¡Hola Papi! : how to come out in a Walmart parking lot and other life lessons

by Brammer, John Paul, 1991-

Format: Print Book 2021
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From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America's heartland to becoming the "Chicano Carrie Bradshaw" of his generation.

"A wise and charming book. [Brammer] is such a good writer, and so well rounded."--David Sedaris
"[Brammer] is both kind and piercingly funny, often in the same sentence....Personal and affecting.... ¡Hola Papi! is a master class of tone and tenderness, as Brammer balances self-compassion with humor." -- THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW (EDITORS' CHOICE)
"[ ¡Hola Papi! should be] required reading...[Brammer's] writing is incredibly funny, kind, and gracious to his readers, and deeply vulnerable in a way that makes it feel as if he's talking to only you." -- LOS ANGELES TIMES

The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer "Papi" was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it was flattering; JP took this as white-guy speak for "hey, handsome." Who doesn't want to be called handsome? But then it happened again and again...and again, leaving JP wondering: Who the hell is Papi?

What started as a racialized moniker given to him on a hookup app soon became the inspiration for his now wildly popular advice column "¡Hola Papi!," launching his career as the Cheryl Strayed for young queer people everywhere--and some straight people too. JP had his doubts at first--what advice could he really offer while he himself stumbled through his early 20s? Sometimes the best advice to dole outcomes from looking within, which is what JP has done in his column and book--and readers have flocked to him for honest, heartfelt wisdom, and of course, a few laughs.

In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet in America's heartland, while attempting to answer some of life's toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay ? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he's out of the closet? Questions we've all asked ourselves, surely.

¡Hola Papi! is "a warm, witty compendium of hard-won life lessons," ( Harper's Bazaar ) for anyone--gay, straight, and everything in between--who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world. "Readers are likely to become addicted to these stories; they're that good...Brammer comes to know himself very well, and readers will be delighted to make his acquaintance, too," ( Booklist , starred review).
How to answer a letter, part 1
How to lose a rabbit
How to kiss your girlfriend
How to be a real Mexican
How to come out to your boyfriend in a Walmart parking lot
How to fall in and out of love
How to chat with your childhood bully over a gay dating app
How to describe a dick
How to dress yourself in silks and linens
How to disagree with who you used to be
How to decide who to be
How to spend the night
How to see a comet in a room full of strangers
How to answer a letter, part 2.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "First the title: ¡Hola Papi! is the name of a gay advice column the author, a Mexican American, who is himself gay, writes for Substack, and these 14 autobiographical stories are offered as replies to invented questions from imagined writers to the column. Thus, a story about the horrors of Brammer's eighth-grade life (arguably the best piece in the collection) is prefaced by the question, "How do I let go of my childhood trauma?" Signed, Damaged Goods. Another, this one about how the author falls in love with his best friend and comes out to him in a Walmart parking lot--the second best--is prefaced with the question, "How do I let go of a rotten relationship?" Signed, Addicted to You. Speaking of addicted: readers are likely to become addicted to these stories; they're that good. Beautifully written ("each step was as heavy as a falling piano"), the stories run a gamut of emotions that readers will share. Some are wistful; some, melancholy; others, sad or poignant or bittersweet. The subjects of the stories--Brammer's quotidian life--are made fascinating with the author's deeply introspective musing and self-analysis. Brammer comes to know himself very well, and readers will be delighted to make his acquaintance, too."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "LGBTQ advice columnist Brammer debuts with a frothy, episodic memoir written in the format of answers to such questions as "How do I make peace with the years I lost in the closet?" Brammer recounts his rural Oklahoma childhood, being bullied in middle school, and early sexual experiences, including a confusing relationship with a closeted Christian. He also discusses trying to reclaim his Mexican American heritage in high school by working at a Mexican restaurant and how coming out on Facebook "helped me work up the courage to admit it to myself." After encountering Grindr for the first time as a college junior "desperate for the knowledge... how to date and hook up and live as a gay person," Brammer eventually launched his advice column on the dating app in 2017. Though he has a genuine interest in helping others and frankly details a suicide attempt and other intimate matters, Brammer's writing regularly slips into clichés (his New York apartment is a "shoebox"; his abuela is "a very short, very brown woman" who watches telenovelas). Fans will appreciate a closer look at Brammer's life; others will wish for greater depth. (June)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Brammer, John Paul, -- 1991-
Gay men -- United States -- Biography -- Anecdotes.
Advice columnists -- United States -- Biography -- Anecdotes.
Racially mixed people -- United States -- Biography -- Anecdotes.
Hispanic Americans -- Biography -- Anecdotes.
Sexual minorities -- United States -- Biography -- Anecdotes.
Publisher New York, NY :2021
Edition First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
Other Titles ¡Hola Papi!
How to come out in a Walmart parking lot and other life lessons
Language English
Description 212 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781982141493
Other Classic View