Gay Denial

Journalist Jonathan Rauch has written movingly about many personal topics, from caring for his infirm parents to being an introvert. But his latest book—ebook, actually—is his most confessional and compelling yet. Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul (Atlantic) is Rauch’s account of his first quarter century, in which he was unable to come to grips with the fact that he was gay.

Borrowing an old-fashioned psychiatric term, Rauch describes himself as an “invert”: His life, he says, was like “a photographic negative.” Despite teen puppy love, a tingly interest in male musculature, a profound lack of interest in sex with women, and no particular anti-gay animus, Rauch concluded only that he was “a monster,” destined to be cut off from the pleasures of intimacy and family.

What a strange and wonderful world we live in where a D.C. think tanker can pour out this tortured tale (with a mercifully happy ending!), make it instantly available for $1.99 on Amazon, and be greeted with applause. —Katherine Mangu-Ward

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement