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Josh Kilmer-Purcell (born August 28, 1969) is an American writer, television personality, and businessperson. He is best known for appearing in the television reality show "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" with his husband, Brent Ridge, and for his bestselling memoirs. The pair also participated in the 21st season of The Amazing Race, ultimately becoming the season's grand prize winners.
In 2010, Discovery Network's Planet Green channel debuted a reality television series about Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge, titled The Fabulous Beekman Boys. The series documents their relationship and lives as farmers in upstate New York as they build a green lifestyle company together. The President and General Manager of Planet Green declared it the "No. 1 original series" on the network. In 2012, Cooking Channel acquired rights to the program, and began airing the second season.
On March 10, 2010, Bravo television network announced a development deal with Darren Star to produce I Am Not Myself These Days as a scripted television series based on Kilmer-Purcell's bestselling memoir of the same name.
Kilmer-Purcell has written or co-written six books, including two bestselling memoirs, a novel, and three cookbooks.
I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir, Harper Perennial, 2006, Memoir. Kilmer-Purcell's first memoir is a tragicomic account of his early days in New York City, living as an advertising art director by day and a drag queen named "Aquadisiac" (or "Aqua") by night. The memoir details his relationship with a crack-addicted male escort named "Jack", and was a New York Times bestseller in the spring of 2006.
Candy Everybody Wants, Harper Perennial, 2008, Novel.
The Bucolic Plague, HarperCollins, 2010, Memoir. Kilmer-Purcell's second memoir recounts his purchase of a historic mansion and goat farm in Sharon Springs, New York, and quickly became a national bestseller.
Kilmer-Purcell has also co-authored three Beekman 1802 cookbooks with Brent Ridge and Sandy Gluck.
From 2006-2009 Kilmer-Purcell wrote a monthly column about urban gay life for Out magazine. He has contributed to national media outlets including The Advocate, Huffington Post, and National Public Radio.
Kilmer-Purcell (born "Joshua Gordon Kilmer") was born in Albany, New York, and was raised in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He attended high school in Mansfield, Massachusetts and attended Michigan State University, where he studied creative writing with the poet Diane Wakoski. He received a BA in English Literature in 1991. He added his stepfather's surname "Purcell" in 1990. He met husband Brent Ridge in New York City in 2000.
Kilmer-Purcell has worked at several Manhattan advertising agencies, including Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, Merkley Newman Harty, TBWA\Chiat Day, SS+K, & JWT. It is widely believed that the events in I Am Not Myself These Days: A Memoir took place while he was working at Merkley Newman Harty.
As his drag queen alter ego "Aqua" (short for "Aquadisiac"), Kilmer-Purcell performed at nightclubs in New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Tokyo. Aqua was best known for her use of live goldfish in the breasts of her costumes. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter of protest to Kilmer-Purcell condemning the use of live animals in his shows.
In 2008 Kilmer-Purcell and Ridge launched Beekman 1802, a green lifestyle company inspired by their farm in Sharon Springs, New York.
Kilmer-Purcell is openly gay, and his husband, Dr. Brent Ridge, a physician at Mount Sinai Hospital who was the vice president of healthy living at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, have been together since 2000. Their engagement was announced in December 2011. The couple married on June 28, 2013.