from the diary: “Thursday 8/28/86
“Still reading States of Desire.”
The following day: “Finished States of Desire, which was good but faintly depressing.”
Edmund White traveled the country, finding sex with men in every region. I like White’s prose style. I continue to read his work. But the gay identity that consists not of loving men but “tricking”, that is, sex sex sex, mostly with strangers, I still find, at best, uncongenial.
White’s adventures did not thrill me with the possibilities. On the other hand, as this description at Edmund White’s own website suggests, the book probably exposed me to a range of gay life I hadn’t yet much seen in those sociological tomes: “gay engineers, gay computer experts, and gay cowboys … a gay timber baron from Portland and a ‘big-wig’ (literally as well as figuratively) in the Florida drag world. Here are: handsome lifeguards in Chicago—those ‘bronzed demigods . . . who lord it above us on their white wood towers’ [ellipsis in orig]; a Hollywood host who has just spent ‘a typical L.A. day, driving 150 miles assembling the twelve ingredients for supper’ … gay Cubans in Miami, a gay lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and even a self-appointed gay Mormon prophet in Salt Lake City …” I’m sure they all didn’t sleep with (sleep with?) Edmund White.