Peter McGehee

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Peter McGehee
BornPeter Gregory McGehee
October 6, 1955
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
DiedSeptember 13, 1991
Toronto, Ontario
Occupationnovelist, short story writer
Notable worksBoys Like Us, Sweetheart
PartnerDouglas Wilson

Peter Gregory McGehee[1] (October 6, 1955 – September 13, 1991)[2] was an American-born Canadian novelist, dramatist and short story writer.[2]

Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to Frank Thomas and Julia Ann May McGehee,[1] Peter moved with his family to Little Rock when he was six.[1] He was the second of three children. McGehee played the trombone at Parkview High School in Little Rock where he graduated in 1973.[1] McGehee studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas before moving to San Francisco to work in theatre.[2] While living in San Francisco, he wrote his first play and first comedic musical revue The Quinlan Sisters, and later met Canadian activist Douglas Wilson, who became his partner.[2] He moved to Saskatoon in 1980 to be with Wilson, and subsequently the couple moved to Toronto in 1982.[2] However, due to the lack of recognition afforded to same-sex marriage at the time, he often faced potential deportation because of his citizenship status, twice entering marriages of convenience with female friends.[2] He briefly moved to New York City in 1984, but had returned to Toronto by 1986.[2]

He published his first novella, Beyond Happiness, with Stubblejumper Press in 1985,[2] and premiered his second revue, The Fabulous Sirs, in 1987.[2]

In 1988, McGehee and Wilson were both diagnosed HIV-positive. McGehee subsequently wrote two novels, Boys Like Us and Sweetheart, and a book of short stories, The IQ Zoo.[2] Boys Like Us was published in 1991, shortly before McGehee's death of AIDS-related causes; Sweetheart and The IQ Zoo were both published posthumously.[2] The novels focused on the life of Zero MacNoo, a character who much like McGehee himself was an American living in Toronto, and his family and circle of friends.[2]

Using notes that McGehee had written in preparation for his third novel, Wilson subsequently wrote Labour of Love before his own death in 1992.[2] That novel was published in 1993.[2]


  • Beyond Happiness (1985)
  • Boys Like Us (1991)
  • The IQ Zoo (1991)
  • Sweetheart (1992)


  1. ^ a b c d Peter Gregory McGehee (1955–1991). Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture, June 16, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Peter McGehee Archived 2013-12-19 at the Wayback Machine., 2005.