Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-08-07
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Justin Hernandez writes about abuse that led to sex work
BOOKS Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Joe Franco
2013-03-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Justin Hernandez began penning his now popular blog, "Naked in New York City" in 2010 following his return to his hometown after eight years of living and working in Los Angeles. "When I got back to New York I felt that my spirit and energy were recharged," Hernandez told Windy City Times. "I wanted to chronicle my life as a gay man in the City and I found blogging to be a fun and creative outlet for me."

It was his blog and the fans of his blog that drove his first step into writing a memoir, describing not his present-day affairs but his past and those moments that made Hernandez into the man and writer he is today.

The memoir, entitled Inside the Vortex, is as spiraling and elusive as it sounds. From the very beginning, readers are struck with Hernandez's vivid account of the physical and sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother's second husband, Sam. "Of all the characters in the book, Sam is the only one who did not get a name change. No one should ever wish that a child should have to go through that. It was a robbery of my innocence," said Hernandez. "I have made some peace with that experience and realize that having the life that I had has made me exactly who I am today."

Hernandez's book, while revealing, also obfuscates details of his days as a stripper and sex worker that other memoirs of this genre offer—which he does on purpose. "This was not about glorifying the darkest points of my life," Hernandez said. "I really was not thinking. It was more like being on autopilot. I was caught up with the money, admiration and attention from other men and I liked it. I was two different people.

"There was much loneliness even when I felt I had so much attention on me. There is an undercurrent of sadness that runs throughout the book."

Inside the Vortex was written as much for Hernandez's audience as it was written for himself. "When I committed myself to the writing of this memoir, I knew it had to be a no-holds-barred project," Hernandez said. "It allowed me to look back on my life, understand it more and realize that the abuse I suffered as a child led to more addictive personality traits that were out of control while I was in Los Angeles and are still, to some extent still with me."

But this memoir was not to cast the sex worker in any light but was written to let those who may not want that life to find their way out. "There is always a way out," he said. "I wanted to let the LGBTQ youth know that if they felt they had to live like this they do not. They can use the adversity and turn that into pure determination, utilizing their resources and become truly amazing."

Hernandez's life as portrayed in the book seems, at times, dark and immovable. However, there are moments of pure joy that seep through, and it is in that joy that Hernandez found his grace. When Hernandez speaks about his family—particularly his mother, aunts and cousins—the warmth and safety seemed to envelop him. When Hernandez first finds the art of dance, his joy leaps off the page. "Right now, I am the happiest that I have ever been," he said. "I had to confront years of feeling worthless after my abuse but I realized, through my passions of dance and later writing that I was worthy and I was good enough.

"I wanted this book to be a message to others that it is never too late to change anything about yourself. Youth might be celebrated and even worshipped in gay culture while the older men are tossed out and forgotten. But it doesn't matter how old you are. The saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks—t's just not true."

Hernandez found the writing process both emotionally draining and completely jubilant at the same time: "While I was writing, tears often were running down my eyes." But Hernandez noted, "If anything different had happened to me in my life, I would not be the person that I am today.

Inside the Vortex examines Hernandez's serious side, but there is a second book planned that examines the lighter side of gay life. "Originally I included more anecdotal and humorous dating stories in the memoir but I found they ruined the cadence of the book," he said.

So Hernandez plans on releasing a book that every person, gay or straight, can relate to. "We've all had horrible dating experiences," Hernandez said. "I want this second book to be a little lighter. This book is not only intended to call to mind what was lacking in the men I have dated but also asks the question, what is it that I am bringing to that table?"

Inside the Vortex is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble's website. The book will be available in print and digitally for Kindle, Nook and all other e-readers.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Author Shapiro speaks at Women and Children First 2019-08-14 - Fort Lauderdale-based writer Gregg Shapiro, a native of Skokie, visited Women & Children First Bookstore in Andersonville the evening of Aug. 7. Shapiro, ...


Gay News

Women & Children First to host Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor 2019-08-13 - Women & Children First is honored to present U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a moderated conversation and audience Q&A followed by ...


Gay News

Women & Children First, forty years of book-selling history 2019-08-07 - To celebrate Women & Children First's 40th anniversary, the store will be hosting a summer block party with a feminist slant Saturday, Aug. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic-book heroes, Cara and Ashley, Chris Pine, Pride Summit 2019-08-06 - The animated character Aquaman was confirmed to be LGBT+ on the latest episode of Young Justice: Outsiders—the DC Universe's animated show about teenage ...


Gay News

Gene Siskel Film Center to present Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am Aug. 23-29 2019-08-06 - As a venue that celebrates all art forms and a public program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Gene ...


Gay News

Author Toni Morrison dies at 88 2019-08-06 - Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison has died at 88. Morrison was the first Black woman to receive the Nobel literature prize, awarded ...


Gay News

Artemis Singers to join Women & Children First Bookstore Block Party 2019-08-05 - CHICAGO─Artemis Singers, www.artemissingers.org, Chicago's lesbian feminist chorus, will perform songs from 2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., Saturday, August 24, 2019 at Women & ...


Gay News

Women & Children First Neighborhood Block Party to celebrate 40 years 2019-08-05 - CHICAGO, IL - In honor of our 40th Anniversary, Women & Children First Chicago's only feminist bookstore will be throwing a block party ...


Gay News

Chef Iliana Regan Tells All in Memoir Burn the Place 2019-08-01 - Iliana Regan, the chef behind beloved Chicago restaurants Elizabeth and Kitsune, as well as Bunny Bakery, divulges her origin story in her new ...


Gay News

Columnist Esther J. Cepeda on coming out, writing career 2019-07-31 - When Washington Post Writers Group columnist Esther J. Cepeda recently came out as queer in one of her pieces, "Mental Health Needs of ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

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.