Author Taylor Brorby joined us in the Yellowstone Public Radio studios in September to discuss the release of his new memoir, Boys and Oil: Growing up Gay in a Fractured Land. It’s a beautiful and honest coming-of-age memoir focused on identity being shaped by the land where one grows up and set in North Dakota, an homage to his hometown.
“It’s such a relief to have it out in the world after years of work in trying to shape a story that might bring other people to this part of the world, or feel acknowledged or seen, and to share my perspectives on not only my life but the landscapes that I love as well,” said Brorby.
The impetus for telling his story came from studying the bookshelf of American memoir, realizing that there was a lack of true stories about growing up gay in the intermountain west or the northern Great Plains.
“I wanted to write a book that didn’t exist, and to my knowledge right now hasn’t existed.” Brorby points out that his story isn’t unique, thought is uniquely told in this book.
“All we have had as gay people in the America West is ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ It’s a short story; it’s a violent story, and not every gay character comes out alive in that story, and I wanted a true story — a memoir that helped especially queer youth feel seen, acknowledged, and to show, this is what my life has been. This is where i lived, and some of it might resonate with you as well.”
Listen to the full program at ypradio.org.