The main character in Summer Spirit is 41-year-old Ryan Kinkaid. A New York City antique dealer who, throughout his adult life, has looked for that certain someone with whom he could have a loving, committed, and monogamous relationship. Some may ask, “So what’s the problem?” The problem is that in the gay world this is not as common as one may think.
As a gay man in my mid-50s, I have observed many gay “couples” who call someone their “partner.” Usually it’s the person whom they live with and share living expenses. However, their sexual lives are not exclusive. I’ve seen advances made at parties by someone in a relationship toward someone not their partner, or hear how when at a conference or the gym they hook up with someone. It is when hearing those individuals say, or do, such things I want to correct them by saying, “Don’t call him, or her, your partner. They are your roommate who you have sex with occasionally, nothing more. You’re shopping, and are only with him, or her, until you find someone better. Besides, it is demeaning to the other person to know they are not good enough.”
I’ve been chastised and criticized for this opinion. However, I certainly know I am not alone in my view, as I have met many couples who are in loving, exclusive relationships. However, if the truth be known, I think we are in the minority.
After 32 years, in 2010, my partner and I married in the state of New Hampshire. For the years prior I did not need to have a piece of paper to prove my commitment to him. I have always loved and wanted him. It is also safe to say that during those 32 years we had been through everything there is. Thereby, if you can stand up in front of family and friends and say vows of commitment to one another you mean them, because you’ve lived them, proven them.
At this time in our nation’s development, with the religious right trying so hard to shove homosexuality back into the closet and take away what few rights we have achieved over the years, gays have to work hard to promote positive relationships and dispel negative stereotypes. That piece of paper I mentioned above means everything to me.
I have written the character of Ryan Kinkaid to hold the same values as myself. He is not perfect or saintly; he has had his share of experiences. He is looking for someone who makes daily living worthwhile, someone to share life with and not be alone.
As a writer, I would like readers to be able to connect with my characters. I try hard to have them be realistic. I welcome any comments from readers on my book, your views on my characters and the relationships I portray. You can contact me through my website, www.gjayb.com.