Now available a new memoir from Charles Silverstein

Lambda Literary Finalist!


Also available in digital formats @ $9.99.




For the Ferryman

a memoir by Charles Silverstein

A memoir from the noted psychologist and co-author of The Joy of Gay Sex about the author’s activism on gay issues in the medical and psychiatry professions and his personal relationship with a younger man and his decline into addictions.

“Charles Silverstein has written a memoir about the great love of his life—an eccentric, androgynous genius whom Charles adored and cared for despite all his flaws and addictions. Most writers idealize their lovers, especially if they’ve died young, but Silverstein presents his William with all his charm and sexual allure and intellectual brilliance—and all his maddening faults. I wept at the end of this brave, honest book—and I suspect you will too.”
—Edmund White, author of City Boy and Sacred Monsters

“From his Brookyn childhood to his climactic gay-Scott and Zelda relationship, Silverstein’s For the Ferryman is a searing, unafraid, and indelible self-portrait of a distinguished and amazing life. Not the coolly calculated look-back we might have expected but instead a roller-coaster ride of emotion recollected in anything but tranquility.
—Felice Picano, author of True Stories and Like People in History

“When I received a request from Charles to do a blurb for his manuscript, I had no idea what a treat I was in store for. It is a memorial to the twenty-year love affair of Charles and his life-time partner. Charles relentlessly and courageously analyzes the neurotic wounds in both their lives that led to their loving partnership with all its ups and downs, an extraordinary faithful love that persevered to the end. Charles also describes the very painful experiences of the innumerable human losses to the AIDS plague during the 80s and early 90s. I was particularly delighted in his decision to hold the Charles Silverstein Memorial Vacation for a group of his closest friends while he was still alive and could come along. Well done Charles!”
—Reverend Doctor John J. McNeill, author of Sex as God Intended: Reflections on Human Sexuality

“A stunning memoir. Silverstein spends a considerable bulk of the memoir charting the gay radicalism of the 1970s… [and] pairs these passages with intimate glimpses into his twenty-year romantic relationship with William Bory, a radical gay activist who was prone to several neuroses and a host of addictions. Rather than idealizing his lover, Silverstein captures Bory in all his complexities: charming, difficult and maddeningly broken.”

Angelo Nikolopoulos, Next

“Well written and compelling, a nostalgic recap for those involved in the gay liberation movement, and the perfect primer for the younger generation.”

Winnie McCroy, Edge

“A true love story that happens to have as its backdrop some of the most important events in modern Queer history. …Silverstein shows his complete relationship [with William Borys], warts and all. But through loyalty and love, theirs is a story of finding the strength to do what is needed when your very soul is tested. Readers are but a small beneficiary of such a great legacy.”

Eric Andrews-Katz, Chelsea Station

For the Ferryman recounts it all, from essential gay history to a riveting personal story.”

Jerry Rosco, South Florida Gay News

This is a book that is mandatory reading for anyone who has an interest in the Gay Rights Movement, politics during the AIDS crises of the ‘80s and ‘90s, or for anyone who simply wants to read an enthralling love story that happens to be true. For The Ferryman is a bold self-portrait of a distinguished and astounding life.

Alan Chin,

“Silverstein focuses mostly on his tempestuous 20-year relationship with William Bory, a stunningly handsome 21-year-old with daddy issues when they met (Silverstein was 15 years his senior). Their love was true and deep, but not always a bed of roses: Bory was sexually alluring and intellectually brilliant but emotionally mercurial and, for years, an addict who stole from his partner. This searing memoir’s depiction of their years together, at once adoring and despairing, is testament to the enduring power of love, even as it addresses both men’s frailties and flaws.”

Richard Labonté, Bookmarks

“Although the relationship between Silverstein and Bory forms the twisted spine of this personal history, the book contains more than just insight that no one is immune to crazy. It overflows with history lessons from the newly-militant pre-AIDS era, featuring the horrors of aversion therapy and other psych-away-the-gay methods that fell out of favor when groups like the Gay Activist Alliance rose up. Silverstein waxes nostalgic for the early organizational meetings and Saturday night dances that GAA held in an abandoned firehouse. He also recounts some of their famous marches and infamous ‘zaps.’ He’s most interesting when discussing the conscious “manipulation of words and symbols” the young activists were using as a “crucial part of (their) strategy,” such as getting the mainstream conversation to favor ‘gay’ over the weighted ‘homosexual.’ Those of us who need mentors to share memories of the struggle that’s gotten us where we are today should thank Dr. Charles Silverstein for his bravery.

Tom Eubanks, Lambda Literary

For the Ferryman deserves to be read and remembered.... [Silverstein] offers among the most moving accounts of the individual and generational loss wrought by AIDS, as well as something rarer: a sharp, non-idealized account of the period preceding the epidemic... His portrait of Boryenriched rather than compromised by its determined stoical truthfulnessconstitutes a moving, devotional act even as, in their actual lives, Silverstein and Bory increasingly struggled to connect.”

Richard Canning, Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide

“An honest, painful, and loving memoir.”

E.B. Boatner, Lavender Magazine

“Detailed, unflinching, and unrepentantly honest, this memoir is both personal in scope and universal in relevance.”

Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print


“Silverstein takes no liberties, hides no truths, glosses over no details and is candid in a way that could make Larry Flint blush.  For The Ferryman uniquely blends the early years of the gay struggle for liberation and AIDS with the simple life of two men in love.”

Joe Franco, Windy City Times

Read more about Charles Silverstein and his new memoir in the Windy City Times.


About the author

Dr. Charles Silverstein is well known for his activism in the struggle for gay rights, including his 1973 historic presentation before the “Nomenclature Committee” of the American Psychiatric Association which led to the removal of homosexuality as a mental illness from the diagnostic manual. He founded two gay and lesbian counseling centers in New York, Identity House and the Institute for Human Identity. He was also the founding editor of the Journal of Homosexuality and is best known for the groundbreaking The Joy of Gay Sex (with Edmund White), and The New Joy of Gay Sex (with Felice Picano). Other books include A Family Matter: A Parents’ Guide to Homosexuality; Man to Man: Gay Couples in America; Gays, Lesbians and Their Therapists: Studies in Psychotherapy and The Initial Psychotherapy Interview: A Gay Man Seeks Treatment.


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Watch Charles Silverstein on You Tube.
reading from For the Ferryman.

On William

On His Father

On Anita Bryant

On Brooklyn and Morris


On Ken

On Alcoholism

The Cave

Charles Silverstein on You Tube

Read a conversation between Charles Silverstein and Perry Brass from Issue 2 of Chelsea Station.

Read an interview with Charles Silverstein with Seattle Gay News


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