During my first serious writing attempt at age 17, I chose to write my first play, BUFFALO HEAD NICKELS, about the advance of technology, particularly computer technology, and how it might prove to be a threat to human rights and individual freedoms in the future. The play, which was published by Pioneer Drama Service when I was 18, proved to be prescient of what would later come to pass (for example, when Facebook and other social marketing platforms were used to disseminate fake news). I wrote it as a social warning and as a wake-up call. It was very much political in nature.
Similarly, when I wrote the book, music and lyrics for my one-man play, THE WILDE SPIRIT, which I based upon Oscar Wilde’s life and works, and then communicated the meaning and the spirit behind my words in the play both as actor and director, it was a labor of love, intended as a call for the advancement of gay rights for all members of the LGBTQ community. Again, this was a highly political act which, more than anything else brought healing and understanding to thousands upon thousands who saw me perform my play in theatrical presentations all across America, and in Off-Off-Broadway and Off-Broadway productions in New York City. What motivated all of this effort of more than 25 years was the desire to bring positive change to the social fabric of our country. As a political act—particularly in asking for understanding for, and acceptance of homosexuals in our society—it was enormously effective. As such, I shall never regret all of the years I spent on the front line, in this case near the footlights, speaking against intolerance.
Though I have occasionally been drawn to subjects simply to entertain the public, as I did with RED HOT MAMA: The New Sophie Tucker Musical, most of what draws me to a particular subject is innately political, to somehow make a difference in the world.
I believe that my new memoir, SAINT UNSHAMED: A GAY MORMON’S LIFE—Healing From the Shame of Religion, Rape, Conversion Therapy & Cancer To Find My True Self, which goes on sale on March 27, 2019, is the most personal, powerful and hence, the most political work I have written to date. In essence, in daring to tell all of the truth about my life, even in sharing the most sexually explicit and graphic details of my violent rape at the age of 18, in talking about aspects of my life and personality and character traits that most would never dare to say publicly, it takes to task the intolerance that exists among the overtly religious in our present-day world. In the narration of the book, I talk about my fears in going “all the way” in my truth telling:
“In writing one’s memoir, and choosing to go public with the most sexually intimate details of one’s life—as I do within these pages—it’s scary. It’s like opening up one’s private diary to everyone on the planet. Was I absolutely certain that I wanted to share my most hidden and well-kept secrets with the world? How would the members of my Mormon family react once my book was published? Would the conservative members of my family shun me once they read the graphic details of my sexual experiences, particularly the most vile and violent details of my rape? Would sharing these true experiences from my life with the world, even matter?”
Indeed, telling the truth and nothing but the truth in my new memoir, is the most political act I have yet taken as an author. And I am grateful for the extremely positive reviews that the memoir has received thus far. The two recent reviews, one released yesterday online at Blueink, and the other released last week at the Online Book Club, which you can read by clicking on the links at the bottom of this post, illustrate my point.
The hardcover book, which officially goes on sale on March 27, 2019, can be purchased now on my author’s website at www.KerryAshton.com at the reduced price of $25, and you will receive it at your home before Christmas, or you can officially pre-order either the hardcover or E-Book at all online outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.