For a quarter century, Tim Miller has worked at the intersection of performance, politics, and identity, using his personal experiences to create entertaining but pointed explorations of life as a gay American man—from the perils and joys of sex and relationships to the struggles of political disenfranchisement and artistic censorship. This intimate autobiographical collage of Miller's professional and personal life reveals one of the celebrated creators of a crucial contemporary art form and a tireless advocate for the American dream of political equality for all citizens.
Here we have the most complete Miller yet—a raucous collection of his performance scripts, essays, interviews, journal entries, and photographs, as well as his most recent stage piece Us. This volume brings together the personal, communal, and national political strands that interweave through his work from its beginnings and ultimately define Miller's place as a contemporary artist, activist, and gay man.
Successful professor Nick Hoffman finds his secure, happy, college-town life changed forever after a nightmarish encounter with police. But even when that horrible night is over, life doesn't return to normal. Someone is clearly out to destroy him. Nick and his partner Stefan Borowski face an escalating series of threats that lead to a brutal and stunning confrontation.
A novel of suspense set in the academic world, Assault with a Deadly Lie probes the disturbing psychological impact of slander, harassment, stalking, police brutality, and the loss of personal safety. What will Nick do when his world threatens to collapse? How can he reestablish order in a suddenly chaotic life? Assault with a Deadly Lie, the eighth installment of Lev Raphael's Nick Hoffman Mysteries, propels the series to a new level of danger and intrigue as Nick and Stefan are catapulted out of their tranquil existence by shocking accusations.
Finalist, Midwest Book Award for Mystery/Thriller Fiction, Midwest Independent Publishers Association
“A riveting great read for mystery/suspense fans, author Lev Raphael once again documents his impressive gifts as a storyteller, holding the reader’s rapt attention from beginning to end with unexpected plot twists and surprise twists.”—Jack Mason, Midwest Book Review
“Raphael portrays with frightening power the wrenching experience of victimization by the corporatized, PR-prioritized groves of academia, where both men teach, and by local authorities militarized into SWAT teams practicing police brutality. . . . The compelling core of this unusual novel is Raphael’s depiction of the agonizing reality of victims’ shame, in which someone ‘feels doubly exposed talking about the violation’ and so says nothing.”—Booklist
“Professor Nick Hoffman learns that even tenure can’t guarantee real security.”—Kirkus Reviews
First printed in 1918, Ralph Werther's Autobiography of an Androgyne charts his emerging self-understanding as a member of the "third sex" and documents his explorations of queer underworlds in turn-of-the-century New York City. Werther presents a sensational life narrative that begins with a privileged upper-class birth and a youthful realization of his difference from other boys. He concludes with a decision to undergo castration. Along the way, he recounts intimate stories of adolescent sexual encounters with adult men and women, escapades as a reckless "fairie" who trolled Brooklyn and the Bowery in search of working-class Irish and Italian immigrants, and an immersion into the subculture of male "inverts." This new edition also includes a critical introduction by Scott Herring that situates the text within the scientific, historical, literary, and social contexts of urban American life in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Tracing how this pioneering autobiography engages with conversations on immigration, gender, economics, metropolitan working-class culture, and the invention of homosexuality across class lines, this edition is ideal for courses on topics ranging from Victorian literature to modern American sexuality.
Autobiography of My Hungers
Rigoberto González University of Wisconsin Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3557.O4695Z46 2013 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
In the second of his trio of acclaimed memoirs, Rigoberto González looks at his past through a startling lens: hunger. A childhood of neglect, adolescent yearnings, and adult desire for a larger world, another lover, a different body—all are explored by González in a series of heartbreaking and poetic vignettes.
In Banning Queer Blood, Jeffrey Bennett frames blood donation as a performance of civic identity closely linked to the meaning of citizenship. However, with the advent of AIDS came the notion of blood donation as a potentially dangerous process. Bennett argues that the Food and Drug Administration, by employing images that specifically depict gay men as contagious, has categorized gay men as a menace to the nation. The FDA's ban on blood donation by gay men remains in effect and serves to propagate the social misconceptions about gay men that circulate within both the straight and gay communities today.
Bennett explores the role of scientific research cited by these banned-blood policies and its disquieting relationship to government agencies, including the FDA. Bennett draws parallels between the FDA's position on homosexuality and the historical precedents of discrimination by government agencies against racial minorities. The author concludes by describing the resistance posed by queer donors, who either lie in order to donate blood or protest discrimination at donation sites, and by calling for these prejudiced policies to be abolished.
Becoming Who I Am
Ritch C. Savin-Williams Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress HQ76.27.Y68́S28 2016 | Dewey Decimal 306.7660835
Proud, happy, grateful—gay youth describe their lives in terms that would have seemed surprising a generation ago. Yet many adults, including parents, are skeptical of this sea change—coming out is supposed to involve struggle. This is the kind of thinking, say the honest, humorous young men in Ritch Savin-Williams’s new book, that needs to change.
Beijing: A Novel
Philip Gambone University of Wisconsin Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3557.A455B45 2003 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Escaping his ghosts, AIDS widower David Masiello accepts a one-year position at a Western medical clinic in Beijing. Lonely but excited, he sets out to explore the city—both its bustling street life and its clandestine gay subculture.
David chronicles his adventures in China as he wrestles with cultural dislocation, loneliness, and sexual and spiritual longing. After a series of both comic and poignant encounters with gay Chinese men, he meets Bosheng, a handsome young artist. Though the attraction is strong, a difficult courtship ensues, during which Bosheng returns to his ancestral village to marry the girl his parents have chosen for him. Eventually, and quite unexpectedly, David and Bosheng reconnect and share an idyllic spring together. As the year ends, David must decide whether to say goodbye or face the uncertainties of a long-distance relationship.
Gambone’s novel is peopled with a host of wonderfully memorable characters: Owen, David’s forthright best friend back home; Auntie Chen, the clinic’s office mom, who wants to fix David up with a girlfriend; Stewart, David’s Beijing roommate, a graduate student doing research on Peking opera; Jiantao and Guoyang, two lovers who lecture David on the fleeting quality of American romance; and Tyson, the Australian doctor with a Chinese girlfriend, who hopes to teach David that love doesn’t need any explanations or justifications.
For many foreign observers, Brazil still conjures up a collage of exotic images, ranging from the camp antics of Carmen Miranda to the bronzed girl (or boy) from Ipanema moving sensually over the white sands of Rio's beaches. Among these tropical fantasies is that of the uninhibited and licentious Brazilian homosexual, who expresses uncontrolled sexuality during wild Carnival festivities and is welcomed by a society that accepts fluid sexual identity. However, in Beyond Carnival, the first sweeping cultural history of male homosexuality in Brazil, James Green shatters these exotic myths and replaces them with a complex picture of the social obstacles that confront Brazilian homosexuals.
Ranging from the late nineteenth century to the rise of a politicized gay and lesbian rights movement in the 1970s, Green's study focuses on male homosexual subcultures in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. He uncovers the stories of men coping with arrests and street violence, dealing with family restrictions, and resisting both a hostile medical profession and moralizing influences of the Church. Green also describes how these men have created vibrant subcultures with alternative support networks for maintaining romantic and sexual relationships and for surviving in an intolerant social environment. He then goes on to trace how urban parks, plazas, cinemas, and beaches are appropriated for same-sex erotic encounters, bringing us into the world of street cruising, male hustlers, and cross-dressing prostitutes.
Through his creative use of police and medical records, newspapers, literature, newsletters, and extensive interviews, Green has woven a fascinating history, the first of its kind for Latin America, that will set the standard for future works.
"Green brushes aside outworn cultural assumptions about Brazil's queer life to display its full glory, as well as the troubles which homophobia has sent its way. . . . This latest gem in Chicago's 'World of Desire' series offers a shimmering view of queer Brazilian life throughout the 20th century."—Kirkus Reviews
Winner of the 2000 Lambda Literary Awards' Emerging Scholar Award of the Monette/Horwitz Trust
Winner of the 1999 Hubert Herring Award, Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies
Hailed for his humor and passion, the internationally acclaimed performance artist Tim Miller has delighted, shocked, and emboldened audiences all over the world. Body Blows gathers six of Miller’s best-known performances that chart the sexual, spiritual, and political topography of his identity as a gay man: Some Golden States, Stretch Marks, My Queer Body, Naked Breath, Fruit Cocktail, and Glory Box. In Body Blows, Tim Miller leaps from the stage to the page, as each performance script is illustrated with striking photographs and accompanied by Miller’s notes and comment.
This book explores the tangible body blows—taken and given—of Miller’s life and times as explored in his performances: the queer-basher’s blow, the sweet blowing breath of a lover, the below-the-belt blow of HIV/AIDS, the psychic blows from a society that disrespects the humanity of lesbian and gay relationships. Miller’s performances are full of the put-up-your-dukes and stand-your-ground of such day-to-day blows that make up being gay in America
Body, Remember: A Memoir
Kenny Fries University of Wisconsin Press, 2003 Library of Congress PS3556.R568Z464 2003 | Dewey Decimal 818.5409
In this poetic, introspective memoir, Kenny Fries illustrates his intersecting identities as gay, Jewish, and disabled. While learning about the history of his body through medical records and his physical scars, Fries discovers just how deeply the memories and psychic scars run. As he reflects on his relationships with his family, his compassionate doctor, the brother who resented his disability, and the men who taught him to love, he confronts the challenges of his life. Body, Remember is a story about connection, a redemptive and passionate testimony to one man’s search for the sources of identity and difference.
Dennis Bacchus is a man who has outlived himself. HIV-positive and prepared to die at any minute, he finds himself in the late 1990s blessed with life-giving drugs, supportive friends, a boom economy, and an era of never-ending celebration—and he doesn’t know what to do with himself.
For ten years he has traveled and celebrated a curtailed life with the similarly infected Jimmy and, though Dennis was never that close to Jimmy, he decided to let the friendship run its course to the end. Now there’s no end in sight. Stuck with leftover friendships, careers, and commitments, what can a man do but become a priest? The Boom Economy covers what was supposed to be the last decade of Dennis Bacchus’ life, but turns out to be the first decade of the rest of it. The Boom Economy is a novel about conversion—not just seroconversion or religious conversion, but all of the social, spiritual, and emotional problems of changing from one life to another. At once raucous and serious, pagan and saintly, it’s a look at the way we live now. Again.
From neighborhoods as large as Chelsea or the Castro, to locales limited to a single club, like The Shamrock in Madison or Sidewinders in Albuquerque, gay areas are becoming normal. Straight people flood in. Gay people flee out. Scholars call this transformation assimilation, and some argue that we—gay and straight alike—are becoming “post-gay.” Jason Orne argues that rather than post-gay, America is becoming “post-queer,” losing the radical lessons of sex.
In Boystown, Orne takes readers on a detailed, lively journey through Chicago’s Boystown, which serves as a model for gayborhoods around the country. The neighborhood, he argues, has become an entertainment district—a gay Disneyland—where people get lost in the magic of the night and where straight white women can “go on safari.” In their original form, though, gayborhoods like this one don’t celebrate differences; they create them. By fostering a space outside the mainstream, gay spaces allow people to develop an alternative culture—a queer culture that celebrates sex.
