My novels: YOUNG AND IN LOVE? (gay men’s novella) (BUY FROM BOLD STROKES BOOKS) or YOUNG AND IN LOVE? (BUY FROM AMAZON)* THE SHAPE OF THE EARTH (gay full-length novel) * THE MAN WHO ASKED TO BE KILLED (noir legal thriller) praised at THE WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF BOOKS * My stories online:  A HOUSE WHERE WE BOTH COULD LIVE in CHELSEA STATION MAGAZINE * INCORRIGIBLE in EROTIC REVIEW MAGAZINE * THE YEARBOOK in MOBIUS: A JOURNAL OF SOCIAL CHANGE My other stories appear in OFF THE ROCKS, Q REVIEW, BEST GAY LOVE STORIES 2005, and HARRINGTON GAY MEN’S FICTION QUARTERLY My blogs: garygarthmccann.com * Late Last Night Books online magazine streamlinememories.com My humorous 90-second video: HE WISHES SHE WOULDN’T READ IN BED 

I’ve been honored by first prizes from the Maryland Writers’ Association for both short fiction and mystery. I live in Annapolis with my husband, Todd Garth, the first out professor at the US Naval Academy. We married on our 25th anniversary. As a writer, I use Todd’s surname as a middle name. The head shots are of me now and in high school. Can you tell which is which?

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In my novella Young and in Love? Hardy confesses to his friend Ronda of a man crush on his dad, with the sexual feelings only a gay guy can bring to a man crush. He wouldn’t mind watching his dad masturbate. Minutes later Ronda is still laughing, trying not to. Hardy decides his alter-ego Carrie Bradshaw’s next Sex and the City column will be about gay guys attracted to their drop-dead gorgeous straight dads.

How does this come to be in Young and in Love?, where Hardy doesn’t want for sex partners?

Simple. I was always attracted to my dad.  Tall, lean, dark-haired. A good ballplayer, which I never was. I remember asking to feel his biceps, and another time, following him into the bathroom to watch him piss (afterward, he began closing the door), and occasionally slipping into my folks’ bedroom to look at the World War II soldier with his shirt open in the small picture frame on Mom’s vanity.

These and perhaps other signs of the direction things were heading led to my being kept home on a school day to go fishing with Dad, who worked weekends. Did they think a father-son outing would rub some manliness off on their gender-ambiguous son?

I once thought my attraction to him was singular. But then an Edmund White protagonist stood outside the bathroom door to listen to his father piss. I remembered the fact that for years I thought I was the only guy with homosexual feelings, although at that earlier time I wouldn’t have put the word “homosexual” to my bundle of feelings about guys.

I wasn’t attracted to other older men, only Dad. Perhaps because of trust? I knew he wouldn’t molest me. My lack of attraction to other older men as a young adult is harder to explain, but I never went with any “daddy.” Perhaps in my mind they couldn’t compete with the real thing?

Recently, I enjoyed a reference in David Leddick’s The Handsomest Man in the World: “What is it about the nature of love…There’s always something sordid about it. Some dark little secret; being in love with someone you shouldn’t be. Hankering after your father or a hired man.”

If boys want a girl just like the girl who married dear old Dad, can’t other boys want a boy just like the boy who married dear old Mom?

He was the more patient of my parents. Mom threw bric-a-brac, and he caught it or ducked. He was a self-effacing grocery clerk who rose as high as assistant manager but never made manager, who worked six days a week plus a Sunday job, while Mom took care of their five children. He dreamed of owning a small market, a corner store. A New Deal Democrat, when Watergate broke he smiled and reminded people he had voted for McGovern.

While I dated girls in college, he told me marriage wasn’t for everyone. “If you’re not in it for sex, I can’t imagine making it work.” By then, I’d said that I sometimes thought I was homosexual.

After six years as a husband, I separated from my wife and announced I was gay. I overheard Dad tell Mom, “Leave it alone.” They were talking about me. He was dying of lung cancer. She was distraught at winning a marriage-long argument. She’d always been after him to quit smoking.

“I’m happy all of you kids are happy” were his last words I heard.

I wore his corduroy sports coats in gay bars all over New York city, a place to which Californian Dad never made it. Mom and I agreed he’d be pleased that his jackets were on me on my nights out.

So in Young and in Love? Hardy wants a guy just like the guy who married dear old Mom. But don’t worry, Hardy wants many other guys too.

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This lovely gif is from American Gay Romance commnity, Google+, Ronnie Warcliffe. Thank you, Ronnie.

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When Todd and I have lunch with a friend who lost her husband not long ago, we’ve become accustomed to a wonderful tradition she and her husband began: opening a bottle of champagne for Saturday afternoons. As I sipped champagne at her house on a recent fall afternoon and listened to a neighbor’s leaf vacuum through a window open to an autumn breeze, I thought of Norman Rockwell’s paintings and of old sitcoms, like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet or My Three Sons. 
Champagne for a Saturday afternoon, what a wonderful tradition.
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you’ll probably enjoy this Twitter feed (adult content).

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For my friends who aren’t gay men, it isn’t safe to go back in the water. I have two general readership books in the pipeline, so soon I’ll be out there, swimming around, looking for innocent, unsuspecting readers.

(Photo from the Daily Telegraph)

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