Joel Derfner is gayer than you.
Don’t feel too bad about it, though, because he has made being gayer than you his life’s work. At summer day camp, when he was six, Derfner tried to sign up for needlepoint and flower arranging, but the camp counselors wouldn’t let him, because, they said, those activities were for girls only. Derfner, just to be contrary, embarked that very day on a solemn and sacred quest: to become the gayest person ever. Along the way he has become a fierce knitter, an even fiercer musical theater composer, and so totally the fiercest step aerobics instructor (just ask him—he’ll tell you himself).
In Swish , Derfner takes his readers on a flamboyant adventure along the glitter-strewn road from fabulous to divine. Whether he’s confronting the demons of his past at a GLBT summer camp, using the Internet to “meet” men—many, many men—or plunging headfirst (and nearly naked) into the shady world of go-go dancing, he reveals himself with every gayer-than-thou flourish to be not just a stylish explorer but also a fearless one. So fearless, in fact, that when he sneaks into a conference for people who want to cure themselves of their homosexuality, he turns the experience into one of the most fascinating, deeply moving chapters of the book. Derfner, like King Arthur, Christopher Columbus, and Indiana Jones—but with a better haircut and a much deeper commitment to fad diets—is a hero destined for legend.
Written with wicked humor and keen insight, Swish is at once a hilarious look at contemporary ideas about gay culture and a poignant exploration of identity that will speak to all readers—gay, straight, and in between.
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|Title of Business & Economics eBook: Swish|
|Release Date: 05-13-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The two Englishmen were staring at the half-finished glove in my hands, aghast. “What is that?” the short one asked.
“I know it's a mess,” I rushed to apologize. I was lying. It was not a mess; it was perfect. But I had just arrived from the airport and I didn't want to offend them, as they were my hosts while I was in town for a small theater's production of a musical to which I had composed the score. The couple continued to stare in reproving silence at the work in my lap. “I've never done a glove before,” I continued desperately, “and the fingers are trickier than I expected, and they—”
“No!” the tall one interrupted, his voice quick with dismay. “It's not that. It’s that you’re knitting. Men don’t knit, young people don’t knit. Knitting is…something your grandmother does!”
My mother's mother was a raging alcoholic who had been married seven or nine times (depending on whether you counted the annulment and the common-law bigamy), including once to a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee and once to a French royalist arms smuggler, so I felt I could safely assert that knitting was not a pastime she had ever enjoyed. “Besides,” I said defensively, “knitting is very fashionable in New York these days.”
“Well, this isn't New York,” the short one retorted, but something in my face must have inspired pity.
“All right,” said the tall one grudgingly. “Just as long as nobody sees you doing it in public.”
But it was already too late, as the tube ride from the airport had been a lon...