Orne spent three years doing fieldwork in Boystown, searching for ways to ask new questions about the connective power of sex and about what it means to be not just gay, but queer. The result is the striking Boystown, illustrated throughout with street photography by Dylan Stuckey. In the dark backrooms of raunchy clubs where bachelorettes wouldn’t dare tread, people are hooking up and forging “naked intimacy.” Orne is your tour guide to the real Boystown, then, where sex functions as a vital center and an antidote to assimilation.
First published in 1993, the award-winning Cherry Grove, Fire Island tells the story of the extraordinary gay and lesbian resort community near New York City. This new paperback edition includes a new preface by the author.
Marc Stein's City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves is refreshing for at least two reasons: it centers on a city that is not generally associated with a vibrant gay and lesbian culture, and it shows that a community was forming long before the Stonewall rebellion. In this lively and well received book, Marc Stein brings to life the neighborhood bars and clubs where people gathered and the political issues that rallied the community. He reminds us that Philadelphians were leaders in the national gay and lesbian movement and, in doing so, suggests that New York and San Francisco have for too long obscured the contributions of other cities to gay culture.
In this pathbreaking history, Marc Stein takes an in-depth look at Philadelphia from the 1940s to the 1970s. What he finds is a city of vibrant gay and lesbian households, neighborhoods, commercial establishments, public cultures, and political groups. In doing so, Stein shatters the myth that lesbian and gay history began with the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City and challenges the notion that only New York and San Francisco featured major lesbian and gay communities in the pre-Stonewall era.
Stein takes us on a tour through Philadelphia's bars, restaurants, bookstores, bathhouses, movie theaters, parks, and parades where lesbian and gay cultures thrived.
We learn about the scientific experts, religious leaders, public officials, and journalists who attacked and ignored same-sex sexualities. And we read about the courageous people who fought back with strategies of everyday resistance and organized political activism.
Stein argues against the idea that a conspiracy of silence surrounded gays and lesbians in the 1940s and 1950s. He shows that same-sex sexualities were regularly discussed in controversies concerning the tennis player Big Bill Tilden, the Walt Whitman Bridge, sex murders and crimes, and police raids. Philadelphians became national leaders in the gay and lesbian movement. They conducted sit-ins at Dewey's restaurant, organized pickets at Independence Hall, edited the movement's most widely circulated publications the Ladder and Drum, and pursued court cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Beautifully crafted and exceptionally well-written, Stein's book not only provides a new starting place for thinking about lesbian and gay history but also challenges readers to rethink twentieth-century urban history.
In A Coincidence of Desires, Tom Boellstorff considers how interdisciplinary collaboration between anthropology and queer studies might enrich both fields. For more than a decade he has visited Indonesia, both as an anthropologist exploring gender and sexuality and as an activist involved in HIV prevention work. Drawing on these experiences, he provides several in-depth case studies, primarily concerning the lives of Indonesian men who term themselves gay (an Indonesian-language word that overlaps with, but does not correspond exactly to, the English word “gay”). These case studies put interdisciplinary research approaches into practice. They are preceded and followed by theoretical meditations on the most productive forms that collaborations between queer studies and anthropology might take. Boellstorff uses theories of time to ask how a model of “coincidence” might open up new possibilities for cooperation between the two disciplines. He also juxtaposes his own work with other scholars’ studies of Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore to compare queer sexualities across Southeast Asia. In doing so, he asks how comparison might be understood as a queer project and how queerness might be understood as comparative.
The case studies contained in A Coincidence of Desires speak to questions about the relation of sexualities to nationalism, religion, and globalization. They include an examination of zines published by gay Indonesians; an analysis of bahasa gay—a slang spoken by gay Indonesians that is increasingly appropriated in Indonesian popular culture; and an exploration of the place of warias (roughly, “male-to-female transvestites”) within Indonesian society. Boellstorff also considers the tension between Islam and sexuality in gay Indonesians’ lives and a series of incidents in which groups of men, identified with Islamic fundamentalism, violently attacked gatherings of gay men. Collectively, these studies insist on the primacy of empirical investigation to any queer studies project that wishes to speak to the specificities of lived experience.
This anthology offers readers an
array of viewpoints on the use of literature to confront AIDS as a social, literary,
and medical phenomenon. A substantial annotated bibliography allows readers
to pursue other fictional, biographical, poetic, and dramatic works on AIDS,
as well as criticism and analysis of AIDS writing.
A Methodist church puts its minister on trial after he marches in a gay rights parade. A Quaker meeting struggles to decide whether to marry a lesbian couple. An entire congregation is thrown out of the Southern Baptist Convention for deciding that a gay divinity student had a sincere calling to the ministry, and an order of celibate monks comes out of the closet. An Episcopal priest blesses two same-sex relationships--then a closeted gay lawyer leads the charge to have him fired.
Homosexuality is the most divisive issue facing churches today. Like the issue of slavery 150 years ago, it is a matter that ignites passionate convictions on both sides, a matter that threatens to turn members of the same faith against each other, to divide congregations, and possibly even to fragment several denominations. Like slavery, it is an issue that calls up basic questions about what it means to be a Christian. How does one know right from wrong? Is the Bible fallible? Do good Christians always follow their church's teachings, or are they allowed to think for themselves on moral issues? And to what source does one finally look to determine what God really wants?
While many books have been written analyzing the scriptural and theological dimensions of the conflict, none has yet shown how it is being played out in the pews. Congregations in Conflict examines nine churches that were split by disagreements over gay and lesbian issues, and how the congregations resolved them.
Hartman explores in very readable prose how different denominations have handled their conflicts and what it says about the nature of their faith. He shows some churches coming through their struggles stronger and more unified, while others irrevocably split. Most importantly, he illuminates how people with a passionate clash of beliefs can still function together as a community of faith.
David Tuller provides the first look into the emotional and sexual lives of Russian lesbians and gays and the pervasive influence of the state on gay life. Part travelogue, part social history, and part journalistic inquiry, the book challenges our assumptions about what it means to be gay. The book also explores key issues in Russia and Soviet life, including concepts of friendship, community, gender, love, fate, and the relationship between the public and private spheres.
"Tuller's observant reporting and personal experiences make for absorbing reading: the human comedy rendered in unexpected ways."—New Yorker
"Anyone who thinks San Francisco is the world capital of sexual polymorphism should read this book."—Adam Goodheart, Washington Post
"[This book is] is profoundly moving."—Jim Van Buskirk, San Francisco Chronicle
The Dark Eclipse is a book of personal essays in which author A.W. Barnes seeks to come to terms with the suicide of his older brother, Mike. Using source documentation—police report, autopsy, suicide note, and death certificate—the essays explore Barnes’ relationship with Mike and their status as gay brothers raised in a large conservative family in the Midwest. In addition, the narrative traces the brothers’ difficult relationship with their father, a man who once studied to be a Trappist monk before marrying and fathering eight children. Because of their shared sexual orientation, Andrew hoped he and Mike would be close, but their relationship was as fraught as the author’s relationship with his other brothers and father. While the rest of the family seems to have forgotten about Mike, who died in 1993, Barnes has not been able to let him go. This book is his attempt to do so.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
The Deaf-Mute Boy
Joseph Geraci University of Wisconsin Press, 2006 Library of Congress PS3607.E725D43 2006 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
The Deaf-Mute Boy—equal parts travel story, love story, and a resonant confrontation with the Muslim world—is the tale of a gay American professor immersed in a North African society. Maurice Burke, an archaeologist, is invited to speak at a conference in the bustling port town of Sousse, Tunisia. At first disillusioned by its rampant tourism and squalid commercialism, Maurice becomes intrigued by his surroundings after meeting a local deaf-mute boy. While exploring a vibrant souk, Maurice encounters a religious leader who guides him on a fateful introduction to the boy’s family. As Maurice’s involvement with the deaf-mute boy intensifies, he finds himself drawn into a maze of Tunisian politics, culture, and religion.
Death Claims is the second of Joseph Hansen's acclaimed mysteries featuring ruggedly masculine Dave Brandstetter, a gay insurance investigator. When John Oats's body is found washed up on a beach, his young lover April Stannard is sure it was no accident. Brandstetter agrees: Oats's college-age son, the beneficiary of the life insurance policy, has gone missing.
In his second book of narrative, lyric poetry, Richard Blanco explores the familiar, unsettling journey for home and connections, those anxious musings about other lives: “Should I live here? Could I live here?” Whether the exotic (“I’m struck with Maltese fever …I dream of buying a little Maltese farm…) or merely different (“Today, home is a cottage with morning in the yawn of an open window…”), he examines the restlessness that threatens from merely staying put, the fear of too many places and too little time.
The words are redolent with his Cuban heritage: Marina making mole sauce; Tía Ida bitter over the revolution, missing the sisters who fled to Miami; his father, especially, “his hair once as black as the black of his oxfords…” Yet this is a volume for all who have longed for enveloping arms and words, and for that sanctuary called home. “So much of my life spent like this-suspended, moving toward unknown places and names or returning to those I know, corresponding with the paradox of crossing, being nowhere yet here.” Blanco embraces juxtaposition. There is the Cuban Blanco, the American Richard, the engineer by day, the poet by heart, the rhythms of Spanish, the percussion of English, the first-world professional, the immigrant, the gay man, the straight world. There is the ennui behind the question: why cannot I not just live where I live? Too, there is the precious, fleeting relief when he can write "…I am, for a moment, not afraid of being no more than what I hear and see, no more than this:..." It is what we all hope for, too.
Rafael Campo Duke University Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3553.A4883D58 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
A major new work from one of America’s most acclaimed younger poets, Rafael Campo’s Diva appears at the intersection of confession and confinement, hyperbole and humility. In his masterful third collection, Campo explores further the epic themes of his Cuban heritage and America’s newness, his work as a doctor caring for AIDS patients and his identity as a gay man. At once relishing and resisting the poetic traditions of formal English verse, Diva showcases Campo moving deftly between received forms and free verse. In each poem the sound of words is transformed into the highest of arts, the act of performance into the exercise of power, and the most profound abjection into the sweet promise of divinity. Culminating with his new and daring translations of Federico García Lorca’s sonetos—the great Spanish poet’s most homoerotically explicit and formally accomplished poems—Campo’s music instills in the reader an exalted understanding of beauty, suffering, and, ultimately, the human capacity for empathy.
