Saeed Jones: How We Fight For Our Lives

What a weird coincidence that I was reading a book titled How We Fight For Our Lives in the midst of a pandemic. Although Jones’s memoir has nothing to do with the danger of the Coronavirus, it has everything to do with the danger of being a gay black boy growing up in Texas. Jones writes:

Being black can get you killed.
Being gay can get you killed.
Being a black gay boy is a death wish.

With his lyrical prose and unflinching honesty, Jones opened up about his body and sexuality. His raw, explicit, violent writing is tough to read, and yet even tougher to stop reading. He confessed:

At times, I was proud of my sluttiness. I liked to think that it was radical, as if the act of fucking another man and then bragging to my friends about it was a form of protest against the shame I’d grown up with, and against the shame I felt silently radiating from the new people in my life.

In addition to his wild sexual lifestyle, Jones writes candidly about his relationship with his mother who raised him herself. She refused to talk about his sexual identity, but she accepted it and supported him. With just 190 pages, Jones managed to write a memoir that is so ferocious, so beautiful, and so damn heartbreaking.