Biography

Maxton in 2017 in NYC.

Montgomery Maxton

Born on June 29, 1980 in Mariemont, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, Maxton is primarily raised in the town of Goshen, Ohio, about nineteen miles outside of Cincinnati. His parents built a large, upper middle class estate that Maxton refers to as Ivy Manor. It is secluded and for Maxton too isolating. The family traveled frequently.


1999 

  • June 1st, graduates from Goshen High School the class poet and newspaper editor, in Goshen, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. Maxton states he was severely bullied in school by three guys and it largely has an impact on his life for years to come. On his last day of high school James, one of his bullies, approaches him in the hallway and punches him so hard in the chest while calling him a “faggot” that it causes damage to his heart. 
  • Outside of school and despite being born into poverty, his parents worked hard throughout his childhood and, achieving success at Ford Motor Company and Macy’s, Maxton has enjoyed a upper middle class life filled with new cars, travel, nice dinners, and a large country estate since about the age of ten.
  • Shortly after his 19th birthday on June 29th, his family takes holiday to Florida. He begins dropping hints to his family that he’s gay.
  • Maxton tells his best friend, Andrea Pittman, via letter, that he is gay. She is the first person he comes out to.
  • On August 18, 1999 Maxton comes out as gay to his mother, saying he has known he was gay since he was 5 years old. She tells the family the next day. They all react supportively, especially his siblings. His father remarks, “He’s my son and always will be. I’ll always love him.”
  • Begins working at Macys.com.

2000 

  • Maxton celebrates the turn-of-the-millennium with his parents and siblings at their estate in Goshen, Ohio.
  • At a Valentine’s Day party in Cincinnati, 19 year old Maxton unexpectedly meets Brent Rose, 24, a Federal Agent with the Department of Homeland Security. While Rose is away in Atlanta training for his new role, they would communicate via email, which Maxton has never used before, and via letter and telephone. The two would begin dating in April. It is Maxton’s first relationship.
  • Maxton demands he be allowed to bring Rose as his date to his brother’s May 12th wedding. He was told he could bring him if they “acted civil.” Maxton is confused by the remark and says it is homophobic.
  • Attends the Ohio Center for Broadcasting before enrolling at the University of Cincinnati.
  • May 12th Maxton and Rose attend the wedding as an openly gay couple, much to the dismay of the Baptist pastor and many relatives of Maxton’s mother’s side of the family.
  • Leaves Macys.com for work at a Credit Union.
  • Maxton meets and photographs Ellen DeGeneres in Cincinnati.

2001

  • Is at work at the Credit Union during the 9/11 attacks.
  • Maxton and Rose move into a new large house adjacent the Cincinnati Airport.
  • Is fired from the Credit Union on New Year’s Eve after the company finds out he is gay.

2002

  • Maxton’s father is discovered to be living a double life. His father promptly abandons his entire family on January 31st. 
  • Maxton’s father physically attacks Maxton, his mother, his mistress, and his own father during a confrontation. Police find Maxton at 3am hiding under the back deck of a neighbor’s house in nearly one foot of snow.
  • Maxton files suit against the Credit Union while attempting to maintain order at home and his grades at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Maxton becomes estranged from his father. His father’s side of the family uses this chance to distance themselves from Maxton due to his homosexuality, citing Maxton’s “disrespectful behavior toward his father.” Maxton states he was never disrespectful toward his father and that it is actually the reverse, that his father is disrespectful toward him and his mother, whom he is defending because his father emotionally abused Maxton’s mother’s for years. A friend would later admit they distanced themselves because they had concerns with Maxton being gay around their young children. Maxton never speaks to them again.

