Michael Arceneaux, a longtime writer and author of I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé, describes his first book as his B’Day or Janet album. Released in July, the book is a series of charmingly cynical, reflective essays about his Houston upbringing, finding his way out of the clutches of religion, and life as a freelance writer and Sallie Mae nemesis. (Full disclosure: Arceneaux is a good friend of mine, and he’s written multiple pieces for Gawker and The Root—do not talk to him about Bitcoin.)
I Can’t Date Jesus, he tells Jezebel, is “a memoir in essays essentially about me learning how to ho without the fear of God.” There’s a specifically Michael brand of humor to his writing, which includes anecdotes and self-critical personal essays on family, sexuality, and being black and gay in America alongside, for example, a reference to Fefe Dobson. Watch the video above, where Arceneaux talks about his book, considers which reality star he would be, and explains why Mariah Carey is one of the greatest rappers of all time.