On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.
But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say “I do”?
Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was aright they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.
To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself—and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.
My story, Flames:
Alex and Gio had a big fight, and Alex ran away. Then a fire at home destroyed the life they had built together, and threatened to take Gio away from him.
Alex had always thought love was enough to keep them together. Why did they need wedding rings or legal certificates? But now, with Gio lost in a coma, his mother has banished Alex from his side.
What if Alex’s voice is the only thing that can bring Gio back from the brink? Their memories are all Gio has left, and the urge to just let go is getting stronger.
Still, nothing can keep Alex from Gio's side. If it’s against the rules, he’ll break them. In stolen moments alone together, Alex fights to bring him back, one memory at a time.
Ulysses on Prism Book Alliance wrote:
On “A More Perfect Union”:
“This anthology contains four different stories reaching the same joyous conclusion, marrying the man they loved, and I have to say, even this cynical old heart melted a little. From each tale I could see elements of news stories that hit the headlines over the last few years – a real ripped from the headlines. But each individual story tackles the couples journey in a different way. It’s not just about dealing with bigoted officials and family. These stories are about the our heroes attitudes to marriage as well.”
“J. Scott Coatsworth made me cry with Flames. I was shouting at Alex, rooting loudly for him and Gio, cursing as Alex was banished and sobbing like anything as good people conspired to help him. Yes, sir, you made me cry tears of joy.”
On “A More Perfect Union”:
“Four excellent novellas by four gifted writers… Each of these four novellas about committed gay couples for whom marriage means something resonates with me—although none of these stories is MY story. Each of these authors is a gay man married to his husband. This we have in common. I married my partner of 38 years on October 21, 2013, the first day same-gender marriage was legal in New Jersey. Our two teenaged children, whom we adopted after our twentieth anniversary, were with us. We had previously had a domestic partnership, and then a civil union in this same town where we’ve lived for 35 years. We were married by the mayor in a simple ceremony at town hall. I had mentioned it on Facebook, and was touched at who happened to show up, just to see me and my husband Gary get that piece of paper that made us “legal.” Everybody’s story is different, but each of these novellas made me cry, because joy and pain and fear and triumph are feelings that every one of us shares.”
“J. Scott Coatsworth’s “Flames” made a mess of me. In it, everyone’s deepest fear almost comes true for Alex Gutierrez. He stalks off on an all-night bender after a stupid fight with his longtime partner Giovanni Montanari. When he wakes up the next day, he finds out that his world has gone up in flames—literally. Only when Alex realizes what he might lose does he understand what marriage could mean for him and Gio. Coatsworth has provided a villain who’s not really a villain at all, and a cast of supportive characters, particularly a friend named Oscar and Rosalind, a lesbian nurse who risks her job to help Alex. The book is written from a dual point of view—both Alex and Gio. It is a tricky maneuver that the author handles very well, thus adding a touch of magical realism that turns the story into a modern fairytale.”
Author’s note: I love this story. It connects various parts of me – my marriage, my love of Italian, a song that touched me deeply, and the place I grew up, into one beautiful story. And I hope you love it too.