The one thing that is sort of sneered at and not really believed is bisexuality. Any bisexual man is just seen as a closeted gay man. That shows how narrow-minded people are. The other thing that's totally neglected and which nobody approves of is celibacy. People again assume that you're just repressing something.
There ought to be more grants that go to people in their late twenties and early thirties. That's a crucial age, although it's very hard to judge who is worth supporting and who is not. Looking back on my own life, I see that was the period when I was closest to giving up as a novelist and when I most needed some encouragement.
In the middle of my sophomore year, I was sent to boarding school, at the Cranbrook School for boys, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where I fell in love with Marilyn Monroe. I knew that she was the most beautiful woman in the world, and yet she was in pain, in need. She was unhappy. I believed that I could help her.
Originally, I was against gay marriage because I was opposed to all marriage, being an old-fashioned gay bohemian. The straight people I knew in the sixties were very much opposed to it. I was, too, and it was never a possibility for gays, but when I saw how opposed the Religious Right was to it, I thought it a fight worth fighting.
I'm an atheist, I always thought, 'This is it.' If there is going to be a heaven, it should be on earth. I feel much happier than most people. I'm fairly stoic about death, but I'm not keen on dying if it's going to be long and protracted. I don't have dark nights of the soul, except occasionally. I'm such a little busy bee.
If I had been straight, I would have been an entirely different person. I would never have turned toward writing with a burning desire to confess, to understand, to justify myself in the eyes of others... I wouldn't have been impelled to live in New York and choose the hard poverty of bohemia over the soft comfort of the business world.
Early gay novels such as 'Giovanni's Room' and 'The City and the Pillar' were not nearly as important to me as Isherwood's 'A Single Man.' I mean, 'Giovanni's Room' is a very beautiful book, but in terms of gay politics, if you care about that, it's not a very evolved book, because the idea behind it is, the only desirable men are straight men.