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Producer Richie Jackson On Life As A Gay Man In America, Then And Now

Andrew Sullivan interviews producer and author Richie Jackson.
Andrew Sullivan interviews producer and author Richie Jackson.

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When producer Richie Jackson moved to New York City as a young man in the 1980s, he joined a gay community still fighting for basic rights and recognition under the law.

"Gay Like Me" (HarperCollins, 2020) by Richie Jackson
Richie Johnson/HarperCollins

He came of age during the AIDS crisis and found that in order to guarantee his personal freedoms as a gay man, he would have to be political. So when, decades later, Jackson’s son came out as gay, Jackson felt compelled to reflect on his own personal journey as well as the country’s. The result is his book Gay Like Me: A Father Writes To His Son, a book-length letter to Jackson’s son about what it means to be a gay man in America. A compilation of essays on his own coming-of-age, life a a gay parent and the significance of understanding gay history, Jackson’s book explores the joys and frustrations inherent to queer identity in the United States.

Jackson also discusses the importance of sustained political activism in the face of potential rollbacks to LGBTQIA+ rights under the Trump administration. He argues that it has never been more political to be a queer person in the United States today, and that the rights that the LGBTQIA+ community currently enjoys are still deeply threatened by nefarious political forces.

Today on AirTalk, guest host John Rabe talks with Richie Jackson about his new book.

With guest host John Rabe


Richie Jackson, Broadway, television and film producer. He is the author of the new book, “Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son” (HarperCollins, 2020); he tweets at @Richie_Jackson