E. Lynn Harris’ new book solidifies his crossover appeal

E. Lynn Harris. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, look at any list of highly acclaimed contemporary authors and you’re sure to find his at the very top, along with a scroll of his many honors and awards. “New York Times” bestseller listed, Blackboard’s Novel of the Year a record three times, Lambda Literary Award nomination, NAACP Image Award nominations, the James Baldwin Award for Literary Excellence, induction into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, recipient of the Harvey Milk Honorary Diploma, being listed as one of the “100 Leaders and Heroes in Black America” by Savoy, and being named in “Out Magazine's” “Out 100” list are just a few of his accolades. All of these were garnered in the face of adversity.

Since he first self-published “The Invisible Life” in 1991 using money made from selling computers for thirteen years (published officially in 1994 by Anchor), Everett Lynn Harris has published ten more novels, a novella, and a short fiction, with writing appearing in countless other national magazines and newspapers. Harris’ earmark style is most often given to fictional tales of love triangles and relationships between family and friends within the black middle class, usually with gay or bisexual main characters. A musical based on his novel “Not A Day Goes By,” starring Jackee Harry and Treynece from American Idol, had a successful run in 2004. “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” (2004) was an autobiographical memoir recounting his boyhood growing up with his three sisters in Little Rock, Arkansas, life in the closet, and his battles against loneliness, depression, and suicide.

Harris has been on tour promoting his new book “I Say A Little Prayer” since its release in early May. The book, about a young black man with ties to the church who is struggling to find balance between it and his sexual orientation, has good reviews already (see review by O&A Book Reviewer Curt Bucy in this issue). When I first spoke with Harris, he had just realized that he accidentally left the bag with all of his personal hygiene products at home, so his team and he himself were all scrambling to replace the items before the Nashville book signing at Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Green Hills. I caught up with him later to discuss the book, his life now, and current events. Harris admits that the exhaustive promotional tour has been taxing, but periodic breaks, and the love and support from diehard fans keep him going. I mentioned to Harris how interesting it is that those same fans, many of whom are straight black women, revel in his stories about the lives of gay men, but would in many cases vote against laws that would give gay men the same equal rights that their straight counterparts enjoy. “I don’t necessarily believe that to be true, but if it is, I hope that my books will change that,” he said. Lynn opined on Bush’s recent push for the Marriage Amendment, simply asking “I just wonder, doesn’t he have other things to do?”

Although he is unquestionably attracted to members of the same sex, many would be surprised to know that he doesn’t identify as gay. He said the last Pride celebration he went to was Miami, Florida’s “Sizzle” during Memorial Day weekend. I asked Harris how he felt about the fact that in many cities, there is a Pride and a separate Black Pride celebration. He agreed that he would like to see the two become one, but that “it’s just always been like that” [separate]. When asked whether he was seeing someone or single, he opted not to comment, but he did say that he was definitely happy. The author recently completed a screenplay for the remake of the 1970s classic film “Sparkle” (to be produced by Warner Brothers with Deborah Martin Chase and Whitney Houston). Most authors who have attained his success usually pack up and move to the hills, hiding, and creating a more controlled environment for themselves. Harris remains very accessible to his fans and novice writers, even teaching as a visiting professor of English and part-time Cheer Coach of the Razorback Cheerleaders for five semesters and counting at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, his alma mater.

Harris is emerging as the first openly “gay” African American celebrity with crossover appeal. To be a successful, black, and same-gender loving man in America is an accomplishment in and of itself. His brand of storytelling has brought the lives of same-gender loving people before the eyes of black America, helping the community to see gay people not as outcasts voluntarily living on the edge of society, but as their very own fathers, brothers, and sons who have been forced to. Harris is a role model to many young writers who hope to one day have an impact on the world. It is the work of great minds such as his that has the power to change a generation.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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