Secrets of the Other Side

by Eric Gober

Neil Ostwinkle is growing up in a Las Vegas trailer court where he realizes early on that he'd rather marry the Professor, not Mary Ann or Ginger. He prefers Aunt Louise's colorful makeup kits to drab green army men, and he swaps clothes with his best bud Rebecca Mooney because her silky dresses feel like magic on his skin. But in school he learns that being different has frightening consequences and keeps his desires secret.

Neil can't understand why his mom, Ellen, shackles him with one bad stepfather after another. She marries and divorces a mooch, a two-timer, and a pyromaniac. When he hits puberty, he learns you can't always keep your heart from going wild. Or stop your heart from breaking. His first relationships are traumatic, but when Neil meets Clark Martin at a Halloween party, he grabs hold of him tight. Finally, he's convinced love is here to stay, only to discover that AIDS may steal Clark away from him. With help from friends and from Aunt Louise, Neil fights a bitter battle on Clark's behalf. Neil summons help from unusual friends like Jacaranda "Jackie" Stump, a king-sized drag queen with dreams of being a Hollywood wardrobe artist who becomes a friend for life.

Will Neil find and keep love? He comes of age in the Eighties and Nineties, a tumultuous time for a young gay man. Will he be able to make a life of his own when he's battling societal prejudice, family strife, loss, and marriage
inequality?

Publication date: 03/08/2013
ISBN: 978-1-61929-100-3


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