From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation.
“I loved ¡Hola Papi!” —Shea Serrano *“An invigorating and vital read.” —R. Eric Thomas *“We are lucky to live in the era of JP Brammer.” —Alexander Chee *“JP Brammer is the best storyteller. ” —Heather Havrilesky *“[Brammer is] a beautiful writer.” —Rainbow Rowell *“Essential and necessary.” —Jonny Sun
The first time someone called John Paul (JP) Brammer “Papi” was on the popular gay hookup app Grindr. At first, it was flattering; JP took this as white-guy speak for “hey, handsome.” Who doesn’t want to be called handsome? But then it happened again and again…and again, leaving JP wondering: Who the hell is Papi?
What started as a racialized moniker given to him on a hookup app soon became the inspiration for his now wildly popular advice column “¡Hola Papi!,” launching his career as the Cheryl Strayed for young queer people everywhere—and some straight people too. JP had his doubts at first—what advice could he really offer while he himself stumbled through his early 20s? Sometimes the best advice to dole outcomes from looking within, which is what JP has done in his column and book—and readers have flocked to him for honest, heartfelt wisdom, and of course, a few laughs.
In ¡Hola Papi!, JP shares his story of growing up biracial and in the closet in America’s heartland, while attempting to answer some of life’s toughest questions: How do I let go of the past? How do I become the person I want to be? Is there such a thing as being too gay? Should I hook up with my grade school bully now that he’s out of the closet? Questions we’ve all asked ourselves, surely.
With wit and wisdom in equal measure, ¡Hola Papi! is for anyone—gay, straight, and everything in between—who has ever taken stock of their unique place in the world, offering considered advice, intelligent discourse, and fits of laughter along the way. “Readers are likely to become addicted to these stories; they’re that good…Brammer comes to know himself very well, and readers will be delighted to make his acquaintance, too,” says Booklist in a starred review.
About the Author
John Paul Brammer is an author, illustrator, and columnist from rural Oklahoma currently living in Brooklyn. He runs the popular advice column “¡Hola Papi!” on Substack. His work, including essays, short fiction, and illustrations, has appeared in The Washington Post, Food & Wine, Catapult, Business Insider, and many more. This is his first book. He runs a print shop where he puts his artwork and designs at HolaPapiShop.com. You can keep up with him on Twitter or Instagram @JPBrammer.
LOVE FOR ¡HOLA PAPI! BY JP BRAMMER
"Readers are likely to become addicted to these stories; they’re that good. Beautifully written...the stories run a gamut of emotions that readers will share. Some are wistful; some, melancholy; others, sad or poignant or bittersweet. The subjects of the stories—Brammer’s quotidian life—are made fascinating with the author's deeply introspective musing and self-analysis. Brammer comes to know himself very well, and readers will be delighted to make his acquaintance, too.”—BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)
“Packed with illuminatingly frank perspectives…The sum of Brammer’s life experiences will prove charming, instructional, and frequently relatable for his established readership and those seeking time-tested advice on contemporary conundrums.”—KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Brammer’s talent as a storyteller lies in extracting profound meaning from seemingly minor events and feelings...¡Hola Papi! is a testament to turning past struggles and humiliations into fuel for a brighter future, and to owning your experiences by reframing the narrative and finding agency in the retelling."—BOOKPAGE
“Consoler of the queer and lonely John Paul Brammer—a self-described 'Twitter-addled gay Mexican with anxiety'—expands upon his popular ¡Hola Papi! advice column, often hilarious and always heartfelt, spinning personal misadventures into invaluable life lessons.”—OPRAH MAGAZINE
“John Paul Brammer brings his trademark heart and wit to essays that reveal how he grew up queer and mixed-race in the American heartland, came out in a Walmart parking lot (he does not recommend it), and became the LGBTQ+ community's favorite advice columnist — the 'Picante Carrie Bradshaw' of his generation”—THE ADVOCATE
“If you haven’t been subscribing to John Paul Brammer’s ¡Hola Papi! advice newsletter, you’ve been missing tender and funny and sweet notes on how to go from friends to lovers, questionable Latinx fetishes, and broken hearts. His memoir uses his own life as the source material for hard-earned lessons, keeping the same funny and gentle voice along the way. Being biracial and closeted in rural Oklahoma means that sometimes you end up coming out in a Walmart parking lot, and Brammer is there to guide you along the way.”—REMEZCLA
“Teaching life lessons with laughter is Brammer’s specialty, and this is a must-read for any of his devoted readers.”—NEWNOWNEXT
“I have for years looked and hoped to find a writer who could write about being (among other things) Mexican-American in a way that not only felt vital and delicate and funny and tender, but also that made me feel more connected to people who did not happen to look like me. John Paul, it would appear, is exactly that. He has a remarkable ability for writing in a way that makes it feel like he's crawling around inside your head, opening up the old wooden chests and trunk that you were never quite smart enough to figure out how to unlock. I loved ¡Hola Papi!. I'm certain you will too.”—SHEA SERRANO, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF BASKETBALL (AND OTHER THINGS)
“With the briny wit of David Rakoff, the illuminated-from-within wisdom of Cheryl Strayed, and the singular perspective that can only come from JP Brammer, ¡Hola Papi! takes the anxiety-riddled questions of being and otherness and answers them with an expansive openness that will take your breath away. Every essay in this book is revealing, personal, at times cathartic or bracing, and, above all, infused with an endless reserve of compassion. In this way, ¡Hola Papi! is life-giving. It's also life giving as in ‘this book gave me life!’ if that's how you role. Oh, my heart! My feelings! My soul! This book, which is also so richly funny and well-observed, is a gift to any reader who wants to be reminded of what an extraordinary and complex thing it is to be alive. It is an invigorating and vital read.”—R. ERIC THOMAS, bestselling author of Here for It, or How to Save Your Soul in America
“I've been a fan of JP Brammer’s for years now, following him from platform to platform in a non-creepy way, of course, always happy to shell out money for the privilege, but his free content online is more than we deserve. I do this because I have been consistently amazed at Brammer’s capacity for satire and seriousness, the way his insights lay bare what I was feeling sometimes before I knew it, and how he can break your heart as he makes you laugh. That he does all of this under the auspices of helping anyone is...Well, we are lucky to live in the era of JP Brammer. That really is all.”—ALEXANDER CHEE, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
“JP Brammer is the best storyteller. Every chapter of this amazing book will sweep you along on a tidal wave of suspense, wit, and gut-wrenching insights into the bewilderment of growing up and figuring out who you are. I love this book so much and I hope Brammer writes many more.”—HEATHER HAVRILESKY, “Ask Polly” columnist and author of What If This Were Enough?
“John Paul is so good that he makes me forget I'm reading. I sit down with ¡Hola Papi!, and ten minutes later, I'm crying, sending the funniest lines to my friends, and somehow feeling better about humanity. He's a beautiful writer. But he's also a really welcoming writer. Like, his work invites you in. This book reflects that perfectly.”—RAINBOW ROWELL, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF ELEANOR & PARK
“John Paul’s writing is a light. His heart, wit, and compassion shine through everything he writes, and his work has a way of making people feel loved, seen, validated, and connected. His perspective is much needed, and his voice needs to be heard far and wide. ¡Hola Papi! tackles race, gender, and sexuality in a way that speaks directly to marginalized communities with humor and warmth, while also bringing all of us into the conversation together. His work is essential and necessary.”—JONNY SUN, TV WRITER (BOJACK HORSEMAN) AND AUTHOR OF EVERYONE'S A ALIEBN WHEN UR A ALIEBN TOO