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Rich Merritt, Author of “Secrets of a Gay Marine P*rn Star,

  • Broadcast in Books



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During the height of Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Rich Merritt led two secret lives. Marines serving under him didn't realize their captain was a closeted gay man, and his small group of gay friends didn't know he made gay p*rn films while enlisted. In “Secrets of a Gay Marine P*rn Star,” Merritt charts his struggle to repress his sexuality while living amongst the members of his ultra-conservative family and attending "the Fortress of Fundamentalism": Bob Jones University. His first encounter with another man ends with a knife being held to the throat of a woman who saw the two together. Being a Marine seems to appeal both to Merritt's narcissism and to his extreme low self-esteem. A self-avowed "adrenaline junkie" with (undiagnosed) depression, he tries to feed his ego by becoming a stripper, a male escort (briefly) and, finally, a p*rn star.

Today, Rich Merritt is an attorney, blogger and speaker. He lives in New York City with his partner is a speaker at universities, law schoolsand other civic organizations about topics ranging from issues on gay and lesbian equality to fundamentalism. He has been a controversial figure since he was featured on the cover of the New York Times Magazine on June 28, 1998, which is Gay Pride Day in New York City, "Uniforms In The Closet: The Shadow Life Of A Gay Marine."