KERGAN_Vert.ColorKergan Edwards is an award-winning director, author and screenwriter.  His collection of short stories, Gifts Not Yet Given, was a finalist for a 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Award and appeared on several Best Book of the Year lists.

His debut novel, Songs for the New Depression, won the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the LGBTQ category, was short-listed for the 2011 Independent Literary Award in the same, and placed on several Best Books of the Year lists.  Inspired by his years of working at AIDS Project Los Angeles, as well as the loss of a partner to the disease, Songs for the New Depression takes its readers on a compelling journey to personal awakening.  It has been called “Simply stunning” by Frontiers Magazine and received high critical acclaim, including a starred review from the Library Journal.

Shorter works, including essays and short stories, have appeared in such journals and magazines as Huffingon Post, Bilerico Project, American Short Fiction and SexVibe.

When Esther Saw the Light, a theatrical production Kergan directed, won awards at the Kennedy Center for both Best Play and Meritorious Direction.  The Washington Post called it “Gaspingly funny”, while the Washington Times noted it was a “nose-thumbing comedy worth its weight in sacred cows.”  While at UCLA, Kergan was honored to receive the Doris Packer Award for Graduating Senior.

As an actor in his early years, Kergan performed in countless plays, and did commercials and print work for Toyota, Honda, Guide Los Angeles, and Isuzu, among others.  His proudest moment, however, was as a model for a national ad campaign for “Today Condoms”, which ran for many months in such magazines as Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, and Cosmopolitan.  This led him to be known at UCLA as “the condom guy”, long before he became known even more widely as “the condom guy” for demonstrating safer sex techniques, such as rolling a condom on a dildo with his mouth, as part of his work at AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).

While at APLA, Kergan headed an HIV education program, overseeing and training countless volunteers, editing a magazine, doing community outreach, and writing curriculum for workshops covering everything from safer sex basics, to increased intimacy and enhanced self-esteem.  Kergan gave hundreds of educational speeches, and he was honored to be  the keynote speaker for the Louisiana State Department of Health’s Annual Conference.  This passion for social justice led him not only to APLA, but to the L.A. Free Clinic, where he created traveling theatrical productions educating teens about high risk behaviors.

Kergan credits much of his adult emotional growth to a pivotal moment in his life: while at APLA, he fell in love with Shane Michael Sawick, an actor who ran the Southern California AIDS Hotline.  When they met, Shane had already been diagnosed with AIDS, and at that time, there were not the medical advances we have today.  During the course of their relationship, Shane became ill with Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), and died on March 22, 1995.  Through the process of being caregiver and in loving fully, Kergan was forced to examine himself and his darker emotions, and this experience influences much of his writing.  Shane is greatly missed.

In a volunteer capacity, Kergan has organized protests, benefits, and rallies, and the Peace & Justice Speakers Series he created at Church of the Foothills (ChOTF) featured experts from the Southern Poverty Law Center, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Children of Uganda, OC Transgender Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, OC Equality Coalition, OC Food Bank, and Schindler’s List/Holocaust survivor Laura Hillman.  Also at ChOTF, Kergan was pleased to bring the controversial and important plays Corpus Christi and Confessions of a Mormon Boy to conservative Orange County.

Furthering his commitment to progressive causes, Kergan was proud to help launch Bright Green Kids, an “all green”, eco-friendly fundraising initiative for schools, where he served as Director of Marketing.

Currently, Kergan lives in Evergreen, Colorado, with his husband Russ Noe.  Russ is a creative brand strategist and is the cat’s pajamas.  And when Russ is not busy being the cat’s pajamas, he is the bee’s knees. After almost 12 years together, Russ and Kergan were legally wed on June 7, 2014.

Accompanying Russ and Kergan on their life journey are their two amazing sons, Mason and Marcus.  Mason is smart, sweet, and an incredible athlete who lives for football, and Marcus is charming, funny, and destined to end up on stage somewhere.  Kergan feels incredibly fortunate to have such a phenomenal family, and dedicates this blog to them.

When not busy writing or promoting his radical gay agenda, Kergan stays busy with his family, working out, and folding laundry.  He was honored to be chosen as one of HRC‘s 2011 “Fathers of the Year.”

He is currently at work on his forthcoming memoir, Never Turn Your Back on the Tide.