Tristan Taormino

is creating memoir writing

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About

TL;DR: I would like to return to memoir writing and cut down on my travel and teaching schedule. You can help make that happen!

You know me for creating various forms of media centered around sexuality, gender, relationships, feminism, and pop culture. I’m ready to take a big risk and do something completely different, and I hope that people who like my existing work will follow me on this trip.

What am I writing about?
I’m working on a family memoir, focused on my own coming of age story woven in with my father’s. It’s a story about growing up, multi-generational queer experience and history, love, loss, and the meaning of home. I have started the project and hope to have it completed by the end of 2019.

This new book, and the writing I am doing now in general, is not just a departure in genre from my previous books—it’s way far outside my comfort zone. I began my writing career documenting my life and adventures (specifically around sexuality), but then I focused on writing mostly in the educational genre. I have wanted to write a memoir for more than 15 years, but I have been terrified to share this deeply personal story with the public. I’m comfortable telling you about my love of butt plugs, but it feels way scarier to tell you about my family, my innermost thoughts, my mental health, and one of the most significant events of my life: the death of my father.

I have created a Patreon for several reasons:

1) Patreon can make it possible for me to: carve out dedicated time to write; pare down my work schedule and travel less for work (which will also help my chronic pain condition); cover my living expenses; take a writing class; work with a writing coach or editor; and attend a writer’s retreat.

2) I would like to have a more private place to engage with all of you that is not social media; and

3) This is an opportunity for my supporters to see newly finished works before the general public. I would like to have regular deadlines and be accountable to this community which I hope will help me get through writing blocks and fears.

More about the book:

The first book I am working on is a memoir which traces my childhood and teenage years from my parents’ divorce when I was about 2 years old and my father’s subsequent absence from my life for eight years to my reunion with him and the deep bond we shared almost immediately. There is some of his story as well, specifically his history growing up in an abusive, homophobic, deeply religious family where he struggled to come to terms with his identity. My father moved all over the country searching for a place he felt at home, so I spent time with him in 8 different cities in the United States. In my teens, I went to live with him for the summer in the gay mecca, Provincetown, where I worked at a leather store and hung out with drag queens and queer people.

That’s also the summer I accidentally found out my dad was gay.

Throughout the book, there are details about my early years as a competitive equestrian, my sexual coming of age, my coming out, my relationships, my activism and adventures. And, of course, what it’s like to be raised by a queer dad on Judy Garland, Bette Midler, sequined clothes, and musical theater. Soon after I graduated college in 1993, my father was diagnosed with AIDS, and he was very sick; it was less than a decade into the AIDS epidemic, and treatments were limited. I moved across the country to live with him and his partner; I planned to be one of his caretakers and spend what was the end of his life with him. Something happens one night that kicks off a series of dramatic events and leads to a shocking, explosive break in our relationship. He kicks me out of the house and we stop speaking. All the while, his inevitable death looms over us.

After I finish this memoir, I want to work on another memoir about my 25 year journey with severe depression. I will update this page with more detail about new projects.

I don't know if I'm ready to become a patron. Can I make a one-time donation?

Absolutely. You can PayPal me at asktristan [at] gmail.com.
Or: Buy me a memoir or a book about writing from my Amazon Wishlist.
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 79 exclusive posts
56
Images
44
Writings
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 79 exclusive posts
56
Images
44
Writings

Recent posts by Tristan Taormino

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