High-Risk Homosexual

Author: Gomez, Edgar

Publication Date:

January 2022



Original language and publisher

English | Soft Skull

Territories Handled

World excl. English North America



High-Risk Homosexual

Author: Gomez, Edgar


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

“The catalogue page for this debut memoir lists a number of things you can expect to find within the book’s contents. Among them are ‘Maybelline foundation shade: Rich Tan,’ ‘A baby wailing in an ancient Jesuit language,’ and ‘The most famous woman in the world.’ If that doesn’t entice you to read Gomez’s account of figuring out how to embrace his queer identity amid a culture of machismo, I’m not sure what will.” —Keely Weiss, Harper’s Bazaar, A Best LGBT Book of the Year

“Packed with dry wit and searing cultural insight . . . A brilliant and provocative interrogation of sex, gender, race, and love.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“High-Risk Homosexual is a keen and tender exploration of queer identity, masculinity, and belonging. From the cockfighting ring in Nicaragua, where he was taken by his uncles to learn how to be a man, to the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, where he witnesses freedom and joy on the dance floor, Edgar Gomez writes with honesty and humor about the difficulty of straddling boundaries and the courage of finding oneself. This book signals the arrival of a major new talent.” —Laila Lalami, author of Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America and The Other Americans

“High-Risk Homosexual is like a delicious cocktail: sharp, nuanced, sweet and tender when the bite must be tempered. Edgar Gomez writes with the magnetic candor that flourishes at gay bars, with as much style as all the queens at DragCon, with observant eyes well-trained in steamy bathhouses—all of which he sketches in these electric pages. This book parses queer spaces, the queer self, with a heart as intelligent and thoughtful as its author. As he proves in his unapologetic memoir, Gomez is a force to be reckoned with.” —Matt Ortile, author of The Groom Will Keep His Name

“Edgar Gomez has written a memoir that stands out among so many others, with a narrative voice that’s singularly hilarious and observant and unforgettable, so perfectly nuanced with memory and humor in limning the landscapes of love in Florida and Nicaragua. At the center is his mother, a bright vivid burst of fear and tenderness and absolute deephearted love. High-Risk Homosexual presents a brand new voice of impeccable clarity and vision.” —Susan Straight, American Book Award finalist and author of In The Country of Women

“There’s a rhythm to vulnerable, honest writing and Edgar Gomez doesn’t miss a beat in High-Risk Homosexual. His characters—his mother, his friends, his lovers—are his dance partners that he lovingly dips and twirls across the page, their beauty on full display even as he bares their humanity and his own to the audience. This memoir is a master class in humor with warmth, not ridicule, and truth with tenderness, not overexposure. Pick this book up for the laughs, but have your tissue ready for a few tears too.” —Minda Honey, author of An Anthology of Assholes

“High-Risk Homosexual is a vivacious, compelling, and intimate portrait about queer coming of age and finding oneself. Gomez’s writing has this special way of inviting us in, like an old friend, catching us up to the pains, doldrums, and pleasures of living, reminding us at every turn of the exquisite messiness that is life. This memoir is a sheer delight, and one not to be missed.” —Marcos Gonsalez, author of Pedro’s Theory: Reimagining the Promised Land

“Edgar Gomez is the chaotic queer hero we both need and deserve—with humor and charm, he tenderly leads us into night clubs, bathhouses, the backseat of cars with anonymous men, asking us to examine our current place in the world amongst the lonely and brokenhearted, the ones who dare live our truest lives. For anyone whose coming out and coming of age is messy in all the ways, let High-Risk Homosexual be a road map.” —Christopher Gonzalez, author of I’m Not Hungry but I Could Eat

“Gritty, immersive debut.”—Jim Piechota, Bay Area Reporter

“High-Risk Homosexual is an absolute marvel in voice, style, and its raucous, tender, heartbreaking, compassionate, and ultimately triumphant examination of gay spaces, the politics of gender, violence against GLBTQ folks, and, of course, the human heart. Edgar Gomez is an unforgettable writer with enviously fantastic storytelling skills. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll rage, you’ll buy this book for all of your friends.” —Emily Rapp Black, author of Sanctuary and Frida Kahlo and My Left Leg

“Poignant, vivid, and often hilarious, this coming-of-age memoir fearlessly explores intersectional identity and shows what it means to live and love authentically as a gay man today . . . An engagingly candid memoir from a promising young writer.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Lionhearted.” —Michelle Hart, Electric Literature

“A wide, wide view, of the national—maybe global—gay community.” —Jim Woster, Razorcake

“Nimble and inventive . . . High-Risk Homosexual has a sweetness to it that I really value, as well as a wry take on the concept of queerness as a high-risk behaviour.” —S. Bear Bergman, Xtra

“A must-read memoir about sex, love, and queerness . . . [Gomez] balances tender moments with the sharpest wit.” —Adam Vitcavage, Debutiful

“A riotously funny and poignant debut by a quick-witted new voice . . . Displaying a masterful blend of humor, personal reflection, and thoughtful commentary on Latinx culture, Gomez’s first work is as good as it is largely due to its emotional sincerity, its willingness to examine the mistakes and lessons learned just as closely as it does the triumphs . . . This book—open, anguished, brimming with humanity—is, above all, a work of hope.” —Isabella Pilotta Gois, Latino Book Review

“Gomez’s compelling memoir of embracing his gay, Latinx identity in a world that so often prizes neither takes the reader on a whirlwind tour from a Nicaraguan cockfighting ring to a drag queen convention in Los Angeles and far beyond.” —Emma Specter, Vogue

“This memoir has it all . . . The laughs the book elicits are as loud as the beating heart binding its pages.” —Greg Mania, BOMB

“I loved this memoir so much. Gomez had me crying and laughing while also taking deep breaths throughout the pages.” —Lupita Aquino, TODAY

“High-Risk Homosexual is a book that will stick with readers.” —Sarah Neilson, Shondaland

“Heartbreaking, funny, and vulnerable . . . Gomez expertly captures what it means to be on the cusp of embracing your full, queer self when the world doesn’t want you to do so.” —Eva Recinos, B*tch

“Hilarious, tender, and wise.” —Celeste Chan, The Rumpus

“Excellent . . . A journey not without difficulties, but also not without saving grace.” —Rigoberto González, On the Seawall

“A very funny memoir that sits on my fireplace mantel with more-pages-than-is-useful earmarked—the universally accepted sign of a great book.” —Justin Krajeski, NBC News

“Laughs abound in this book, as do sharp confrontations with what we risk living in the margins.” —Matt Ortile, Esquire

“A beautiful memoir-in-essays . . . Gomez writes with humor and vulnerability about their multi-faceted queer femme Latine identity, and about the people and places that have shaped and continue to shape them.” —Laura Sackton, Book Riot

“Bright, nervy, hilarious.” —Boris Kachka, Los Angeles Times

“This book examines Latinx queer identity in all its layers while incisively critiquing the notion of machismo as a cultural marker. In prose that is at turns funny and savvy as it is serious and contemplative, Gomez has written the memoir I wish I could have.” —Alex Espinoza, Los Angeles Times

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.

Marketing Information

  • A Nylon Most Anticipated Book of the Year
  • The Millions, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year
  • A TODAY Most Anticipated Book of the Year
  • Harper’s Bazaar, A Best LGBT Book of the Year
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
  • A BuzzFeed Best Book of the Year​