In the 1990s, I started writing a bunch of short stories based on liminal moments in my life growing up gay in the 1960s and 1970. Over the next twenty-five plus years, they became the a fictionalized memoir of Steven Sterling, a character very much like me growing up very much like I had grown up only with slightly different characters and arrangements of events. The liminal moments, those singular demarcations in a life where there is no going back, yep, kind of like an epiphany when the world and the understanding of something, usually revolutionary, changes in the protagonist and the reader.

“Tag” was the first story in the collection to be published. The year was 1997. The publication was the fledgling issue of The Baltimore Review. This was before I started the MFA program at American University. Because of the content, one reviewer claimed that this kind of writing had no business being published. I’m sure that only helped the new literary magazine gain some early notoriety, though Barbara Diehl and her staff produced a fantastic magazine that still exists today.

Fresh.Ink, an online magazine that publishes only reprints picked “Tag” up and posted it in November 2020. You can read it here: https://fresh.ink/magazine/8228

You can find The Baltimore Review here: http://www.baltimorereview.org/

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