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Biographies and Autobiographies of various Gay and Bisexual Men.

As a psychologist (and a Gay one at that) for many years I’ve been interested in and read many biographies and autobiographies. This probably relates to what I’ve referred to as my “benevolent curiosity” as to how individuals came to be where they are in life.

The first one I read was David Kopay’s book “The David Kopay story : an extraordinary self-revelation” by him and Perry Deane Young. He’s a former US Gridiron player described in a 2008 article in a University of Washington Magazine as a “Husky legend and gay icon”. I first read of this in the (then) controversial 1978 publication Young Gay and Proud by the Melbourne Gay Teachers and Students Group.

Apart from this book I’ve read and recommend (for various reasons) the following titles, (in alpha order by author or subject) for which I’ll give an overview or “Thumbnail sketch” about these books about various Gay men.

Jack Charles – Born Again Blakfella Is the biography of the (recently deceased) actor, who, described himself is “a survivor of Box Hill Boys’ home”. As well as being a drug addict and a cat burglar “collecting the rent”, and spending time in prisons. Also looks at his kinship issues and his loving relationship for a few years with a fellow named Jack.

Wayne King – Black Hours Although not so unusual nowadays, as an indigenous student (in Ipswich) he learned how to type. This led to the ability to work as a Telex machine operator in international settings. There are also issues around his mother (a member of the Stolen Generations). One thing that stuck with me after reading the book, was (as I recall it) his recognition how, of being an aboriginal man, working in various places overseas, when he returned to Australia coming to realise how racist Australia is.

Greg Louganis – Breaking the Surface Is about the four-time American Olympic diver, who (apart from anything else) is remembered for when in the 1988 Seol Olympics, hits his head on the diving board. It also details his experiences in a domestically violent same sex relationship and experience with mental health issues.

Mathew Mitchum – Twists and Turns He writes in this 2012 autobiography, of his battles with; depression, self-esteem, recreational drug use, being picked on at school, coming out as Gay at 15, as well as the many and various other physical and psychological challenges he has experienced to get where he was at the time of writing.

Jason Om – All mixed up: A Memoir A look at the life of the ABC reporter and his struggles with various aspects and experiences in his life. These include his cultural heritage, the death of his mother at a young age, various family secrets, apart from his own experience as coming out as gay.

Randy Rainbow – Playing with myself Those familiar with Randy Rainbow, who seems to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of Broadway musicals and the ability to transform them into youtube political parody’s, (with Donald Trump being a common subject) will probably find this of interest.

In conclusion, a small number of books that may be of interest to those wanting to read about other gay men’s lives. Many of these will be available via the public library system, or from a LGBTIQA+ supportive bookshop, like Rabble Books and Games, (Maylands), The Bookshop (Sydney), Hares and Hyena’s (Melbourne), apart from using somewhere like an online book search and price comparison website like Addall.

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