Last night I was sent a book entitled “The Literary Party: Growing up Gay and Amish in America” by the author James Schwartz. It is a collection of poetry and essays that deals with growing up as a gay boy in the very conservative Amish community. A community in which homosexuality is strictly forbidden, as quoted from the Bible, and coming out means being excommunicated and shunned from your family and community.
In his book James deals with issues ranging from growing up in the Amish community, realizing he was gay, sex, gay clubs, politics and love to mention but a few. Also, perhaps more amusingly, what it takes to take a horse and buggy to a gay club. He deals with these issues in the form of beautifully constructed poetry and poignant essays. I have been sent many books since I started my blog and must admit that I rarely read them, but this book was different: I literally finished reading the book before my 9am meeting this morning and plan on reading it again.
Do yourself a favor and get your hands on a copy. It gives you a unique insight into a person breaking free from a suffocating and restrictive environment to discover who he is and provides a sense of optimism that maybe one day the Amish community will become more enlightened and accepting of LGBT people in their community.
You can purchase a copy from Amazon.com by clicking HERE