Greg Gerard, a local author and gay man who grew up in Western New York and now lives in Rochester has recently published his memoir about growing up gay, coming outand learning to reconcile his spirituality with his faith. The book, In Jupiter's Shadow, has been receiving great reviews. We think it's great to see local stories and talents brought to the fore to address issues that are so important to our community!
Here is information from the official press release about the book:
Hiding from others is easy. Hiding from yourself is trickier.
Greg Gerard, who grew up as the youngest in a devout Catholic family in rural Western NY, dreamed of escape and adventure. He was different from his older siblings; he was "the caboose." While his older brothers and sisters went to public school, he alone attended Saint Michael's --- where a friendly nun with sturdy shoes and a ubiqutitious guitar reminded him of his favorite movei, The Sound of Music. At night, he slept with boards under his sheets --- so he, too, could be as holy as the Saints he read about.
Mystery surrounded young Greg. At church, the priest dipped his head, whispering indistinguishable prayers. At home, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and his favorite, Jupiter Jones of "The Three Investigators," provided an endless supply of intrigue. He devoured their mystery stories, mimicked their behaviors, and dreamed of the day when he, too, could solve a real-life puzzle.
At age thirteen, Greg's own mystery presented itself in the most unlikely place --- the steamy bathtub on the second floor. He discovered sexuality --- and sensed it was "wrong" for a boy to think about Superman while doing so.
In Jupiter's Shadow chronicles Greg's investigative efforst to crack the case---to figure out how to be attracted to girls. As the investigation ensues, he builds a hidden detective agency on the 2nd floor ofthe family barn, a place to dodge his alcoholic father's mood swings and listen to his favorite show, The CBS Radio Mystery Theater. During the search, he finds companionship with his oldest brother (who suffers from hydrocephalus and memory problems) while his angst remains as tightly hidden as the stack of pornography he pilfers from his father's grocery store.
Mentorship of a jesuit priest (an actor with a Hollywood past) and the shock of a close friend's unexpected death ultimately propel Greg to a point where he must reverse his escape path --- ands olve the conflict between the shadow of "should be" and the light of self awareness.
In the end, this book tweaks the struggle of adolescent sexual anxiety to take the readers on a colorful quest for self definition. With the enthusiasm of an old-style mystery, it explores the ways we all receive messages about what we "should be" in life --- and how we often work to keep profound truths hidden from the most important person in our lives: ourselves.
To purchase a copy of this book locally, visit: