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Friday, July 12, 2013

One Gay American Gets World of Ink Review

Title of Book: One Gay American
Author: Dennis Milam Bensie
 Publisher: CoffeeTown Press
ISBN-10: 1603811532
ISBN-13: 978-1603811538
Price $13.95
Publication Date: September 2012
Genre of Book: Memoir
Heat Level: LGBT
Review provided by: World of Ink Network
About the Book:
Dennis Milam Bensie is One Gay American. Born in the 1960s and raised with traditional values in Robinson, Illinois, Bensie desperately wanted romance, a beautiful wedding, and a baby to carry on the family name. He denied his sexuality and married a woman at nineteen years old, but fantasized of weddings where he could be the bride. The newlyweds "adopted" a Cabbage Patch Doll and ironically witnessed a Cabbage Patch Doll wedding (a successful fundraiser staged by a local women's club) where the dolls were granted the type of grand ceremony off-limits to gay couples.

In search of his identity as a gay man, Bensie divorced his wife and stumbled through missteps and lessons that still sting his generation: defending against bullies, "disappointing" his parents, and looking for love in gay bars, bath houses and restrooms. He helped his straight friends plan their dream weddings and mourned his gay friends dying of AIDS.

Although true love has not yet come his way, Bensie has learned to love himself. Bensie is the author of the much-lauded memoir, Shorn: Toys to Men, which recounts his battle with paraphilia. One Gay American tells the rest of his story and draws parallels to gay history, decade by decade, with newspaper headlines and quotations. Bensie is the gay neighbor that you either love or hate. Either way, he's got a lot to say and says it with no apologies.
My first real kiss from a man was from a stranger in the library restroom. As we stood in the bathroom stall, the handsome, dark-haired guy looked me in the eyes, cupped
my face in his hands and softly kissed me. He was much taller and more muscular
than I. We were the only men in the room and he picked me up in a big bear hug and
lifted me until my feet were actually dangling off the floor. He kissed me again and
looked at me. No one else in the bathroom had ever really looked at me.
I felt love for the first time. Real love … ever so brief. The stranger made me feel whole.
All the other guys I had seen in the restroom were focused on genitalia, but this man
saw me as a man with a face and a heart. I had waited my whole life to be
romantically kissed by a man. In that moment my life changed. I could finally be who I
wanted to be. It was such a significant event in my life, and I was sad that it had taken place in such a depressing place.Was this the best I could do? My first romantic kiss in a seedy public restroom? I didn’t even know the guy’s name.
Most of these guys were just looking for quick sex. If I wanted a partner, where would
I find him? Carbondale wasn’t exactly a Mecca for secure gay men.
I just had to have faith in myself and be patient. I was twenty-two, in my sexual prime.
Did I have to wait for love to come to me? Shouldn’t I go out and look for it?
I knew I probably wouldn’t find it in the library restroom or the gay bar. However, it
would only take one guy just like me. If he existed in Carbondale, then surely we would
find each other in the only gay spots in town.
While I was being hugged and kissed, we both heard the sound of Keys entering the
restroom. My kisser released me and fled. My feet were back on the ground. I
remained in my door-less stall. Keys walked by, as I had seen him do dozens of times,
and took his place in the stall next to mine.
I never saw my kisser again.
I left the library bathroom not knowing if Keys had ruined the opportunity of a lifetime
or saved me from myself.
About the Book:
An honest tell all story about looking for love, wanting a family and coming out as America discovered its own Gay community throughout the last 40 years. Dennis not only shares about the struggles he faces as a Gay American, but also the heartache, struggles and joys of all those who are Gay Americans as they come out to not only family and friends but to their country. Dennis highlights each chapter with the different headlines or political highlights of the Gay Community in American helping us all realize every American has rights and should be treated equal no matter their race, religion or sexual lifestyle.
About the Author: 
Dennis Milam Bensie grew up in Robinson, Illinois where his interest in the arts began in high school participating in various community theatre productions. Bensie’s first book,  Shorn: Toys to Men was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award, sponsored by the American Library Association. It was also a pick in the International gay magazine The Advocate as “One of the Best Overlooked Books of 2011″. The author’s short stories have been published by Bay Laurel, Everyday Fiction, and This Zine Will Change Your Lifeand he has also been a feature contributor for The Good Men Project. One Gay American is his second book with Coffeetown Press and it was chosen as a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Book Awards. He was a presenter at the 2013 Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. Dennis lives in Seattle with his three dogs.

You can find out more about Dennis Milam Bensie, his memoirs and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at
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