From reviews of Campo’s previous poetry: “Extraordinary meditations on illness and the healing power of words.”—Lambda Literary Foundation
“Read Campo to enter the bloodstream of a man who, with a haunting clarity of vision, shares his memories, his anguish, his healing love.”—Cortney Davis, Literature and Medicine
“Riveting, provocative, and refreshing—[this volume] is a gift to the clinician who is trying to re-invoke in his or her students the humility, compassion, and deep caring that brought us all into medicine in the first place.”—Dr. Sandra L. Bertman, Annals of Internal Medicine
“[Campo] listens to the sounds the body makes, but what he hears is poetry.”—Zoë Ingalls, Chronicle of Higher Education
“Powerful and accessible.”—Jonathan Jackson, Washington Blade
“Bemused, indelible, and heartbreaking.”—Marilyn Hacker, Out
“[Campo’s] private corral of disparate words twist, torque, collide with gorgeous creative imperative.”—Nomi Eve, Independent Weekly
This is no ordinary novel. An encyclopedia of memory—from A to Z—The End of the World Book deftly intertwines fiction, memoir, and cultural history, reimagining the story of the world and one man’s life as they both hurtle toward a frightening future. Alistair McCartney’s alphabetical guide to the apocalypse layers images like a prose poem, building from Aristotle to da Vinci, hip-hop to lederhosen, plagues to zippers, while barreling from antiquity to the present.
In this profound book about mortality, McCartney composes an irreverent archive of philosophical obsessions and homoerotic fixations, demonstrating the difficulty of separating what is real from what is imagined.
Finalist, Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, The Publishing Triangle
In this first in-depth historical study of homosexuality in Fascist Italy, Lorenzo Benadusi brings to light immensely important archival documents regarding the sexual politics of the Italian Fascist regime; he adds new insights to the study of the complex relationships of masculinity, sexuality, and Fascism; he explores the connections between new Fascist values and preexisting Italian traditional and Roman Catholic views on morality; he documents both the Fascist regime’s denial of the existence of homosexuality in Italy and its clandestine strategies and motivations for repressing and imprisoning homosexuals; he uncovers the ways that accusations of homosexuality (whether true or false) were used against political and personal enemies; and above all, he shows how homosexuality was deemed the enemy of the Fascist “New Man,” an ideal of a virile warrior and dominating husband vigorously devoted to the “political” function of producing children for the Fascist state.
Benadusi investigates the regulation and regimentation of gender in Fascist Italy, and the extent to which, in uneasy concert with the Catholic Church, the regime engaged in the cultural and legal engineering of masculinity and femininity. He cites a wealth of unpublished documents, official speeches, letters, coerced confessions, private letters and diaries, legal documents, and government memos to reveal and analyze how the orders issued by the regime attempted to protect the “integrity of the Italian race.” For the first time, documents from the Vatican archives illuminate how the Catholic Church dealt with issues related to homosexuality during the Fascist period in Italy.
Fadeout is the first of Joseph Hansen's twelve classic mysteries featuring rugged Dave Brandstetter, an insurance investigator who is contentedly gay. When entertainer Fox Olson's car plunges off a bridge in a storm, a death claim is filed, but where is Olson's body? As Brandstetter questions family, fans, and detractors, he grows certain Olson is still alive and that Dave must find him before the would-be killer does. Suspenseful and wry, shrewd and deeply felt, Fadeout remains as fresh today as when it startled readers more than thirty years ago.
Over time, male homosexuality and effeminacy have become indelibly associated, sometimes even synonymous. In Faeries, Bears, and Leathermen, Peter Hennen contends that this stigma of effeminacy exerts a powerful influence on gay subcultures. Through a comparative ethnographic analysis of three communities, Hennen explores the surprising ways that conventional masculinity is being collectively challenged, subverted, or perpetuated in contemporary gay male culture.
Hennen’s colorful study focuses on a trio of groups: the Radical Faeries, who parody effeminacy by playfully embracing it, donning prom dresses and glitter; the Bears, who strive to appear like “regular guys” and celebrate their larger, hairier bodies; and the Leathermen, who emulate hypermasculine biker culture, simultaneously paying homage to and undermining notions of manliness. Along with a historical analysis of the association between effeminacy and homosexuality, Hennen examines how this connection affects the groups’ sexual practices. Ultimately, he argues, while all three groups adopt innovative approaches to gender issues and sexual pleasure, masculine norms continue to constrain members of each community.
Mickey Weems applies overtly interdisciplinary interpretation to a subject that demands such a breakdown of intellectual boundaries. This is an ethnography that documents the folk nature of popular culture. The Circuit, an expression of Gay culture, comprises large dance events (gatherings, celebrations, communions, festivals). Music and dance drive a complex, shared performance at these events—electronic house music played by professional DJs and mass ecstatic dancing that engenders communitas. Other types of performance, from drag queens and concerts to contests, theatrics, and the individual display of muscular bodies also occur. Body sculpting through muscle building is strongly associated with the Circuit, and masculine aggression is both displayed and parodied. Weems, a participant-observer with a multidisciplinary background in anthropology, folklore, religious studies, cultural studies, and somatic studies, considers the cultural and spiritual dimensions of what to outsiders might seem to be just wild, flamboyant parties. He compares the Circuit to other traditions of ecstatic and communal dance, and uses his grounding in Afro-Brazilian Candomblé and in religious studies to illuminate the spiritual dimensions of the Circuit. And, a former U.S Marine, he offers the nonviolent masculine arrogance of circuiteers as an alternative philosophy to the violent forms of masculine aggression embedded in the military and much of western culture.
Between 1905 and 1939 a conspicuously tall white man with a shock of red hair, dressed in a silk shirt and white linen trousers, could be seen on the streets of Onitsha, in Eastern Nigeria. How was itpossible for an unconventional, boy-loving Englishman to gain a social status among the local populace enjoyed by few other Europeans in colonial West Africa?In The Forger’s Tale: The Search for Odeziaku Stephanie Newell charts the story of the English novelist and poet John Moray Stuart-Young (1881-1939) as he traveled from the slums of Manchester to West Africa in order to escape the homophobic prejudices of late-Victorian society. Leaving behind acriminal record for forgery and embezzlement and his notoriety as a “spirit rapper,” Stuart-Young found a new identity as a wealthy palm oil trader and acelebrated author, known to Nigerians as “Odeziaku.”In this fascinating biographical account, Newell draws on queer theory, African gender debates, and “new imperial history” to open up a wider studyof imperialism, (homo)sexuality, and nonelite culture between the 1880s and the late 1930s. The Forger’s Tale pays close attention to different forms of West African cultural production in the colonial period and to public debates about sexuality and ethics, as well as to movements in mainstreamEnglish literature.
The incandescent African American writer Gary Fisher was completely unpublished when he died of AIDS in 1994 at the age of 32. This volume, which includes all of Fisher’s stories and a generous selection from his journals, notebooks, and poems, will introduce readers to a tender, graphic, extravagant, and unswervingly incisive talent. In Fisher’s writings the razor-sharp rage is equalled only by the enveloping sweetness; the raw eroticism by a dazzling writerly elegance. Evocations of a haunting and mobile childhood are mixed in Fisher’s stories with an X-ray view of the racialized sexual vernaculars of gay San Francisco; while the journals braid together the narratives of sexual exploration and discovery, a joyous and deepening vocation as a writer, a growing intimacy with death, and an engagement with racial problematics that becomes ever more gravely and probingly imaginative.
A uniquely intimate, unflinching testimony of the experience of a young, African American gay man in the AIDS emergency, Gary in Your Pocket includes an introduction by Don Belton that describes Fisher’s achievement in the context of other work by Black gay men such as Marlon Riggs and Essex Hemphill, and a biographical afterword by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.
"This important study is both an analysis of and a call to an involved politics. It opens the door to a far-reaching dialogue."
--Martin Duberman, Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, The City University of New York
An active participant in and theorist of the gay and lesbian movement, Mark Blasius contends that being gay or lesbian is by definition political. By extension, the phenomenon of a movement founded on collective identity is a quintessential part of American politics. The continually rising public consciousness of the needs and interest of gays and lesbians provides Blasius with a vehicle for showing how a particular aspect of human life comes to assume political dimensions. Upon this premise, he analyzes the process of how power is exercised through sexuality and traces the historical conditions that have made possible a gay and lesbian politics
Drawing on works of political philosophy, social science, including Foucault, and gay and lesbian studies, Blasius explores the invention of a gay and lesbian ethos, through which participation, even for apolitical gays and lesbians, goes beyond a shared culture and perspective. It is a way of life more encompassing than either sexual orientation or lifestyle alone. Though he acknowledges and reflects upon the divergent range of gay and lesbian experiences, Blasius provides a framework based on theories of power, sexuality, and ethics that elaborates the significance of the movement as a whole within contemporary society.
"It is in the process of coming out...Blasius argues, that lesbians and gay men create themselves--as new subjects, as the producers of new truth, and as agents of social change. Blasius gives a coherent account that ties together all these processes--from coming out to the emergence of lesbian and gay studies-and goes on to show the 'ethical' contribution that lesbians and gay men make to contemporary American society."
--Harvard Gay & Lesbian Review
"An engaging book that intelligently explores a range of possibilities in human relations."
--George Kateb, Department of Politics, Princeton University
Vivacious, unconventional, candid, and straight, Helen Branson operated a gay bar in Los Angeles in the 1950s—America’s most anti-gay decade. After years of fending off drunken passes as an entertainer in cocktail bars, this divorced grandmother preferred the wit, variety, and fun she found among homosexual men. Enjoying their companionship and deploring their plight, she gave her gay friends a place to socialize. Though at the time California statutes prohibited homosexuals from gathering in bars, Helen’s place was relaxed, suave, and remarkably safe from police raids and other anti-homosexual hazards. In 1957 she published her extraordinary memoir Gay Bar, the first book by a heterosexual to depict the lives of homosexuals with admiration, respect, and love.
In this new edition of Gay Bar, Will Fellows interweaves Branson’s chapters with historical perspective provided through his own insightful commentary and excerpts gleaned from letters and essays appearing in gay publications of the period. Also included is the original introduction to the book by maverick 1950s psychiatrist Blanche Baker. The eclectic selection of voices gives the flavor of American life in that extraordinary age of anxiety, revealing how gay men saw themselves and their circumstances, and how others perceived them.
Outstanding Book, selected by the Public Library Association
Best Books for High Schools, selected by the American Association of School Libraries
Based on surveys and interviews of two hundred gay men, Peter Nardi's new study presents the first book-length examination of contemporary urban gay men's friendships. Expertly weaving historical and sociological research on friendship with firsthand information, Nardi argues that friendship is the central organizing element of gay men's lives. Through friendship, gay identities and communities are created, transformed, maintained, and reproduced.
Nardi explores the meaning of friends to some gay men, how friends often become a surrogate family, how sexual behavior and attraction affects these friendships, and how, for many, friends mean more and last longer than romantic relationships. While looking at the psychological joys and sorrows of friendship, he also considers the cultural constraints limiting gay men in contemporary urban America—especially those that deal with dominant images of masculinity and heterosexuality—and how they relate to friendship.
By listening to gay men talk about their interactions, Nardi offers a rare glimpse into the mechanisms of gay life. We learn how gay men meet their friends, what they typically do and talk about, and how these strong relationships contain the roots of larger cultural forces such as social movements and gay identities and neighborhoods. Nardi also points out the political and social consequences when friendships fail to provide support against oppression.
