Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Paul Monette

Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Monette was educated at Phillips Academy and at Yale, where he got a degree in English, and then taught English at Milton Academy. In this pre-gay liberation world, he struggled with his sexuality and kept it hidden from family and associates. After meeting Roger Horwitz, a lawyer, the two became partners and moved to Los Angeles. Monette devoted himself to writing and produced novels such as Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll (1978) and The Gold Diggers (1979), which openly dealt with gay characters and themes. The AIDS epidemic hit the Los Angeles gay community early, and Horwitz died from AIDS-related opportunistic diseases in 1985. Borrowed Time (1988) chronicled Horwitz’s fight against AIDS and became Monette’s most acclaimed work. Writing it, he said, “literally kept me alive.” Monette wrote another autobiographical book, Becoming a Man (1992), a coming of age memoir that won the National Book Award for non-fiction. Monette’s work provided a great boost to the cultural acceptance of gay male literature, and Borrowed Time especially helped raise empathy and understanding toward people with AIDS. Monette died of AIDS on February 10, 1995.