Giuseppe and Me

      Robin Reardon
Giuseppe and Me

Alex Lupo is a gay foster teen in New York City. Isolated by circumstances, not knowing his parents but aware that they were Italian, he scrutinizes the faces of Italian-looking strangers and fantasizes about possible family connections. Having been raped at his previous foster home, he worries about HIV and about ever being able to enjoy sex."My life is worth more than a few minutes of anyone's pleasure."Alessandro Lupo (Alex) is a sixteen-year-old gay foster child who has been moved from "home" to "home" in New York City. Isolated by circumstances and by the protective shield he's surrounded himself with, he wanders the streets of the West Village and gravitates toward Stonewall Inn, where the 1969 riots planted the seeds of the gay civil rights movement. Having been raped at his previous foster home, he worries about HIV and about ever being able to enjoy sex. Alex, whose parents had both been Italian, feels his lack of family keenly. As he wanders the city streets, he scrutinizes people who might also be Italian. Alex is short for Alessandro, which means defender of men; Lupo means wolf. But Alex feels fearful most of the time—fear not just of Derek, the other foster teen in his current home, but also of life in general—and wishes for the courage of his 19th century countryman, Giuseppe Garibaldi, with whose statue in Washington Square Park Alex has imaginary conversations.Then Alex meets two people who represent polar opposites: one who validates the low opinion Alex already has of himself; and another who helps him see himself in an entirely new light and teaches him that his life is worth more than a few minutes of anyone's pleasure.
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