In the world of Paul Brownsey, God is a camp old queen trying to split up a gay couple. Judy Garland did not die in 1969 and instead ended up wowing her fellow residents in a Scottish care home on karaoke night. A fan of musical theatre steals an Irving Berlin lyric as a Valentine’s poem and spends decades contriving to hide the theft from his lover. After a one-night stand, two men maintain a distant awareness of each other’s lives for a quarter of a century and then face the question: are we in love? A couple find that over the 12 days of Christmas they experience everything that could possibly happen in a love affair, at least as recorded in popular songs from “Some Enchanted Evening” to “For the Good Times”. A gay couple discover Queen Elizabeth II injured on a hillside near her Balmoral castle and are torn between star-struck fawning and lecturing her on gay rights.
Often playful, Scottish author Paul Brownsey’s stories in His Steadfast Love and Other Stories cast an imaginative eye on gay life – but, make no mistake, they deal with the life most gay men will recognize, in which meeting lovers and sustaining relationships go alongside the uneasy terrain of acceptance, both internal and external. And as a former philosophy professor at Glasgow University, Brownsey knows how our everyday lives embody the big questions, but he shows this with a light touch and dark humor.