2003

  • Maxton’s parents divorce in March after 26 years of marriage.
  • Maxton and Brent Rose separate after Rose is discovered to be having an affair. After a couple of years apart, the two would become close friends and Rose would ultimately be an unwavering protector of Maxton.
  • Credit Union settles lawsuit outside of court.
  • Maxton’s father marries his mistress in Tennessee three months after the divorce. His mistress’ son shares Maxton’s birthday and a week later his father calls Maxton on his birthday and states that since his new son was also born on June 29th that he will never celebrate Maxton’s birthday again. 
  • Maxton’s flash memoir, “My Mother, Survivor” is published by Advocate Magazine.
  • Maxton changes his name to Montgomery Maxton from his birth name Michael Kenneth Feds for reasons he has says was “to further my writing career and as a big fuck you to my father.”
  • Maxton is interviewed by the Associated Press in regards to the gay marriage ban in Ohio. The interview appears on the front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer and is published in the USA Today, Washington Post, and other outlets.
  • Ivy Manor, the house Maxton has called home since childhood, is sold six months after the divorce.
  • Maxton begins seeking treatment for depression.
  • Meets friend Jeffrey W.
  • Maxton is suspended from the University of Cincinnati for receiving an “I” meaning an “Incomplete” in one class, English. Maxton fights the suspension, but the board lets the one year suspension stand. He never returns and slams the University of Cincinnati for punishing a student for being ill.
  • Maxton suffers an emotional breakdown and is hospitalized overnight in Cincinnati.

2004

  • Spends much of the year as a gypsy, holding odd jobs, working on photography and dating a series of unsuitable men.
  • Maxton meets Larry X in Cincinnati, the great-x4 grandson of Robert E. Lee. 
  • Maxton and Larry attend a speech by Coretta Scott King. Maxton rushes the stage after the speech, meeting King whom shakes his hand and then cups his face with her hand. He reportedly then photographs her backstage but has never released the photo. King dies a little over a year later.
  • Maxton says Larry has some racist tendencies and stops dating him.
  • Maxton’s high school bully, Greg, is sentence to life in prison for the murder of a man in a drug deal gone wrong.
  • Maxton adopts a Dalmatian from a shelter in Cincinnati that will remain with him for years.

2005

  • Maxton leaves Cincinnati, moving to Columbus, Ohio.
  • Begins working at America Online in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Meets friend Craig L., a student at Ohio State University.
  • Travels to New York City for the first time in March. Says he will someday live there.
  • Maxton’s high school bully, James, is ran over by a tractor in a field in Ohio and dies instantly. Upon receiving news of the death, Maxton expressed standard condolences.
  • Maxton’s mother marries her boyfriend that she met in 2005.
  • Meets friend Erica M.
  • Maxton and Erica immerse themselves in Columbus’ art scene and nightlife although Maxton abstains from the use of alcohol.

2006

  • Flies for the first time on an airplane. Aviation instantly becomes an interest to him and he begins incorporating it into the storylines of his work.
  • Maxton launches an online blog, MontgomeryMaxton.blogspot.com. 
  • In December he moves to New York City, taking residence at 614 W. 152nd Street.
  • Maxton is stricken with severe symptoms of insomnia.
  • Maxton’s high school bully, Anthony, is sentence to twenty years in prison after driving drunk and running over and killing two bicyclists. Upon watching video of the sentencing, and seeing Anthony crying in front of the judge and begging for leniency, Maxton post on his blog that it is a tragedy for everyone. Rumors begin to swirl that Anthony is gay.
  • Maxton is invited to give a poetry reading at the University of Cincinnati. After accepting the offer he ultimately cancels, citing he still has a bad taste for the school.
  • Maxton gives a poetry reading in Cincincinnati separate from the University. Some 150 people attended, including his ex-partner, Brent Rose. It will be the last time he reads for twelve years.
  • Maxton meets friend Aaron M., a stage and film set and costume designer.

2007

  • Meets a Canadian tech giant, ten years his senior, in NYC, whom he nevers discloses the name of. The relationship inspires multiple writings.
  • Begins writing “This Beautiful Bizarre” and “The Manhattan Man.”
  • Maxton meets friend Eric J., an actor as well as an employee of Doctors Without Borders. Eric’s humanitarian travels over the next few years inspire Maxton’s poetry.
  • Captures the photograph “Empire State Building 2007” which will become his best selling photograph over the next ten years.
  • Maxton leaves New York City in April and returns to Columbus to be closer to his ailing grandparents.
  • Begins use of online video sharing website YouTube and the rise of social media.
  • Maxton flies to Montreal to visit his Canadian boyfriend.
  • While in Montreal Maxton captures his photograph “Skeleton in a Gloomy Window.”
  • Maxton is diagnosed with adult ADHD and Bipolar Disorder. He never discusses the illnesses publicly.
  • National Geographic publishes “Skeleton in a Gloomy Window” which ultimately launches his photography career.
  • Maxton travels to San Francisco for the first time and meets longtime pen pal artist Rene Capone.
  • Maxton captures “Self Portrait with My Dying Grandmother” but holds off on publishing it.
  • Maxton suffers a nervous breakdown in October and is sent to stay with his mother for two weeks in Cincinnati.
  • Maxton’s weighs only 108lbs at year’s end.

