Thursday, May 08, 2008

New Profile: Joel Derfner

My dear Joel Derfner (I can call him that because, though we've never met, he's already quite dear to me) has written a fabu book called Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever. I did this Q&A with Joel for, and possibly for AM New York, if they pick it up. Enjoy! Here's a little tease:

"Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever" is a very funny new memoir by Joel Derfner, who has done it all—being a go-go boy, a cheerleader and a knitter (hence the book title). But "Swish" is also Derfner’s coming-of-age tale as a gay man. Writing with the nervous, breathless style of a David Sedaris, but with more self-empathy, Derfner, who teaches musical theater at NYU and leads aerobics classes for a living, includes on a chapter on going undercover at Exodus International, the organization that claims to cure homosexuality through Jesus Christ. We spoke with the author about all the highs and lows in his "Quest."

"On Knitting," "On Teaching Aerobics," "On Musical Theater"—are all great chapter titles. Are there chapters, though, that you didn’t write?
Twelve inches! Um, make it nine—I don’t want to be unrealistic. What were you asking?

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