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  411 On The 212

It’s a “Wonderful” Life: Blogger Kenneth Walsh On His Memoir, His Fascination With Child Murders And Living With A Porn Star

You write quite a bit about sexual experiences and failed (and successful) romances. How much are you leaving out? Were you comfortable talking about intimate aspects of your life?

For whatever reason I’m very—perhaps too—comfortable putting it all out there. I think we all know that even the richest and most famous and beautiful people in the world do crazy things when they’re in love —especially when they’re heartbroken — so if admitting I was nearly arrested for lurking around and stacking patio furniture up to spy on my ex-boyfriend helps someone else realize he’s not alone, I’m happy to humiliate myself.

The idea that you lived with a gay porn star and had no idea is unfathomable to anyone with no life who knows every porn star on sight. Why do you think “Mike Henson” did porn, did he ever refer to it or talk shop and what exactly did he spill about John Davenport?

I know it seems odd. I guess I used photos of tennis players in Daisy Dukes and Avon catalogs with hot men in them as my porn when I was a kid, then got my first serious boyfriend — who was really hot and really loved to have sex — when I was 20, so I really didn’t know anything about pornography until much later. Ken and I didn’t talk too much about his porn experience other than that night it all came out [which is detailed in the book]. I told him that Johnny was “my” guy and he told me he was straight, married and living in New Mexico working construction.

kw_queerty3You fooled around with him, but were extremely conscious of the threat of AIDS, as were so many of us back then, much more so than now. Did you ever spend time wondering, “What if we’d done more?”

I have thought about it, but I’m happy with my decision. Actually, I forgot to even mention how I came home one afternoon and he was fucking this young guy who was visiting form Nebraska right in the open. If it sounds like a porn movie and an invitation for me to join in, I was too oblivious to realize it even as it was happening.

Your lousy relationship with your first boyfriend is something many gay men can relate to. Why do you think you were so susceptible to his charms?

Well, he was incredibly handsome and good in bed, which has brought down many bigger men and women than me. But as I write in the book, he represented so much more than a first boyfriend. He was proof that my life would not be spent alone or in a loveless marriage with a woman, which is something I thought I would have to do. Our relationship also reminded me so much of Michael and Robert in Parting Glances, who were my role models then. I’m sure you can guess who was who.

The Thomas Roberts Affair is dealt with at length. How would you react if nude photos of yours surfaced? Would you hold any ill will toward the guy who posted them? What do you think Roberts will think of this chapter, and would you go on his show to talk it out if he invited you?

At this point, if nude photos of me surfaced, then I would know I had “arrived”— and I would thank the guy who thought enough of me to hang on to them from back in the AOL days! I’m not really interested in what Thomas Roberts thinks of the chapter, but I definitely wouldn’t go on his show to talk about it—I never get up before noon.

One of the most provocative stories in your book deals with those child murders you morbidly romanticized as a kid. Where do you think your fascination with death and crime comes from?

I think because it was happening where I lived to children who looked just like me it would be unnatural to not become fascinated with it. And it was that case that has spurred a lifetime of interest. As with books, I would never watch CSI or Law and Order when I can watch 48 Hours and Snapped!

kenneth-m-walsh-debbie-harry

Walsh with Debbie Harry

Have you ever thought of ending your blog? What have been the biggest perks and the most annoying side effects of blogging?

Only fleeting thoughts of ending the blog, but the pros far outweigh the cons. I turned a corner years ago where I decided I would not be a slave to my blog. It is far from my principal source of income, so now I only do it as my time and interest permits. I used to think I had to weigh in on every issue of importance to the LGBT community, but I realize there are others who do this full-time who have that covered. Now I just blog about things I like.

Since your book is your life, what would you say is the defining conflict of your life so far, and what is your guiltiest pleasure?

You know, I’ve always thought of myself as having a very charmed life. But I remember one editor who didn’t acquire the book said she was passing despite liking my “voice” and that she was “sorry for everything” I’d been through. I was like, “Huh?” I definitely hope people come away from the book thinking that despite various hurdles — my alcoholic father and broken home at a young age, years of bullying, my grossly misunderstood varicocele, my debilitating bouts of anxiety — you can overcome things and have the life you dreamed of. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration for me to say that each day I think about how incredibly lucky I am.

 

Matthew Rettenmund is the editor/founder of the popular blog Boy Culture.

Kenneth Walsh will be a guest on the radio program StonewallLive February 25 at 9 p.m. and will sign copies of his book at Number Nine in Washington D.C. on March 2 at 3 p.m.

By:           Matthew Rettenmund
On:           Feb 24, 2014
Tagged: ,

  • 12 Comments
    • Call
      Call

      ZZZZZZZZZZ. Another sniveling blogger who thinks we care about him. All we care is that you keep posting pics of hot guys and cool people- like Debbie Harry, who looks absolutely THRILLED to be photographed with him.

      Feb 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alterego1980
      alterego1980

      You missed printing an entire question to one of the answers on page 2. Also, his attitude toward Roberts seems petty and immature. This interview did him no favors. Me and that editor are on the same page.

      Feb 24, 2014 at 7:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slowburns
      slowburns

      Interesting read, but have you ever noticed how the ones who “overcome adversity” are always genetically blessed?

      Feb 24, 2014 at 10:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sweetTART
      sweetTART

      I’d f**k him.

      Feb 24, 2014 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • shle896
      shle896

      I read the book recently and it had me laughing from page one. His book is hilarious and witty and painfully honest. Truly, a great read, as is his blog ‘Kenneth In The (212)’ http://www.kennethinthe212.com/

      As for the couple little bitchy queen nay-saying commenters on here, don’t knock it until you’ve read it. Commenting on something you know nothing about is called IGNORANCE and it’s not becoming.

      Feb 25, 2014 at 12:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain proton
      Captain proton

      @shle896: no, it’s called “Trolling” and is fairly common everywhere these days.

      Feb 25, 2014 at 1:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • niles
      niles

      I agree, he is a douche.

      Feb 25, 2014 at 6:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      He’s a typical celebrity stalker using a blog to camouflage it….

      Feb 25, 2014 at 10:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KJ
      KJ

      I stopped reading Kenneth long ago when regarding “The King’s Speech” he wrote, “A subtle film that almost makes speech impediments tolerable.” As a speech-language pathologist who works with people who stutter, I wrote to point out the potential harm of such a statement. My comment, of course, was not posted.

      Why would we as a group that has experienced the harm of stereotypes and bigotry perpetrate that on another? And why would one be afraid of allowing others to express concerns regarding that very thing?

      Needless to say, I won’t be buying the book. There are far more interesting and engaging people to learn from and about.

      Feb 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • darkorient
      darkorient

      @KJ: Did he really write that sentence? That is quite insensitive. Thank you for doing what you’re doing, you’re a blessing to the people who you’re working with.

      Feb 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KJ
      KJ

      @darkorient: I “Binged” the post so I could copy and paste it exactly as written, as it is one of those “gobsmacked” moments.

      BTW, I love my career – I like to say I’ve been at it for 30 years and am not even close to getting bored!

      Feb 25, 2014 at 1:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Niall
      Niall

      I’ve yet to see any “personality” from his blog.

      Feb 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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