2008

  • Maxton’s maternal grandmother dies in March aged 84 after a ten year battle with Alzheimer’s.
  • Maxton delivers eulogy at his grandmother’s funeral.
  • Maxton lightly reconciles with his paternal grandfather, Butch, despite what Maxton has described as his grandfather being “a stupid bigot.” He says his grandfather’s old age had softened him and that his grandfather positively acknowledged Maxton’s homosexuality.
  • Maxton’s “Aunt Pat” whom is the sister of his paternal grandmother that died when he was 11 and he had developed a lifelong friendship with, dies unexpectedly in Cincinnati aged 71.
  • Maxton leaves Columbus and moves to his brother’s farm forty miles outside of Cincinnati, whom is going through a divorce from his wife of eight years, whom Maxton has known since he was in high school. The isolation, he says, inspires his writing of his first novel, “Midnight.”
  • Maxton’s paternal grandfather Butch dies unexpectedly in his sleep in May. Maxton had seen him just the night before.
  • Maxton sees his father for the first time in five years. They briefly hug and chat coffinside at the funeral. Maxton’s mother attends the funeral marking the first time his parents have been together since their 2003 divorce. Maxton refuses to speak to his father’s wife.
  • Maxton’s beloved Dalmatian dies.
  • Maxton’s 2007 photograph, “Self Portrait with My Dying Grandmother” is nominated for the National Geographic International Photography Award. He receives sharp criticism for the photograph.
  • Maxton begins making daily visits to his maternal grandfather, Kenneth Lee, in a nursing home in Loveland, Ohio. Already close, the two become a comfort to each other in trying times.
  • In a chance encounter, Maxton meets Barack Obama in Cincinnati and photographs him. 
  • Meets friend Barry F., a fellow blogger, in Cincinnati.
  • Maxton is slightly injured when the car he was a passenger in crashes on a Cincinnati freeway at 80mph.
  • National Geographic publishes “Barack Obama in Ault Park” which is considered his masterpiece.
  • Maxton tries his first alcoholic drink aged 28.
  • The Great Recession hits and Maxton witnesses its effects on the working poor in rural Ohio.
  • Barack Obama becomes President, rocketing the value of Maxton’s photo to $10,000.00.
  • Maxton meets, via online dating, opera singer X in December. The two agree to a date after the New Year.

2009

  • Maxton and X begin dating in January.
  • Maxton has his first photography exhibit, in Cincinnati, and makes his first sale ever, for $500.00.
  • Maxton tastes wine for the first time.
  • Maxton begins flying to various cities that X is performing in, including Richmond, Virginia, which Maxton develops a love for the state’s beauty.
  • Maxton’s niece, Sarah, is born in June.
  • Completes handwriting the first draft of “Midnight” during summer.
  • Maxton and Patrick X move-in together in a charming apartment in Cincinnati’s bohemian artist neighborhood known as the Gaslight District.

