The main characters name is Gabe and the supporting characters often joke and call him "gabe-boy" so it sounds like "gay boy". I know Emerson and Thoreau are heavily mentioned in the book and there is some supernatural out of body experience scene at the end. Name of book and author?
Possibly Daniel Hayes's Flyers.
When Gabe Riley and his friends start filming a horror movie at the town's infamous Blood Red Pond, his own life begins to take a weird turn. Why is his father, a charmer with a weakness for the bottle, more melancholy than usual? Why is his shy younger brother acting so furtive? And, strangest of all, why do the lights keep going on and off in Mr. Lindstrom's house while the old man is hospitalized with a stroke?
"Gabe-boy" shows up in a Google Books search of the book, as does apparently "gay boy" (although it wouldn't show me the actual text). Seems to be "coming of age" (this review outright states it), and was published in 1998. Also, one of the summaries here says "This is a busy book, with lots of action, words, and philosophical ramblings on Emerson, transcendental meditation, and karma. Even so, the story captures the essence of sophomoric, adolescent male slapstick as only Hayes ... can."