The Lighter Side of a Capitalist Hellscape
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Published in: November-December 2021 issue.


How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons
by John Paul Brammer
Simon & Schuster. 212 pages, $26.


“WE CAN’T LIVE without stories,” John Paul Brammer writes in ¡Hola Papi!, his collection of sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant personal essays about the trials and triumphs of a “person with unique difficulty accessing heterosexuality.” First appearing as a regular column on Grindr’s INTO app as a “Queer Latino ‘Dear Abby,’” the essays were originally intended to poke fun at the larger world of advice columns. But the letters Brammer received started getting serious, and he fell into the accidental role of an authority figure. Now he has collected fourteen of these stories of “lived experiences,” assembling them into a collection of engaging life lessons. The result is an impressively deft first book.

            Brammer, a mixed-race Mexican-American (“American with a squeeze of lime”), grew up in Cache, Oklahoma.

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Philip Gambone, a regular contributor to this magazine, recently published his fifth book, As Far As I Can Tell (Rattling Good Yarns Press).