STRAIGHT JACKET: OVERCOMING SOCIETY’S LEGACY OF GAY SHAME by Matthew Todd
For eight years, Todd was the editor of the British gay magazine, Attitude and worked closely with Dr Alan Downs (author of The Velvet Rage) when Downs was the magazine’s advice columnist.
Straight Jacket is the perfect companion to the best-selling Velvet Rage with Todd examining the underlying principles of gay shame and revealing how it operated in his own life. He also addresses the wider issues of alcohol, drugs and sex addictions within gay culture, and body image, perfectionism and depression.
What really lifts this book to the next level is that he provides concrete steps and support mechanisms for making things better. This updated edition (which is also substantially cheaper) features a new afterword written in November 2017, in which Todd reflects on events that have happened since the original publication. These include the Pulse Nightclub massacre, the death of George Michael, homophobic crackdowns in Russia and other countries, the rise of PrEP, and the effect of movies like Moonlight, God’s Own Country, Call Me By Your Name and Love, Simon.
The book includes two appendixes with contact information for a variety of organisations on all aspects of sexuality, addiction and health, plus a bibliography of books on subjects like shame, sex addiction, eating disorders, alcoholism, drugs and others.
Straight Jacket was, deservedly, shortlisted for the Polari Book Prize in 2017, the UK’s most prestigious gay literary award.