Body builder Bob Paris, former Mr. Universe, and model Rod Jackson fell in love, courted and were married in a Unitarian church service in 1989. Here they tell the story of their union and recall their individual life histories--both of which included growing up in conservative, small-town families. In alternating sections, most only a paragraph long, they describe their first meeting (``a truly cosmic moment,'' according to Rod) and discuss such difficulties as their introductions to each other's parents and problems raised by their relationship in their professional circles. Now gay rights activists, they appear frequently on TV, have made a video and speak on the college and high school lecture circuits. The upbeat, positive attitude of the authors gives their story, despite its full quotient of rejection and anxiety, a lively, sometimes naive-sounding charm that will make readers cheer their determined optimism. Photos. 50,000 first printing; first serial to Out; author tour. (Feb.)
In 1989, former Mr. Universe Bob Paris came out as a gay man at the International Bodybuilding Federation, a move that for all intents and purposes ended his professional career. After he and model Rod Jackson were married, they began giving self-esteem seminars to young gays and lesbians across the United States and have appeared on various talk shows. Their story is interesting only in that their lives have been, well, so darn normal, which is precisely their point. The universal need to love and be loved shines through in this simply told, disarmingly honest, and ultimately charming book. Written in alternating paragraphs from each man's point of view, their tale of the boy-next-door meeting and marrying the boy-next-door is like listening in on a one-on-one conversation about overcoming self-doubt, homophobia, and family resistance to their relationship, especially their 1989 wedding. Fully half the book covers their early childhood and teenage years, and this might make it a more appropriate YA title. For popular collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/93.-- Jeffery Ingram, Newport P.L., Ore.