Let’s be honest, I picked up this book because I loved the title- and I was excited to read about Calum’s experiences travelling around the world!
However, ‘Eat, Gay, Love’ provided a rich, insightful and thought-provoking look at the LGBTQIA+ community across the world.
Alongside detailed, interesting and funny stories about Calum’s travels, this book was an unexpected and refreshing look at the differing attitudes towards the community in different countries, as well as the issues sadly facing LGBTQIA+ people in every corner of the world.
Calum starts the book in his home town, recently separated from his fiancé and after a bit of adventure.
He travels to Italy first, staying with a welcoming and traditional Italian family. Calum speaks about his feelings for the family’s eldest son, as well as discussing the country’s complicated relationship with religion and LGBTQIA+ rights.
I found it really interesting to understand the relationship between Calum and his host, Giuseppe.
It is clear that Giuseppe has traditional, often homophobic, views towards the community- and yet the family embrace Calum as a son.
Calum then moves through places such as the Alps, Germany, Ibiza, India, Thailand and Spain as he continues to explore the world and find his people.
The reader follows Calum as he experiences his first sex club, gets involved in local Pride celebrations, sleeps with strangers, tries party drugs for the first time, works with tigers and settles in Spain with his parents.
I think a highlight of this book was the wide range of people Calum meets along the way.
I love that he explores the LGBTQIA+ community in all countries, finding people from the community everywhere he goes- whether they express their sexuality openly or not.
He speaks about the fact that he doesn’t know many LGBTQIA+ people in his home town, and so finding this community across the world is an important as part of his journey.
Calum meets such an incredible range of people, from Drag Queens in Ibiza to Kathoeys in Thailand.
I absolutely this book- and I read it so fast!
You get transported to each country through Calum’s narration, and it is amazing to read about all of his experiences, including work with endangered animals in Thailand, teaching English in Italy and even getting mugged in India.
This book was an insightful look at the LGBTQIA+ community everywhere.
As a cis-gender, straight woman, ‘Eat, Gay, Love’ made me understand the inherent discomfort LGBTQIA+ people must feel about their sexuality around others, not able to speak openly until they know they will be completely safe.
I really recommend reading this book for a fantastic mixture of important discussions, rich description and hilarious stories!
Have you read ‘Eat, Gay, Love’ by Calum McSwiggan? Do you have any thoughts on this book? What is your favourite book at the moment?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Happy reading x
Picture credits here.