new book

New Gay Fiction by Jeffery Self: Openly Gay Actor

Update: Smashwords link

When I saw a press release in my inbox about a new novel written by openly gay actor, Jeffery Self, I knew I had to post something about it before the day was over. As those of you who read this blog may know, I’ve posted so many things about closeted gay actors in Hollywood over the years it would take too much time to link to them now in this post.

Jeffery Self is a young gay actor who has had parts in more than a few highly successful TV shows. One of the things he’s done that I recall was on Logo, titled, Jeffery and Cole Casserole. The fact that he’s adorable helps me remember even more, but I digress.

From Wiki: 

Jeffery & Cole Casserole is an American sketch comedy program that aired on Logo in 2009 and 2010. The show is written, directed and edited by real-life comedy duo Jeffery Self and Cole Escola. The series debuted on Logo on June 19, 2009, and was renewed for a second season, which premiered on July 9, 2010, also on Logo.[1] The show was canceled on March 17, 2011.

This is Jeffery’s bio from Huff Po:

Jeffery Self is an actor, writer, vlogger and lover of a lot of things (especially peanut butter and Oprah Winfrey). He co-created Jeffery and Cole Casserole on LOGO with friend Cole Escola. He has also appeared on other shows, including Hot in Cleveland, Shameless, Torchwood, 90210 and 30 Rock as Randy Lemon. He lives in Los Angeles and makes daily vlogs at jeffery-self.com. Follow him on Twitter @jefferyself.

With that said, he’s written a new novel titled, “50 Shades of Gay,” and I’ll post the press release below. I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to as soon as it’s released, and you’ll see why when you read the book description below in the PR. I don’t have any official purchase link yet, but I will try to get him to do an interview with me after the book is released.

From my inbox:

Feb. 20, 20013 – Magnus Books, an imprint of Riverdale Avenue Books, is pleased to announce the publication of 50 Shades of Gay by Jeffery Self, a well-known Hollywood actor/writer and comedian.

You may have seen Jeffery Self on Desperate Housewives, 90210, Hot in Cleveland, and in 30 Rock as Randy Lemon, Liz Lemon’s gay cousin. But you’ve not yet read his new erotic romance inspired by E.L. James’ international phenomenon, 50 Shades of Grey.

In 50 Shades of Gay, a young celebrity blogger, Alex Kirby, interviews Taylor Grayson, a superstar leading man in Hollywood blockbuster films. Grayson also happens to be a closeted gay man with a passion for BDSM. When Grayson draws the younger man into his private orbit and initiates him into his sexual world, the younger man can tell that kinky sex has shielded Grayson from having a real emotional connection with another man. But he is head over heels in love with the older, powerful, gorgeous man who has selected him for the pleasures of submission. Ultimately, Alex decides to experiment with the power differential between them, and see if he can break through the armor that Grayson and his layers of Hollywood handlers have imprisoned him in.

The author joked about his inspiration for the book. “Ever since moving to Los Angeles I’ve been fascinated by two things: frozen yogurt and closeted movie stars. There’s something so sexy and mysterious about both. So I decided to write a book about one of them.”

What Was It Like To Be "Gay" In the l960’s?

I’m writing this post because I’m working on a book right now that’s set in the l960’s. I have many older gay friends who’ve been helping me out with research. And articles like this have been insightful.

But I have to admit that it’s hard…damned hard…to fully understand what it must have been like back then. I can only imagine and hope I do it justice.

Gay in the 1960s — the time was ripe for revolution

By Warren Allen Smith

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Gay life in the 1960s was, for sure, an entirely different time, a time in which falling in love monthly, or even weekly, was neither impossible nor improbable.

It was a dangerous time, however, to be openly gay. Physicians who cured our venereal diseases scolded us for having done what we did to get sick. Psychiatrists ruled that we were mentally sick. Neighbors maliciously gossiped about who was visiting late last night. Landlords asked gay couples, hoping to rent, if they were related. Monotheists called us sinners, threatening that if we didn’t choose to be heterosexual we would not get to Heaven (making that theological invention all the more undesirable). If we were slightly on the fey side, we could get a black eye, a bloody lip or worse. Sometimes, in self-defense, we related antigay jokes to throw people off.

Even if we carefully stayed in the closet, it was difficult to play The Majority’s game. When I was an acting first sergeant in charge of a company that landed on Omaha Beach in 1944, I did play the game, difficult as it was. Although I preferred music, art, poetry and ballet to sports, I guarded against expressing myself. Whenever I got a leave during the time I was in the Army, I chose to travel alone. Who better than gays to understand Stevenson’s “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”!

In 1969, Vice President Spiro Agnew would have become president if Richard Nixon had died. Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand tied as best actresses for an Oscar. “1776” and “The Great White Hope” won Antoinette Perry awards. Billie Jean King was one of the top tennis players. If treated, gonorrhea, syphilis and other venereal diseases were not life threatening. It cost 20 cents to ride the subway.

Sex in New York City was readily available, night and day. The Rambles in Central Park was one place where openly gay male sex occurred and allegedly had ever since the William Cullen Bryant-inspired area first opened. All that shrubbery, all those dark places in which to hide and to meet….

Many small parks had gay meeting spots, and all large parks had cruising areas. Brooklyn’s Prospect Park had several busy sites. Riverside Drive’s area stretched from the Soldiers and Sailors Monument to General Grant’s Tomb and on up past Harlem. Parks along the East River and areas near the Battery were places to hook up. The park at Washington Sq. was appealing, particularly the northwest corner where guys leaned suggestively on the railings. If anyone asked the time, he really was inviting you to his nearby apartment. Rendezvous were followed by an exchange of names and phone numbers — wrong numbers, of course, if either thought he might do better falling in love after a one-night stand with someone else tomorrow.

Read more here…

Gay Romance, DADT, and What’s Real

I’m finishing up a novel today that deals with the subject of gay men in the military. As usual, this particular book is loosely based on the storyline from the film, “Top Gun.” But there’s no way I could have followed the storyline of the film and not mentioned how the main character deals with being in the military and DADT.

If I wanted to, I could still probably just make it all fantasy. I could write about strong gay men in the military who don’t have to worry about coming out of the closet and being open about their sexuality. I could even create a world where Don’t Ask Don’t Tell doesn’t exist.

But then I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

So I’m hoping I did justice to one of the most frustrating forms of discrimination of our time, DADT. And I’m hoping I did it with simple, real examples. One of those examples, for me, was to show that not all gay men in the military are constantly trying to seduce straight men. I’ve interviewed gay men in the military for this book, and they’ve all told me the last thing on their mind is sex with straight men. These are strong men who are very career oriented and the most important thing on their minds is serving their country to the best of their ability. And they want to be treated as equals.

I’ll try to put all this, and more, into the cover copy so readers know what they are getting. It is, in fact, a romance with a happy ending. But the ending is nothing like the way the film ended and the characters are not ashamed to take life head on, from a realistic POV this time. Also, this was one of those times when it would have been impossible to follow the storyline of “Top Gun” with two gay characters, and not completely deviate from the original plot. So if you’re a die-hard fan of the straight version of the film, you might not like they way I ended the book. But I didn’t see any other choices at this point in time.