2010

  • Maxton’s long awaited first poetry collection, “This Beautiful Bizarre” is published by Moon Ice Press. He dedicates it to Eric and Aaron.
  • Maxton turns 30. At an amusement park to celebrate he captures a photograph which is published soon thereafter by National Geographic.
  • Maxton and X discuss moving to Philadelphia for X’s career despite NYC being a more reasonable option for the opera singer whom hates NYC.
  • Maxton visits his grandfather for the last time on August 2nd, the day before he is to move to Philadelphia with Patrick X. Maxton did not tell his ailing grandfather that he was moving out of state.
  • Maxton and X move to Philadelphia where they live in a luxury highrise in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood. Two days after moving in X leaves for a long-term project and won’t return until 2011.
  • Maton suffers a medical episode while moving into his apartment. X maintain airflow until paramedics arrive. He is initially paralyzed on the right side but regains function at the hospital. He then sleeps for three days. Doctors were unable to to provide an explanation.
  • Maxton is shocked and intimidated by the violence in Philadelphia and initially does not enjoy living in the city.
  • X’s career skyrockets as his popularity grows. Three days after moving to Philadelphia X leaves for a long-term project. The couple spend months apart at a time, thus creating strain in the young relationship.
  • Maxton begins working for a tech company in downtown Philadelphia.
  • On November 10th Maxton is nearly hit by a speeding hearse in Philadelphia while driving along the Schuylkill River. He pulls over to catch his breath. While doing so his phone rings and his mother delivers the news that his grandfather Kenneth Lee has just died aged 88.
  • Maxton flies to Ohio to attend the funeral.

2011

  • Maxton spends a great deal of this year alone in his Philadelphia apartment while working during the day downtown. He has no friends in Philadelphia and his family never visits him.
  • Maxton is in his high rise office tower when the East Coast earthquake strikes. He watches the Comcast Tower, then Philadelphia’s tallest tower, shake, and is himself shook as his building sways. The eighty year old fireplace in his apartment is destroyed beyond repair.
  • Maxton officially completes “Midnight” but has no plans to publish it.
  • Maxton visits Washington DC for the first time in one of the few times him and X are together in 2011.

2012

  • Maxton travels to Los Angeles for the first time on a business trip. He said he is shocked by its beauty and pulse.
  • Maxton attends the Golden Globes.
  • Maxton meets friend Michael M. in Philadelphia, whom he affectionately calls Macé. The two have a tumultuous friendship, fueled by alcohol and sexual chemistry, while Macé helps Maxton become familiar with Philadelphia’s nightlife and large gay scene. Macé would later marry his boyfriend on Maxton’s birthday.
  • Maxton’s estranged father undergoes emergency quadruple bypass surgery at the age of 54. Maxton briefly speaks to him on the phone when he is being prepped for surgery.
  • Maxton and X travel to Washington DC for X’s singing debut at the National Cathedral, which is visibly damaged from the earthquake. In the hotel room just hours before the concert the couple erupt into an argument in the bathroom while X is getting ready. X reportedly shoves Maxton into the door hard enough to cause bruising and bleeding on his sternum. X leaves and Maxton collapses onto the floor and calls his brother in Ohio. Later that evening, fearing retribution for not attending, he attends the concert and then a reception in the basement of the Cathedral where X acts like nothing happened and Maxton gets wildly drunk.
  • Maxton tells his brother a month later that X has a problem controlling his temper as he knows X previously beat-up his Cincinnati roommate upon losing his temper and that he’s worried that by speaking up or countering X’s views or opinions that it may lead to another physical encounter.
  • Maxton travels to Los Angeles in May with X for a wedding of a friend of X. The two spend two weeks traveling California, which is X’s home state.
  • Maxton tells his brother he is financially dependant upon X and fears leaving the relationship.
  • X is hired by the Metropolitan Opera in New York City as an understudy and moves there for the duration. He is then hired by the company to make his mainstage debut in late 2013. His fame skyrockets.

2013

  • Maxton develops a small but core group of friends in Philadelphia, hosting wine tasting parties in his house and immersing himself in the nightclub scene.
  • X returns from two months on location to notice that a photograph on the wall had been replaced with a mirror. He rips the mirror off the wall and breaks it over Maxton’s back. Maxton says that this is when checked-out of the relationship, but couldn’t figure out how to leave.
  • Maxton’s friend Jeffrey W., aware of the situation, flies Maxton to Aruba for a week. Upon returning Maxton confides to his family that he needs their help getting out of the relationship. 
  • Shortly after his 33rd birthday on June 29th, Maxton meets Sean Donnell, 33, a healthcare professional native to Philadelphia, and the two quickly become nearly inseparable. 
  • Maxton and Sean travel to Atlantic City for a John Legend concert. During this trip Maxton would write to his friend Craig that he felt, for the first time ever, free, loved, and safe, thanks to Sean, whom he has fallen in love with.
  • Maxton is laid-off from his job at the tech company in Philadelphia that he has worked with since 2010. He receives a decent severance package and will use it to execute a planned escape in 2014 with the help of his family.
  • X makes his mainstage debut at the Met Opera and is living full time in NYC while Maxton keeps the Philadelphia apartment. They had not seen each other in six months prior to Maxton being present for the opening night debut. In NYC, Maxton’s mother flies in from Ohio.
  • Maxton and Sean spend nearly every day together for five months straight. 

