The Book

Two Men in Love. A World Ready for Change.

How did you guys meet?

What was it like coming out in the 1970s?

What’s your secret for staying together?

Lots of people have asked these questions through the years. That’s why I wrote the book. I wanted to tell our story, the story of Mike and Ted. We met at the age of 24 in a seedy Nashville gay bar in 1977. We’re still together today. What are the odds of that?

THE WAY FROM ME TO US is about how two men who love each other battled intense homophobia, both the external and internal varieties, from the time we met through the years that followed.

It’s about how we survived a major crisis our 20th year together that very nearly was the end of us … and me.

It’s about the growth of a relationship against the backdrop of major change in American attitudes about homosexuality—from police crashing a Pride picnic in the 1970s (just a month after Ted and I met) to the right to legally marry today. It’s true: Things are getting better, but there is still much work to do.

From fear to fullfillment

When I started seeing Ted in 1977, I was afraid to phone him from my desk at the newspaper where I worked. I was afraid my feelings would show. So I used a pay phone in the lobby downstairs, and waited until the coast was clear to make the call. It’s hard to believe how much the world has changed today. We’ve changed along with it.

A newspaper clipping about police harassing organizers of the first Pride event in Nashville was in a stack of letters Ted and I wrote to each other the summer we met, when he was attending a special program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. When I found that clipping recently, I thought, “This is it. This is our story.” It started me writing my first draft. The result is THE WAY FROM ME TO US.

It’s about tough challenges, yes. But it’s also about all the things—friends, family and, in our later years, faith—that have kept us solid through the decades.

A work of creative nonfiction

I wrote my book to be immensely readable, a work of creative nonfiction told like a novel, with scenes and dialogue structured in five acts across 25 chapters. There is plenty of action as Ted and I deal with our personal demons and the demons the world has thrown at us. There’s drama, suspense, tragedy and, I hope, a generous amount of humor and inspiration along the way.

I paint a picture of our families and their adjustment to having gay sons and brothers whose love for each other is undeniable. I also pay tribute to the families we sought beyond our immediate families, allies who have loved and supported us when we needed it most. Our lives have been shaped by some pretty fascinating people. I want you to know them, too.

Coming in early 2023!

Mike Coleman

A professional writer for nearly 45 years before retiring in 2020, Mike Coleman won awards for news reporting and writing for nonprofit organizations and businesses in the technology industry.

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