My novel, Race Point Light, is about a guy who knows from childhood that he likes men. He never wavers about that, all of his life. He has a magical affair with another soldier in 1959 in the most beautiful meadow on earth, on the higher slopes of Mt Rainier. He goes to graduate school and has sex with a graduate student in psychology, and he is passing out leaflets to integrate a greasy spoon when John Kennedy was shot. Later, in 1965, when he is about 25, he gets married to a woman he met in a Victorian Literature seminar. He and his wife have children. He gets his doctorate, they live in a big house, his children are beautiful, but he never forgets the men. Then, after about eighteen years of marriage, my guy says his marriage is over, moves to Boston, and finds himself surrounded by the AIDS epidemic, with its great commandments, Do no harm, and Help. He spends the next twenty-five years writing gay novels. In 1990, he meets a guy in the local leather bar—he is one of those sexy bartenders with a leather armband and a harness—and they go home together. They never promise anything about what they feel for each other. They don’t swear to be together always, or to be monogamous, and they never ever try to control the future. But they are together ever after, and their love for each other spells Freedom for them.
My guy—he is the narrator of Race Point Light—is named Fair Shaw, and he spends all his life looking for love, not in the wrong places, but in the places that are available to him. And during his life, he does what he has to do, he loves his children, he writes his novels, he holds his sexy bartender, and, at the end of the novel, very late at night, he is walking in the surf on Race Point beach, near the lighthouse, when one of the others says, “Fair?” And the novel ends.
Fair’s life is the life of hundreds of thousands of American men and women of his generation, filled with conflict, filled with anguish, filled with drama, confronting the big questions of civil rights, personal failure, work, doing what has to be done, and, from time to time, touched with transcendent happiness. And through it all, he never stops loving his partner, and he never stops loving his children. Fair?