An intimate and informative look at gay life in urban America, Gay Men's Friendships ultimately shows how these relationships challenge the gender order of our society by questioning how masculinity is constructed and by offering a model for a more creative blending of gay and heterosexual masculinity.
Richard Bruce Nugent (1906–1987) was a writer, painter, illustrator, and popular bohemian personality who lived at the center of the Harlem Renaissance. Protégé of Alain Locke, roommate of Wallace Thurman, and friend of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, the precocious Nugent stood for many years as the only African-American writer willing to clearly pronounce his homosexuality in print. His contribution to the landmark publication FIRE!!, “Smoke, Lilies and Jade,” was unprecedented in its celebration of same-sex desire. A resident of the notorious “Niggeratti Manor,” Nugent also appeared on Broadway in Porgy (the 1927 play) and Run, Little Chillun (1933) Thomas H. Wirth, a close friend of Nugent’s during the last years of the artist’s life, has assembled a selection of Nugent’s most important writings, paintings, and drawings—works mostly unpublished or scattered in rare and obscure publications and collected here for the first time. Wirth has written an introduction providing biographical information about Nugent’s life and situating his art in relation to the visual and literary currents which influenced him. A foreword by Henry Louis Gates Jr. emphasizes the importance of Nugent for African American history and culture.
As a writer, Glenway Wescott (1901–1987) left behind several novels, including The Grandmothers and The Pilgrim Hawk, noted for their remarkable lyricism. As a literary figure, Wescott also became a symbol of his times. Born on a Wisconsin farm in 1901, he associated as a young writer with Hemingway, Stein, and Fitzgerald in 1920s Paris and subsequently was a central figure in New York’s artistic and gay communities. Though he couldn’t finish a novel after the age of forty-five, he was just as famous as an arts impresario, as a diarist, and for the company he kept: W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Marianne Moore, Somerset Maugham, E. M. Forster, Joseph Campbell, and scores of other luminaries.
In Glenway Wescott Personally, Jerry Rosco chronicles Wescott’s long and colorful life, his early fame and later struggles to write, the uniquely privileged and sometimes tortured world of artistic creation. Rosco sensitively and insightfully reveals Wescott’s private life, his long relationship with Museum of Modern Art curator Monroe Wheeler, his work with sex researcher Alfred Kinsey that led to breakthrough findings on homosexuality, and his kinship with such influential artists as Jean Cocteau, George Platt-Lynes, and Paul Cadmus.
A vivid ethnography of the global and transnational dimensions of gay identity as lived by Filipino immigrants in New York City, Global Divas challenges beliefs about the progressive development of a gay world and the eventual assimilation of all queer folks into gay modernity. Insisting that gay identity is not teleological but fraught with fissures, Martin Manalansan IV describes how Filipino gay immigrants, like many queers of color, are creating alternative paths to queer modernity and citizenship. He makes a compelling argument for the significance of diaspora and immigration as sites for investigating the complexities of gender, race, and sexuality.
Manalansan locates diasporic, transnational, and global dimensions of gay and other queer identities within a framework of quotidian struggles ranging from everyday domesticity to public engagements with racialized and gendered images to life-threatening situations involving AIDS. He reveals the gritty, mundane, and often contradictory deeds and utterances of Filipino gay men as key elements of queer globalization and transnationalism. Through careful and sensitive analysis of these men’s lives and rituals, he demonstrates that transnational gay identity is not merely a consumable product or lifestyle, but rather a pivotal element in the multiple, shifting relationships that queer immigrants of color mobilize as they confront the tribulations of a changing world.
Global Emergence Of Gay & Lesbian Pol
edited by Barry D Adam, Jan Willem Duyvendak and André Krouwel Temple University Press, 1998 Library of Congress HQ76.5.G56 1999 | Dewey Decimal 305.9066409
Since the Stonewall rebellion in 1969, gay and lesbian movements have grown from small outposts in a few major cities to a worldwide mobilization. This book brings together stories of the emergence and growth of movements in more than a dozen nations on five continents, with a comparative look that offers insights for both activists and those who study social movements.
Lesbian and gay groups have existed for more than a century, often struggling against enormous odds. In the middle of the twentieth century, movement organizations were suppressed or swept away by fascism, Stalinism, and McCarthyism. Refounded by a few pioneers in the postwar period, movements have risen again as more and more people have stood up for their right to love and live with persons of their choice.
This book addresses both the mature movements of the European Union, North America, and Australia and the newer movements emerging in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia and Africa, examining the social and political conditions that shape movement opportunities and trajectories. It is rich in the details of gay and lesbian cultural and political life in different countries.
Although Homosexual Desire, first published in French in 1972 and in English in 1978, has become a classic in gay male theory, no full-length study of its author, Guy Hocquenghem, has been available in English until now. From the rise of the international gay liberation movement of the late 1960s to Hocquenghem’s AIDS-related death in 1988, Bill Marshall discusses the arguments and impact of Hocquenghem’s theoretical and political work while situating this work in its biographical, historical, and intellectual contexts. Marshall explores all aspects of Hocquenghem’s writing—journalistic, theoretical, and fictional—much of this work still untranslated. His consideration reaches beyond the aftermath of the events of May 1968 and points toward the ways in which Hocquenghem’s work might invigorate contemporary debates on a range of issues in Marxist and queer theory and in gay, lesbian, and cultural studies. These include the construction of homosexuality in social discourse, the status of "identity politics," and the role of the state and civil society in the determination of each. Demonstrating Hocquenghem’s importance within the framework of French leftist thought, Marshall links him to his contemporaries Foucault, Deleuze, and Guattari. Tracing his connections to the intellectual traditions of Benjamin, Diderot, Fourier, Lucretius, and Gnosticism, he also illustrates Hocquenghem’s place within the European intellectual tradition.Guy Hocquenghem brings an important, challenging, and overly neglected French theorist back to the main stage.
DAVID BERGMAN The Ohio State University Press, 1998 Library of Congress PS3552.E71933H4 1998 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
Leo Bersani Harvard University Press, 1995 Library of Congress HQ76.B52 1995 | Dewey Decimal 305.906642
Acclaimed for his intricate, incisive, and often controversial explorations of art, literature, and society, Leo Bersani now addresses homosexuality in America.
Hardly a day goes by without the media focusing an often sympathetic beam on gay life--and, with AIDS, on gay death. Gay plays on Broadway, big book awards to authors writing on gay subjects, Hollywood movies with gay themes, gay and lesbian studies at dozens of universities, openly gay columnists and even editors at national mainstream publications, political leaders speaking in favor of gay rights: it seems that straight America has finally begun to listen to homosexual America.
Still, Bersani notes, not only has homophobia grown more virulent, but many gay men and lesbians themselves are reluctant to be identified as homosexuals. In Homos, he studies the historical, political, and philosophical grounds for the current distrust, within the gay community, of self-identifying moves, for the paradoxical desire to be invisibly visible. While acknowledging the dangers of any kind of group identification (if you can be singled out, you can be disciplined), Bersani argues for a bolder presentation of what it means to be gay. In their justifiable suspicion of labels, gay men and lesbians have nearly disappeared into their own sophisticated awareness of how they have been socially constructed. By downplaying their sexuality, gays risk self-immolation--they will melt into the stifling culture they had wanted to contest.
In his chapters on contemporary queer theory, on Foucault and psychoanalysis, on the politics of sadomasochism, and on the image of "the gay outlaw" in works by Gide, Proust, and Genet, Bersani raises the exciting possibility that same-sex desire by its very nature can disrupt oppressive social orders. His spectacular theory of "homo-ness" will be of interest to straights as well as gays, for it designates a mode of connecting to the world embodied in, but not reducible to, a sexual preference. The gay identity Bersani advocates is more of a force--as such, rather cool to the modest goal of social tolerance for diverse lifestyles--which can lead to a massive redefining of sociality itself, and of what we might expect from human communities.
Reviews of this book: "Perhaps no one since Leo Bersani in 'Is the Rectum a Grave?' has written so convincingly against the danger of homosexual assimilation as Leo Bersani in Homos...One of the strongest elements of [this book] is Bersani's attack on things which promote a `denial of sex,' whether it be sex acts themselves or, more importantly, the context in which those sex acts are made possible...Homos is a profound piece of imaginative literature."
--Dale Peck, Voice Literary Supplement
"In Homos, Leo Bersani effectively attacks some sacred cows of gay cultural theory. Most obviously, he argues against the tenet that gay and lesbian identities are socially constructed and so ultimately (indeed, preferably) dissolvable...Refreshingly, [Bersani] also does not skate round sensitive questions such as the status of sadomasochism within gay sexual practice, and the tortuousness of the political liaison between gays and lesbians...Bersani emerges as our most persuasive advocate of homosexual identities that offer and require social resistance--he terms this 'anticommunitarianism'--but also as perhaps the only writer in the field who convincingly brings together psychological and sociological accounts of sexuality."
--Richard Canning, New Statesman & Society
"Bersani engages with questions which the gay movement cannot ignore."
--Times Literary Supplement
"In his provocative and sure-to-be-controversial book, Homos, Bersani argues for the need to preserve the 'otherness' that he maintains is the essential core of homosexual identity."
--David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle
"Homos is one of the most interesting books to appear in lesbian and gay literature--in fact its vision is so broad that it places lesbian and gay readers centre stage in what could be a revolution."
"Leo Bersani, one of the most interesting, original and sophisticated of...literary historians, has written primarily on Modernism, from Baudelaire to Beckett and Genet, using Freud's metapsychology as a way of penetrating into the radical implications of their thought...[His] work...[is] a surprise and a revelation, both careful and highly original...It is deeply exciting to engage with Bersani's ideas. They allow us to open up traditional psychoanalytic theory, so that it is no longer a mere therapeutic strategy, and consequently a device for social control and homogeneity, but instead a larger perspective for understanding and valuing those possibilities and differences that can constitute human experience."
--Kenneth Lewes, Psychoanalytic Books
"Homos is an extremely persuasive analysis of the `anticommunal' freedom made possible by `perverse' sexuality...Bersani's argument is at once subtle, even brilliant."
A Horse Named Sorrow
Trebor Healey University of Wisconsin Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3608.E24H67 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
Selection, Over the Rainbow Project, GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association
Finalist, General Fiction, Lambda Literary Awards
Winner, Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction, Publishing Triangle
Winner, Duggins outstanding Mid-Career novelist Award, Lambda Literary Foundation
Award-winning novelist Trebor Healey depicts San Francisco in the 1980s and ’90s in poetic prose that is both ribald and poignant, and a crossing into the American West that is dreamy, mythic, and visionary.
When troubled twenty-one-year-old Seamus Blake meets the strong and self-possessed Jimmy (just arrived in San Francisco by bicycle from his hometown in Buffalo, New York), he feels his life may finally be taking a turn for the better. But the ensuing romance proves short-lived as Jimmy dies of an AIDS-related illness. The grieving Seamus is obliged to keep a promise to Jimmy: “Take me back the way I came.”
