian heritage in India.

4. My Closet is Better Than Yours: A gay twin tries to make himself unique and find out who he really is and not just a comparison.

5. We're Desperate: This story is about appearance and perception.

6. Like That: This story covers racism and its complexities

7. Inside Man (by R.J. Aguiar): This story follows an out young man trying to make a living in politics and a broken system, particularly in FL. It was interesting to read this knowing R.J.'s story from his YouTube channel with his now fiancé.

8. Testosterone Fueled Injection: This story is about a very unique encounter in a leather bar. I had also known of this author. This story is a little steamier than others in the anthology. 

9. For Colored Boys Who Love White Boys: This is another story that addresses race and "preferences".

10. The Time I Outed Myself on AIM: This story is about an unfortunate incident in a freshmen high school student's life. And how important certain things seem in high school. 

11. Much Ado About a Name: This story really shows how much power and emotion can go into a name.

12: The Couple Undercover: I liked how this story was told in an interesting 2nd person perspective. It deals with ambition and priorities.

13. My Hideous Angel: This is an insirational story. It shows that you can go from a low to a high. Bad family relations to helping homeless lgbtq.

14. What Would I Do Without You?: This story covers the inability to leave behind memories of a relationship that ended too soon.

15. Gandhi School of Hookups: This is another interesting tale of race. How set in stone are gay men when it comes to race preferences? This story is from an Asian perspective

16. Pages From the Penis Book: The stories of a gay man's youthful attractions and actions.

17. A Series of (Fortunately) Unfortunate Events: A Craigslist Chronicle: This story follows a 25 year old remembering his sexual encounters via Craigslist as a 20 yr old.

18. When a Bulimic Goes on a Diet: A young boy comes out as bulimic in this story.

19. Studs Abroad: This is a story of a gay man in Amaterdam.


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