JOHN RECHY, American author, born; City of Night now seems dated after more than fifty 50 years. It is hard to remember how enlightening it all was in its time as an exploration of the underside of contemporary Gay life. An outspoken activist and “Sexual Outlaw,” proud of both his years as a hustler and (like Mishima) his physique, he is not without a sense of humor about both. He reports that he was once told by an irate transvestite at whom he had sneered, “Your muscles are as Gay as my drag.”
Rechy is still very much with us, and has a new book, About My Life and the Kept Woman: A Memoir (Grove Press ISBN-10: 0802118615) Author David Leavitt, sniffed at it in his review in the NY Times calling the stories “narcissism mingled with self-hatred” (he would know, I suppose) but also calls Rechy “the first bard of West Hollywood.” Still, he was the recipient of the PEN Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award. It’s hard out there on an aging hustler.