And so Seamus sets out by bicycle on a picaresque journey with the ashes, hoping to bring them back to Buffalo. He meets truck drivers, waitresses, college kids, farmers, ranchers, Marines, and other travelers—each one giving him a new perspective on his own life and on Jimmy’s death. When he meets and becomes involved with a young Native American man whose mother has recently died, Seamus’s grief and his story become universal and redemptive.
How To Be Gay
David M. Halperin Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress HQ76.H2795 2012 | Dewey Decimal 306.7662
A pioneer of LGBTQ studies dares to suggest that gayness is a way of being that gay men must learn from one another to become who they are. The genius of gay culture resides in some of its most despised stereotypes—aestheticism, snobbery, melodrama, glamour, caricatures of women, and obsession with mothers—and in the social meaning of style.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been a major catastrophe for gay communities. In less than two decades, the disease has profoundly changed the lives of gay men and lesbians. Not just a biological and viral agent, HIV has become an opportunistic social invader, reshaping communities and the distribution of wealth, altering the social careers of gay professionals and the patterns of entry into gay and lesbian life, and giving birth to groups like ACT UP and Queer Nation.
The distinguished contributors to this volume discuss the ways HIV/AIDS has changed collective and individual identities, as well as lives, of gay men and lesbians, and how these alterations have changed our perceptions of the epidemic. They cover such topics as the impact of the epidemic on small towns, cultural barriers to AIDS prevention, gay youth and intergenerational relations, and the roles of lesbians in AIDS organizations. This collection provides compelling insights into the new communities among gay men and lesbians and the new kinds of identities and relationships that are emerging from the social and cultural ferment engendered by HIV/AIDS.
Contributors include Barry D. Adam, Lourdes Arguelles, Rafael Miguel Diaz, John H. Gagnon, Gilbert Herdt, Gregory M. Herek, Nan D. Hunter, Peter M. Nardi, John L. Peterson, Anne Rivero, Gayle S. Rubin, Beth E. Schneider, and Nancy E. Stoller.
In the Province of the Gods
Kenny Fries University of Wisconsin Press, 2017 Library of Congress PS3556.R568Z46 2017 | Dewey Decimal 818.5403
Kenny Fries embarks on a journey of profound self-discovery as a disabled foreigner in Japan, a society historically hostile to difference. As he visits gardens, experiences Noh and butoh, and meets artists and scholars, he also discovers disabled gods, one-eyed samurai, blind chanting priests, and A-bomb survivors. When he is diagnosed as HIV positive, all his assumptions about Japan, the body, and mortality are shaken, and he must find a way to reenter life on new terms.
For gay men who are HIV-negative in a community devastated by AIDS, survival may be a matter of grief, guilt, anxiety, and isolation. In the Shadow of the Epidemic is a passionate and intimate look at the emotional and psychological impact of AIDS on the lives of the survivors of the epidemic, those who must face on a regular basis the death of friends and, in some cases, the decimation of their communities. Drawing upon his own experience as a clinical psychologist and a decade-long involvement with AIDS/HIV issues, Walt Odets explores the largely unrecognized matters of denial, depression, and identity that mark the experience of uninfected gay men. Odets calls attention to the dire need to address issues that are affecting HIV-negative individuals—from concerns about sexuality and relations with those who are HIV-positive to universal questions about the nature and meaning of survival in the midst of disease. He argues that such action, while explicitly not directing attention away from the needs of those with AIDS, is essential to the human and biological well-being of gay communities. In the immensely powerful firsthand words of gay men living in a semiprivate holocaust, the need for a broader, compassionate approach to all of the AIDS epidemic’s victims becomes clear. In the Shadow of the Epidemic is a pathbreaking first step toward meeting that need.
What did it mean to be a man in colonial Latin America? More specifically, what did indigenous and Iberian groups think of men who had sexual relations with other men? Providing comprehensive analyses of how male homosexualities were represented in areas under Portuguese and Spanish control, Infamous Desire is the first book-length attempt to answer such questions. In a study that will be indispensable for anyone studying sexuality and gender in colonial Latin America, an esteemed group of contributors view sodomy through the lens of desire and power, relating male homosexual behavior to broader gender systems that defined masculinity and femininity.
Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife follows queer South Asian men across national, regional, and urban borders into gay neighborhoods, nightclubs, bars, and house parties in Bangalore and Chicago. As migrants and transnational laborers, these men do not always reflect the dominant modes of dress, hairstyle, musical taste, or dance moves of their more cosmopolitan counterparts. Bringing the cultural practices they are most familiar with into these spaces, these men accent the aesthetics of nightlife cultures through performance. Kareem Khubchandani develops the notion of “ishtyle” to name this accented style, while also showing how brown bodies inadvertently become accents themselves, ornamental inclusions in the racialized grammar of desire. Ishtyle allows us to reimagine a global class perpetually represented as docile and desexualized workers caught in the web of global capitalism. The book highlights a different kind of labor, the embodied work these men do to feel queer and sexy together. Engaging major themes in queer studies, Khubchandani explains how his interlocutors’ performances on the dance floor stage relationships between: colonial law and public sexuality; film divas and queer fans; and race, caste, and desire. Ultimately, the book demonstrates that while gay nightlife is discursively envisioned as an exceptional site of escape, utopia, and pleasure, it is actually imbricated in sociopolitical structures of the everyday. As such, the unlikely site of nightlife becomes a productive venue for the study of global politics and its institutional hierarchies.
What can we know of the private lives of early British sovereigns? Through the unusually large number of letters that survive from King James VI of Scotland/James I of England (1566-1625), we can know a great deal. Using original letters, primarily from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland, David Bergeron creatively argues that James' correspondence with certain men in his court constitutes a gospel of homoerotic desire. Bergeron grounds his provocative study on an examination of the tradition of letter writing during the Renaissance and draws a connection between homosexual desire and letter writing during that historical period.
King James, commissioner of the Bible translation that bears his name, corresponded with three principal male favorites—Esmé Stuart (Lennox), Robert Carr (Somerset), and George Villiers (Buckingham). Esmé Stuart, James' older French cousin, arrived in Scotland in 1579 and became an intimate adviser and friend to the adolescent king. Though Esmé was eventually forced into exile by Scottish nobles, his letters to James survive, as does James' hauntingly allegorical poem Phoenix. The king's close relationship with Carr began in 1607. James' letters to Carr reveal remarkable outbursts of sexual frustration and passion.
A large collection of letters exchanged between James and Buckingham in the 1620s provides the clearest evidence for James' homoerotic desires. During a protracted separation in 1623, letters between the two raced back and forth. These artful, self-conscious letters explore themes of absence, the pleasure of letters, and a preoccupation with the body. Familial and sexual terms become wonderfully intertwined, as when James greets Buckingham as "my sweet child and wife."
King James and Letters of Homoerotic Desire presents a modern-spelling edition of seventy-five letters exchanged between Buckingham and James. Across the centuries, commentators have condemned the letters as indecent or repulsive. Bergeron argues that on the contrary they reveal an inward desire of king and subject in a mutual exchange of love.
In Landscape with Human Figure, his fourth and most compelling collection of poetry, Rafael Campo confirms his status as one of America’s most important poets. Like his predecessor William Carlos Williams, who was also a physician, Campo plumbs the depths of our capacity for empathy. Campo writes stunning, candid poems from outside the academy, poems that arise with equal beauty from a bleak Boston tenement or a moonlit Spanish plaza, poems that remain unafraid to explore and to celebrate his identity as a doctor and Cuban American gay man. Yet no matter what their unexpected and inspired sources, Campo’s poems insistently remind us of the necessity of poetry itself in our increasingly fractured society; his writing brings us together—just as did the incantations of humankind’s earliest healers—into the warm circle of community and connectedness. In this heart-wrenching, haunting, and ultimately humane work, Rafael Campo has painted as if in blood and breath a gorgeously complex world, in which every one of us can be found.
In 2003, after serving five and a half years as a carpenter in a North Dakota National Guard engineer unit, Bronson Lemer was ready to leave the military behind. But six months short of completing his commitment to the army, Lemer was deployed on a yearlong tour of duty to Iraq. Leaving college life behind in the Midwest, he yearns for a lost love and quietly dreams of a future as an openly gay man outside the military. He discovers that his father’s lifelong example of silent strength has taught him much about being a man, and these lessons help him survive in a war zone and to conceal his sexuality, as he is required to do by the U.S. military.
The Last Deployment is a moving, provocative chronicle of one soldier’s struggle to reconcile military brotherhood with self-acceptance. Lemer captures the absurd nuances of a soldier’s daily life: growing a mustache to disguise his fear, wearing pantyhose to battle sand fleas, and exchanging barbs with Iraqis while driving through Baghdad. But most strikingly, he describes the poignant reality faced by gay servicemen and servicewomen, who must mask their identities while serving a country that disowns them. Often funny, sometimes anguished, The Last Deployment paints a deeply personal portrait of war in the twenty-first century.
InSight Out Book Club selection
Bronson Lemer named one of Instinct magazine’s Leading Men 2011
QPB Book Club selection
Finalist, Minnesota Book Awards
Finalist, Over the Rainbow Selection, American Library Association
When Joel Derfner's boyfriend proposed to him, there was nowhere in America the two could legally marry. That changed quickly, however, and before long the two were on what they expected to be a rollicking journey to married bliss. What they didn't realize was that, along the way, they would confront not just the dilemmas every couple faces on the way to the altar—what kind of ceremony would they have? what would they wear? did they have to invite Great Aunt Sophie?—but also questions about what a relationship can and can't do, the definition of marriage, and, ultimately, what makes a family.
Add to the mix a reality show whose director forces them to keep signing and notarizing applications for a wedding license until the cameraman gets a shot she likes; a family marriage history that includes adulterers, arms smugglers, and poisoners; and discussions of civil rights, Sophocles, racism, grammar, and homemade Ouija boards—coupled with Derfner's gift for getting in his own way—and what results is a story not just of gay marriage and the American family but of what it means to be human.
Law reform struggles have always been a part of the grassroots lesbian and gay agenda. These critical essays examine the politics of these engagements, of lesbians, gay men, and the law in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. From a wide range of perspectives, the contributors combine new conceptual insights with a concern for the practicalities of political engagements, tackling such vital topics as legal definitions of homosexuality, AIDS activism, and race and sexuality.
Contributors: Katherine Arnup, Susan Boyd, Peter M. Cicchino, Davina Cooper, Bruce R. Deming, Mary Eaton, William F. Flanagan, Leo Flynn, Shelley A. M. Gavigan, Leslie J. Moran, Katherine M. Nicholson, Cynthia Petersen, Ruthann Robson, and the editors.
