What’s summer without a large dish of, well, dish? And who can dish it out better than the self-professed “gayest man he knows”, Leslie Jordan? Leslie Jordan is probably best known as the campy “Beverly Leslie” from television’s Will & Grace, and claims to have fallen ‘right out of the womb to land smack dab in his mama’s high heels’. In his memoir Mr. Jordan reveals how he always knew he was ‘different’, but that his grandparents and mother never questioned him during his southern Baptist youth. He also paints a tender – yet brutal - picture of his time as a hospice volunteer with Linn House in West Hollywood at the height of the AIDS crisis and hysteria in the early 1990’s, and his commitment to the Trevor Project, a national GLTB helpline. There is plenty of upbeat celebrity chat about his times on-stage (like the time he was a Ferengi with a Tennessee accent on Star Trek) - and off-stage (like the time he shared a prison cell he with Robert Downey Jr. - which turned out to be a lot more poignant than it seems). Throughout the autobiography the elfin maven speaks frankly (and often graphically) about getting started in “the biz”, and his many uphill battles with drugs, sex-addiction and self-loathing. But although some of his stories are harrowing, Mr. Jordan never sounds self-deprecating; rather his anecdotes are full of self-awareness and even better, self-acceptance. The result is a very readable memoir with an atmosphere of gratitude and grace that is quite inspiring.
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