Emerge is an anthology from Lambda Literary with contributions from the ’21 Emerging Fellows in nonfiction, fiction, YA, poetry, and playwrighting. The anthology was edited by Michael Chang. There are two excepts from my memoir-in-progress, My Colonizer: A Kept Boy and his Afterlife.
In the living room, Andrés and I sat on matching chairs, gilt Gothic Revival, with pointed arched backs, upholstered in peacock blue. Sinking in to the crush of velvet, everyone’s eyes were on me, Greet’s, Juan’s, Andrés’, even the figure in the painting over the mantle. I felt like the center of attention in a way I hadn’t since I was a boy; as the first-born son of a traditional Italian family, I’d been the pampered little prince at the table. A feeling of power surged through me, its contours vaguely familiar. Juan stopped staring, resetting his expression to stone-faced deference as he replaced our drinks. Andrés raised an eyebrow as he passed.
“That’s quite a painting,” said Andrés, pointing over the mantle. “The oil is a bit muddy, and this hatching…it’s incomplete.”
“Academic Study of a Youth,” I read off the plaque affixed to the frame.
“An amateur work, but it has a certain charm,” replied Greet.
The painting depicted a young man in blue shorts—open at the fly—with black hair and muscular thighs. He wore a crooked smile as he posed provocatively in a studio scattered with empty stools and easels.
“You remind me of the model,” Greet said to me, adding, “something in his smirk.”
“Yasss, in the package, too,” Andrés replied, and Greet snorted.
“Package?” I didn’t know enough camp code to understand the joke.