On August 21, 1978, a year before his seventieth birthday, Samuel Steward (1909–93) sat down at his typewriter in Berkeley, California, and began to compose a remarkable autobiography. No one but his closest friends knew the many different identities he had performed during his life: as Samuel Steward, he had been a popular university professor of English; as Phil Sparrow, an accomplished tattoo artist; as Ward Stames, John McAndrews, and Donald Bishop, a prolific essayist in the first European gay magazines; as Phil Andros, the author of a series of popular pornographic gay novels during the 1960s and 1970s. Steward had also moved in the circles of Gertrude Stein, Thornton Wilder, and Alfred Kinsey, among many other notable figures of the twentieth century. And, as a compulsive record keeper, he had maintained a meticulous card-file index throughout his life that documented his 4,500 sexual encounters with more than 800 men.
The story of this life would undoubtedly have been a sensation if it had reached publication. But after finishing a 110,000-word draft in 1979, Steward lost interest in the project and subsequently published only a slim volume of selections from his manuscript.
In The Lost Autobiography of Samuel Steward, Jeremy Mulderig has integrated Steward’s truncated published text with the text of the original manuscript to create the first extended version of Steward’s autobiography to appear in print—the first sensational, fascinating, and ultimately enlightening story of his many lives told in his own words. The product of a rigorous line-by-line comparison of these two sources and a thoughtful editing of their contents, Mulderig’s thoroughly annotated text is more complete and coherent than either source alone while also remaining faithful to Steward’s style and voice, to his engaging self-deprecation and his droll sense of humor. Compellingly readable and often unexpectedly funny, this newly discovered story of a gay life full of wildly improbable—but nonetheless true—events is destined to become a landmark queer autobiography from the twentieth century.
In Love Stories, Jonathan Ned Katz presents stories of men's intimacies with men during the nineteenth century—including those of Abraham Lincoln—drawing flesh-and-blood portraits of intimate friendships and the ways in which men struggled to name, define, and defend their sexual feelings for one another. In a world before "gay" and "straight" referred to sexuality, men like Walt Whitman and John Addington Symonds created new ways to name and conceive of their erotic relationships with other men. Katz, diving into history through diaries, letters, newspapers, and poems, offers us a clearer picture than ever before of how men navigated the uncharted territory of male-male desire.
Loving Mountains, Loving Men is the first book-length treatment of a topic rarely discussed or examined: gay life in Appalachia. Appalachians are known for their love of place, yet many gays and lesbians from the mountains flee to urban areas. Jeff Mann tells the story of one who left and then returned, who insists on claiming and celebrating both regional and erotic identities.
In memoir and poetry, Mann describes his life as an openly gay man who has remained true to his mountain roots. Mann recounts his upbringing in Hinton, a small town in southern West Virginia, as well as his realization of his homosexuality, his early encounters with homophobia, his coterie of supportive lesbian friends, and his initial attempts to escape his native region in hopes of finding a freer life in urban gay communities. Mann depicts his difficult search for a romantic relationship, the family members who have given him the strength to defy convention, his anger against religious intolerance and the violence of homophobia, and his love for the rich folk culture of the Highland South.
His character and values shaped by the mountains, Mann has reconciled his homosexuality with both traditional definitions of Appalachian manhood and his own attachment to home and kin. Loving Mountains, Loving Men is a compelling, universal story of making peace with oneself and the wider world.
Long before Stonewall, young Air Force veteran Edward Field, fresh from combat in WWII, threw himself into New York’s literary bohemia, searching for fulfillment as a gay man and poet. In this vivid account of his avant-garde years in Greenwich Village and the bohemian outposts of Paris’s Left Bank and Tangier—where you could write poetry, be radical, and be openly gay—Field opens the closet door to reveal, as never been seen before, some of the most important writers of his time.
Here are young, beautiful Susan Sontag sitting at the feet of her idol Alfred Chester, who shrewdly plotted to marry her; May Swenson and her two loves; Paul and Jane Bowles in their ambiguous marriage; Frank O’Hara in and out of bed; Fritz Peters, the anointed son of Gurdjieff; and James Baldwin, Isabel Miller (Patience and Sarah), Tobias Schneebaum, Robert Friend, and many others. With its intimate portraits, Field’s memoir brings back a forgotten era—postwar bohemia—bawdy, comical, romantic, sad, and heroic.
We don't usually associate thriving queer culture with rural America, but John Howard's unparalleled history of queer life in the South persuasively debunks the myth that same-sex desires can't find expression outside the big city. In fact, this book shows that the nominally conservative institutions of small-town life—home, church, school, and workplace—were the very sites where queer sexuality flourished. As Howard recounts the life stories of the ordinary and the famous, often in their own words, he also locates the material traces of queer sexuality in the landscape: from the farmhouse to the church social, from sports facilities to roadside rest areas.
Spanning four decades, Men Like That complicates traditional notions of a post-WWII conformist wave in America. Howard argues that the 1950s, for example, were a period of vibrant queer networking in Mississippi, while during the so-called "free love" 1960s homosexuals faced aggressive oppression. When queer sex was linked to racial agitation and when key civil rights leaders were implicated in homosexual acts, authorities cracked down and literally ran the accused out of town.
In addition to firsthand accounts, Men Like That finds representations of homosexuality in regional pulp fiction and artwork, as well as in the number one pop song about a suicidal youth who jumps off the Tallahatchie Bridge. And Howard offers frank, unprecedented assessments of outrageous public scandals: a conservative U.S. congressman caught in the act in Washington, and a white candidate for governor accused of patronizing black transgender sex workers.
The first book-length history of the queer South, Men Like That completely reorients our presuppositions about gay identity and about the dynamics of country life.
"Men Like That goes a long way towards redressing the urban bias in American lesbian and gay-history writing. . . . Howard's rigorous scholarship, which is based both on oral history and traditional historical documents . . . is enhanced by a disarmingly personal touch. . . . His insights into queerness and the mentality of the American South should be of great interest both to the professional gay historian and the general reader."—Madeleine Minson, Times Higher Education Supplement
"Howard creates a history remarkable in its complexity yet intimate in its portraiture. At long last an intimate and full vision of queer lives in America that did not unfold in San Francisco's discos."—Kirkus Reviews
"In this groundbreaking and engrossing analysis of gay male life in postwar Mississippi, Howard . . . boldly demonstrates that gay culture and sex not only existed but flourished in small towns."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
In Men without Maps, John Ibson uncovers the experiences of men after World War II who had same-sex desires but few affirmative models of how to build identities and relationships. Though heterosexual men had plenty of cultural maps—provided by nearly every engine of social and popular culture—gay men mostly lacked such guides in the years before parades, organizations, and publications for queer persons. Surveying the years from shortly before the war up to the gay rights movement of the late 1960s and early ’70s, Ibson considers male couples, who balanced domestic contentment with exterior repression, as well as single men, whose solitary lives illuminate unexplored aspects of the queer experience. Men without Maps shows how, in spite of the obstacles they faced, midcentury gay men found ways to assemble their lives and senses of self at a time of limited acceptance.
Narrative non-fiction. A novel-like collection of compelling conversations between an HIV-positive nurse and other gay men with asymptomatic HIV. This book transports the reader into an urban world where gay men negotiated their sexuality, mortality, and health care between the decades of heady liberation and AIDS. See "inside flap" below.
From Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Midler, and Diana Ross to Queen Elizabeth I, Julia Child, and Princess Leia, these divas have been sister, alter ego, fairy godmother, or model for survival to gay men and the closeted boys they once were. And anyone—straight or gay, young or old, male or female—who ever needed a muse, or found one, will see their own longing mirrored here as well.
These witty and poignant short essays explore reasons for diva-worship as diverse as the writers themselves. My Diva offers both depth and glamour as it pays tribute with joy, intelligence, and fierce, fierce love.
Finalist, Lambda Book Award for LGBT Anthology, Lambda Literary Foundation
My Father’s Closet
Karen A. McClintock The Ohio State University Press, 2017 Library of Congress BF109.M363A3 2017 | Dewey Decimal 977.1570420922
Thirty years after her father’s death, Karen McClintock sets out to find the gay father she never really knew. As we follow the unraveling family secret, we find ourselves drawn into her story as they stumble into infidelity, grieve heartbreaking losses, and remain loyal in love.
Set in Columbus, Ohio, My Father’s Closet tells the story of how just before the war, McClintock’s parents fell in love and married, while overseas in Germany the man whom she believes became her father’s lover was concealing his Jewish and gay identities in order to escape to America. A set of her father’s journals, letters her parents sent to each other during the Second World War, and a mysterious painting all lead her toward the truth about her gay father. McClintock weaves a complex secret into the fabric of lives we truly care about. And in the process, she leads us out of her father’s closet.
This gripping memoir captures the longing children feel for a distant or hidden parent and taps into the complexity of human connection and abandonment. The characters are resilient and vibrant. The hidden lovers, the nosey neighbors, and surprise lovers all show up. In the end, this extraordinary family finds ways to connect and freedom to love. Anyone who grew up with a family secret will appreciate the dynamics afoot in this fast-paced and compelling story.
“I do not say you are it, but you look it, and you pose at it, which is just as bad,” Lord Queensbury challenged Oscar Wilde in the courtroom—which erupted in laughter—accusing Wilde of posing as a sodomite. What was so terrible about posing as a sodomite, and why was Queensbury’s horror greeted with such amusement? In Oscar Wilde Prefigured, Dominic Janes suggests that what divided the two sides in this case was not so much the question of whether Wilde was or was not a sodomite, but whether or not it mattered that people could appear to be sodomites. For many, intimations of sodomy were simply a part of the amusing spectacle of sophisticated life.
Oscar Wilde Prefigured is a study of the prehistory of this “queer moment” in 1895. Janes explores the complex ways in which men who desired sex with men in Britain had expressed such interests through clothing, style, and deportment since the mid-eighteenth century. He supplements the well-established narrative of the inscription of sodomitical acts into a homosexual label and identity at the end of the nineteenth century by teasing out the means by which same-sex desires could be signaled through visual display in Georgian and Victorian Britain. Wilde, it turns out, is not the starting point for public queer figuration. He is the pivot by which Georgian figures and twentieth-century camp stereotypes meet. Drawing on the mutually reinforcing phenomena of dandyism and caricature of alleged effeminates, Janes examines a wide range of images drawn from theater, fashion, and the popular press to reveal new dimensions of identity politics, gender performance, and queer culture.
Out in Culture charts some of the ways in which lesbians, gays, and queers have understood and negotiated the pleasures and affirmations, as well as the disappointments, of mass culture. The essays collected here, combining critical and theoretical works from a cross-section of academics, journalists, and artists, demonstrate a rich variety of gay and lesbian approaches to film, television, popular music, and fashion. This wide-ranging anthology is the first to juxtapose pioneering work in gay and lesbian media criticism with recent essays in contemporary queer cultural studies. Uniquely accessible, Out in Culture presents such popular writers as B. Ruby Rich, Essex Hemphill, and Michael Musto as well as influential critics such as Richard Dyer, Chris Straayer, and Julia Lesage, on topics ranging from the queer careers of Agnes Moorehead and Pee Wee Herman to the cultural politics of gay drag, lesbian style, the visualization of AIDS, and the black snap! queen experience. Of particular interest are two "dossiers," the first linking essays on the queer content of Alfred Hitchcock’s films, and the second on the production and reception of popular music within gay and lesbian communities. The volume concludes with an extensive bibliography—the most comprehensive currently available—of sources in gay, lesbian, and queer media criticism. Out in Culture explores the distinctive and original ways in which gays, lesbians, and queers have experienced, appropriated, and resisted the images and artifacts of popular culture. This eclectic anthology will be of interest to a broad audience of general readers and scholars interested in gay and lesbian issues; students of film, media, gender, and cultural studies; and those interested in the emerging field of queer theory.
