Synopses & Reviews
This witty memoir traces a touching and often hilarious spiralic path to embracing a gay, Latinx identity against a culture of machismo — from a cockfighting ring in Nicaragua to cities across the U.S. — and the bath houses, night clubs, and drag queens who help redefine pride
I've always found the definition of machismo to be ironic, considering that pride is a word almost unanimously associated with queer people, the enemy of machistas… In a world desperate to erase us, queer Latinx men must find ways to hold on to pride for survival, but excessive male pride is often what we are battling, both in ourselves and in others.
A debut memoir about coming of age as a gay, Latinx man, High-Risk Homosexual opens in the ultimate anti-gay space: Edgar Gomez's uncle's cockfighting ring in Nicaragua, where he was sent at thirteen years old to become a man. Readers follow Gomez through the queer spaces where he learned to love being gay and Latinx, including Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a drag queen convention in Los Angeles, and the doctor's office where he was diagnosed a "High-Risk Homosexual."
With vulnerability, humor, and quick-witted insights into racial, sexual, familial, and professional power dynamics, Gomez shares a hard-won path to taking pride in the parts of himself he was taught to keep hidden. His story is a scintillating, beautiful reminder of the importance of leaving space for joy.
"High-Risk Homosexual is a keen and tender exploration of queer identity, masculinity, and belonging. From the cockfighting ring in Nicaragua, where he was taken by his uncles to learn how to be a man, to the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, where he witnesses freedom and joy on the dance floor, Edgar Gomez writes with honesty and humor about the difficulty of straddling boundaries and the courage of finding oneself. This book signals the arrival of a major new talent." Laila Lalami, author of Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America and The Other Americans
“Poignant, vivid, and often hilarious, this coming-of-age memoir fearlessly explores intersectional identity and shows what it means to live and love authentically as a gay man today….An engagingly candid memoir from a promising young writer.” Kirkus Reviews
“Packed with dry wit and searing cultural insight….A brilliant and provocative interrogation of sex, gender, race, and love.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Edgar Gomez is a Florida-born writer with roots in Nicaragua and Puerto Rico. A graduate of University of California, Riverside's MFA program, he is a recipient of the 2018 L. M. and Marcia McQuern Graduate Award in Non-Fiction Writing. His work has been published and anthologized widely in such outlets as Popsugar, Longreads, Narratively, The Rumpus, and Ploughshares. He lives in Queens, New York, where he is saving up for good lotion.
Edgar Gomez on PowellsBooks.Blog
When I first realized I was gay, and in the years after I came out, I was so busy trying to make everyone else happy that I forgot who I was. I felt like I was being pulled in a hundred different directions. There was the person I was around my family, the person I was around my friends, the person I was at gay bars, the person I was at work...