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Thomas Eakins, "Swimming Hole," 1895 (Amon Carter Museum)

14 Gay Books to Read at the Beach ~ Lil Nas X “Industry Baby” Drops ~ Joe Bell Heads Up Summer Movie List ~ Sex, Style, Art, and Fads

Summer is for going to the beach, for tea dances (pandemic permitting), for lazy evenings with good friends and good cocktails, for gardening. And summer is for reading. Whether your thing is contemporary gay fiction, memoirs, LGBTQ history, or poetry, we have you covered:

Fiction & Romance

  • , by Joon Oluchi Lee, won a Lammy for best gay fiction for its “kaleidoscopic” tale of a Korean ballet dancer and her “straight, though gay-cruising, Korean-American husband.” (2020)
  • , by Brontez Purnell, is a “hurricane of delirous, lonely, lewd tales…a taxonomy and grand unified theory of the boyfriend” (The New York Times).
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C.W. Eckersberg, Two Shepherds, 1812-1813 (National Gallery of Denmark)

Alec by William di Canzio Retells Forster’s Classic Gay Novel Maurice From the Gamekeeper’s Point of View

by E.M. Forster is among the greatest gay novels of all time. Set in England about 1912, it tells the story of the young, gay stockbroker Maurice Hall, who meets and falls in love with the servant Alec Scudder while at a country house party. Notably for early gay novels, the story ends happily, with Alec telling Maurice, “Now we shan’t be parted no more, and that’s finished.” Forster completed the manuscript in 1914, but it was only published in 1971, after his death.

In , playwright William di Canzio has written Scudder’s story, from childhood to his meeting Maurice to the trenches of World War I...  >> Read more >>

Unknown artist, "Sinking of the Titanic," after 1912 (Smithsonian Institution)

Gay Party Boat Sinks Amid Pandemic

With COVID case numbers more than six times their spring peak—and a new, more contagious variant on the loose—gay revelers traveled to Mexico for a New Year’s extravaganza organized by Jeffrey Sanker’s White Party Entertainment. While it is too early to know whether the event will become a superspreader, as the Los Angeles Blade called it, not all went according to plan: An afternoon cruise on the PV Delice (“men only” and “clothing optional”) turned to mayhem when the boat capsized and sank; all passengers and crew are believed to have been rescued uninjured. (It is unclear whether the cruise was part of the White Party or was a separate event.)..  >> Read more >>

Big Ben at night by Bartlomiej Markiewicz/CC BY 3.0

A Gay Wastrel Falls in Love

I’ve always been a fan of Tom Sharpe, who wrote Porterhouse Blue. This British academic satire tells the story of Zipser, a graduate student at stubbornly medieval Porterhouse College. Zipser is writing his dissertation on the political significance of pumpernickel in sixteenth-century Westphalia, and when he’s not doing that he’s trying to get laid. Somehow he winds up with cartons of condoms in his room; fearing he might be accused of stealing them, he tries to get rid of the evidence by inflating them with gas from the grate and sending them up the chimney. The flue, however, gets clogged with flammable condoms; and when a guest lights the grate, the ancient tower explodes, taking poor Zipser with it...  >> Read more >>

Achilles mourns the death of Patroclus

A Stirring Gay Romance of Ancient Greece

The tale of Achilles and Patroclus, first recounted by Homer in the Iliad, is one of the great archetypes of male friendship. It has been told many times since, most recently by the gifted novelist Madeline Miller in her bestseller The Song of Achilles.

Achilles was one of the great heroes of the Greeks in the war against the Trojans, which started after the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. As told in the Iliad, the war has dragged on for many years, when Agamemnon, king of the Greeks, takes from Achilles a Trojan maiden named Briseis, who had been awarded to him as a spoil of war...  >> Read more >>