Langridge, Roy Leonard. “Gay Gringo: A Memoir”, Independently Published, 2017.
A Journey to the True Self
This is Ron’s journey into the discovery of his true nature as he transitions from straight to gay. He was always conscious of a latency waiting to emerge but it took over eleven years and life experiences on two continents for him to achieve full acceptance of himself as a gay man. With Ron it was not just a change in sexuality but a total change in life. It was in the 1980 when he was able to deal with and accept his homosexuality.
When the book opens we see that Ron is upset and unhappy with his life and several friends he convince him to go to EST (Erhard Seminar Training) in an attempt to turn his life around and it worked He realizes the stress his corporate job is causing him life and he accepts that he is gay for the first time. He quits his job, liquidates his properties and invests so he can go a few years without the pressure of finding a new career. While on n vacation with his friend Malcolm he meets a man named Yves who has been traveling for the last 11 years and articles Yves inspires Ron to go to Paris before realizing it would be far easier and more exciting to make a life for himself somewhere new than to come out to everyone he’s already known.
From this point the story follows Ron as he learns about gay relationships, moving around a bit to find his place in the world before settling in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has his share of one-night stands and short-term relationships and he knew that he was looking for something serious.
What could have been a delightful read was hurt by the lack of transitions thus making each experience stand on its own. I thought, at first, that I was reading Ron’s stories as something of a travelogue. However the travelogue gave way to graphic sex scenes that were interrupted to tell us about what was happening in Ron’s life. In fact, when he decides to move away so that he will not have to deal with explaining himself to friends and family makes him look like a coward. I understand self-acceptance to mean something other than shutting out the past so it does not have to be dealt with.
The sex scenes include underage sex too which he freely admits in the text and he tells us that he preferred younger men. I have no idea as to whether this is fiction or not but I supposed it was true because the title says it is a memoir.
Some of Ron’s insights into his homosexuality are interesting but my main problem here is the unneeded emphasis on sex.