Odets makes a plea for society not just to legislate for equality, but also to allow gay men the freedom to live outside its conventions. He’s not a particular fan of marriage in any form, and at several points is so down on heterosexuals that an alternative title for this book might be Why I’m No Longer Talking to Straight People About Sexuality. While Odets appears to perform Wizard of Oz-like miracles for almost every man he treats, recovery from trauma is clearly a long and complex process. I’m a gay man in my early 50s and I can now see that I’ve used many of the survival tactics that Odets describes. This book has made me wonder how I might sound and feel if I did some work to uncover the character that was bullied out of me. I have previously resisted therapy but Odets’s warm and lyrical voice, his inspiring picture of how imaginative gay life can be, has sent me queuing for the couch.