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Synopsis

Yes, It All Really Happened Just Like This. . .

Here's the story of Rich Merritt--the good son, teacher's pet, Southern gentleman, model Christian student at Bob Jones University, Marine officer, and the not-so-anonymous poster boy for a New York Times Magazine article on gays in the military--whose complicated sexual past caused an international scandal when The Advocate "outed" him as "The Marine Who Did Gay Porn," putting his life in a tailspin. It's the compelling, poignant story of how a boy who never listened to pop music, never cursed, and didn't have his first drink until he was eighteen exploded into a life of drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, prostitution, and pornography. And above all, it's a triumphant story of self-forgiveness and identity, of a man who refused to allow himself to be defined by the standards of anyone else--gay or straight. Along the way, Rich Merritt writes with humor, compassion, insight and naked truth about:

  • What it's really like growing up behind the "Fortress of Fundamentalism" and how he ultimately came to despise their views

  • The harsh realities of military life under the "Don't ask, don't tell" Clinton policy

  • A real insider's experience of working in the male porn industry--the good, the bad, and the extremely hot

  • Why he chose not to reveal his porn past to the New York Times journalist

  • What it felt like to be the most notorious marine in the world and what it took to come through the fire

By turns harrowing and heartbreaking, angry and affirming, Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star is that rarest of memoirs--a fascinating slice of life that reads like the most absorbing fiction, but is all true.

Rich Merritt has written an Op-Ed column for the Navy Times. He has been profiled for The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, and The Advocate. Stories about him have appeared in the London Times, The Washington Post and many other publications. He is now an attorney living in Atlanta.

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