Why did I love this book?
I was a freshman in college and still closeted about my homosexuality when I found Numbers in an LGBTQ+ bookstore. The description on the dust jacket got my blood racing: in an effort to reclaim his youth, a handsome gay man strikes out to see how many sexual conquests he can rack up during a ten-day stay in L.A. I bought the book and read it in my dorm room when my roommate wasn’t around.
I got more than I bargained for. Along with descriptions of sexual encounters, the novel opened my eyes to the ramifications of internalized homophobia and explored the value of sex among an oppressed people who are persecuted for their carnal desires. This novel written in 1967 spoke to me across the decades. It still can.