Let’s Hear It for the BOYS
For many months, my friend and fellow writer Nico Lang and I found ourselves in the wake of Lena Dunham and her hit television show, Girls. As writers who also talk a lot about the ups-and-downs of being young and living in major cities, we were continually mentioned in the same sentence as Dunham. It’s not because our work had, has, or ever will garner the same fanfare as Girls, but because people love to connect us – and other writers in their twenties – to her because what she has come to represent: creative, twenty-somethings trying to make it in the world.
In some ways, I don’t mind the comparison. Dunham has opened a lot of doors for many of us drowning in the proverbial bathtub of being an artist in the digital age where production is Up! but payment is Down! She brings this issue to light and challenges it through her work. But her work targets the girls, and, well, Nico and I are not “the girls” – but lord knows we try. So, before the summer of 2013, we decided it was time to hear it for the boys…more specifically: the boys who like other boys.
As Girls took a summer break, we added another project to our summer to-do list. This was around the same time that fellow writer Stephanie Georgopulos released her anthology Girls? (also playing off Dunham) with Thought Catalog’s new book division, which is part of ThoughtCatalog.com, a place where Nico and I have been writing for a few years. After pitching the book to our editors it was given the green light and we were off.
During our first meeting to plan BOYS, we created a list of people we have worked with over the years, and others we’ve always wanted to work with. People like trans-icon Buck Angel, Noah Michelson, Joe Erbentraut (both he and Noah served as our editors at The Huffington Post), and JP from the hit show 1 Girl, 5 Gays, and even the editor of Hello Mr., Ryan Fitzgibbon, among others.
Once we got a solid list of 19 writers we spent the following weeks getting to know the writers through editing the personal stories they shared with us. When reading BOYS you will be reminded of that time you came out to a friend online. You’ll remember that first heartbreak and how you kept it in a box in the back of your mind. You’ll remember your first time in a gay bar and so much more.
But more importantly what you’ll be reminded of most, much like when you read Hello Mr., is that there’re lots of boys all over the world who are a lot like you.
BOYS is available to download now at www.thoughtcatalog.com/books and the print edition will hit bookstores in 2014. Proceeds will be donated to charity.