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Book

Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son

“An LGBTQ book that’ll change the literary landscape in 2020.”

“One of the most anticipated books of the year.”

Porchlight 2020 National Bestseller

In this poignant and urgent love letter to his son, award-winning Broadway, TV and film producer Richie Jackson reflects on his experiences as a gay man in America and the progress and setbacks of the LGBTQ community over the last 50 years.

Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son

“My son is kind, responsible, and hardworking. He is ready for college. He is not ready to be a gay man living in America.”

When Jackson’s son born through surrogacy came out to him at age 15, the successful producer, now in his 50s, was compelled to reflect on his experiences and share his wisdom on life for LGBTQ Americans over the past half-century.

Gay Like Me is a celebration of gay identity and parenting, and a powerful warning for his son, other gay men and the world. Jackson looks back at his own journey as a gay man coming of age through decades of political and cultural turmoil.

Jackson’s son lives in a seemingly more liberated America, and Jackson beautifully lays out how far we’ve come since Stonewall — the increased visibility of gay people in society, the legal right to marry, and the existence of a drug to prevent HIV. But bigotry is on the rise, ignited by a president who has declared war on the gay community and fanned the flames of homophobia. A newly constituted Supreme Court with a conservative tilt is poised to overturn equality laws and set the clock back decades.

Being gay is a gift, Jackson writes, but with their gains in jeopardy the gay community must not be complacent.

As Ta-Nehisi Coates awakened us to the continued pervasiveness of racism in America in Between the World and Me, Jackson’s rallying cry in Gay Like Me is an eye-opening indictment to straight-lash in America. This book is an intimate, personal exploration of our uncertain times and most troubling questions and profound concerns about issues as fundamental as dignity, equality, and justice.

Gay Like Me is a blueprint for our time that bridges the knowledge gap of what it’s like to be gay in America. This is a cultural manifesto that will stand the test of time. Angry, proud, fierce, tender, it is a powerful letter of love from a father to a son that holds lasting insight for us all.

A portion of the author’s proceeds will be donated to
The Trevor Project.

Praise

“If all fathers were as open, vulnerable, and wise as Richie Jackson, it would be a better world. The deep truth of his writing makes this a beautiful book.”

“A beautiful and important guide to understanding the queer journey. I wish I had this book to guide me when I was young, and to help my straight parents understand the complexity I was struggling with as a gay kid.”

“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… Read More

“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.”

“Richie Jackson beautifully captures the magic of love, life and what it means to be a parent in this beautiful must-read memoir. His powerful story reminds us all that being open to love and making it the central focus of… Read More

“Richie Jackson beautifully captures the magic of love, life and what it means to be a parent in this beautiful must-read memoir. His powerful story reminds us all that being open to love and making it the central focus of our lives allows us to tap into our deepest inner wisdom.”

“Richie uses his experiences growing up gay to talk to his son about family and friendship, sex and relationships, anger and citizenship. And by doing this, Richie has penned a love letter to our generation of gay men who fought… Read More

“Richie uses his experiences growing up gay to talk to his son about family and friendship, sex and relationships, anger and citizenship. And by doing this, Richie has penned a love letter to our generation of gay men who fought for respect, helped secure rights and are now fearful of what lies ahead for the LGBTQ generation rising behind us.”

Gay Like Me is an invaluable chapbook for our times. Read it if you want to be reminded of what a long and valiant journey it’s been for us queers and what hard-earned wisdom we now have to offer the young.”

“This much needed history lesson and often poetic love letter is a call to arms that should be required reading for all LGBTQ youth and their families. Each page is filled with love, rage and a dose of reality that reinforces… Read More

“This much needed history lesson and often poetic love letter is a call to arms that should be required reading for all LGBTQ youth and their families. Each page is filled with love, rage and a dose of reality that reinforces the resiliency of LGBTQ people and reminds us all that the fight for LGBTQ equality and acceptance is far from over.”

“An invaluable book for all young LGBTQ people. Jackson wishes he had had a mentor when he was young, but now he has assumed that role for every reader of this heartfelt, wise, and compassionate book.”

“An endearing and practical guide to navigating the beauty and dangers of queer life in Trump’s America.”

“Jackson’s first book, a letter to his gay son, is full of personal experience and sage advice…[It] is a love letter from one generation of gay men to another. Beautifully written with crystalline prose, most anyone could profit… Read More

“Jackson’s first book, a letter to his gay son, is full of personal experience and sage advice…[It] is a love letter from one generation of gay men to another. Beautifully written with crystalline prose, most anyone could profit from reading this love letter from a parent to a child, whether they are gay or not.”

Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son