2014

  • X returns to Philadelphia in January for two weeks before leaving for four months. The two celebrate their 5 year anniversary at a dinner that a friend sitting nearby would say was “intense.”
  • Maxton takes a part time job at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to earn more money for his secret transition out of the relationship.
  • Maxton and Sean painfully split, at Sean’s initiation and despite them both being in love, over the strain of Maxton’s situation, which Sean was allegedly aware of from the getgo. Maxton is devastated, saying that Sean is the only person he has ever truly loved and been loved by. Maxton spends four months isolated alone in his apartment during a harsh winter, reportedly Skyping with his friend Craig, a licensed psychologist, who reportedly helps him overcome the incident. 
  • Sean never speaks to Maxton again, despite Maxton’s pleas to.
  • Maxton writes the short stories The Philadelphia War and Magnolia80.
  • Maxton uses his job at the art museum to his benefit, arriving at work an hour early each day to spend time in the completely empty galleries observing the art and healing himself in the abundance of quiet and beauty.
  • Officially breaks all ties with X. The two apologize to each other for anything that may have caused pain to each other. They occasionally speak in the future.
  • On Thanksgiving Day Maxton relocates to New York City in a move that shocks everyone from his friends to his family. He moves in with his best friend Scott H. on West 44th Street in Hell’s Kitchen. He has no job and only $5,000.00 to his name. 
  • Maxton’s family never visited him during his half decade in Philadelphia. He remains largely estranged from his father for eleven years now.

2015 

  • Maxton meets model Shawn Thaddeus on Twitter. The two quickly begin dating and move in together on June 1st. 
  • On June 6th around 3pm, Maxton received a message that his ex-partner Brent Rose has died suddenly in the house they once shared together in Cincinnati. Maxton reportedly collapsed and briefly rendered unconscious. Rose, whose relationship of 11 years ended the day before, stepped into the tub in the guest bathroom downstairs, put a gun to his head and killed himself at around 9:30am. Maxton was banned from the funeral because of Rose’s family’s objections to homosexuality. He has never visited the gravesite in rural Kentucky. In a stunning last act of comfort, knowing that Maxton would need it, Rose packed two boxes of items for him which he received a month later. Inside one of the boxes were all the love letters, cards, and photographs Maxton had ever given Rose.
  • On the evening of the day of Brent’s death Maxton keeps his RSVP and appears at a goodbye party in lower Manhattan for a friend of his boyfriend, later calling it the most ironic thing he has ever experienced.
  • In a suicide note found just feet from his body, Rose mentioned Maxton and reportedly asked family and friends to “please take care of him.” Maxton has never seen the note and says he doesn't believe it.
  • Maxton, still in grief and shock a month later, receives a call from a headhunter located in the Empire State Building for a face-to-face interview about a job in tech.
  • Maxton tells his friend Scott that Thaddeus is an alcoholic and coke addict and is emotionally abusive and has, on more than one occasion, threatened to kill him.
  • Maxton’s brother marries in Ohio. He does not attend the wedding citing scheduling conflicts.
  • Maxton briefly interns at Perry Ellis Inc where, one day, he runs into his idol Keira Knightley in the elevator of the Hippodrome Building in Bryant Park.
  • On August 30th Maxton receives a call to report for a new temp job the next day. It is a 9 year old tech company located on Wall Street.
  • After nearly a dozen interviews over the course of a month, Maxton is hired by the tech company and placed in charge of the New York office. He has forty-five employees.
  • Thaddeus comes home at 3am drunk and throws-up all over the apartment. Maxton, pretending to be asleep in bed, turns on his video camera. Thaddeus attacks him in bed with a vomit-soaked towel. Maxton hides in the bathroom as Thaddeus retrieves a knife from the kitchen. Maxton leaves the next day, ending the relationship and moving to Brooklyn where he lives in a $4,000 apartment with three female roommates that work in civil tech, Winklevoss bitcoin, and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
  • The video of the incident is hacked from Maxton’s cloud and is uploaded to the Reddit website.
  • Maxton unexpectedly receives a large inheritance from a late friends estate which is kept in an escrow account for one year.

