William E. Jones, True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell

Book signing follows

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Hear noted filmmaker, artist, and author William E. Jones read from his latest book, True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell, as well as from a text by McDonald himself—a controversial publisher and unsung sexual historian. A book signing with Jones follows the reading.

True Homosexual Experiences is the first book on a key figure of the American underground. Boyd McDonald (1925–93) had a Harvard education and a job at Time/Life, but things didn’t turn out as planned. After 20 years of resentful conformity and desperate alcoholism, he dried out, pawned his suits, and went on welfare. From his room in a New York SRO hotel, McDonald started publishing Straight to Hell, a chapbook series collecting readers’ “true homosexual experiences” that counted Gore Vidal and William S. Burroughs among its admirers. True Homosexual Experiences features previously unpublished material and in-depth interviews with McDonald’s friends, colleagues, and family members.

Perhaps best known for his breakthrough film Massillon (1991), William E. Jones is a frequent presence at the Wexner Center—especially in our Film/Video Studio, which has supported the production of dozens of his films. His work was included in the 1993 and 2008 Whitney Biennials and has been the subject of retrospectives at Tate Modern, Anthology Film Archives, and the Austrian Film Museum. Jones’s writing has appeared in Artforum, Bidoun, Frieze, and Little Joe, and his book Imitation of Christ (MACK) was named one of the best photo books of 2013 by Time magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.

Note: this event is recommended for mature audiences.


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William E. Jones, True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell