A look back at some of the blocks that made 2008 so great here at Randy Boyd’s Blocks.com.
The year 2008 marked the 10th anniversary of my first novel, Uprising, the suspense thriller first published in 1998. In Uprising, a closeted pop star tries to assassinate a homophobic senator while a straight undercover FBI agent tries to nail him. Somebody ends up getting nailed, alright, but ya gotta read Uprising, the suspense thriller, to see how it turns out!
My books are like my kids. I’m very proud of my first child. Uprising was a Lambda Literary Finalist for Best Men’s Mystery and Best Small Press Title. It was my first awards show experience, sitting in a grand auditorium, loved ones by my side, waiting to hear my name called … only to be Luccie’d twice in the same night! lol
Uprising was christened in the form of a book signing at the brand new Out Word Bound bookstore in Indianapolis, Indiana, my hometown. Cue the John Cougar Mellencamp music and congrats to the circle city’s gay bookstore. Thanks for helping make my dreams come true and happy 10th anniversary.
A month after my first book party, another dream of mine came true. We found each other at the Humane Society of Indianapolis. I named him Boomer after the mascot of my beloved Indiana Pacers, who were in their Reggie Miller Golden Years. Like my first novel, my dog Boomer is now 10 years-old. He’s also the star of When In Doubt, Pet the Dog, a memoir or blog series or periodic memoir thingy here on the Blocks.
No 2008 story was bigger worldwide than the Man. Barack. Obama. One of the biggest dreamers humanity ever dreamt up. See how the Man’s energy trickles down to this point of American light who happens to be … black, gay, and living with AIDS. The year 2008 was so great because it gave us … the Obama Files, now and forever at Randy Boyd’s Blocks!
So Obama’s victory got this little ugly nigger boy to thinkin’: if America can grow to love an interracial mutt with a dark African father, maybe America, or at least one American, might grow to love me, and finally, I’ll know what it’s like … that thing everybody spends so much time and energy on … you know … what’s it called? Oh, yeah … love. If you feel me, or even if you don’t, I have one question for America: Could You Fall in Love With This Face?
Nigger this, nigger that. Such language, such negative thinking. What’s up with this nigga called Randy Boyd, calling himself a nigger, some may wonder. Well, wonder no more. The N-word can never be buried, if you wanna know this nigger’s opinion. Can’t take back what ya done already nut.
Anything another human being has called me will forever reside in my brain. No burials allowed. Burying the word nigger is another way of telling me what to do and what not do, what to say and what not say, how and how not to craft my art. What word should I use to tell the world: you’re treating me like I’m a nigger? If I can’t use the world nigger, how else can I tell you about My Racist Gay World?
Nigger. It’s a word I was given at birth. It’s a word given to me and my black friends walking by the all-white USC Sigma Chi house the week before school started in 1980. It’s a word given to me by the white USC song girl who was angry at me, the lone black USC yell leader, for winning a game of cards on a late night bus ride after losing in the NCAA basketball tournament. In Utah, by the way. It’s a word given to me anytime I venture into the 21st century online gay world and witness countless gay men (of all races) tell the gay community: WHITES AND LATINS ONLY, PLEASE. NO OFFENSE JUST A PREFERENCE.
Think I’m an angry nigger? Nah. I been to therapy! lol … In my 20s and 30s, when I thought I was a gonna die if I didn’t find a man, I saw a shrink, a good one, too. One who listened.
Mostly, we had to deal with the more immediate matter at hand: trying not to die of AIDS. Still, we did dabble in the other reason I was gonna die: being single forever. It was bound to intersect, eh? lol.
Turns out, I didn’t have to make life about dying of AIDS or dying of loneliness. I just needed to live and be me, and my old therapist, who’s been a great influence in my life, just needed a thank you, and an Update from the Unlovable Nigger Faggot.
Essex Hemphill is the late poet who remains one of the most influential minds in “black gay America” (whatever that is). His thoughts about life, race, and sexuality resonate well into the 21st century, as exemplified by the number of times his name appears in online profiles under: favorite authors. All the more reason it gave me great pleasure to digitally preserve my 1992 Interview with Poet Essex Hemphill (1957-1995).
In 2007, I emailed Oprah about my novel Walt Loves the Bearcat. When I say email, I mean, I went to her website and filled out a form, in which I told her a little about me and my book. In 2008, I had an even better idea: get down on my knees on my blog and beg: Dear Oprah: Please Read Walt Loves the Bearcat
In 2008 I turned 46 years-old and marked a very unique milestone: 23 years living without HIV/AIDS, 23 years living with HIV/AIDS. Not that I remember living without HIV/AIDS. After all, that was the first 23 years of my life, and let’s face it: the early years are a wash. All I mostly know is living in a world where I have AIDS and just about everybody else doesn’t. POZ Magazine asked me to share my story. I said why not. Step inside my bubble and see what it’s been like, living Half a Life with AIDS.
I’m an AIDS Monster now. What’s that? An AIDS Monster is a creature that scares the shit outta people and represents their worst nightmares. The modern day boogieman. The Unclean. The Disease-Ridden. Not disease-free. Not clean. Not HIV-negative.
Stay away from the AIDS Monster. Ignore the scientific fact that an HIV-negative person can enjoy safe sex with an HIV-positive person. Poz People are to be avoided at all costs! Still not convinced? Grab some popcorn and the kids and watch the AIDS Monster Movie Marathon.
Speaking of monsters, the sportsworld views fags as monsters. A gay guy on the team? No way. A teammate who’s had his dick sucked by another man in his lifetime? Not in this league. And married couples sleep in twin beds, right? If having sexual relations with another man makes one a fag, all men are fags. I refuse to take the rap alone. Instead, I’ll rise up outta my twin bed and tell the truth, now and forever, in the blocks labeled Jockin’: Homos in Sports.
So far, Bridge Across the Ocean has been the most popular Randy Boyd book. It’s received the most fan mail, sold the most copies and resonated most with readers. Many men identify with the story of a 26-year-old gay man longing to reconnect with his youth through a younger man. The book was inspired by my real life friendship with two straight white teenage brothers while on vacation in Cancun in 1988. It was a summer that changed all our lives forever, and would eventually lead to something called Bridge Across the Ocean @ 20, a four-part blog series.
At the end of 2008, I announced a new edition to the family, the next Randy Boyd book, and a new feature on the Blocks: Guest Who?. Because I’ll be away, freaky deaky technology allows me to have guest bloggers here at Randy Boyd’s Blocks. Those guest bloggers will be characters from my novels and short stories. Their opinions do not represent the views of Randy Boyd or Randy Boyd’s Blocks. Like the word nigger, once you give birth to something, it takes on a mind of its own. The characters I create are no different. Now, they’re doing it for themselves in Guest Who?.
The insanity continues in 2009, so stay tuned for more wacky times, now and forever, here at Randy Boyd’s Blocks.