A long, long time ago, Benoit Denizet-Lewis and I took a gay history class together at Northwestern, where I remember him being this vaguely skate punk kind of gay guy that was not particularly prevalent in the midwest. I was a cranky queer activist/journalist in training and am pretty sure I was mostly a complete nightmare to everyone around me. (Neither of us ever made it into the still-controversial classroom of sociology professor Michael Bailey, though.)
It’s been great ever since to watch Benoit tackle all kinds of immersive stories about subcultures—mostly communities or behaviors on the brink of getting their moment in mainstream media sun. (Remember teenagers and the “group hang”?)
His new book is about dog culture in America, but really it’s about people and how crazy we are about dogs (spoiler alert: a lot). I asked him 10 questions for OUT about how he almost quit being a writer to work rescuing strays, whether it’s OK to judge people for not liking dogs, the pushback to his most recent NYT cover story about bisexuality research, and how the lucky jerk is going to have an article he wrote about an ex-gay friend turned into a movie starring James Franco and Zachary Quinto.
This sounds like a great opportunity for Benoit to get the lowdown on Noah and Skunk Quinto. ohhellnoah are you available?
WELL, I’M PRETTY SURE I ATE MY CALENDAR IN A FIT OF FASHION-RELATED RAGE THE OTHER DAY, SO LET’S PUT THIS DOWN AS A DEFINITE MAYBE.
AS FOR SKUNK, HE’S