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06/21/2012

In which 'EW' hands me a freakily coincidental, eerily specific book tie-in

by Jeremy Hooper

Those of you who have read my bookknow that Entertainment Weekly played a vey formative role in my gay experience, with a 1995 cover story written by Jess Cagle…

Screen Shot 2012-06-21 At 5.31.11 Pm

…serving as a source of both intrigue and fear for teen-me. So I have to say that it was really interesting, here when that book and that chapter are so fresh on my mind, to open my mailbox today and see this on the cover:

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[EW]

Not interesting because it's LGBT themed, mind you. EW (of which Cagle is now Managing Editor) has certainly done several LGBT covers in the years since. What was interesting for me, here in the month of my book's release, is to note the transition in how the topic is covered. This year's version is all about the "quiet" coming out—about stars who are just living their lives rather than making huge splashes. This is a great contrast from my EW catalyst from '95, which was all about the suddenly everywhere, very splashy "Gay '90s." If that earlier one was loud, loud, loud, creating great drama for my younger self, this new one is just kind of factual. Kind of benign. It's still branded a "special report" (as the '95 version was), but it's much more of a report than it is "special."

It couldn't be a better bookend for the journey I relay in my book. For me personally, it feels quite serendipitous. But for us as a movement? It feels kind of nice to be addressed more as part of the fabric of America and its celebrity culture than as a decade-defining novelty.

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