A breath of fresh air… Gomez writes with humor and clarity… Gomez’s voice is equal parts warmth and acid wit, like a good friend you’re slightly afraid of… An exciting debut from an author with a rare point of view. High-Risk Homosexual deals with some titanic questions. What is Latinidad? What is machismo? What does it mean to be a man, never mind a queer man? By its own admission, the book doesn’t have all the answers, but it makes a compelling case that they will come from the razor-sharp queers living in the margins.— John Paul Brammer, The New York Times Book Review
I’ve always found the definition of machismo to be ironic, considering that pride is a word almost unanimously associated with queer people, the enemy of machistas . . . In a world desperate to erase us, queer Latinx men must find ways to hold on to pride for survival, but excessive male pride is often what we are battling, both in ourselves and in others.
A debut memoir about coming of age as a gay, Latinx man, High-Risk Homosexual opens in the ultimate anti-gay space: Edgar Gomez’s uncle’s cockfighting ring in Nicaragua, where he was sent at thirteen years old to become a man. Readers follow Gomez through the queer spaces where he learned to love being gay and Latinx, including Pulse nightclub in Orlando, a drag queen convention in Los Angeles, and the doctor’s office where he was diagnosed a “high-risk homosexual.”
With vulnerability, humor, and quick-witted insights into racial, sexual, familial, and professional power dynamics, Gomez shares a hard-won path to taking pride in the parts of himself he was taught to keep hidden. His story is a scintillating, beautiful reminder of the importance of leaving space for joy.