Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



Book Review: Don't Shoot! I'm Coming Out
by Max Smith

This article shared 6634 times since Thu Jun 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

DON'T SHOOT! I'm Coming Out, by Benn Setfrey, is the best book yet written about Black same-gender-loving men. The subtitle—How to 'Man-Up' & Set Heterosexuals 'Straight'—is an attention-grabber. The cross, in the cover photo held by the author, is big enough to turn homophobic preachers to ashes. The attitude of this new Page Turner Publishing book of non-fiction is bold.

Ever since Stonewall you knew the day would come when a strong, Afrocentric, self-respecting and passionately intellectual man would attack the hypocrisy of Black community homophobia with shock and awe. That day is here. This book both challenges the status quo and serves as a how-to guide for Black same-gender-loving men to go from invisible to invincible.

Author Benn Setfrey has excellent credentials. He has grown up inside the Black community. He pledged and lived inside a Black fraternity at college. In his professional life he has been recognized as an outstanding teacher and highly effective disciplinarian in Milwaukee and Chicago public schools.

Recent interviews of Benn Setfrey on Black talk radio stations WMCS-AM 1290 in Milwaukee and WVON-AM 1450 in Chicago have gone very well. Who can complain about a Black man who teaches so well his students' grades go up, the students' parents appreciate him and the students themselves asked to be assigned to his classes?

DON'T SHOOT! covers a lot of ground with humor. Several parts of this book made me laugh out loud. Setfrey's razor-sharp wit exposes many facts of life we all know but are often too polite to discuss.

For example, to young would-be rap stars who say 'I ain't wit dat gay s---,' Setfrey says, 'OK don't stop there. You ain't wit dat workin' s---, dat supportin' your kids s---, dat education s---, or dat bein' responsible s---.' Setfrey asks them, 'Ain't I a man? True, I don't have five kids, four babies' mamas, three ladies I call my bitches, two criminal cases, one probation officer and no job.'

DON'T SHOOT! asks you point blank why in the world would you, a college-educated, financially responsible and professionally employed Black homosexual allow yourself to feel enough social pressure to be closeted by a kid hanging out on the corner all day like that?

The book takes it to the personal level in the 'Sex Education' chapter. It explores the illogical ways some heterosexuals think and how irrational it is to buy into that thinking in order to maintain a straight facade that everyone can see through anyway. Other chapters continue the unrelenting assault on how Black gay and lesbian invisibility and silence have disastrous results.

The chapter 'The Rules of Engagement' deals with being excessively superficial and obsessing over trying to live up to heterosexuals' standards without having a self-affirming value system of your own. 'Never get involved with a habitual liar,' Setfrey writes. 'These men have a disease that you will not be able to cure. They have practiced lying for years and they believe you don't know they are lying because you're not inside their head. This is the dumbest logic known to mankind, but liars aren't logical thinkers.'

That statement is among 20 others in that chapter that can allow a young person to learn life lessons from a mature and wise voice, rather than from trial and error. He includes other chapters that give clear, to-the-point comments on how to avoid unnecessary confusion, chaos and drama. The bottom line is to embrace your real self, gain confidence, have conviction and then live the life of a person you would be attracted to. Do that and you will be attractive to others who live life more deeply than the silly superficial images media too often projects.

'Check it out. Since there is a 100 percent chance that you're homo, embrace it,' Setfrey states in the book. 'If you become Mr. Right, you will be deserving of a wonderful long-lasting relationship. God doesn't want you to become a latent homosexual who marries a woman and then ten years and four kids later you realize that your homosexuality is part of your genetic makeup. Don't settle for a lifetime of casual sex with strangers trying to make God happy.'

Setfrey says, 'You can't be who you are until you know who you are.' He criticizes those behaviors that allow you to avoid embracing yourself: 'Stop going out and getting drunk; alcohol abuse is not sexy. I don't know why people go out, get drunk then brag about how 'messed-up' they were the next day. That's not cool. You shouldn't brag about getting drunk like you were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. ( Brag about going back to school to get an education. ) '

No matter how deeply the Black community's homophobia is entrenched, those of us who are early 21st-century adults know a paradigm shift is needed to make learning a value to public school children, and everyone else for that matter. We need to man-up and make it happen. Pre-colonial African societies valued two-spirited people as gate-keepers with highly developed spiritual capabilities. This book does encourage spirituality over blind devotion to religious leaders, who abuse fear and emotionalism, yet are unprepared to motivate and inspire by leading congregations to think. It puts the moral value of honesty front and center as the one to live by, and the one homophobes never mention when they talk about LGBT issues.

