Men Alone – Men Together by Mark Beehre may well be up there on my list of top ten books I’ve read this year.
Beehre set out in 2003 to interview and capture in photograph 45 gay New Zealand men who live in committed relationships, some several decades long, or who have chosen to live alone. He simply transcribes their stories from interviews over several years, and the stories capture both the ordinariness of people’s lives, but also some extra-ordinary lives and moments. Some are heart-breaking, some astounding to think how far society has come in acceptance and tolerance, but also perhaps how far we still have to go. I thought of time wasted, lives lived in secret or compromises made to fit into what society deemed acceptable.
This book tells some wonderful stories of hope and courage and people rising above difficulty sure, but it also reminds you of the simple acts of living and loving, finding your soul mate and enjoying the life you have to life with them, whether just starting out, or nearing the end of your life.
Beautiful black and white portraits that capture the men in their homes, add to the detail of the lives you are reading about and I found the whole experience of reading Men Alone- Men together richly satisfying.