Big news! HarperCollins is publishing my upcoming book, “Gay Like Me,” in January. I never expected to write a book — let alone a memoir — but I had to. Every word is urgent for me and that’s why I want to share more with you about the inspiration for the book. (You can pre-order your copy on AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-a-Million! and Indiebound.)

I have always felt lucky to be gay. I’ve known since the third grade and even then it made me feel special, unique, chosen. I still feel that way. It is the blessing of my life. Everything good that has happened to me is because I am gay. Everything I think, believe, crave, create, conquer comes from being gay. I’ve marched, stood silent vigil, protested, picketed, boycotted. I have spoken up, spoken out. I have buried friends. I have had relationships, created a family, had that family fractured, then recovered and rebuilt a new one with my husband, Jordan Roth. I am used to the highs, the lows and the loves. I am familiar with progress and bitter setbacks. I can revel in celebrations and navigate danger. But none of this came easy, and the journey to this point was a long and difficult one.

Our older son came out to us when he was 15. He’s now starting college just like I did 36 years ago. “Gay Like Me” is my letter to him about what it is to be a gay man and what it takes to be a gay man in America. 

Our son often accuses me of making everything about being gay. “Being gay isn’t a big deal anymore,” he says. But it is a big deal. A very big deal. Being gay is not a lifestyle, it’s life. We’re living in turbulent times. Bigotry is on the rise, ignited by a president who has declared war on the LGBTQ community. 

My hope is that “Gay Like Me” will be a blueprint for our time that bridges the knowledge gap of what it’s like to be gay in America. I’m starting this monthly newsletter now in hopes that we can bring this urgent and important conversation to the forefront, and I look forward to exploring with you. 

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  • Richie Jackson is the author of the book Gay Like Me published by HarperCollins, an opinion columnist for The Advocate, and an award-winning Broadway, television, and film producer who produced the Tony Award-nominated Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song on Broadway and executive produced Showtime’s Nurse Jackie (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for “Best Comedy Series”) for seven seasons. As an alumnus of NYU, he endows a program at his alma mater to train the next generation of LGBTQ+ activists called the Richie Jackson LGBTQ+ Service Fellows. He and his husband, Jordan Roth, were honored with The Trevor Project’s Trevor Hero Award. They are the proud parents of two extraordinary sons.