A Gay Man’s Guide to Life
Houndstooth Press (2020)
Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Reader Views (1/2021)
“A Gay Man’s Guide to Life: Get Real, Stand Tall, and Take Your Place” by Britt East, is a comprehensive self-help book for gay men. Coming out isn’t always easy for men, so this guide is perfect for those that struggle with who they are, the rejection they may face, and the discrimination that exists. But more than that, this book shows gay men how to go beyond just coming out. It’s a lifestyle map that offers real-world, practical advice on how to get the most out of life, work, family, and meaningful relationships. It also gives a historical glimpse into the gay lifestyle, and how things have progressed and not progressed over the years. The writing is personable and frank, which would be appreciated by those with questions, or family and friends of gay men who want to know more or be supportive of someone coming out.
This book acts as many things. We straight people take for granted that gay men know what they’re doing, have their lives all worked out, and know what and who they want in life. East does a great service educating all audiences with this book, not just the gay community, but of course it’s especially geared toward the gay man. He writes about issues that gay men may have but are afraid to bring up or may not even realize exist. This author helps gay men learn to advocate for themselves, use their talents and strengths in all aspects of life and society, and to find happiness in relationships. This book also acts as a personal life coach, breaking down in simple terms what gay men can expect and how best to handle it. East draws on his own life experiences to help the reader, so this book is part memoir. He likens his book as medicine to help heal the pain some gay men experience and wants to act as the family some never have but need. This book can serve as a support system, a go-to guide, and inspiration for blazing a new path in the gay man’s life.
One thing that stands out in East’s writing is his honesty, and the pain and poignancy of some of his life experiences. He offers tough talk to the gay community, to prepare them, educate them, and support them. He encourages honesty from them, and believes truth is the key that opens the door to success and happiness. “A Gay Man’s Guide to Life: Get Real, Stand Tall, and Take Your Place” by Britt East, is a place to find answers and healing for the gay man.