When I started the website Bathhouse Blues over a decade ago, I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be a lighting rod. And I’m not referring to my essays about bathhouse culture and etiquette.
I’m talking about my writing about racism within the walls of a bathhouse. It all began with my third essay, Racism at the Baths. Immediately it touched off a nerve. Letter after letter began to appear on my site by readers. On one side applauding my narrative. But on the other slamming my statements. What followed were more essays about race at the baths. Which elicited even more letters from readers on the issue of discrimination.
No other topic I have written about has unleashed this amount of debate on my website. I had expected shock and outrage over some of my others stories. Such as guys indulging in BDSM, slings and glory holes. Not to mention my writings on drug overdoses and bareback action taking place 24/7 at the baths. Instead the conversation dominating my website has been about race in the gay community.
This discussion has not been limited on what takes place in a gay sauna. Dozens of men from all races have sent me letters to tell me their stories of being discriminated against. Not just in North America, but all over the world like Europe, Australia, Asia and many other regions.
The amount of response was truly overwhelming. Many of these men writing to me have even never been to a bathhouse. But my essays on race really motivated other visible minorities to share stories.
So I have decided to do an entire book on the letters I have received. I have received so many letters that I have to split them into two books. This is the first, My Experiences With Racism In The Gay Community. Told from the point of view of a gay visible minority. Most of the letters are from Gay Asians, since the site was originally from the perspective of a Gay Asian Male. But I do feature letters from Gay Black Men and other visible minorities.
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