cover image Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son

Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son

Richie Jackson. Harper, $24.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-293977-7

Broadway producer Jackson chronicles his life as a gay man in America over the past 50 years in this heartfelt debut written as a letter to his college-bound gay son. Highlighting the differences between older and younger generations of the gay community, Jackson notes that he came out to his mother in 1984, at the height of the AIDS epidemic. He chronicles early sexual experiences; describes his relationships with his husband, theater owner Jordan Roth, and his son’s other father, actor B.D. Wong; thanks such mentors as actor Harvey Fierstein, who “modeled being a good gay citizen”; and celebrates the LGBTQ artists and writers who “showed me that my own thread of otherness is part of a great expanse of a bright human fabric.” He stresses the importance of knowing gay cultural and political history, and warns that the gay community’s “brief liberation has emboldened our adversaries,” including Donald Trump (who was a guest at his wedding to Roth). Jackson’s sincerity shines through, even when he takes a back seat in his own story to focus on the representative experiences of his generation. LGBTQ readers on both ends of the age spectrum will value this earnest attempt to build a bridge between generations. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, William Morris Endeavor. (Jan.)