Author’s New Book Explores Being Gay & Turning Thirty
While developing ideas for the sequel to his critically acclaimed debut novel, A Time Before Me, author Michael Holloway Perronne went through what is often a traumatic experience for many gay men living in a youth obsessed culture. He turned thirty. The turning of thirty, which many in the gay community consider "middle-aged", led not only to the author’s self reexamination of his life but to the plot of his follow-up book, Falling Into Me.
"Turning thirty years old freaked me out at first. Fairly or unfairly, I began going over all the details of my life and compared it to where I thought I would be this age," Perronne says. "I felt like I had to shake things up which led me to almost moving to the other side of the planet, rethinking career goals, becoming obsessed with yoga to hopefully find my inner being, and overanalyzing my love life or lack thereof."
"In addition, the gay community and media often places such an emphasis on youth that after turning thirty a gay man can be left wondering what his place is in gay culture. You’re not the fresh new kid on the block or the "daddy" type- but somewhere lost in the middle. So, I began exploring where I thought the character in my first novel, Mason, would be at this age. When readers last saw Mason he had just turned 18, and it was 1992. How had his voice changed? His goals? How did he feel now about love and romance? Most importantly what did he think of the man he had become?"
In his own life, Perronne found turning thirty to be the most liberating event in his life. "I had friends who had already turn the big 3-0 tell me the positives of it, but it wasn’t until going through it that I discovered they were right. I became much more focused on my goals, less self-conscious, more present in the moment, truer to myself and my values. I accepted me...instead of trying to fit into molds that didn’t fit me to please others."
In Falling Into Me, during a return visit back home to New Orleans, a gay man reexamines his life after turning thirty.