The story of the spectacular rise of America's most powerful openly gay politician will be on sale soon. But for political gossip hounds awaiting the release of Stuart E. Weisberg's Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman the book's October release will most likely disappoint. Weisberg's biography is a well-researched account of Frank's life, ambitions and political career that stays clear of the 69-year-old's personal life.

Still, the personal does slip in where appropriate. Weisberg dedicates an entire chapter to Frank's coming out process in the late 80s. Frank's sexuality was, by the book's account, a well-known secret among reporters and Washington insiders. An understanding between Frank and Boston Globe reporter Bob Healy drives home this point. Healy, the paper's chief political correspondent, was promised the story of Frank's coming out years before the paper published its May 30, 1987 front page headline Frank Discuses Being Gay.

“U.S. Representative Barney Frank, after years of ambivalence about disclosing the nature of his private life, has decided to acknowledge that is he gay,” the paper published above the fold.

Frank decided to come out publicly at the age of 47, during his fourth term as congressman. He said the catalyst was the death of Stewart McKinney, a closeted bisexual Republican representative from Connecticut.

“This is crazy,” he later told the Washington Post. “It touched off something. An unfortunate debate about 'Was he or wasn't he? Didn't he or did he?' I said to myself, I don't want that to happen to me.”

Whether Frank's life inside his gigantic walk-in closet served his ambitions – allowing his political career to flourish first in Massachusetts and later in Washington – is debatable. Early on Frank says he felt strongly that a public life could only come at the sacrifice of a personal life. But as the years wore on, his sustaining closet turned on him, and the lie took an emotional toll.

Two years before Frank came out publicly, he paid Stephen Gobie to have sex with him. The relationship turned platonic and Frank hired the 28-year-old to run errands. He said he wanted to help Gobie straighten out his life, but, according to Frank, he soon realized that he was being used and terminated the friendship.

Gobie took his story to the press in 1989, telling the conservative paper the Washington Times that he ran a prostitution ring out of Frank's basement apartment with his knowledge and approval. He said the pair had sex in the congressional gym. Allegations Frank denied.

Conservatives delighted in the scandal and pressed to have Frank sacked. It didn't happen because Gobie had talked too much. He made allegations that could easily be disproved. And ultimately hung himself.

Barney Frank was first elected to Congress on the same night that Ronald Reagan won the White House, making the story of how the unabashedly liberal politician remained popular as conservatives surged throughout the nation thoroughly fascinating. Voters decidedly returned Frank to Congress at the same time fellow Democrats fell victims to the Reagan Revolution.

But while Weisberg does an excellent job assessing Frank's political highs and lows, his book, perhaps out of respect for Frank, stays clear from the politician's personal life. More ink is spilled in the book's 500 plus pages on the women Frank dated than the men he loved. An 11 year relationship with Herb Moses gets little more than a footnote, and his current boyfriend, Jim Ready, is mentioned only once in passing.

Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman is available now for preorder at