Contributors. Sabrina Barton, Edith Becker, Rhona J. Berenstein, Nayland Blake, Michelle Citron, Danae Clark, Corey K. Creekmur, Alexander Doty, Richard Dyer, Heather Findlay, Jan Zita Grover, Essex Hemphill, John Hepworth, Jeffrey Hilbert, Lucretia Knapp, Bruce La Bruce, Al LaValley, Julia Lesage, Michael Moon, Michael Musto, B. Ruby Rich, Marlon Riggs, Arlene Stein, Chris Straayer, Anthony Thomas, Mark Thompson, Valerie Traub, Thomas Waugh, Patricia White, Robin Wood
Out In The South
edited by Carlos L. Dews and Carolyn Leste Law Temple University Press, 2001 Library of Congress HQ76.3.U52S276 2001 | Dewey Decimal 306.7660975
In this book gays and lesbian from the Deep South to East Texas and Appalachia speak from vivid personal experience and turn an analytical eye on the South and its culture. Some contributors examine the power of traditional Southern attitudes toward race and religion, and consider the "don't ask, don't tell" attitude about homosexuality in some communities (the "public secret"). Other contributors show how gay culture is thriving in the form of women's festivals, gay bars, and unusual networks such as that of Asian and Pacific Islanders in Atlanta.
Out in the South is organized into sections that focus on a central metaphor of space and location. This grounds the book in the sense of the South as a special region and in the inside/outside dilemma faced by many gay and lesbian Southerners as they negotiate their place in an often-inhospitable homeland.
is the story of two voyages: an Atlantic crossing in the 33-foot cutter
, bound for Scotland; and the hard voyage of self-discovery that finally brought Bill Storandt to his life partner.
Storandt’s account of the adventure he had carefully planned with longtime partner Brian Forsyth and their friend Bob soon turns into a white-knuckled sailing tale, as they encounter a fierce storm four hundred miles from the Irish coast that tests their courage and all their sailing skills. The sea story, vividly evoking life in a small boat on a big ocean, is interwoven with Storandt’s flashbacks to his earlier life. Outbound delivers its share of excitement, but it’s also a moving reflection on how circuitous our paths can be, even when the destination is clear and beckoning.
"Outside the Lines explores the personal and historical forces that have shaped the work of a dozen gifted poets. The answers given to Hennessy's astute, perfectly tailored questions remind a reader how exciting poetry can be, and how writers create, through language, the world as we have never known it. These adventuresome interviews will stir anyone who cares about the making of art."
---Bernard Cooper, author of Maps to Anywhere
Editor Christopher Hennessy gathers interviews with some of the most significant figures in contemporary American poetry. While each poet is gay, these encompassing, craft-centered interviews reflect the diversity of their respective arts and serve as a testament to the impact gay poets have had and will continue to have on contemporary poetics.
The book includes twelve frank, intense interviews with some of America's best-known and loved poets, who have not only enjoyed wide critical acclaim but who have had lasting impact on both the gay tradition and the contemporary canon writ large, for example, Frank Bidart, the late Thom Gunn, and J. D. McClatchy. Some of the most honored and respected poets, still in the middle of their careers, are also included, for example, Mark Doty, Carl Phillips, and Reginald Shepherd. Each interview explores the poet's complete work to date, often illuminating the poet's technical evolution and emotional growth, probing shifts in theme, and even investigating links between verse and sexuality.
In addition to a selected bibliography of works by established poets, the book also includes a list of works by newer and emerging poets who are well on their way to becoming important voices of the new millennium.
From large cities to rural communities, gay men have long been impassioned pioneers as keepers of culture: rescuing and restoring decrepit buildings, revitalizing blighted neighborhoods, saving artifacts and documents of historical significance. A Passion to Preserve explores this authentic and complex dimension of gay men’s lives by profiling early and contemporary preservationists from throughout the United States, highlighting contributions to the larger culture that gays are exceptionally inclined to make.
The Paternity Test: A Novel
Michael Lowenthal University of Wisconsin Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3562.O894P38 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
Pat Faunce yearns for more than his carefree New York life and his open relationship with Stu, an airline pilot. Above all, he wants to be a father. He persuades a reluctant Stu to move to Cape Cod, where they enlist Debora, a charismatic Brazilian immigrant, as a surrogate mother. But the men's attempt to have a child creates new emotional complications—with Stu's parents and sister, with Debora and her husband, and with each other. Building to a harrowing conclusion, this fearless, darkly funny novel asks whether making a new family is worth risking the one you have.
With Pathways of Desire, Héctor Carrillo brings us into the lives of Mexican gay men who have left their home country to pursue greater sexual autonomy and sexual freedom in the United States. The groundbreaking ethnographic study brings our attention to the full arc of these men’s migration experiences, from their upbringing in Mexican cities and towns, to their cross-border journeys, to their incorporation into urban gay communities in American cities, and their sexual and romantic relationships with American men. These men’s diverse and fascinating stories demonstrate the intertwining of sexual, economic, and familial motivations for migration.
Further, Carrillo shows that sexual globalization must be regarded as a bidirectional, albeit uneven, process of exchange between countries in the global north and the global south. With this approach, Carrillo challenges the view that gay men from countries like Mexico would logically want to migrate to a “more sexually enlightened” country like the United States—a partial and limited understanding, given the dynamic character of sexuality in countries such as Mexico, which are becoming more accepting of sexual diversity. Pathways of Desire also provides a helpful analytical framework for the simultaneous consideration of structural and cultural factors in social scientific studies of sexuality. Carrillo explains the patterns of cross-cultural interaction that sexual migration generates and—at the most practical level—shows how the intricacies of cross-cultural sexual and romantic relations may affect the sexual health and HIV risk of transnational immigrant populations.
What does it mean to be a gay man living in the suburbs? Do you identify primarily as gay, or suburban, or some combination of the two? For that matter, how does anyone decide what his or her identity is?
In this first-ever ethnography of American gay suburbanites, Wayne H. Brekhus demonstrates that who one is depends at least in part on where and when one is. For many urban gay men, being homosexual is key to their identity because they live, work, and socialize in almost exclusively gay circles. Brekhus calls such men "lifestylers" or peacocks. Chameleons or "commuters," on the other hand, live and work in conventional suburban settings, but lead intense gay social and sexual lives outside the suburbs. Centaurs, meanwhile, or "integrators," mix typical suburban jobs and homes with low-key gay social and sexual activities. In other words, lifestylers see homosexuality as something you are, commuters as something you do, and integrators as part of yourself.
Ultimately, Brekhus shows that lifestyling, commuting, and integrating embody competing identity strategies that occur not only among gay men but across a broad range of social categories. What results, then, is an innovative work that will interest sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and students of gay culture.
In August 1934, young Cyril L. wrote to his friend Billy about all the exciting men he had met, the swinging nightclubs he had visited, and the vibrant new life he had forged for himself in the big city. He wrote, "I have only been queer since I came to London about two years ago, before then I knew nothing about it." London, for Cyril, meant boundless opportunities to explore his newfound sexuality. But his freedom was limite: he was soon arrested, simply for being in a club frequented by queer men.
Cyril's story is Matt Houlbrook's point of entry into the queer worlds of early twentieth-century London. Drawing on previously unknown sources, from police reports and newspaper exposés to personal letters, diaries, and the first queer guidebook ever written, Houlbrook here explores the relationship between queer sexualities and modern urban culture that we take for granted today. He revisits the diverse queer lives that took hold in London's parks and streets; its restaurants, pubs, and dancehalls; and its Turkish bathhouses and hotels—as well as attempts by municipal authorities to control and crack down on those worlds. He also describes how London shaped the culture and politics of queer life—and how London was in turn shaped by the lives of queer men. Ultimately, Houlbrook unveils the complex ways in which men made sense of their desires and who they were. In so doing, he mounts a sustained challenge to conventional understandings of the city as a place of sexual liberation and a unified queer culture.
A history remarkable in its complexity yet intimate in its portraiture, Queer London is a landmark work that redefines queer urban life in England and beyond.
“A ground-breaking work. While middle-class lives and writing have tended to compel the attention of most historians of homosexuality, Matt Houlbrook has looked more widely and found a rich seam of new evidence. It has allowed him to construct a complex, compelling account of interwar sexualities and to map a new, intimate geography of London.”—Matt Cook, The Times Higher Education Supplement
Winner of History Today’s Book of the Year Award, 2006
While Scarlett O'Hara may resemble a drag queen, and Mardi Gras inspires more camp than a gay pride parade, the American South also boasts a rich, authentic and transgressive gay and lesbian history. In this chatty, free-ranging cultural survey, Sears (Growing Up Gay in the South) presents a vivid kaleidoscope of the mores and political activities of many gay Southerners following the 1969 Stonewall riots and leading up to the 1979 march on Washington. Sears unspools this history through portraits of activists and community organizers including Merril Mushroom, Jack Nichols, Lige Clark, Vicki Gabriner, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Sgt. Leonard Matlovitch who helped shape the social and political climate below the Mason Dixon line and often in the rest of the country. While giving a nod to historic events like Anita Bryant's Save Our Children campaign, Sears focuses more closely on obscure but important local political events, like the founding of the lesbian journal Sinister Wisdom, the emergence of the Atlanta Lesbian Feminist Alliance and community response to a deadly firebombing that killed 31 patrons in a New Orleans bar in the mid-1970s. Sears's multifaceted approach pays off when he sketches such relatively unknown players as comedian Ray Bourbon and radical fairy Faygele ben Miriam, and he conveys well the complexity and intensity of the political activity of the decade. While not as historically conclusive or theoretically astute as John Howard's masterful Men Like That (2000), Sears provides a panoply of emotionally riveting snapshots that aptly portray Southern gay experience in the 1970s. B&w photos.
“It’s safe to say your relationship is in trouble if the only way you can imagine solving your problems is by borrowing a time machine.”
In 2006 comic book dealer John Sherkston has decided to break up with his physicist boyfriend, Taylor Esgard, on the very day Taylor announces he’s finally perfected a time machine for the U.S government. John travels back to 1986, where he encounters “Junior,” his younger, more innocent self. When Junior starts to flirt, John wonders how to reveal his identity: “I’m you, only with less hair and problems you can’t imagine.” He also meets up with the younger Taylor, and this unlikely trio teams up to plot a course around their future relationship troubles, prevent John’s sister from making a tragic decision, and stop George W. Bush from becoming president.
