Eating Fire

Eating Fire

Family Life on the Queer Side

By Michael Riordon




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Eating Fire follows in the steps of Riordon’s popular 1996 book Out our way, on gay and lesbian life in the country (BTL, 1996). This new set of tales examines the range in living patterns and relationships among queer families across Canada.

Eating Fire illuminates the rich diversity in which people negotiate their personal and public identities. As in all his writing and radio work, Riordon brings to this book a subtle, direct, and vivid style. For Eating Fire he travelled widely, engaging in significant new research and speaking with hundreds of fascinating people. The resulting book is wanted and needed in classrooms, within queer communities, and among everyone hungry for knowledge about the wide range of Canadian families.

More by this Author


This book is cause for celebration, honouring ordinary Canadians leading extraordinary lives, written by a storyteller with an eye for the complexities of the the heart.

– Richard Burnett, Hour magazine, Montreal

Michael Riordon brings us the singular and various voices of our tribe—worth everyone’s hearing.

– Jane Rule, author of After the Fire


Part I Fruitful Couplings
Chapter 1 War and Peace, and Celery
Chapter 2 Dancing with Widows
Chapter 3 The Hired Hand
Chapter 4 Finding Home
Chapter 5 Where the Boys Are
Chapter 6 I've Looked at Life from Both Sides Now
Chapter 7 Mr. Right
Chapter 8 A Balance of Powers
Chapter 9 Passage to India
Chapter 10 War and Peace, and Bullshit
Part II Family Values
Chapter 11 My Son the Queen
Chapter 12 My Name in the Snow
Chapter 13 Modern Parenting
Chapter 14 The Parental Urge
Chapter 15 One of the Family
Chapter 16 Bumps and Bruises
Chapter 17
Chapter 18 Some Kindred Spirits
Chapter 19 The Burden of Gravity
Part III Roles in the Hay
Chapter 20 0977056: A Life
Chapter 21 Exodus
Chapter 22 Out There
Chapter 23 You Gotta Have a Gimmick
Chapter 24 Roaming with Roxy
Chapter 25 And the Walls Came Tumbling Down
Chapter 26 Walks with Smudge