I’ve decided to implement a brief series here, collecting all the details about Jamie’s ex-boyfriends in one place. Some we’ve already met extensively (Ethan), some we’ve met briefly (Alex), some we’ve heard a lot about but have yet to meet (Scott), and some we’ve only heard mentioned (Nick, Eric). And of course, we won’t be meeting poor Dan, because he’s dead.
Let’s start with Ethan.
Name: Ethan Grant Williams
Looks: straight, collar-length, silky black hair and blue-gray eyes. Think a combination of Matt Bomer/Ian Somerhalder/a young Rob Lowe. Jamie described him as the most beautiful man he’d ever met.
Born: April 17, 1980, Walnut Creek, California; raised in San Rafael, CA
Father was a software developer; his company was acquired by another for millions in 1986. His father died in 2013 and left his estate to Ethan, in spite of his disapproval of Ethan’s “lifestyle.”
Mother was an artist; left Ethan’s father in 1988 and moved to France. Said she would send for Ethan and never did. Ethan has no idea if she’s still alive.
Education: Archbishop Riordan HS, San Francisco
UC-Berkeley, 1998-2002; major English, minor creative writing. Had a rowing scholarship; participated in eight-man crew.
St. Johns College, Oxford, 2002-2005; M.Phil. English Studies (Medieval). Also rowed while here.
Yale, Ph.D., 2005-2009; Medieval British literature. Wrote his dissertation on the place of the mystery in Medieval British literature. Ethan was introduced to mystery novels by Jamie and remains a fan.
Employment: MIT, teaching writing and literature, 2009-present. Considering moving back to California.
Relationship history: Ethan and Jamie met the day they moved into the dorm at Berkeley. They started sleeping together shortly thereafter and stayed together for the next seven years. Neither was out at college. Ethan lived in fear that someone he knew would see him with Jamie and report back to his father; he knew his father would cut him off financially if he learned that Ethan was gay.
Ethan broke up with Jamie in 2005, at the end of their third year in Oxford. Ethan still wasn’t ready to come out. He needed his father to keep paying for his education and was afraid that if he moved back to the west coast, he and Jamie would be found out. Ethan moved to Yale with a guy named Thom, another doctoral student.
Thom broke up with Ethan in 2007 when Ethan was outed by a colleague of his father’s and his funds were cut off. Ethan moved in with an older professor in English department, who paid for the rest of Ethan’s education, and stayed with the older man until Ethan moved to Boston in 2009. He dated around until meeting Charlie Westerly, a German instructor at Boston College, in 2011. Ethan and Charlie broke up in 2014 when Charlie decided to move back to Georgia and Ethan refused to live in the South.
Personality: Spoiled to some extent, but grew up lonely. Very bright; always made good grades without a lot of effort. Was always a good team player and has always been generous. Something of a coward – led Charlie to believe that he’d told his father he was gay, rather than having been outed to his father. Jamie doesn’t know this, but Ethan believes that leaving Jamie was the worst mistake he ever made. He loved Jamie as much as he was capable of. He also misses the relationship that he had with Jamie’s dad.
Ethan enjoys the outdoors, and will try anything once. He’s bungee jumped, gone skydiving, likes whitewater rafting. He volunteers with Fenway Health in Boston and supports several LGBT charities. He’s made an It Gets Better video. He sees these activities as trying to atone for his cowardly past – and in a way, for how he treated Jamie.