The story tells of the arrival of a race of aliens. They have cameleon-like autonomic functions in their skin coloration which reveal their emotional and psychological states. Thus they are fundamentally unable to lie. For them homosexual activity is consistent with their biology and normal in their culture. Recognizing our society's objection to homosexual activity, however, they try to hide their true nature. The tension created between the two cultures confuses their mission in coming to our world.
The plot is a sweet love story about the relationship between a young gay man and one of the aliens. Through several levels the protagonist slowly uncovers the truth about the aliens' "secret life," including, finally, the fact that they aren't really alien at all, but rather come from a parallel world of Earth. The punch line is that in the creation myth of the Garden of Eden in their world their "Adam & Eve" did NOT commit original sin and their reward was both their inability to hide the truth and their homosexuality. The novel is about the importance of coming out and the innocence of gay experience.
Original title: Secret Matter
Genre: Fiction→ Science Fiction→ World Versions→ Alternate and Parallel Worlds
Fiction→ Gay & Lesbian→ Gay Male