Growing Up Gay in 2013: Joe Schwartz, the teen in "Oddly Normal"

My friend John Schwartz at the New York Times wrote "Oddly Normal," a wonderful book about how he and his wife Jeanne worked through challenges to learn how best to support their son Joe, who is gay.

In the Atlantic today, Alice Dreger interviews Joe, who is now 17 years old, "to expand on some of the themes explored in the book and answer some questions raised by people who have commented on it."

Joe is a really interesting person, and the interview is terrific. Go have a read.

(Photo: John and Joe, shot by Ethan Hill for the NYT)


  1. // Please don’t screw this up, okay? Don’t back
    //down. Be active. Maybe try
    using some of that
    //executive power on the states’ rights jackasses.

    //Don’t drop the

    Agreed with all but line 3. He’s going to inflame the right if he pulls Liberal Justice from the sheath and Decrees that we all subjugate to him and stop being afraid teh gheys. Pointless.

    This is one smart kid. No offense, Joe, I think you’re far better prepared for the world than I was at 17, and I’m straight. It sucks that it sucks to be gay. Fuck ’em. I’m disappointed that so many people think their personal principles justify denial of other peoples rights.

    1. ” It sucks that it sucks to be gay. Fuck ’em.”
      See this leads to the problem, the absolute fear bred into teh str8s who are scared we do want to fuck ’em.

  2. Scarily erudite and aware of privlege…only that comment about contra-gender fell wrong…he might be a theatre queen but not all of us are, and yes it is a pernicious stereotype for a reason…and yup local observation in theatre capital New York does not automaically mean a wider trend. Posting here since the article’s comment system seems down…

    1. Absolutely. He seems naively oblivious of the distinctions and contradictions between sex, sexuality and gender. What, I hope, he may be trying to get at is that problems of sex, sexuality and gender are caused by those who are painfully aware of their distinctions and contradictions and, perhaps, we should all aspire to a state of painless, joyous awareness of sex, sexuality and gender leaving us able to devote our energies to more pressing problems of privilege, class and economic inequality.
      C’mon. He is very young still.

      (Now I feel very old.)

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