Most people would know Larry Kramer as the playwright who penned "The Normal Heart," the play that has AIDS and the gay generation who first suffered because of it as its center. I love that play. If you haven't read it or seen it on stage, please do and have a box of tissues at your side. I guess the same thing can be said of Faggots. You still need a box of tissue, but for a different kind of body fluid. Wink, wink.
Of the 2,639,857 faggots in the New York city area, 2,639,857 think primarily with their cocks.Faggots is a wonderfully dated work. I feel its appeal and charm grows through the years. It's somewhat of an autobiographical work, as the main character, Fred Lemish, is loosely based on Larry Kramer. Lemish is one of the many characters we meet in this kaleidoscope of a novel, where each character comes to grips with his sexuality, his place in the 1970s gay community, his continuous search for sex, love, and belongingness.
You didn't know that the cock was a thinking organ?
Well, by this time, you should know that it is.
― Larry Kramer, Faggots
Never again will the gay community experience such excess, where it's de rigeur to go to bath houses, participate in orgies, be oblivious to people watching you as you engage in sex. The 1970s were a time when people actually had to go out of their houses to hook up. There wasn't any Grindr to speak of. There weren't any pics of your private parts going around. You have to see these intimate parts up close, usually in the club's bathroom. And if you approve, you take him home.
In a way, I feel indebted to the characters in Faggots. These people belonged to a generation that was instrumental in LGBT equality. These were the first gay men who had the courage to go out in public and declare their sexuality. Yes, some of them were persecuted for it, and some of them died because of the unsafe sex they all practiced. But today's LGBT community would have never existed because of these people. For a few years back then, they partied, and they partied hard. But they will never party like that ever again. Their fight started the long battle toward equality. And it's still far from over though.
Even the title of the book is an indication of its now-classic status. I would never ever call someone a f-----. I don't want to go to gay hell. You can even get flak for calling someone this name, like what happened to this Gray's Anatomy actor. It's pretty much like the "n" word now. But unlike the "n" word, it's seldom used among gay men. Now, it's all about "queer." We have queer cinema, queer lit, queer everything.
|We're here, we're queer, and we have fierce queer faces. LOL.|
With my good friend Orly, who blogs about theater, books, and whatnot.
My goodness, it took so many takes just to get this shot. (27 takes, I think.)
That fierce look is so difficult to pull off! My cheekbones hurt.
“Holy shit," somebody muttered in the dark.
"A virgin," sputtered another.
"I didn't know they still made them."
"He just did.”
“Looking thirty, claiming forty, actually forty-five.”I do make it a point to read LGBT books every now and then. My favorite read last year was a gay-themed young adult novel (Aristotle and Date Discover the Secrets of the Universe). I consider Edmund White, Sarah Waters, and Alan Hollinghurst to be literary gods. I love Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story and The Farewell Symphony to bits. But I have never read a novel like Faggots. It's raunchy, hysterical, always on point, and fascinating. And it took me to a time when everyone scratched one another's itch, shoot drugs like there's no tomorrow, and basically live your queer life like it's the last day of this queer effing world.