Role models of greatness.

Here you will discover the back stories of kings, titans of industry, stellar athletes, giants of the entertainment field, scientists, politicians, artists and heroes – all of them gay or bisexual men. If their lives can serve as role models to young men who have been bullied or taught to think less of themselves for their sexual orientation, all the better. The sexual orientation of those featured here did not stand in the way of their achievements.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

David Sedaris

Openly gay author and radio performer David Sedaris (b. December 26, 1956) was raised in North Carolina. He began his career reading his own humorous essays on radio, which aired in the U.S. and the UK in the mid-1990s. Sedaris developed a knack for making people laugh by relating every-day occurrences about his family, jobs and relationships in the form of autobiographical, self-deprecating essays.

I first experienced David Sedaris live at a performance in a Washington DC suburban theater, in which he shared billing with fellow NPR notable Bailey White. I will never forget that Sedaris smoked a cigarette while on-stage! My friends kindly forgave me for quoting Sedaris for days and weeks afterwards.

Most people know Sedaris from his books, many of which have appeared on the New York Times bestseller lists for non-fiction. I think his masterpiece is Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000); the essays about his brother Paul (known as The Rooster) and his experience with a public school speech therapist (to correct a lisp) are classics. The second half of that book is about moving to France with his long-term partner Hugh Hamrick and the frustrations of language and culture shock. Sedaris describes himself and Hamrick as “the sort of couple who wouldn’t get married.”

His most recent book is Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary (2010), not one of his better efforts, in my opinion. Nevertheless, his books have sold more than eight million copies to date, and many of their chapters have appeared in the pages of Esquire and New Yorker magazines.

David is the brother of celebrated actress and author Amy Sedaris. The two have teamed up to write plays, and Amy has authored two best-selling humorous and satirical books on her own. She also bakes a mean cupcake.

This is a fine example of David’s humor, in which he relates first-hand experiences with the French medical system:

1 comment:

  1. Sedaris comes close to perfection with his impression of Billie Holiday singing the Oscar Meyer bologna jingle. Audio on YouTube:

    Steve Behrens