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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

New Book, “The Old Man and the Queer”: The Transformative Story of a Retired Mayor and the Barber Who Freed Him from Bigotry

Long time former Mayor and City Council Member Jeff Comerchero and his co-author E.J. Radford have written a new dual memoir detailing not only their lives, but the unique circumstances that led to a friendship that never should have happened.  

Comerchero is a 77-year-old staunch Republican, far to the right on most political, cultural, and social issues.

In stark contrast, Radford is a 25-year-old barber with tattoos over most of their body, including a huge moth covering their neck, body piercings everywhere, and nose rings. Radford identifies as non-binary, using the pronouns they/he, and a queer, as far to the left as Comerchero is to the right.

Through a quirk of fate, the former mayor found himself in E.J.’s barber’s chair. Although it was uncomfortable for both, the haircut was stellar, so Comerchero went back, and Radford would soon become his regular barber. 

Through a series of appointments, a very unlikely friendship developed, and both gradually began to see their biases fade into the background. The result was that a most unusual, but beautiful friendship developed.

The Old Man and the Queer is their timely story of acceptance, in a world that still struggles with diversity, equity and inclusion issues. It was virtually impossible for these two total opposites to form a civil relationship, yet they forged an unbreakable bond, even as they continue to learn from each other. 

It is the hope of the authors that the book’s readers will see the value in opening their minds and hearts to gain a better understanding of transgenderism, thereby helping someone who is queer in their family, workspace, or circle of friends. Or just learning more about the people around them. 

What Jeff and E.J. learned is to see first the positives in people rather than starting with the negatives. At its core this is a story of hope, love and ultimately triumph.

The Old Man and the Queer is now available on Amazon in paperback and ebook for Kindle and can be purchased using the link

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