Over a year ago, I commenced work on a short story about two gay skateboarders. I did this at the request of Neil Plakcy, a deft fiction editor and a fine writer as well. Neil teaches creative writing at a community college in South Florida.
My first blog post about gay skateboarders was dated July 29, 2009, while I was living in Berlin, Germany. In the post, I said the skateboarding subculture was the most “non-gay” society I’d ever encountered. I expressed skepticism about the existence of gay skateboarders.
Boy, was I wrong.
My July 29, 2009 post is by far the most viewed entry I’ve ever placed on this blog. It has generated hundreds of comments from all over the U. S., Europe, Canada and Australia. I’ve heard from gay skateboarders of all ages, from eleven to forty. I’ve heard from friends of gay skaters and from homophobic skaters. I’ve heard from parents of gay skaters, too.
One thing is clear from all of this: there are plenty of gay boys and men participating in the skateboarding subculture.
If you want to view the July 29, 2009 post about gay skateboarders you can find it on this site, just use the archives button in the sidebar at right.
It has been over a year since I started work on my short story, Carter DuBose, and now the story’s been published by Cleis Press in a print anthology titled Skater Boys. You can buy it here: http://www.cleispress.com/book_page.php?book_id=379
Here’s what the Skater Boys cover looks like. Now, I have to say, I have known many skateboarders during my lifetime — most of them friends of my sons — and I have never seen a skateboarder who looks like the gym rat on the cover of this book. Skaters are not fitness freaks or musclebound types. They tend to be nonconformists. Most are skinny, many have tattoos and their clothing’s not much to look at. So, I would not have chosen this cover for Skater Boys had I been consulted on the topic by the publisher.
Having said all that, I still recommend you buy a copy of the book. The stories are unique and well-written and there’s even a glossary of skateboarding terms at the rear of the book. How about that? And no, I don’t collect royalties on sales of the book. I was paid a one-time fee for the story I wrote.
Okay, it’s another warm, overcast day in west central Florida. I need to clean up my yard and trim shrubbery. I’m afraid things around here are looking neglected, due to my month-long absence from home. So, I’m off to work.
Enjoy your Sunday, everyone.