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The Tongues of Men and Angels

Published Date: August 17, 2016

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I spoke with the tongues of men and angels in the muggy shadows behind the interstate rest area, begging God to save me from sex with a strange man a week before my wedding day.

Born and raised in the evangelical Christian South of the sixties and seventies, Wayne Gregory hid his homosexuality from others and from himself for years until he was finally forced out in middle age. This story chronicles the beginnings of his struggle as an adolescent, his budding sexuality and simultaneous passion for God. Despite desperate attempts to build an acceptable straight life, his homosexual desires got stronger, creating questions and exposing inconsistencies in his faith. Then came the crushing realization that the homosexual feelings were not random sins, but part of his very identity.  The story takes place as Wayne struggles with this realization, life continues to bring new challenges: adopted children, infidelity, a crumbling marriage. A vortex of self-loathing and despair leads to a transformation in which the author gets a glimpse of how spirituality and homosexuality can come together in a single, honest, free life.

“A suspenseful Southern fable of repression, redemption, and victory. Wayne Gregory paints the Southern canvas of his remarkable life’s story with a simmering tension that had me riveted throughout.” —Bonnie Ditlevsen, Author and Editor of Penduline Press

“Wayne Gregory’s memoir is a stunning testament to the human capacity for redemption and authenticity. Read it. And breathe in the courage to become more fully and shamelessly yourself.” —Ariel Gore, Author of Atlas of the Human Heart and The End of Eve and Editor of Portland Queer: Tales of the Rose City

“A vital guide for those of us who must suffer battle with our hearts.” —G. Xavier Robillard, Author of Captain Freedom

“With mercy, lyricism, and wit Wayne Gregory’s memoir comes straight from the heart—and every other area of the body. A gallant and insightful tour guide, Gregory allows us to accompany him on his honest and often difficult journey to find the “light and clarity” of his true self. Beautifully written, The Tongues of Men and Angels will speak to any reader—gay, straight, or otherwise—who has ever been lost and found.” —Merridawn Duckler, Author of fiction and non-fiction, Assistant Editor of Narrative Magazine, and Senior Fellow at the Attic Institute

“Here is a memoir that blends intimacy alongside social history, insight alongside blindness, sexual discovery alongside religious zeal, and a pressing community of silence alongside the secret world of speaking in tongues. It’s a book that exemplifies the old adage, know thyself. WayneGregory has found something deep in himself to reveal, something that weeach share and crave: overcoming hardship alongside gratitude.” —David Biespiel, award-winning author of Charming Gardeners, The Book of Men and Women and Wild Civility[/tabber]

Author Bio

Wayne Gregory is a late bloomer to the writing world and to being out, but he’s making up for lost time on both fronts. Wayne is a graduate of the Attic Atheneum and a former Hawthorne Fellow. Wayne’s work has appeared in The Sun, Alltopia, Ashe Journal, The Hawthorne, and the Lambda award-winning anthology, Portland Queer. He is a linguist and a faculty member at Portland State University and also teaches creative writing at the Attic Institute. Wayne is a proud grandfather and a card-carrying member of the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus. Originally from Louisiana he now lives in Portland, Oregon.

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