Brontez Purnell

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Brontez Purnell
Brontez Purnell 2018.jpg
Purnell at the 2018 Texas Book Festival
Occupationauthor, musician, dancer
Years active2003-present
Notable work
Since I Laid My Burden Down
Awards2018 Whiting Award

Brontez Purnell is an American writer, musician, dancer,[1] and director[2] based out of Oakland, California. He is the author of several books, including Since I Laid My Burden Down (2017),[3] and the zine Fag School;[4] frontman for the punk band The Younger Lovers;[3] and founder of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company.[5]


Purnell grew up in Triana, Alabama[5] where he created his first zine Schlepp Fanzine,[6] when he was 14 years old.[2] After moving to Oakland at 19,[7] he created Fag School[6] out of "wanting there to be a Sassy for gay boys."[4] "I hadn't really seen a zine or at least a personal gay zine that dealt with the difficult subject of gay sex with both humor and frank talk. It covered some real issues."[6]

His electro rock band Gravy Train!!!! gained national prominence for their live shows.[8] His punk band The Younger Lovers started in 2003 as a bedroom demo project.[9]


In 2018, Purnell was awarded a Whiting Award for fiction.[10]


Much of his work focuses on sex and sexuality. "In my work I try to use 'sex' or the body as this thing that does not create boundaries or separation with an audience, but instead gives my audience back their humanity."[11] He is gay.[4]

On June 1, 2021, he was named a winner of the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists' Prize from the Lambda Literary Foundation.[12]


  • The Cruising Diaries (2014)
  • Johnny Would You Love Me if My Dick Were Bigger (2015)
  • Since I Laid My Burden Down (2017)[3]
  • 100 Boyfriends (2021)[13]


  1. ^ AIDS, Visual. "Brontez Purnell". Visual AIDS. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  2. ^ a b "Naked Soap Operas: An Interview with Brontez Purnell - Art in America". Art in America. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  3. ^ a b c "The Truth at the Heart of Brontez Purnell's Since I Laid My Burden Down". MTV News. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  4. ^ a b c "'I'm in the Band' Ep. 2: Brontez Purnell Talks Growing Up Black, Gay & Punk". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  5. ^ a b "Brontez Purnell Is Everything". Granta Magazine. 2017-07-05. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  6. ^ a b c Miles, Frank J (2012-01-02). "Brontez Purnell: Love, Compassion, and Rock & Roll". Lambda Literary. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  7. ^ "The Legendary Queer Punk Rocker and Hysterical Author Whose Book You Need to Read". MEL Magazine. 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  8. ^ "Five Reasons to Love Brontez Purnell and The Younger Lovers". Colorlines. 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  9. ^ "VIDEO PREMIERE: Punk band The Younger Lovers gives a triumphant, fun (and trippy) ode to the working class with "Whiskey And Water" | AFROPUNK". AFROPUNK. 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  10. ^ Purnell, Brontez (2018-03-21). "Brontez Purnell, Fiction". The Paris Review. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  11. ^ "Brontez Purnell on Doing as Much as Possible". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  12. ^ Leah Rachel Van Essen, "Announcing The Winners of the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards". Book Riot, June 2, 2021.
  13. ^ "100 Boyfriends". FSG Originals. Archived from the original on 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2020-12-10.