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One of These Things First by Steven Gaines


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This short memoir by a best-selling author relates his growing up gay and Jewish in Brooklyn in the 50s and 60s. He is a few years older than I am but roughly contemporaneous. He attempted suicide at 15 and ended up in a celebrity psychiatric clinic in New York. Most of the book is about his experiences at the clinic, which he relates with a wry sense of humor. His pain is clear, but so is his determination. It's a marvelous read.

Part of what spoke to me in his look back was the remarkable differences between his experiences and mine. In the end and after he is out, he describes his sexuality as a complication, a word Ann and I often use in reference to mine. You can knock this one off in a few hours.

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