It is with great pleasure that I get to talk about a book written by a friend of mine. I have known Ken for over two years and I’m so proud that he had his book, The Marrying Kind published. Ken is such a kind and compassionate human being, dedicated to issues of social justice and civil rights.
Ken just celebrated his 15th anniversary with his partner and spent some time with me visiting about life and about his new book.
Fortunately, we live in NY so we could get married, but at present we stand in solidarity with those that cannot marry legally. I realize there is great sacrifice for heterosexual couples that don’t get married for solidarity because they are giving up a lot. I came out when I was 30 and my family is great and very supportive—I had an older brother who was also gay and died of AIDS. After acting for many years, but not enjoying auditioning, I became a massage therapist and I needed to do more—I can’t draw, so I turned to writing. I have written a screenplay, which I’m still hopeful about. The Marrying Kind is my first novel.
Can you give TSM a teaser about the novel?
It is a comic novel about a gay wedding planner who wakes up one morning realizing that he has devoted his life and career for people that are allowed to marry and he and his partner cannot. He wants nothing to do with the economy of marriage and refuses to attend any marriages. Adam (the wedding planner) has a sister that is marrying his partner Steven’s brother and they have to decide if they will attend the wedding or send their regrets. I did not want it to be preachy, and I knew it had to be funny. I’m glad it is funny and I’m quite proud of that. I wanted to write a funny zany beach book where at the end of the book someone would have changed their minds about marriage equality and not even be aware that happened because they just enjoyed themselves so much.
What inspired you to write this book?
One day I was watching Oprah waiting for a massage client. On the show was an over the top wedding, and I started crying—almost at the keening level. I realized it was a little crazy—these are strangers, this is tv. After the commercial and the show came back on, Oprah turned to the wedding planner who seemed very gay and I started thinking I really wanted to be married. It was the first time I allowed myself to entertain that thought. I started thinking about this wedding planner and what must it be like for him to plan weddings like this but never be able to have a wedding for himself. I also wondered what would happen if the wedding planners, the florists, dress designers, and hair dressers all refused to work in the industry until there was marriage equality.
Is there a particular call to action for the LGBTQ community you would ask for?
I really see this as bigger than just the LGBTQ community, but a community that believes in marriage equality. As long as there is a large population of people that cannot get married, it has an ill effect on everyone’s marriage. It’s like if someone who likes to golf, but can’t get into a country club to play golf because they don’t allow Jews—it all ties into –it’s not good enough to want Jews allowed in the country club, but there needs to be action–segregation keeps people from thinking and talking about equality, about health insurance, about benefits for spouses. We are talking about Federal rights—it would be nice for people to step back and acknowledge this is not good, we need to fix this—it comes down to economics.
Ken thank you so much for our visit and for all you do for social justice. Here are some ways to go out and buy your copy of The Marrying Kind: