The Day I Stopped Being Pretty
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The Day I Stopped Being Pretty

4.4 31
by Rodney Lofton

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The Day I Stopped Being Pretty, chronicles the life of a young, black gay male who awakes and finds himself in the emergency room after a failed suicide attempt. After regaining consciousness, he begins to reflect on the events of his life that led him to attempting to take his life. His story is told in gritty and raw flashback, focusing on the men


The Day I Stopped Being Pretty, chronicles the life of a young, black gay male who awakes and finds himself in the emergency room after a failed suicide attempt. After regaining consciousness, he begins to reflect on the events of his life that led him to attempting to take his life. His story is told in gritty and raw flashback, focusing on the men who shaped him into the man he has become, beginning with the first man he ever loved, his father.

His story addresses, the discovery of his burgeoning sexuality, his life filled with low-self esteem, which leads him to seek love in the arms of many to compensate for the love he never received from his father. During the course of his life, we see his battle with substance abuse, physical abuse and sexual activities that lead to his eventual HIV diagnosis.

After he shares the path that led him to his own self-destruction, he realizes in the face of death, the love that he has sought in many others, has always been in the one place he never looked, within himself.

This raw and gritty story spans twenty-seven years of the lead character, as he faces racism, homophobia, rape and coping with being HIV positive. It is a story that shows the face of growing up black, living gay and loving positive. The Day I Stopped Being Pretty is one that shows triumph over adversity and the ability to find the love we all search for, self love.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A gritty look at what it's like to be young, black, gay, alienated and diseased. Light-skinned with cascading curls, African-American Lofton had been described as "pretty" for as long as he could recall. It wasn't easy being a pretty boy, and once he realized he was gay, he found it even harder to feel comfortable in mainstream society. His skin color and homosexuality complicated every aspect of his life. After being sexually hyperactive as a young man, Lofton was diagnosed with HIV in 1993. That prompted him to launch a nonstop hunt for the treasures of love, health and acceptance. A freelance writer, former P.R. flack and gay activist, Lofton pulls no punches in his debut. In one instance he describes his father as a "cock hound," in another he characterizes his stepmother as "a female version of Verdine White of Earth Wind & Fire" (anyone who's seen Verdine knows that's a harsh dig). He has no problem relating his sexual history in explicit detail, from how he learned to masturbate to near-pornographic accounts of trysts with lovers. This honesty is at once impressive and painful, most notably when he unflinchingly discusses his suicide attempt and a sexual assault at the hands of a stranger he had invited into his house. Stories like his don't necessarily end neatly, and neither does the book, but Lofton's work within the gay community and to raise AIDS awareness speaks for itself. Similar in content to Shawn Decker's outstanding My Pet Virus: The True Story of a Rebel Without a Cure (2006), Lofton's memoir isn't quite as engaging a read, but it's fiercely compelling in its own way. Dark and difficult, but sometimes life is like that, and sometimes we need to be reminded.

Product Details

Strebor Books
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0.51(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Imani918 More than 1 year ago
The Day I stopped Being Pretty by Rodney Lofton is a story that has gone untold for far too long. Too revealing, too graphic...some may say. Even my mouth dropped several times throughout the day it took me to complete the book. Nevertheless, it is a story that I needed to hear, that WE as a society need to hear. The Day I Stopped Being Pretty is Rodney Lofton's memoirs, which intimately takes the reader through the trials, tribulations and ultimate triumph(his survival) in his life. From a young boy being told all his existence that he is pretty, to a young man made to feel that being pretty is a "bad thing", Rodney Lofton gives us a front row seat with 3-D glasses into his life. A life with a loving single mother and a physically and emotionally detatched father...Rodney is left to figure out manhood,life and love on his own. Rodney Lofton vividly illustrates to the reader his experiences from discovering his own body to discovering his sexuality and ultimately discovering his HIV status. Through the tales of his many sordid relationships and experiences that take him on a manhunt to find success and love, Rodney ultimately finds the love he's been seeking all along and it comes from the one who has been there with him all along...Unfortunatley, he didn't come to this revelation until he awakened in a hospital bed after attempting to end his life. Rodney Lofton's extended lease on life is a gift not only to him but to all who have been and will be fortunate enough to experience the raw,unadulterated and necessary tale that is Rodney's LIFE. Rodney's life was spared so that the story of his life could spare others from traveling down the same dark road. He is our detour and I hope all will take it. The Day I stopped Being Pretty is a MUST READ for ALL....Black, White, Gay, Straight. There's a lesson for all to learn.
Jerz_Leo More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to reading this novel based on the reviews and I was very disappointed. This books, though quite raw and in your face, did nothing for me. The protagonist does not grow at all, it ends with another failed suicide attempt and you're taken on this rollercoaster of a journey, and he leaves you with "I have to love myself before anyone can love me?" (Yes, I'm paraphrasing). I thought it was rather shallow and typical of a Black gay novel. I prefer E.L. Harris over this one, especially if you're looking for depth, growth, and meaning. Realizing this is a memoir, I have to keep that in perspective, but it was a bunch a failed sexual encounters and relationships that to some degree we can identify with. The promiscuity and unprotected sex despite knowing his status dumbfounded me.
The second half of the book my entire mindset was, "You gotta be kidding me?!? Are people really this careless with their lives?" Maybe this is why some people love the book because it's real. Although that may be true, it's not growthful. At times it feels more like porn mixed with bad self esteem meets drugs and trashy guys. While I appreciate the honesty, I really missed the overall point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kindredsoul More than 1 year ago
When I read this book I went through a wave of emotions. Rodney Lofton will make you laugh,cry,hate,and love him till the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rodney is one of my myspace buddies. He posted a teaser of the 1st Chapter of his book on his page. I was hooked and had to read the rest. After purchasing the book, I wanted to read a chapter a day to savor the story, but I couldn't put it down. His life literally jumped from the pages and included you down his journey of self revelation. Parts of his experience may offend or even repulse some, but trust me you'll get a nugget or two of truth and perhaps see yourself in his story. It's an inviting and embracing read, you won't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rodney Lofton's memoir, THE DAY I STOPPED BEING PRETTY was what I have been waiting to read all my life. Poignant, real, sad, funny, I could not put it down. It made me laugh and cry because it is the story of anyone who is gay, black, HIV+, and craves acceptance from family and friends.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Being held hostage is terrible, not only literally but also emotionally, that is what Rodney went through. The torment of his capturer in Washington DC and the emotional confinement of yearning for his fathers love and the love of others. This book is a very candid look at the life of man with a heart of gold, from a tender kind boy, to a young man growing and materializing into his sexuality and then to a man smacked with a life threatening illness. Ultimately, Rodney experienced a revelation that provided him a strong sense of self. Along Rodney's journey, his mother was there for every step never faltering on the love of her child. Growth, mistakes, experiences are daily challenges for all of us and is in Rodney's work. While reading this book there were sentiments and similarities that connected with everyday life. As I read, there were times I was utterly shocked at what I was reading then there were moments of uncontrollable sorrow for all that he was going through. This book is a 'Good Read' it will take you on an emotional rollercoaster¿believe me it will be a ride you will ENJOYED! We have all heard the sayings 'Pretty as a Peach', 'Beauty is only Skin Deep', 'Beauty is Within', 'Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder' etc. Well now there is one more to add to the list and that is The Day I Stopped Being Pretty!' Rodney has taught me that with compassion, love, faith and family you do not need to be pretty, but it is good that he is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Day I Stopped Being Pretty' is thought provoking, real, and encouraging. I truly enjoyed this book because it speaks to you wherever you are in life. This book encourages to get a grip and live life to the fullest. If you are gay, especially gay and black, you should read this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rodney Loften has trully revieled the realness of being a black SGL man dealing with relevant issues that society calls tabboo. I highly reccommend this piece work be apart of everyones library. 'When truth is revieled, real healing can finally began.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rodney Lofton 'The Day I stopped Being Pretty' captures the attention from the very first page, his written words speaks volumes and allow the reader a front row seat into the mind and soul of a man on a journey of self discovery and soul preservation, the openeness in which he tells his story leaves the reader at times speechless and drained from the tears that are sure to come. This book is so raw and honest that It makes the reader take a real look at their own lives,loves and immortality. A Truely Great and Inspiring Read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rodney Lofton scores points for opening his life's story to readers in this memoir. His incredible recollection of some very difficult life's experiences draws the readers into his world. One cannot help but feel the pain of a son wanting the acceptance of his father while simultaneously coping with his evolving homosexuality. Lofton does not sugar coat his own part in a life that was somewhat self-destructive. He describes broken relationships and drug assisted sexual encounters to illustrate the depths to which an individual can be pushed or pulled. I applaud his work and look forward to the continued story. I am sure there is much that is yet to be told.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From page one this books grabs you, holds you and won't allow you to leave it alone. I am an avid reader, living in NYC, and this book was more than what I expected. I got this book the week I found out I was HIV positive and it has been my crutch. I made me laugh, cry and think. Mr. Lofton was open, honest and raw in his writing. He didn't sugar-coat anything to make it seem all rosey red. He took you on a journey of his life so that you can see that LOVE and PAIN sometimes run in the same race. I suggest you sit back and get ready for a ride you won't soon forget. This is a book that you will not want to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rodney Lofton obviously knows how to capture and hold the attention of his audience. His chosen writing style makes it evident that he is no novice when it comes to putting pen to paper. While I did find that the book was very risqué...I feel that Mr. Lofton had a need to purge his soul. This purging, in my opinion, is what provides his strength to go forward and heal others. As I've shared with the author, the portion of the book that will be most healing to others is 'Parting Thoughts'. We as imperfect people need to see that someone else has made it through a 'real' struggle. This in turn will give us strength and courage to endure and have faith that we ARE able to overcome our circumstances. As a Licensed Practical Nurse, I've worked in various Virginia Juvenile Correctional Facilities. Unfortunately, an increasing number of that population is engaging in unprotected sexual activities while incarcerated. This book is too graphic and will not meet library guidelines. My hope is that Mr. Lofton will author a book educating on safe homosexual practices, abstinence and living with HIV that is geared towards children between the ages of 11 and 18. I have a personal mission that entails purchasing books specifically authored by, but not limited to, minority writers and donating them to the Virginia Juvenile Correctional System. I have thus far donated over 100 books on various subjects. I would be honored to include Rodney Lofton's 'age appropriate' book to that donation drive. Much love...Much success!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book that I would recommend for anyone to read. Rodney takes you on a journey that makes you feel as if you are traveling right next to him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rodney Lofton hits home in his memoir 'The Day I Stopped Being Pretty'. Rodney opens up and shows the reader his vulnerable side battling the issues of a stable male figure, love of family, and of self. Incredibly personal, Rodney manages to capture the readers attention from his powerful opening lines until his realization that he's what he's been missing all along. This book is a must read for readers of all ages, races, and orientations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you do not read another book this year, please read this one. The Author shares a part of his life all young men need to read! This book will touch your heart and soul in every way. A must read!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just when i thought there was nothing else left worth reading here comes rodney lofton to save the day! i couldn't put it down. He has such a way with words that you feel like you're getting a front w seat to the jorney of his life. It's crazy but his words made me feel like i've known him all my life i cried and laughed with him.If you never read another book make sure you read this one!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is most definitely a piece of work that should be read by all. Rodney Lofton takes you into his world from his first sexual experience to his dreaded return home. You can feel his emotions. The emotions felt are the same we all can relate to, regardless of our sexuality. I can really appreciate the way this book was written. This book is touching even with the rawness of some scenes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I want to say ' Ditto ' to the 8 previews before me. And to those who haven't read this book yet ... Read it!! This has been the best Memoir I've read to date. Deborah
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had the honorable pleasure to buy and finish reading Rodney Lofton's The Day I Stopped Being Pretty in the same week and it was very uplifting and thought-provoking. I couldn't put his book since I can relate to most of his challenges. He opened my mind and eyes about the power of forgiving past hurt and moving forward which is very difficult for me. Interestingly enough he and I shared the same birthday and we do tend to be UPFRONT and STR8FORWARD about dealing with society in general. There are many individuals in the lifestyle who had gone through, are going through, and will go through the same emotional cycle that Rodney had. I am looking forward to support his future projects. I highly recommend ALL young males to read this memoir!!!