Thirteen years is an eternity in our age of instant gratification and twenty-four hour news cycles, but writer Jed La Lumiere is out to prove an old proverb true with his new book Patience: A Gay Man’s Virtue.
Having started writing his book in 1999, La Lumiere, who will be in Vancouver next week to launch the book, says that it was a combination of circumstances that led him to put the book away until he picked it up again in 2008.
“Part of it was the negativity in putting something like [this book] out in the States,” explained La Lumiere who moved to Canada to be with his fiancé in 2008. “This is still such a big unspoken topic in the United States. With zero protection if someone gets wind of you writing about being gay, they can fire you. I needed the job at the time and I decided to let it go. In 2008 when I moved to Canada it seemed like a good time to pick it up and finish it.”
But more than just fear for his job, La Lumiere also says that writing the book took so long because he lacked a confidence in himself in knowing that what he had to say was worth being heard.
“One day I woke up and decided not to run from who I was anymore,” said La Lumiere. “I realized that people are going to dislike you whether you are rich or poor, thin or fat, gay or straight. I decided I’m not going to censor myself anymore.”
With that new found confidence, La Lumiere has crafted a book that he says goes beyond just another typical coming out story.
“I focus book on many other things than just being gay, including women and people of colour,” said La Lumiere. “There are lots of funny things about me growing up but it isn’t just about being gay. It’s a mélange – stand-up comedy in sit-down format.”
As La Lumiere talks about his book and his journey to accepting himself, it didn’t take long to realize that if writing doesn’t work out for him he has a career in motivational speaking. With the hope that readers will somehow feel more comfortable in their own skin despite the secrets they might be hiding, he says that he is optimistic that the comedic look at his own life will also give others the courage to laugh at themselves.
“Life is serious enough sometimes without having the ability to laugh at ourselves,” said La Lumiere.
But while he is determined to help change lives through humour, there is one thing that he is deadly serious about and that is the freedoms he has been given as a recent émigré to Canada.
“The United States gave me an opportunity to have a past but Canada is going to allow me to have a future as the man I was meant to be,” said La Lumiere. “Canadians sometimes don’t realize the gifts they have being born Canadian. When you move from a country where you still have to fight for equality what you have here really is a wonderful gift.”
Book Launch – Patience: A Gay Man’s Virtue
5 July 2012 at 7pm
Little Sister’s Book & Art Emporium, 1238 Davie Street, Vancouver
An important topic with tons of comic relief, author Jed La Lumiere launches his book Patience: A Gay Man’s Virtue, a candid, heartfelt and humourous look at growing up gay and how his journey is a catalyst to help others. Visit http://www.jedlalumiere.com for more information.