Patricia Nell Warren an out lesbian and the author of some of the most legendary gay novels has died aged 82.
In the not too distant past when gay men had no absolutely male role models at all the arrival of Patricia Nell Warren’s novel The Front Runner was a god send. Published in 1974 this touching story about a love affair between a running coach and his star athlete not only changed so many minds and gave us all hope, and was the first work of contemporary gay fiction to make the NY Times Best Selling List.
The Times called it “the most moving, monumental love story ever written about gay life” and over 10 million copies have been printed in various languages. This was all way before the advent of the Internet, ‘The Front Runner’ gave many of us our first look inside gay life. For us it was the first time we felt someone was telling a story about personal feelings and emotions that we could actually relate. For gay sports fans and athletes, it was the first piece of gay culture that reflected them and their passion for sports.
Warren was the author of more than 10 books including Harlans’s Race, Billy’s Boy, and The Fancy Dancer, and her role in our personal liberation can never be underestimated. She will be sorely missed.
Patricia Nell Warren June 15, 1936 – February 9, 2019 RIP