In the style of New York Times bestsellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist, and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity. It hasn’t been easy being Michael Arceneaux.
Equality for LGBT people has come a long way and all, but voices of persons of color within the community are still often silenced, and being black in America is…well, have you watched the news?
With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite.
He eloquently writes about coming out to his mother; growing up in Houston, Texas; that time his father asked if he was “funny” while shaking his hand; his obstacles in embracing intimacy; and the persistent challenges of young people who feel marginalized and denied the chance to pursue their dreams.
Perfect for fans of David Sedaris and Phoebe Robinson, I Can’t Date Jesus tells us—without apologies—what it’s like to be outspoken and brave in a divisive world.
Thank you Atria Books for providing me with a copy for an honest review.
I haven’t read anything by Michael Arceneaux before, but when I heard he was from Houston like me and saw the title I knew I wanted to read it. This was compared to You Can’t Touch My Hair and I loved that book last year.
This guy is hilarious as hell and he kept me laughing while reading. The style of the book feels as if we are having dinner and he’s telling me about his life. It’s very laid back but don’t think that he’s not hitting you with some hard-hitting truths about the world. I learned a lot from reading about the obstacles he had to face and go through as a gay black man. We also get topics from race, religion, and his love for Beyonce.
I love his candor and his sense of humor:
“You want to learn how to give up on humanity? Ride the bus in L.A.”
“Are you a homosexual?”
“Yes, as long as women still come with vaginas.”
My favorite part of the book was all of the Houston references. People outside of Houston might not understand them, but I loved seeing my city in a book.
I did have to knock some stars off because it a little heavy in unnecessary information and also very heavy on sexual topics. That doesn’t bother me in the slightest but I know that some people might not enjoy it.
All in all, this book was entertaining as it was informational and I can’t wait to read more from him.
**Quotes are from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
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