On Sept. 20, at 7 p.m., UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute hosted its second reading of the semester. Gomez’s first book, “High-Risk Homosexual,” is a memoir of machismo’s influence on Gomez’s gay and Latinx identity. On Gomez’s website, they share, “I’ve always found the definition of machismo to be ironic, considering that pride is a word almost unanimously associated with queer people, the enemy of machistas … In a world desperate to erase us, queer Latinx men must find ways to hold onto pride for survival, but excessive male pride is often what we are battling, both in ourselves and in others.” Machismo conflicting with Gomez’s queer identity is exemplified in the opening scene of “High-Risk Homosexual,” with Gomez being introduced to their uncle’s cockfighting ring as a teenager. The title comes from a doctor’s appointment, where Gomez was labeled as a “high-risk homosexual.” Throughout the memoir, Gomez overcomes social pressures to keep parts of their identity hidden and take pride in it instead.
In August, author Edgar Gomez received Black Mountain Institute’s Shearing Fellowship, allowing Gomez to move to Las Vegas to finish their second book. “Alligator Tears” is scheduled to be released in 2025 and is a memoir exploring their relationship with money and capitalism. To learn more about Edgar Gomez, visit https://edgargomez.net/. Pre-orders for “High-Risk Homosexual” are available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Bookshop and Indiebound.