2016

  • Maxton meets Jamaican asylee Owen Ascot. The two begin dating.
  • Maxton’s social life is on game and he begins hosting parties on the private rooftop deck of his apartment in Brooklyn.
  • Meets friend Kristoffer S..
  • Is in Stamford, Connecticut at a gay club on the night of the Pulse Nightclub terror attack in Orlando and begins to suffer from major anxiety while at clubs shortly after.
  • Meets friend Minkah C..
  • Maxton’s publicist and editor both begin monitoring his social media post and, at times, removing items, in an agreement between them and Maxton to help him with his impulsiveness associated with his ADHD, and to protect his image and careers.
  • A company in the Empire State Building buys a copy of Maxton’s “Empire State Building 2007” photograph and hangs it in their offices on the 76th floor of the famous building.
  • “Champagne” his second poetry collection, is published in October.
  • Maxton brands himself as primarily just a NYC Street Photographer, no longer photographing headshots or wedding, but continuing to photograph nude men and women.
  • Maxton travels extensively in the US, including to his friend Aaron’s historic thousand acre estate in Virginia.
  • Maxton and all of his employees fly to California for a two day party to celebrate the company’s ten year anniversary.c
  • Begins negotiations with a production company to film a documentary about his life that will extensively revisit and focus on his bullies and is set to begin filming in early 2018.
  • Maxton is minorly beaten during a mugging in Midtown Manhattan. Police arrest the assailant three hours later, a fifteen year old with over 30 prior arrest that is battling meth addiction. He refuses to press charges and offers to send the teenager to rehab.
  • Is in San Francisco during the Presidential election.

2017

  • Maxton splits from Owen stating irreconcilable differences, although it is said that it is because Owen has cheated extensively. He says he has no ill-will toward Owen, stating that he understands the plight he faces as an immigrant in the United States, and reportedly furnishes his apartment for him and financially assists Owen’s family in a poverty-stricken area of Kingston, Jamaica.
  • Maxton’s niece, Joanna Rose, is born, bearing in her name the surname of his late ex-partner Brent Rose.
  • Maxton moves into a $2.2 million dollar brownstone in Brooklyn owned by his friend.
  • Maxton is stricken with influenza and is hospitalized for five weeks due to complications from the virus.
  • Maxton hires a private driver, two housekeepers, a personal stylist, and a make-up artist. On occasion during nights out at some of Manhattan’s hottest nightclubs, he employs a bodyguard to protect him in the event of a “active shooter” which he has developed a near life-crippling anxiety from the rise of such events.
  • Maxton’s cousin Jeni Irick dies from a heroin overdose in Florida, aged 33.
  • Announces that he will publish his story “The Manhattan Man” but will do so in the form of a graphic novel, in 2018.
  • Maintains a very active social and dating life.
  • Maxton receives, over the course of one month, three kidnapping and ransom threats. He reports it to the authorities who say they are credible threats and Maxton should take them seriously. He installs a home security system in his house.
  • Maxton travels to Fort Lauderdale and Miami for the first time where his friend Craig resides.
  • While in Miami Maxton’s home is robbed and he watches it live on his home security system. One of the items stolen was a gold ring that his late partner Brent Rose gave him. The ring is later recovered.
  • Flying home from Miami his plane nearly collides with another jet at Newark Airport, aborting landing with less than 5 seconds to spare. The next day he is one block away from the 2017 Lower Manhattan truck-ramming terrorist attack.
  • Ends the wild and lucrative year with a stay at The William Vale, his favorite social nightlife spot and a world renowned five star hotel, in the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, where Maxton is frequently seen.

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