elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Billy Merrell & Nico Medina

Billy Merrell (born January 7, 1982) is an American author and poet. He published his first book Talking in the Dark, a poetry memoir, with Scholastic in 2003. He also co-edited The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Other Identities for Knopf Books for Young Readers with David Levithan. It was released in 2006 and won the 2007 Lammy in the Children's/Young Adult category.

Merrell lives in Brooklyn with his husband Nico Medina. "On April 1, 2007, I asked Nico to marry me by performing the final proposal monologue I had been writing for weeks prior. He said yes, and we exchanged vows in the yard of his childhood home in Winter Park, Florida, on October 18, 2008. Two years later we had a legal ceremony in Washington, DC."

"Billy Merrell and I have been together since our sophomore year at the University of Florida. We'd met the summer before (2001), at a Fourth of July party. I was wearing a tight ribbed purple shirt, so for some reason he assumed I was a whore. Charming, right? Ha! So, long story short, after meeting in July, and Billy dating some guy, and then me dating some guy, and a very long eight months of flirtation, we got together on March 18, 2002.

Billy Merrell is an American author and poet. He published his first book Talking in the Dark, a poetry memoir, in 2003. He also co-edited The Full Spectrum for Knopf Books with David Levithan. Merrell lives in Brooklyn with his husband Nico Medina. "On April 1, 2007, I asked Nico to marry me by performing the final proposal monologue I had been writing for weeks prior. He said yes, and we exchanged vows in the yard of his childhood home in Winter Park, Florida, on October 18, 2008."

Source: http://talkinginthedark.com/writing/the-proposals/

"I'm Nico Medina. Not the 25-yr-old hottish Argentinean soccer player Nico Medina, but the twenty-five-year-old professional copyeditor and YA novelist Nico Medina. I was born and raised in Orlando but now live in New York City with my boyfriend, Billy Merrell, and our overweight, sneezy pug, Paisley.

Though we've been in New York for over three years now, I still consider myself to be a Florida boy in many ways. For one thing, I have an almost incurable and impenetrable love for fast food and chain restaurants. I know, I know, it's all bad and nasty for you and the small businessman, blah, blah, blah, but where else but Chili's has an unending happy hour, free chips and salsa at the bar, and that sumptuous fajita pita?

If anyone knows, please let me know. There are no Chili's in New York! Help!!!

Moving right along past the nasty-food habits, I'll go ahead and give you the basics.

I was born on June 5, 1982, in Orlando, Florida. I've got two sisters, one who came before me in 1979, one in 1986. I think it's safe to say that being the bratty middle child (and only boy), I probably made their lives hell for a while. But we're all cool now! Same goes for my parents. My dad's where I get the "Medina" from—he's half-Puerto Rican, half-Panamanian. My mom was born and raised in Orlando (she rode a bike in the Walt Disney World opening-day parade in 1971), and she's where I get my wordiness from—she's a professional copyeditor, too, and has been correcting my grammar for as long as I can remember.

From first to eighth grade, I went to a Catholic school in Downtown Orlando called St. James, where I was not rapped on the knuckles by evil nuns when I made a mistake on the board. I went to a public high school, Winter Park High (same as the character Jonathan in the book), where I had an amazing group of friends (mostly girls). I wasn't out in high school, but I certainly wasn't the "straightest" boy. To tell the truth, I think the eight years of Catholic school must've prevented even the idea that I was gay from entering my brain...

...but even eight years of Catholic school was no match for college.

I went to the University of Florida in fall of 2000, and had to share this awful, stinking dorm room my first year with a guy who loved to microwave Chef Boyardee without opening the windows and lived for playing on his computer from 7pm to 7am on the weekends. It was in this ideal living situation that I started becoming aware of my immutable gayness, and I began coming out to people in November. Fun, fun. (Actually, I'm very fortunate to have such incredible friends and family, because the process was very easy for me.)

So UF was great. (There is just not enough space to describe how great UF was....) I started out as an architecture student, but after pulling countless all-nighters and becoming very sickly and generally going insane, I decided it wasn't for me and switched to sociology halfway through the year. Which was the best decision ever. Though it was a hell of a lot of reading.

Billy and I got together toward the end of our sophomore years, and by the beginning of our senior year, 2003, Billy's first book (Talking in the Dark) was coming out! After graduating in 2004, we took a two-week trip to Argentina, then moved to New York—me to start working in children's publishing (I'd worked at this really horrid company called Gleim Publications during college where free soda and pretzels were listed under "benefits," but I loved the actual work despite the nuttiness of the company, which is a whole 'nother story!) and Billy to start toward his MFA in Poetry from Columbia."


Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500563323
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20

Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher

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Tags: author: billy merrell, author: nico medina, days of love, in the spotlight

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