It’s largely the ugly that High-Risk Homosexual is concerned with, and though often heavy, Edgar Gomez’s debut is also a breath of fresh air ... It’s a compelling portrait of machismo: a surveilled, violent dance ... As a writer, he invites us into the chasm between what he is expected to do and what he is capable of, giving himself plenty of room for emotion, self-deprecation and acerbic observation ... Gomez writes with a humor and clarity that generally keep the melodrama at bay, an absolute must in a memoir that might otherwise have been a laundry list of painful experiences ... Ever committed to parsing its central themes of masculinity and queer identity, High-Risk Homosexual does circle back on itself a bit, the chapters teetering on uniformity. Gomez’s voice is equal parts warmth and acid wit, like a good friend you’re slightly afraid of, but there are times in the middle of a passage where you’ll feel you know what he’s going to say before he says it ... These minor complaints do little to dull the shine of an exciting debut from an author with a rare point of view ... By its own admission, the book doesn’t have all the answers, but it makes a compelling case that they will come from the razor-sharp queers living in the margins.
Edgar Gomez’s High-Risk Homosexual sashays and shantays readers through the author’s teenage years and into his early 20s ... Like a night out in Manolos, High-Risk Homosexual brings both pleasure and pain, and readers are lucky to be invited to this coming-of-age ki-ki ... Gomez’s pain is felt in the narrator’s silence and in words unwritten. Gomez captures a truth for many LGBTQ+ youths: ignore the hate, silence your secret, and you may survive ... High-Risk Homosexual creates a safe space where Gomez navigates through the hostile world that wants him to be someone other than himself. Among the most beautiful scenes in the book is one in which the narrator finds his tribe ... Gomez’s memoir werks it and serves the tea with humor while addressing serious issues; therefore, the reader is not overwhelmed with sadness ... Gomez’s vulnerable and humorous voice gives strength to High-Risk Homosexual. And yes, while this highly personal memoir is written through the unique lens of a femme-queer-Latinx, there is a universal narrative that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt marginalized. No matter how we identify or where we end up, ultimately, we are all high risk, and Gomez captures this universality so well.
With alternating notes of gut-wrenching emotion and humor, High-Risk Homosexual chronicles not only Gomez’s coming-of-age and coming out, but also his choppy navigation of a culture and family that refused to accept him ... In High-Risk Homosexual, Gomez’s incandescent prose flickers with an intensity that illuminates his insecurities, his disappointments and his courage.
In this crackling debut, Gomez recounts his coming-of-age as a queer man, passionately exploring what it means to celebrate one’s identities and to make space for joy in the most unlikely places ... In essays packed with dry wit and searing cultural insight, Gomez blows open this paradox as he contends with the difficulties and traumas of compulsory heterosexuality that were forced upon him growing up in his Nicaraguan family. He brings readers on an exhilarating trip through his teens in Central America ... The result transcends a simple coming-out story to instead offer a brilliant and provocative interrogation of sex, gender, race, and love.
Poignant, vivid, and often hilarious, this coming-of-age memoir fearlessly explores intersectional identity and shows what it means to live and love authentically as a gay man today ... An engagingly candid memoir from a promising young writer.