Lambda Literary: The late comedian Mitch Hedberg once joked, “One time, this guy handed me a picture of him, he said, ‘Here’s a picture of me when I was younger.’ Every picture is of you when you were younger.” After writing about your earlier years, what appears the same/different about yourself?

Felice Picano: When I began writing memoirs in the early ‘80s, I was already aware that I was not the person I had been at eleven or fourteen or nineteen years old. As I get older, I’m coming to realize that I’ve had eight or nine lives already—like the cat whose name I share. The Felice Picano of the Jane Street years, or the one of the Violet Quill Club era, or of the Gay Presses of New York period, or even the first decade living in L.A., is only partly who I am now. I cannot truly know who that person was again since I’m no longer living his life. A friend recently sent me a video interview Vito Russo did with me in the mid-‘80s for his TV program then and I waited a long time before watching it out of fear that I would come off as a total jerk. But I was surprised when I watched how professional and together this younger version of me actually was. I am sufficiently distanced to appreciate that.

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