June 22nd, 2012

andrew potter

Fire on the Mountain by P.D. Singer

One of the complaints I heard most from gay romance authors is that the genre often doesn't respect the reality. In today time it's not so easy to be gay or to come out, and all those romances where people are out and proud, and happy and comfortable, are not realistic. Coming out is still an issue for most gay men, and often to gather the courage to do it takes years and you arrive well over 20 years old without having done so.

In Fire on the Mountain there is a similar situation; Jake is the new arrive on a mountain ranger station and he is paired with Kurt to patrol a small patch of mountain. They have to spend six months in a small cabin, most of the time alone. Jake is gay but he has not yet done coming out. More, he is scared to do that. All his sexual experience amounts to some mutual strokes with one night stands when he was still in the city. Now he has a big crush on his fellow fire ranger Kurt, but he fears to let it knows since if the feeling is not mutual, he has to still spend six months with the man. And so Jake is suffering the pain of hell being unwillingly teased by Kurt and by the forced proximity. But maybe it's not so unwillingly: in Kurt's action I read something that makes me thing that he is teasing Jake for real, and with a clear purpose in mind.

The story is basically simple; what I find most interesting is, like I said, the process of coming out of a twenty something young man, Jake, and all his insecurities. He is not experienced, everything is unknown and scaring. Even the physical aspect of the thing, how to have sex, what he wants or what his partner doesn't want, is something to be worried about; not to give too much details, but for example Jake is worried about his measures (let us say that he is bigger than usual), and he has never had the chance to be encouraged by someone like him.

On this perspective, the story is pretty sweet, Jake is apparently a big and strong man, but inside he is still a novice. He is not able to speak his desires not since he is shamed, but since he exactly doesn't understand them. On the other hand, I didn't rightly framed Kurt: I have the feeling that he is more experienced, and we know that he is not at his first sexual experience with a man, but still, like Jake, more than face the matter full front, he tries to walk around it. If not for a dangerous experience they share, I don't know if these two men would have ever found the courage to come clear to each other. This is exactly what I was saying at first: coming out is not so simple.


Amazon: Fire on the Mountain
Amazon Kindle: Fire on the Mountain
Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 22, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613725787
ISBN-13: 978-1613725788

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Gay Metropolis: Murray Gitlin (1927 - June 22, 1994)

Murray Gitlin, a dancer and stage manager, died on June 22, 1994, at St. Clare's Hospital due to AIDS complications. He was 67 and lived in Manhattan.

Mr. Gitlin, who was born in West Hartford, Conn., studied with Hanya Holm, Alwin Nikolais, Martha Graham and Jose Limon, and danced with the New York City Opera, the companies of Mr. Nikolais and Pearl Lang, and in such musicals as "The King and I," "The Golden Apple," "Can-Can" and "Irma la Douce."

He was stage manager for Off Broadway revivals of "On the Town," "The Boys From Syracuse" and "Private Lives," and was production stage manager for "The Boys in the Band" from its first workshop production throughout its initial Off Broadway run and first national tour. He was also production stage manager for the Broadway revival of "Blithe Spirit" with Richard Chamberlain, and for touring productions of "Long Day's Journey Into Night," "Death Trap" and Brian Bedford's one-man show, "Poets, Lunatics and Lovers."

A class photo at the Henry Street Playhouse taken in 1949. Identified persons are, on left standing: Luke Bragg, Sheldon Ossosky, and Murray Louis; front seated: Anita Lynn, Phyllis Lamhut, ***, Nancy Robb (front), Martha Howe (rear), Murray Gitlin, and ***; on right: Alwin Nikolais and Gladys Bailin.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/25/obituaries/murray-gitlin-67-a-former-dancer.html
Instead of office buildings, Third Avenue was lined with brownstones, and it was dominated by the Elevated. The nooks and shadows created by this shaft down the center of the avenue played a significant role in gay life in New York before the war: they offered a multitude of discreetly darkened meeting places right in the heart of the metropolis. "It was a little bit spooky," said Murray Gitlin, a Broadway dancer who remembered Third Avenue as "one of the only cruisy places" in the 1940s. "It was like being under palm trees on a summer night," Franklin Macfie quipped. "You could very easily feel you were in Rio!"
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Harold's birthday present in the play is a laconic $20-a-night hustler whom Harold immediately nicknames Tex. Murray Gitlin had asked Robert La Tourneaux to audition for the part after he met him at the Westside YMCA. "He was one of the most beautiful young men," Gitlin recalled. La Tourneaux hesitated at first because he thought it was demeaning to play a hustler. But after the play became a hit, he repeated the role in London and Los Angeles, and again for the film. --Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America. Kindle Edition.
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