Publishing one’s life and personal story is no small feat and for any writer who has published a memoir about his or her life for anyone in the world to read, they are to be commended. Josh Sabarra is one who undertook writing a memoir about his life and the struggles he endured growing up; however, his story is different than most other memoirs ever written. While Porn Again is about Sabarra telling his story of being gay and finding acceptance for it, there is so much more to his story than meets the eye.
“My skin was a costume that I was wearing to a party that didn’t call for dress-up. My exterior told the story of a typical little boy who was cute, clean cut and running toward tomorrow; my insides knew better” (Sabarra 28). Sabarra discovered at a young age that he was different than other children: he had a deep interest in the arts, he preferred the company of adult women over the company of his classmates, he preferred things clean and pristine unlike other children his age, and he discovered he harbored strong feelings towards the same sex. Growing up, he received constant verbal harassment from his peers and was always told he was “different.” This, in turn, made him fight hard to reach a Hollywood career most anyone would kill to have, but as he grew older, he was still haunted by his past tormentors and it was difficult for him to find happiness.
Sabarra covers a lot of ground in just over 300 pages and dedicates an equal amount of time to various aspects of his life, making for an overall well-rounded and engaging memoir. Readers will learn of his childhood, his constant struggles of coming out and telling others he was gay, his romantic encounters with various men, his introduction to the PR industry along with his various positions in the field, and so much more.
Reading Porn Again is like sitting in a room with Sabarra himself, having a coffee and just listening to his story about his life. This is due to his fluid writing style as he can jump between serious and snarky within the span of a paragraph or brutally honest and hilarious within the span of a chapter. He opens up to the reader about everything he has been through in his life so far: the good and the bad, the amazing and the terrible, and everything in between. It makes for an incredibly captivating read that will hold the reader’s attention and make them want to give Sabarra a hug upon completion.
A really fascinating aspect was reading about Sabarra’s different positions in the PR industry. He probably barely scratched the surface of all that he has been through in his career, but what he does mention is incredible. Ask anyone and they would probably say that they would love a job working with movie stars and Hollywood and through his work, Sabarra has been able to meet and work with many of his idols as well as other famous icons. As readers read familiar names Sabarra lists as well as popular movies he has been a part of, they will perhaps have a hint of jealousy, wishing they could do everything he has done; however, Sabarra tells the honest truth: he seemingly had it all by the age of 30, yet the one thing he didn’t have was true happiness. He still felt lonely and insecure and this shows that money cannot buy everything.
A heartening aspect of Sabarra’s memoir is how open he is about his feelings towards other men. When he came out of the closet, his family and friends were incredibly supportive of his choice and behind him one hundred percent. That is all anyone who opens up about who they really are wants: acceptance and encouragement to carry on. He shares many encounters he has had with men and even a serious relationship he had with another man. If readers are not comfortable with reading sexual encounters, they can easily skip over certain parts of Porn Again; however, reading these parts gives one more of a sense of Sabarra as a person. It would be difficult for anyone to open up about something as personal as encounters such as these, yet Sabarra had the courage to share his personal life for all to read, encouraging and motivating anyone out there who endured what he has had to to get to this point in his life.
Perhaps the main theme readers will find in Porn Again and perhaps the main theme Sabarra wishes to portray is that no one should ever have to change who they are. It is unfortunate that people are so judgmental of others, harassing them because they are “different.” The perfect song one could think of to pair with Sabarra’s memoir would be “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman for, honestly, what is considered different? Just because someone doesn’t do what the vast majority of society does does not make them an alien from another planet or a stranger from a strange land. Being “different” is what makes Sabarra such an inspirational person and even with having to relive terrible memories to write Porn Again, he is a brave person for sharing his life story with the world.
Porn Again is the story of a man who grew up believing something was wrong with him because other people said he was “different.” Sabarra’s story is one that reaches out to all of those who believe they are misfits and outcasts, who believe they have no one in the world because of the hurtful words of others. Sabarra’s story is one of believing in one’s self and being who one is meant to be, damn what anyone else has to say. He is the definition of motivation and perseverance for he found himself at the age of 40 and is finally happy with the man he truly is. It is never too late to discover who one truly is and one will get that feeling upon completing Sabarra’s story, a memoir that is certainly more than meets the eye.