This book is the perfect gift to give same-gender-loving youth. David Kopay, the first National Football League player to come out and be openly gay, says, 'WOW! A powerful, revealing and strong read that is long overdue. I very much wished DON'T SHOOT! was there when I was a young man growing up.'

E-mail .

This article shared 6634 times since Thu Jun 1, 2006
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Activist Peter Staley's Memoir 'Never Silent' is a real-life thriller 2021-10-13
--From - "Attention must be paid to such a man." Arthur Miller Peter Staley's much-anticipated new memoir, Never Silent, opens with almost unbearable nail-biting suspense, sweeping us into the behind-the-scenes machinations of an ACT UP takeover of ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son 2020-10-22
- By Richie Jackson $24.99; Harper; 163 pages Like father, like son. When you were small, people said you looked just like your dad. As you grew up, they said you had his sense of humor or his temper, you laughed alike, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw 2020-08-18
- By Charles Leerhsen $28; Simon & Schuster; 304 pages That man there? He's just a nice guy. Kind and generous, respectful and friendly, he's a true gentleman, and he's never judgmental. He loves children and animals, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man 2020-07-21
- By Mary L. Trump, Ph.D. $28; Simon and Schuster; 227 pages. You hadn't seen that container in ages. You really can't remember when you put it on the shelf. Sometime this year, six years ago, when ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Calamity: The Many Lives of Calamity Jane 2020-05-25
- You can call yourself whatever you want. Nobody says you can't have a different name every day, if that's your wish. Reinvent your life, create a new past, change your birth year, and tell new stories, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW An Indefinite Sentence: A Personal History of Outlawed Love and Sex 2020-04-15
- Coming out was difficult enough. Even if everyone supported you and very little changed, you changed; still, though you had doubts and fear, it was something you had to do. Now read the new book An ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Ian McKellen: A Biography 2020-03-17
- Author: Garry O'Connor. $29.99; St. Martin's Press; 356 pages Any old stick would do. When you were a child, that's what it took to become a wizard: a stick became a makeshift wand, an old towel ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW The Trans Generation 2020-03-08
- By Ann Travers $25; New York University Press; 261 pages Boy or girl? That's a common enough question, if you're an expectant parent. You might've even wondered it yourself: will you need pink things or blue, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health and Wellness 2020-03-02
- Edited by Stephanie Schroeder and Teresa Theophano. $29.95; Oxford University. Press; 287 pages You had a flu shot this year. You watch your cholesterol, eat better, stay active, and brush twice a day. So why do ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy 2020-01-22
- By Hallie Lieberman, $26.95; Pegasus Books; 359 pages Double-A. It has many uses, that little word-dash-letter. It's good for future baseball players. Good for a pre-teen girl. Great, if you're a student trying to bring those ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Toil & Trouble 2019-12-24
- By Augusten Burroughs $27.99; St. Martin's Press; 320 pages Halloween is over this year, but not for you. Your decorations are still up because the season is young. There's plenty of time left for skeletons, monsters, ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston 2019-11-26
- Author: Robyn Crawford. $28; Dutton; 319 pages You saw that coming. It was easy to anticipate because the signs were there. It was plain as day, couldn't have been easier to see if it was flashing ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW The Island of No Secrets and Other Stories 2019-10-01
- By Lou Dellaguzzo. $13; Lethe Press; 243 pages Island of No Secrets and Other Stories is a book of short stories that aim to portray what it meant to be queer in the United States in the 1970s. While the time ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Sage Sapien, From Karma to Dharma 2019-09-17
- By Johnson Chong, $24.95; Koehler Books; 172 pages It's never clear who exactly Sage Sapien: From Karma to Dharma is for. The book, written by yoga impresario Johnson Chong, leans toward a number of potential audiences—yoga ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Taken by the Wind 2019-09-17
- By Ellen Hart, $25.99; Minotaur Books; 320 pages Your bag was packed. There wasn't much in it except for the necessities: your two favorite toys, a clean T-shirt, the stuffed animal you couldn't sleep without, and ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.