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A Love Story

by Bob Jackson-Paris & Rod Jackson-Paris

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1994
ISBN: 0-446-51748-8

 Relentlessly upbeat memoir, coauthored by Eric Marcus (Making History, 1992), by married gay bodybuilders. When Bob ``Mr. Universe'' Paris met Rod Jackson in a Denver gym, it was love at first sight. A few years later, the two were married by a Unitarian minister. In the past eight years they've graced gay-magazine covers, as well as bodybuilding and fitness periodicals; talked about their relationship on campuses and TV talk-shows; put out a self-help video for gay and lesbian teens; and launched the ``Be True to Yourself'' foundation. But before that fateful meeting in Denver, Paris and Jackson had not led the easiest of lives. Both came from midwestern working-class families, and both faced harrowing childhoods, which included physical abuse, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Both also tried to conform, and Jackson even dabbled in heterosexual relationships, only to realize that being with other men ``felt like the most natural thing in the world.'' Since they met, Jackson and Paris have lived in the kind of conjugal bliss usually encountered in romance novels. They both want to show that love is universal and that gay men can have the kind of peaceful domestic life usually associated only with heterosexual unions. Here, there are often irritating New Age-y tones (``During that spiritual journey, I found out that my spirit guide was a crow'') and touches of therapeutic jargon (``We want other families to learn from our experiences so the vicious cycle of denial and alienation can be brought to an end''). But Jackson and Paris are appealingly candid: they mean so well that it's hard to stay annoyed for long. Old-fashioned romance, rags-to-riches success, men who look better than Fabio: this book's got it all. A fireside favorite for lovers of real-life fairy tales. (Sixty-five photos--not seen) (First printing of 50,000; first serial to Out magazine)