Saturday, November 5, 2011
Blurbalicious: Ray Aguilera
“Every Time I Think of You captures the joy of finding love for the first time, with all the sweetness, comedy and tragedy that experience inevitably entails. And it does so with the audacity and brutal honesty to admit that yes, even the broken and imperfect among us deserve to experience everything that life has to offer. Kudos to Provenzano for daring to show that disability and sexuality aren’t mutually exclusive, and that crips can be just as good in bed (or elsewhere) as their non-disabled counterparts.”
- Ray Aguilera, former editor of Bent Voices
One of the important aspects of Every Time I Think of You is a sense of authenticity. The work has to ring true with the narrative about disability. One of the first resources I looked up was the website Bent Voices.
Although no longer active, its archive provided fascinating and diverse perspectives from many gay male disabled writers, both professional and amateur. I sought all kinds of experiences, and soaked them in without appropriating others' experiences. I read the anthology Queer Crips to figure what sort of story hadn't yet been told.
As a non-disabled person, I kept the narrative in the perspective of a young gay man whose boyfriend-lover-whatever becomes disabled. To write in the first-person tense from a disabled perspective would have been too hokey and untrue. While it's certainly fine to write fiction about the lives of people whom we are not, there are certain stories where it would not be appropriate, unless the writing is good enough.
So I was pleased to learn that Ray, one of Bent Voices' writer/editors, was not only local, but a previous contributor to the Bay Area Reporter's news section, and the subject of a recent feature article.
Ray kindly read the book, gave it a sort of 'seal of approval,' and is now a writer-photographer contributor at my dual editor job with BARtab. The guy knows his cocktails!