Book Fair Welcomes Jewish Gay Author

New York writer and journalist Steven Gaines will discuss his newly published childhood memoir, “One of These Things First,” at 12 p.m. on Nov. 13 during the 65th Annual Jewish Book Fair at the Janice Charach Gallery at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.

stevengainsAs a 15-year-old gay Jewish boy growing up in Brooklyn in the early ’60s, Steven Gaines thought that he would have to be transformed into a woman to live out his life as a gay man.

“I didn’t know the difference,” said Gaines, who will discuss his newly published book, “One of These Things First: A Memoir,” at 12 p.m. on Nov. 13 at the 65th Annual Jewish Book Fair at the Janice Charach Gallery at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield.

“As I say in the book to my psychiatrist, ‘I don’t want to become a woman.’ I wasn’t transgender,” he said. “I didn’t think I was born into the wrong body, but the only person I had ever heard of that was similar to me was Christine Jorgensen who was just huge international news at the time.”

Jorgensen was an American transgender woman who was the first person to become widely known in the U.S. for having sex reassignment surgery.

“I didn’t want that to happen to me and I didn’t feel that way, but I didn’t know if there were any other choices,” said Gaines, the best-selling author of 12 books, including “Philistines at the Hedgerow: Passion and Property in the Hamptons.” His journalism has appeared in Vanity Fair, the New York Observer, and New York magazine, where he was a contributing editor for 12 years. Gaines is a co-founder and past vice-chairman of the Hamptons International Film Festival. He lives in a small hamlet on the East End of Long Island.

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