Straight, gay, macho man, or great big sissy, it's tough to be a guy. Brian Bouldrey is a bona fide sissy - but he was also an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow with a secret Indian name that translates as "Active One."
In Monster Bouldrey goes undercover and over the top to stalk machismo in action. He infiltrates a bachelor party, the World Wrestling Federation's RAW is WAR, a boxing gym, a Masonic Lodge, and some more unusual venues - like the cut-throat Mr. Rubber International competition - often accompanied by a quirky cabal of best pals. From the inner sanctums of Cool Forts and Guy Rooms, he ponders the perennial allure of moonshining and the erotic possibilities of Bugs Bunny cartoons, and answers the question, "Is it okay to wear white latex after Labor Day?"
Monster turns a laser-keen eye on an eccentric cross-section of prime American butch. At the same time Bouldrey bares his own soul - and imperfections - with disarming, and often hilarious, honesty: "When I was in the ninth grade, I began to grow a breast." Courting the censure of hemp-wearing PETA extremists, he hosts a red meat barbecue where the menu reads like the supporting cast of Crocodile Hunter. Whether shooting a grizzly or deer hunting with his ex-Marine, prison guard brother back home in Michigan, Bouldrey's sharp wit and wry autobiographical reflection breathe new life into worn chaps and prove that manly stereotypes yield surprising subtleties and contradictions when viewed up close. The essays in Monster comprise a fresh and very personal meditation on just what makes a man.
Original title: Monster: Adventures in American Machismo
Genre: Fiction→ Gay & Lesbian→ Gay Male