This is a momentous day for me.
Today, a copy of The HomePort Journals was placed in the window of the Provincetown Bookshop for the first time. To my delight, the first sale took place less than an hour later. Nan, the welcoming and supportive manager, called to tell me. I have to say there are few feelings better than receiving that news.
This iconic bookshop had long been a part of my life before I moved to Provincetown. In my younger days, a trip to P’Town always meant a stop at the bookshop, one of the few places I could find books about people like me. Their passions, their challenges, and in some (but not enough) cases, their triumphs were all there for the taking. I learned so much from the books I purchased: the great and diverse history of same-sex love; the struggles and inequities borne by those who came before. I came to know the great authors: Wilde, Hughes, Forster, Baldwin, Isherwood, and so many more. I found roadmaps to a loving, satisfying relationship and, in later days saw books written by friends and neighbors on display. In many ways, this store was a beacon during a time when gay life was far more shadow than light.
When Nan put my book in the window, I felt chills and a strong sense of completion. It was a homecoming of sorts, conjuring images of my younger, questioning self. Perhaps, in some small way, the story of a family of choice will help a young person transcend prejudice and find love, first for themselves and then for another. The thought that my work is now shown in the very place that sustained my enlightenment is both humbling and magnificent at the same time.
In these days of Amazon and e-books, the joy of roaming through a store piled high with wonderful books is a near-luxury. When you come to Provincetown, make plenty of time, be sure to stop in at the bookshop, and tell Nan where you heard about the store. And if you’re in the market for a book about the families we create for ourselves, I’ve got a great recommendation for you…