Canada
2 min

Clit lit and book boys

Gay guys should support our community's vibrant writers

I’m not saying that gay men don’t like books, but from what I’ve seen most guys don’t like to be seen with them in public.

I write this because whenever I perform at queer coffee houses or Pride events, women make up 80 percent of the audience. Over the years I’ve noticed more transfolk, but for the most part, the remaining 20 percent consists of young gay guys just out of the closet or seniors. In other words, something happens to gay men between their teens and the pension years that scares them from attending literary events. It’s almost as if there’s an urban myth out there that literature shrinks your dink. In fact, I can tell you first hand that it gives you bigger balls.

While I fantasize about being able to read gay blowjob poems to people who actually give gay blowjobs, I have developed a profound appreciation for lesbians. The lesbian community has always been so supportive of my work, even when I subject them to an onslaught of cock poetry. There’s no way most gay men would listen and support clit lit. Think about it. If guys can barely get though lesbian scenes in Queer as Folk how do you think they would deal with politically charged dyke sonnets? Guys, we need to grow up a little.

The great thing about women — straight or gay and anything in between — is that if they hear work that they think a friend will like, they’ll buy it for them. This always amazes me because many of these folks live with less disposal income. I hate to say it: gay men can be cheap bastards! They’ll spend $50 on drinks in a heartbeat, but they’ll complain about the price of a $15 book.

If I had a nickel for every time I had a gay man apologize for not being able to afford my book only to see them moments later ordering a drink at a bar, I, too, would be able to buy more books. It gets even worse when you know the person is a DINK — double income no kids.

I’ve only noticed a high percentage of men at a poetry reading two times in the last 10 years (apart from anthologies which contain only gay men): once when the dyke dance conflicted with the Pride reading and once when I billed an evening as Poets and Drag Queens. I remember thinking that it was the first time I’d seen a bunch of the attendees before midnight. Those guys weren’t vampires after all.

Perhaps gay men prefer a more private introduction to literature, something that allows them to hold a book in one hand and play with themselves with the other. Perhaps they’ve gone all high-tech and the idea of a book bores them silly. I’d just like to see more of them out supporting our community’s vibrant writers and publishers. And I’d like to thank all the lesbians for their support and patience. I hope one day the boys will start to follow the girls’ example.