Mormon Underwear

Mormon Underwear

by Johnny Townsend

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Product Details

BN ID: 2940012410337
Publisher:, Inc.
Publication date: 11/11/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 286
File size: 974 KB

About the Author

Johnny Townsend earned an MFA in fiction writing from Louisiana State University. He has published extensively in Newsday, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Glimmer Train, The Massachusetts Review, and many other publications.

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Mormon Underwear 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
On his website gifted young author Johnny Townsend states "Every writing teacher says, 'Write what you know.' What we know is the Mormon experience. And more specifically, the gay Mormon experience. We can move beyond our individual history, of course, and write anything we want, but we are most likely to write something truly worth reading if we focus on what we know best. There will always be gay Mormons, so there will always be worthwhile gay Mormon stories to tell." In his other books, such as THE CIRCUMCISION OF GOD, Townsend includes incidental stories about the gay experience as a Mormon man, whereas in MORMON UNDERWEAR the entire book thirteen stories is devoted to examining a full spectrum of the struggles men and women who have been a part of the all-encompassing Church of Latter Day Saints come to grips with their true sexuality. The variety of stories is broad, from hilariously funny to profoundly sad, and somewhere in between these two points is where the everyday trials and joys of coping with sexuality in an atmosphere that puts severe restrictions on ANY form of physical relationships and even passion - let alone the absolute threat of excommunication for the abominable sin of homosexuality - come out! One of the reasons Johnny Townsend is so extremely successful with dealing with these various stories is 1, of course he has had the experience as an insider, and 2, because he shares with the reader that even when the Mormon church makes such profound demands and parameters for obedience in order to have Eternal Life, the church also provides a sanctuary of security and sense of belonging that sets up a trying approach/avoidance conflict. In other words, Townsend writes fairly about a history that other writer's might wholly condemn. In the title story a young Mormon man begins to explore the world of gay physical experiences, episodes that are accompanied by the climatic discovery at the moment of truth that Mormons wear garments that must be retained during even the most intimate moments. He gathers the courage to share his secret in a group self-help meeting only to discover that for some that 'barrier' doesn't diminish pleasure! In 'Splitting with Elder Tanner' we learn more about the two year missions the Mormons must make and the social interactions that occur between the paired missionaries: secret desire and lasting impressions and the value of honesty. There are so many variations on the theme of how Mormon men who happen to be gay make the transition from denial to acceptance of their sexuality, whether that be between couples in long term relationships whose idiosyncrasies about decor and other choices of living that create fascinating tales of new conflicts, or a son discovering that his father has been gay all along, to dark intrigues where the 'outside world' infiltrates the Mormon church as a means of bringing down the church's stances on same sex marriage and racism issues, to aging men who wanting to remain celibate hire escort shows to act out their fantasies, to couples who court, couples who integrate, and a final lengthy story about a younger man who has paired with an in control older man still in the thralls of sadness for loss of a lover who himself becomes the needy one as he dies of carcinoma. Living alone, AIDS, longing, aging,discovery, awakening, acceptance - all of these fill the pages of this collection of stories.