The Mirror

NYT Writer Blows Both Ways

NYT‘s only black op-ed columnist Charles Blow is bisexual. There. He said it. Or rather, he wrote it in his upcoming memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones: A Memoir, due out at the end of September.

Blow, a single father of 3, sure knows how to spice up what might otherwise be a boring book. Richard Prince, who covers African American journalists for The Maynard Institute, reports that fighting the idea of his sexual attractions nearly ruined Blow’s life. Blow also wrote of sexual abuse he experienced as a child.

“In addition to being attracted to women, I could also be attracted to men. There it was, all of it. That possibility of male attraction was such a simple little harmless idea, the fight against which I had allowed to consume and almost ruin my life. The attraction and my futile attempts to ‘fix it’ had cost me my dreams. The anguish, combined with a lifetime of watching hotheads brandishing cold steel, had put me within minutes of killing a man. . . .”

Blow has a hard time with the word “bisexual” and what it means for him.

“To me it seemed too narrowly drawn in the collective consciousness, suggesting an identity fixed precisely in the middle between straight and gay, giving equal weight to each, bearing no resemblance to what I felt. In me, the attraction to men would never be equal to the attraction to women — in men it was also closer to the pinch — but it would always be in flux . . .”

Prince makes sure to point out at that according to the National Medical Association, only 2 percent of African American males are bisexually active.