Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son

Harper. Jan. 2020. 176p. ISBN 9780062939777. $24.99. SOC SCI
Like the famous letter of James Baldwin to his nephew in The Fire Next Time, Jackson’s first book, a letter to his gay son, is full of personal experience and sage advice. This beautifully written book is a love letter from one generation of gay men to another. Jackson, a Broadway, television and film producer (Shortbus, Nurse Jackie), reflects on his life while imparting to his son the lessons he’s learned throughout his life about topics such as falling in love and being knowledgeable about LGBTQ history. He writes eloquently about surviving the AIDS epidemic, and argues convincingly about the conflict between the joys of being gay and the struggles it sometimes entails. Many will be able to relate to his descriptions of coming out, along with his first sexual experience, or observe these same occasions with heartfelt recognition. Jackson’s observations on the AIDS quilt are especially touching.
VERDICT 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.

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