Perry Brass

Perry Brass has published 18 books, including How to Survive Your Own Gay Life, The Manly Art of Seduction, and his recent novel King of Angels, a gay Jewish, Southern coming-of-age novel set in Savannah, GA, in 1963, the year of J.F.K.’s murder. He has long been writing about and researching the roots of the culture of same-sexualized men. In 1969, he co-edited Come Out!, the world's first gay liberation newspaper published by New York’s Gay Liberation Front. In 1972, he co-founded the Gay Men's Health Project Clinic, New York’s first clinic for gay men, still operating as the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center. In 2015 he will be publishing The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love, How Connecting with Your Own Deeper Self Can Bring You Happiness, Sexual Satisfaction, and Save Your Life in a Difficult World.

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Ageism is the racism of the gay world. We really believe that age—and all of our fears that it carries—will “rub off” on us, the way that racists once believed blackness would.
Although computers allow people to talk at the speed of light, no one talks that fast.
Although some fools find rudeness sexy, it is never the path to seduction.
Be reckless in your intensities.
Clothes do not make the man; friends and engagement with life do.
Contrary to a great number of priests and other godly types, queer does not mean castrated.
Don’t waste your love on stupid people. Anyone stupid enough to deny or reject it—in the midst of the Love Depression we’re in—does not deserve it.
Eat without the TV going on. Learn to appreciate food with only the entertainment of conversation—yours and someone else’s.
Falling in love with another man is like falling into a vast vat of yourself. For some men this is ultimately nourishing, for others . . . it is drowning.
Fashion is the art of making the unimportant indispensable.
Gays feel about popularity the same way teenage girls do. Is it that we really want friends we can count on, or do we just want guys around us whom we can share our curlers with?
Get out of your house in the middle of a rainstorm, get soaked in it, and then strip down—to nothing but a smile.
Have hot, wild sex with a friend. Then go out and do something stupid, like bowl, afterwards.
Hold the door for an old man. Old ladies can take care of themselves; they've been doing it long enough.
I prefer the “tackiest” person in the world to the stylish person who has no tact.
If you've been taught to keep every part of you to yourself, don’t expect people to come knocking on your door to run their hands over the choice parts—either for your pleasure or theirs.
Instead of clutching photos of departed friends, keep their kisses close to you. You will be surprised how easy they are to pack.
Learn the absolute pleasure of kindness.
Learn to detest things that do not allow you to be yourself, and embrace things that make that self larger, more thrilling, and voluptuous.
Learn to revel in the unalloyed loveliness of receiving attention—to do this, you may have to leave your computer keyboard and invite it.
Most kids are never told about one of life’s most effective weapons: when to get pissed as hell. Show it. And then mean it.
One of the problems with technology is that no photograph, as superb and outstanding as it may be, will ever be as satisfying as the most middle-rate painting.
Oscar Wilde said that the gods punish us in two ways: first, they don’t give us what we want, then, they do. He forgot the third way: we finally see the cost of getting it.
Perhaps success should not mean that you have nothing to say to anyone, no time for anybody, and not a moment left in your calendar for someone whom you might suddenly realize you love.
Perry Brass is a pioneer of gay literature," ForeWord Magazine
Realize that the banality around us that passes as “hipness” or “mass culture” is as satisfying as “mass food”—only it comes in much more unappetizing portions.
Realize the complicated specials of what we call the “inferiority complex.” In other words, what, Miss Thing, is so damn special about you to make you feel so specially inferior to any other jerk?
Remember that that “rude awakening” which your parents and well-meaning relatives threatened you with as a kid is better than no awakening at all.
Retailing is the art of selling something that is not necessary to people who are. Anyone who does not understand this sooner, rather than later, goes out of business.
Sports (and the often barely withheld violence around them) have become one of the few modern ways to connect with strangers. They give an amazing number of geeks things to talk about. In the old days we settled for, “Hello, how are you?”
Start a conversation with someone with whom you have “nothing in common” and no possibility of scoring with, networking with, or even seeing again. In other words, a conversation just for the civilized hell of it.
Stay up and listen to lightening. If there is no lightening around, stay up and listen to nothing. Just listen to the sheer joy of your thoughts trans-versing from one corner of your brain to the next.
Still water does not only run deep. It runs dangerously.
Take up something that you know will never bring you any returns except pleasure—in other words, allow yourself to live the way brilliant eighteenth century courtesans lived. Don’t be afraid of having a decorative life, even if all the decorations come from you.
Tell someone who may be in an excellent position to get even with you, to “go fuck himself.” The satisfaction will do you more good than the anxiety.
The Egyptians had a particularly nasty way of getting rid of people they felt had no consequence. Instead of embalming them, they simply constructed a fake mummy made from old strips of linen wrapped around a dummy of mud. If, in our modern world, you feel that there are a lot of “mud mummies” around you, get rid of the mud.
The god that you dispense with today, will come back as a demon tomorrow.
The lowest form of barbarism is smugly to berate someone for extending an act of kindness.
The most amazing thing about young men is how invisible they were to you when you were young. It is also the most poignant.
The most beautiful man in the world says everything with his eyes, and the rest with his hands and mouth.
The most wonderful revenge you can have is by dumping an attractive, vacant man for an uglier one. That way all of his friends can scratch their heads, and for the next year or so wonder why.
The same people who believe that all-powerful modern truism that “Image is Everything,” also believe everything they read in Vanity Fair.
There are certain restaurants where you should photograph the food rather than eat it. These are great places to bring a narcissistic boyfriend before you break up.
There are two things in life that money cannot buy: health and happiness. Aside from that, it does an excellent job.
There may be a point in your life in which you are drowning so fast and fighting it so furiously that you don’t have the strength left to call out for help. At that point don’t expect one of your friends to jump into the water, if you've spent most of your life instructing them to mind their own business.
Three great ways to lose a lover: Talk to him the way your mother talked to your father. Berate him in public because everybody loves an audience. Contrast him to your friends, and compare him with his predecessors.
To extend oneself does not necessarily mean to have an erection.
Try to dwell on the people you’d like to love, instead of all the people you do loathe.
Wanting someone so much that his very presence takes your breath away is one of the most thrilling happenings in life. Not getting him in no way diminishes this.
War was invented was to allow men who never grew up to do the things they always wanted to do as kids: mess up their rooms, wear funny clothes, sleep in a room with a lot of strangers, dirty up other people’s houses and then take their toys away.
We think of death and loss as tragic twins, but in fact it is loss that hurts us.

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