Mama’s boy with a heart of gold. Giovanni is not ashamed that his early influences were those of the strong women in his family. He grew up as an only child in a house filled with a variety of female characters, a wise grandma who could burn in the kitchen with her savory and sweet soul food; a strong willed mother with a quick wit and mean right hand when she slapped a belt across your fanny; and two older twin sisters who were polar opposites except for the same birth date, but adored their little brother just the same. Yes, Giovanni was the baby of the family and only male. Being surrounded by all that estrogen taught him how to treat women with the upmost respect and love.
It is his undying love for his mother that was the muse for his main character’s mother in his short story, The Pain Seeker, which was included in the Best Black Gay Erotica anthology edited by Darieck Scott. In this steamy short story filled with pleasures of masturbation and S&M, Giovanni weaves a tale of a seemingly submissive bottom that is being tormented by his older brother’s best friend. During the initial scenes in the story, the reader is rewarded with the adoration the main character, Marcus has for his mother and her dependance on him to be the real man of their single-parented family. His older brother is too preoccupied with chilling in the living room watching football games, drinking beer, and eating wings with his friends than helping his mother with household chores. In the midst of his mother interrupting one of his frequent masturbation scenes, Marcus is ready to stand at attention (for more reasons than one) and take care of his mother’s needs even if it meant his own needs were put on hold for a moment.
Giovanni has created a character in Marcus that resembles his true self, and the assumptions that people made when questioning his masculinity as a child and adult. In The Pain Seeker, as in life, Giovanni reveals just how dominant a seemingly gentle spirit can truly be when required. Through this story, he helps the reader understand that stereotypical assumptions about masculinity aren’t based in facts but more so in fiction.
OnyxLee Publications is delighted to have Giovanni join our catalogue of talented black gay writers, as we celebrate the diversity in the LGBTIQA+ community, which is often plagued with stereotypical rhetoric. Although it’s been 16 years since Giovanni published any of his work, we promise you that it won’t take another 16 years to get this prose writer to paper and pen, or to his Macbook! In the meantime, be prepared to enjoy some of the short, sweet treats that he will share with us through a regular blog under our Muses section of this site.