I was halfway through Ceremonies, when I began to get the feeling that there weren’t many other gay books like this. Books that placed their characters at the heart of the gay predicament—we live in a homophobic culture—and then listened while they told us how that was. This is such an important story, how could it be that not many other writers have written about this?
The same thing is true about Race Point Light. I think that the pattern my life has taken is a very common pattern—education and coming to adulthood, with marriage and children, before Stonewall—and yet not many of our writers have taken up this subject. We say, those people were not being honest with themselves, and then we ignore their lives. All of that manifestly did happen to hundreds of thousands of gay men and women, and I would guess that few of them think they were not being honest with themselves. They knew exactly what was happening. They were coming to terms, as far as they were able, when they did what they did where they did. But these people, for the most part, are not inhabitants of our literature.
Then there is Adam in the Morning. We tell ourselves about Stonewall that there were the Dark Ages for gay people, and then the guys rebelled, and its been getting better, day by day, ever since. Yet there is another story that says there may not have even been gay people before Stonewall, much less the separation between homosexual and heterosexual that we seem to know now.
We understand our lives by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Some narratives are better than others, closer to reality for more people, more profound, more universal and at the same time more diverse. Some are more clearly myths that we tell ourselves not to explain ourselves to ourselves but to explain away difficult aspects of our lives. Sometimes our myths simplify to the point of lying. During the years when I was writing the three novels of the Stonewall Triptych, I came to think it is terribly important for the gay community to explore deeply the narratives it tells itself.