Charleston native Joel Derfner is returning to share his personal story of gay marriage, the American family and "what it means to be human."

If you go

WHAT: Charleston native Joel Derfner shares his story.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Charleston Jewish Community Center, 1645 Raoul Wallenberg Blvd. in West Ashley

COST: Tickets are $8 for JCC or AFFA members and $12 for the general public, available at the door or by calling 571-6565.

MORE INFO: Contact Sandra Brett at

Derfner, a Porter-Gaud valedictorian and a Harvard University summa cum laude graduate, also will discuss his new book, "Lawfully Wedded Husband: How My Gay Marriage Will Save the American Family," which tells the story of marrying his longtime partner.

Derfner, a composer of several musicals, also has written "Gay Haiku" and "Swish: My Quest to Become the Gayest Person Ever and What Ended Up Happening Instead."

His articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, The Advocate, Time Out New York and Between the Lines.

He lives in New York City with his husband, psychiatrist Dr. Mike Combs. Derfner's parents, local attorney Armand Derfner and the late Mary Frances Derfner, are longtime civil rights activists.

The event, which includes a book signing, is sponsored by the Alliance For Full Acceptance. The Charleston JCC Jewish Bookfest is featuring the event.