The World of Ink Network will be touring author Dennis Milam Bensie’s acclaimed contemporary heartfelt memoir, One Gay American and true life story, Shorn: Toys to Men throughout June and July 2013.
About the Book:
Dennis Milam Bensie is One Gay American. Born in the 1960s and raised with traditional values in Robinson, Illinois, Bensie desperately wanted romance, a beautiful wedding, and a baby to carry on the family name. He denied his sexuality and married a woman at nineteen years old, but fantasized of weddings where he could be the bride. The newlyweds "adopted" a Cabbage Patch Doll and ironically witnessed a Cabbage Patch Doll wedding (a successful fundraiser staged by a local women's club) where the dolls were granted the type of grand ceremony off-limits to gay couples.
In search of his identity as a gay man, Bensie divorced his wife and stumbled through missteps and lessons that still sting his generation: defending against bullies, "disappointing" his parents, and looking for love in gay bars, bath houses and restrooms. He helped his straight friends plan their dream weddings and mourned his gay friends dying of AIDS.
Although true love has not yet come his way, Bensie has learned to love himself. Bensie is the author of the much-lauded memoir, Shorn: Toys to Men, which recounts his battle with paraphilia. One Gay American tells the rest of his story and draws parallels to gay history, decade by decade, with newspaper headlines and quotations. Bensie is the gay neighbor that you either love or hate. Either way, he's got a lot to say and says it with no apologies.
Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Coffeetown Press (September 1, 2012)
This is a true story. Real names have been used with permission; others have been changed.
About the Book:
What shapes a man’s life more? Being molested at age seven, having a gruff father ashamed of him for being effeminate, or being humiliated by school bullies for being a sissy? In the memoir, Shorn: Toys to Men, author Dennis Milam Bensie chronicles his journey from damaged boy, self-medicating by cutting the hair of shoplifted Barbie dolls, to confused young man, paying hundreds of gay street hustlers to shave their heads. Bensie demonstrates how hair can be currencya moral gauge for good and bad, male and female, lawful and unlawful. The world of theater is his backdrop, a sanctuary where he gradually spins fantasy into reality. After getting his start in community theater, Bensie moves up to professional houses throughout the United States, turning his private sexual conflict over haircutting into a successful career as a skilled theatrical wig designer. Humorous and honest, this book is a uniquely tangled love story, a triumphant quest for love, forgiveness and self-acceptance.
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Coffeetown Press; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
Categories: Personal Memoir; Theater/Stagecraft; Child Abuse
Distribution: Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, Amazon.de Baker & Taylor Smashwords (ebooks)
About the Author:
Dennis Milam Bensie grew up in Robinson, Illinois where his interest in the arts began in high school participating in various community theatre productions. He holds a degree in Theatre Costume Design from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and completed an apprenticeship in theatrical wig construction at Los Angeles Opera. He has costumed and wigged shows all over the country including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PlayMakers Repertory Theatre in Chapel Hill, NC, Alliance Theatre of Atlanta, Arizona Theatre Company, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego to name a few. His costume and wig design for Valley of the Dolls at Empty Space Theatre in Seattle garnered him a feature article in Entertainment Design Magazine and a Seattle Times Footlight Award for Best Design. Dennis also teaches master classes in wigmaking and wig maintenance around the country. He has been on staff at Intiman Theatre in Seattle since 1992 and is proud to have been involved with such productions as Angels in America, Nickel and Dimed and the world premier of the Tony Award winning musical Light in the Piazza. Shorn: Toys to Men is his first book. Dennis lives in Seattle with his three dogs.
You can find out more about Dennis Milam Bensie, his memoirs and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at