When Joe Amorino opened a dating app to find one of his friends within close proximity, he thought the casual encounter was both hilarious and inspiring. What started off as a conversation to pass the time sharing hook up stories, became a moment of creativity that led Amorino to quickly begin writing a parody book If You Give a Gay a Gr*ndr.
A spoof on the classic children’s picture book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, If You Give a Gay a Gr*ndr is not a book for young audiences and is more likely to be found next to Goodnight Boobs than Goodnight Moon. Instead, the short and parodic lines of the book recant numerous situations in which the gay dating app affects the gay experience. Situations much too familiar to many of us, from wasting time looking for the “right one”, to cancelling plans with friends to “meet up with someone else”, the book commemorates these frustrating yet comical moments and wraps them up in a beautifully illustrated package.
The true beauty of the novelty book is found in the illustrations of Javier Ramos, an artist based in Mexico. Through the colorful and detailed illustrations of men of all colors, shapes and sizes, the book celebrates body positivity, a trait that is rarely appreciated when using dating apps. Those who use dating apps know that there is too much emphasis placed on the physical appearance of others. It’s one of the ugly parts of the digital dating scene, the superficial and critical judgment from others.
“The diversity in shapes colors and sizes of men was very intentional,” says Amorino “I wanted every aspect of the creation to be as queer and diverse as possible, including finding a queer artist, and at first trying to use a queer publisher.”
Ramos’ work features thick and hairy men, from portraits to eroticized drawings that titillate, all honoring the bearish male form.
If You Give a Gay a Gr*ndr found its first support from the LGBTQ+ community when Amorino began a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter to raise enough money to get the book made.
Amorino, a hairstylist by day, struggled to find an LGBTQ+ publisher that he felt would align with the project. When it didn’t work out, he opted to self-publish and the first printing of the book is gaining attention.
The book is available for purchase now on Reallygaybooks.com, a virtual space where Amorino hopes to host future books for all ages about the queer experience.
Get your copy of If You Give a Gay a Gr*ndr while supplies last so the next time you can host, which is probably never, your visitor can have something to read while you prepare.