New Book: Love Me As I Am
The events room at Foyles was packed last Tuesday for the launch of Love Me As I Am, a new non-fiction compilation in which 24 gay men reflect on their lives
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A few of the contributors spoke at the launch, each gave a glossary of where their life had taken them before reading a letter that they had written to their teenage self (the format of the book).
First up was handsome Christopher Nichols, 40, who immediately announced that he was HIV positive and going through addiction therapy. Chris apologised to his former self for mistakes that he had made while also highlighting external factors that had made life tough for him. He spoke of the importance of the book as a therapeutic tool.
The second reader was John Holt, a colourful chap in his late 50s, who made the audience chuckle both with his fascinating life story and when a Foyles poster behind him collapsed onto his head.
One of the most memorable speakers of the evening was Paul Woodward. Bursting out of his t-shirt with muscles, Melbourne-based Paul talked about a 16-year-old he had met on Scruff and how his own coming out story had helped the teenager to find his feet.
Other books have appeared over the last few years in a similar vein to this project, most notably Dear Me put together by former Gay Times editor Joe Galliano. Love Me As I Am can also serve as a social parenting manual to help parents with gay children too, enabling them to raise their kids in the best possible way while looking out for dangerous motifs.
A fascinating window into the formative years of 24 very different gay men, Love Me As I Am is well worth a look at. You can grab a copy on Amazon here
And you can take a look at the other contributors here
All profits from the book go to the charity Diversity Role Models.
Words: Jack Cullen