glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy






Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

Palahniuk, Chuck (b. 1962)  
page: 1  2  3  4  5  

He later explained that his marital status was simply "assumed" by the reporters themselves and that such an assumption was not worth clarifying. It was "just one those battles you choose to fight or not fight," Palahniuk asserted. "I saw it in print and thought, Oh well, what the hell." He also ventured that in some interviews he might have used the word spouse. As Palahniuk explained, "When I say 'spouse,' people make an assumption."

He continued to be guarded about his homosexuality until September 2003 when he intentionally outed himself in response to what he feared would be a public outing by a journalist.

Anxious that an upcoming article in Entertainment Weekly, written by Karen Valby, would reveal publicly for the first time that he was gay, Palahniuk posted an audio blog on a popular fan-created Internet site described as "the official Chuck Palahniuk website," and known as "The Cult."

In his blog, Palahniuk revealed the true gender of his spouse, and additionally made several derogatory statements about the interviewer and a member of her family, information that Valby herself had disclosed during the course of their interview. As Palahniuk noted in his remarks, "The knife cuts both ways."

However, when the five-page feature article appeared no mention was made regarding Palahniuk's sexuality. Instead, Valby stated that "Palahniuk has no wife and declines to discuss his personal life on the record, preferring to keep his fans guessing (which they're not shy about doing)."

Palahniuk's audio blog was subsequently deleted from the fan website, presumably to remove the derogatory statements about Valby and her family.

Disclosures about his homosexuality do not appear to have adversely affected Palahniuk's popularity, however. In fact, many of his fans continue to be surprised to learn that the writer is gay. As Palahniuk explained to Austin Bunn in the Advocate, he believes that such indifference to his sexuality, at least among his readers, demonstrates that being gay "is a more accepted part of people's lives now."

Nonetheless, Palahniuk persists in shunning the label of "gay author." In the same Advocate interview, Palahniuk explains, "I know people who have spun their nationality or their sexuality or their race, but after a few books it's really limiting and their readership doesn't want them to write about anything other than that experience. They find themselves pigeonholed, documenting the same small aspect of themselves over and over."

In Invisible Monsters, his first written novel, although published subsequent to the success of Fight Club, Palahniuk has one of his main characters, Brandy Alexander, a pre-op transsexual, recoil against such pigeonholing, declaring "I am not straight, and I am not gay. I'm not bisexual. I want out of the labels. I don't want my whole life crammed into a single word."

It is perhaps not surprising then, that Palahniuk's works are often about marginalized people striving to satisfy the fundamental need to connect with others and find acceptance within a community. As Palahniuk notes in the introduction to his 2004 collection of nonfiction writing, Stranger than Fiction: True Stories, "all my books are about a lonely person looking for some way to connect with other people."

Similarly, Antonio Casado de Rocha, in his essay "Disease and Community in Chuck Palahniuk's Early Fiction," observes that "the characters in Palahniuk's fiction usually have an unorthodox approach to life, but their main goal is quite straightforward—to find a way to live together with other people."

Biography and Early Career

One of six children, Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk was born to Fred, a railroad brakeman, and Carol Palahniuk, an office manager at a nuclear power plant, on February 21, 1962 in Pasco, Washington. While still a child, his family moved to a trailer home in nearby Burbank, Washington.

His parents fought often, and sometimes violently, and separated when Palahniuk was a boy; they eventually divorced when he was 14 years old. Consequently, Palahniuk and his siblings grew up mainly with their maternal grandparents on a cattle ranch in eastern Washington.

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3  4  5   next page>  
Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Literature
Popular Topics:

The Arts

Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators

Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall
Photography: Gay Male, Pre-Stonewall

Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male
Erotic and Pornographic Art: Gay Male

New Queer Cinema

White, Minor

Halston (Roy Halston Frowick)


Winfield, Paul

McDowall, Roddy
McDowall, Roddy

Cadinot, Jean-Daniel
Cadinot, Jean-Daniel




This Entry Copyright © 2011 glbtq,Inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.