“People I’ve Met From the Internet”— Queer Coming of Age

Van Dyck, Stephen. “People I’ve Met From The Internet’, Ricochet Editions, 2019.

Queer Coming of Age

Amos Lassen

Stephen van Dyck’s “People I’ve Met from the Internet” is “a queer reimagining of the coming-of-age narrative set at the dawn of the internet era.” It was in 1997 when AOL is first entered suburban homes just as thirteen-year-old Stephen was coming into his sexuality, constructing selves and cruising in the fantasy world of the internet. Through strange, intimate, and sometimes perilous physical encounters with the hundreds of men he finds there, van Dyck explores the pleasures and pains of growing up, contends with his mother’s homophobia and early death, and ultimately searches for a way of being in the world. “Spanning twelve years, the book takes the form of a very long annotated list, tracking Stephen’s journey and the men he meets from adolescence in New Mexico to post-recession adulthood in Los Angeles, creating a multi-dimensional panorama of gay men’s lives as he searches for glimpses of utopia in the available world.”

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