I have to say, as a friend of Troy, and for knowing about this for a while and keeping it to myself, as I was asked, you'd think I would've at least gotten the press release when it was issued on August 30. Ahh well, I'm proud of my friend and decided to post the press release in its entirety. And if you wonder why he's been MIA, he's been hard at work getting it all together for the publisher.
San Diego CityBeat Music Editor Inks Book Deal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Troy Johnson, music editor for San Diego CityBeat, has sold his first book to New York City's Arcade Publishing--set for a June 2008 release date. Arcade has put out books by Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, John Irving, Jon Papernick and Malcolm X, among others. Titled "Family Outing", Johnson's book is a memoir about growing up with a gay parent in the Reagan '80s.
“Back then, there was little to no degree of 'cool' associated with homos,” Johnson says. “Judging by what I heard from the media and even family members, it was hard not to believe I was being raised by a woman who had gotten caught in the psychological wood-chipper and come out a pervert. There was a time when I actually thought my mother might want to give me a hand job. Crazy and delusional, but true.”
Johnson decided to write the memoir because of what he saw as a lack of honest, unfiltered accounts from kids who were actually raised by a gay parent during that era.
“All of the books I found on my 'unique family' were feel-good psychobabble about 'embracing your differences' and crap like that. Sure, that's nice, but how many teenagers really speak like that? How many are that noble? I was a self-absorbed, superficial me-me-me organism who absolutely resented my mother's sexuality. And most kids of gay parents I've talked with were pretty pissed off for a very long time.
“I've been listening to countless politicians debate the effects of gay parenting. So I figured it was time for someone to tell it from the first-hand perspective. What a kid of a gay—or at least THIS kid of a gay—felt about the whole situation, from the time of my mother's outing to the time when I realized I was a real asshole and a massive bigot.”
The twist is that Family Outing is written as a dark comedy (chapter titles include “God Hates Fags,” “Mommy's Little Metrosexual” and “Coital Overcompensation”). Now a “card carrying friend of gay,” Johnson found a bit of humor in his years as a homophobe. He lampoons religious leaders, politicians and--especially--himself as he goes through his own sexual coming of age.
“Originally, I wanted to write a heavy-hearted, serious book that would make Oprah's studio audience cry,” he says. “I started to do just that, and it was tripe. So I did what I know how to do best--find a little humor in what, at the time, felt like hell.”
And, yes, Johnson’s mother is fully supportive of the book.