In this wickedly comic, cross-country, time-bending journey, John confronts his own—and the nation’s—blunders, learning that a second chance at changing things for the better also brings new opportunities to screw them up. Through edgy humor, time travel, and droll one-liners, Bob Smith examines family dysfunction, suicide, New York City, and recent American history while effortlessly blending domestic comedy with science fiction. Part acidic political satire, part wild comedy, and part poignant social scrutiny, Remembrance of Things I Forgot is an uproarious adventure filled with sharp observations about our recent past.
InSight Out Book Club, featured selection
Bob Smith named one of Instinct magazine’s Leading Men 2011
Winner, Barbara Gittings Literature Award/Stonewall Book Awards, American Library Association
Finalist, Over the Rainbow Selection, American Library Association
Finalist, Green Carnation Prize, international prize for LGBT Literature
Amazon Top Ten Gay & Lesbian Books of 2011
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
For many, the death of a parent marks a low point in their personal lives. For Martin Duberman—a major historian and a founding figure in the history of gay and lesbian studies—the death of his mother was just the beginning of what became a twelve-year period filled with despair, drug addiction, and debauchery. From his cocaine use, massive heart attack, and immersion into New York's gay hustler scene to experiencing near-suicidal depression and attending rehab, The Rest of It is the previously untold and revealing story of how Duberman managed to survive his turbulent personal life while still playing leading roles in the gay community and the academy.
Despite the hardships, Duberman managed to be incredibly productive: he wrote his biography of Paul Robeson, rededicated himself to teaching, wrote plays, and coedited the prize-winning Hidden from History. His exploration of new paths of scholarship culminated in his founding of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, thereby inaugurating a new academic discipline. At the outset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic Duberman increased his political activism, and in these pages he also describes the tensions between the New Left and gay organizers, as well as the profound homophobia that created the conditions for queer radical activism. Filled with gossip, featuring cameo appearances by luminaries such as Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Vivian Gornick, Susan Brownmiller, Kate Millett, and Néstor Almendros, among many others, and most importantly, written with an unflinching and fearless honesty, The Rest of It provides scathing insights into a troubling decade of both personal and political history. It is a stimulating look into a key period of Duberman's life, which until now had been too painful to share.
Davin Allen Grindstaff, through a series of close textual analyses examining public discourse, uncovers the rhetorical modes of persuasion surrounding the construction of gay male sexual identity. In Part One, Grindstaff establishes his notion of the "rhetorical secret" central to constructions of gay male identity: the practice of sexual identity as a secret, its promise of a coherent sexual self, and the perpetuation of secrecy as a product and strategy of heteronormative discourse.
Grindstaff continues in Part Two to examine major issues related to contemporary conceptions of gay male identity: overturning sodomy laws; public debates over same-sex marriages; medical and social responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis; the rhetorical power of hyper-masculine body images and homoeroticism to creative communities; and, finally, what Grindstaff considers to be the most mysterious and significant rhetorical practice of all: coming out of the closet.
By investigating the public discourse--texts and images that circulate, produce knowledge, and become means of persuasion--surrounding the constructions of sexual identity, Grindstaff challenges heteronormative concepts of sexuality itself, thus creating new maps of social power and new paths of resistance.
Sex and Isolation: And Other Essays
Bruce Benderson; Foreword by Catherine Texier University of Wisconsin Press, 2007 Library of Congress HQ76.2.U5B46 2007 | Dewey Decimal 306.7662
Winner of France’s 2004 Prix de Flore for his memoir The Romanian: Story of an Obsession, Bruce Benderson has gained international respect for his controversial opinions and original take on contemporary society. In this collection of essays, Benderson directs his exceptional powers of observation toward some of the most debated, as well as some of the most neglected, issues of our day.
In Sex and Isolation, readers will encounter eccentric street people, Latin American literary geniuses, a French cabaret owner, a transvestite performer, and many other unusual characters; they’ll visit subcultures rarely described in writing and be treated to Benderson’s iconoclastic opinions about culture in former and contemporary urban society. Whether proposing new theories about the relationship between art, entertainment, and sex, analyzing the rise of the Internet and the disappearance of public space, or considering how religion and sexual identity interact, each essay demonstrates sharp wit, surprising insight and some startling intellectual positions.
This is the first American volume of Benderson’s collected essays, featuring both new work and some of his best-known writings, including his famous essay “Toward the New Degeneracy.”
Outstanding University Press Book selection, Foreword Magazine
African American men who have sex with men while maintaining a heterosexual lifestyle in public are attracting increasing interest from both the general media and scholars. Commonly referred to as “down-low” or “DL” men, many continue to have relationships with girlfriends and wives who remain unaware of their same-sex desires, and in much of the media, DL men have been portrayed as carriers of HIV who spread the virus to black women. Sexual Discretion explores the DL phenomenon, offering refreshingly innovative analysis of the significance of media, space, and ideals of black masculinity in understanding down low communities.
In Sexual Discretion, Jeffrey Q. McCune Jr. provides the first in-depth examination of how the social expectations of black masculinity intersect and complicate expressions of same-sex affection and desire. Within these underground DL communities, men aren’t as highly policed—and thus are able to maintain their public roles as “properly masculine.” McCune draws from sources that range from R&B singer R. Kelly’s epic hip-hopera series Trapped in the Closet to Oprah's high-profile exposé on DL subculture; and from E. Lynn Harris’s contemporary sexual passing novels to McCune’s own interviews and ethnography in nightclubs and online chat rooms. Sexual Discretion details the causes, pressures, and negotiations driving men who rarely disclose their intimate secrets.
Language is a fundamental tool for shaping identity and community, including the expression (or repression) of sexual desire. Speaking in Queer Tongues investigates the tensions and adaptations that occur when processes of globalization bring one system of gay or lesbian language into contact with another.
Western constructions of gay culture are now circulating widely beyond the boundaries of Western nations due to influences as diverse as Internet communication, global dissemination of entertainment and other media, increased travel and tourism, migration, displacement, and transnational citizenship. The authority claimed by these constructions, and by the linguistic codes embedded in them, is causing them to have a profound impact on public and private expressions of homosexuality in locations as diverse as sub-Saharan Africa, New Zealand, Indonesia and Israel.
Examining a wide range of global cultures, Speaking in Queer Tongues presents essays on topics that include old versus new sexual vocabularies, the rhetoric of gay-oriented magazines and news media, verbal and nonverbalized sexual imagery in poetry and popular culture, and the linguistic consequences of the globalized gay rights movement.
States of Desire Revisited looks back from the twenty-first century at a pivotal moment in the late 1970s: Gay Liberation was a new and flourishing movement of creative culture, political activism, and sexual freedom, just before the 1980s devastation of AIDS. Edmund White traveled America, recording impressions of gay individuals and communities that remain perceptive and captivating today. He noted politicos in D.C. working the system, in-fighting radicals in New York and San Francisco, butch guys in Houston and self-loathing but courteous gentlemen in Memphis, the "Fifties in Deep Freeze" in Kansas City, progressive thinkers with conservative style in Minneapolis and Portland, wealth and beauty in Los Angeles, and, in Santa Fe, a desert retreat for older gays and lesbians since the 1920s.
White frames those past travels with a brief, bracing review of gay America since the 1970s ("now we were all supposed to settle down with a partner in the suburbs and adopt a Korean daughter"), and a reflection on how Internet culture has diminished unique gay places and scenes but brought isolated individuals into a global GLBTQ community.
Silviano Santiago Duke University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PQ9697.S2732S7413 1994 | Dewey Decimal 869.3
Twice the winner of the Brazilian national book award, Silviano Santiago caused a sensation in 1985 with the publication of Stella Manhattan, a story of sexual scandal and political intrigue. Set in the Brazilian exile community in New York City in the late 1960s, this noir novel is an electrifying adventure story of a young gay Brazilian man trying to make a go of it in New York. After being forced from his native country by an unforgiving father who embodies the authoritarian temper of the Brazilian dictatorship and is embarrassed by his son’s homosexuality and transvestism, Stella Manhattan, alter ego of Eduardo da Costa e Silva, lands a job in the Brazilian consulate with the help of his father’s friend, Colonel Valdevinos Vianna. Eduardo is also recruited by Vianna to help him bring his own alter ego, the sadomasochist Black Widow, out of the closet. Transformed by black leather, the Black Widow cruises the streets and bars of New York in search of American flesh. Surrounding the relationship between these two men is a group of Brazilian guerrillas who attempt to press Eduardo into their service in order to entrap the colonel. The guerrillas are at the center of a network of revolutionaries, from the Cubans to the Black Panthers and the Young Lords. Virtually apolitical, Eduardo/Stella is drawn by desire into the conflict between the Brazilian government and its communist opposition. Eduardo also gets caught in the designs of other memorable characters of various sexual and political persuasions: the reactionary professor Aníbal, confined to a wheelchair, who enjoys watching his wife Leila make love with men she picks up on the street; and Paco, alias La Cucaracha, a flamboyant queen, a rabid anti-Castro Cuban exile, and the most sympathetic of this gallery of outcasts. Working through two complex themes—politics and sex—Santiago sets the action in New York to emphasize the interaction of the seemingly contradictory impulses of liberation and Americanization that Brazil underwent in the late 1960s. As in Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman, political and sexual liberation cut two ways—neither one necessarily compatible with the other. Exploring the complexities of repression that affect all forms of identity, Santiago mingles tragedy and farce as international intrigues are played out in New York’s Latino and black neighborhoods, and the genteel world of international diplomacy is thrust into the milieu of urban gay street life.
This book is about ardent Korean female fans of gay representation in the media, their status in contemporary Korean society, their relationship with other groups such as the gay population, and, above all, their contribution to reshaping the Korean media’s portrayal of gay people. Jungmin Kwon names the Korean female fandom for gay portrayals as “FANtasy” subculture, and argues that it adds to the present visibility of the gay body in Korean mainstream media, thus helping to change the public’s perspective toward sexually marginalized groups.
The FANtasy subculture started forming around text-based media, such as yaoi, fan fiction, and U.S. gay-themed dramas (like Will & Grace), and has been influenced by diverse social, political, and economic conditions, such as the democratization of Korea, an open policy toward foreign media products, the diffusion of consumerism, government investment in the culture, the Hollywoodization of the film industry, and the popularity of Korean culture abroad. While much scholarly attention has been paid to female fandom for homoerotic cultural texts in many countries, this book seeks to explore a relatively neglected aspect of the subculture: its location in and influence on Korean society at large.
Boyer Rickel University of Wisconsin Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3568.I35335Z47 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
An impressionistic memoir offers images of a life in progress, including scenes from Boyer Rickel’s rural Tempe, Arizona, childhood in the 1950s; his relationship with a physically shrinking father; his eccentric teenage friendships; his growing awareness of his sexuality among young, Hispanic gays; and a trip through Italy with his lover. A personal book, but also wholly universal, Taboo investigates the way one breaks through taboos and becomes a self-realized adult.
Tacit Subjects is a pioneering analysis of how gay immigrant men of color negotiate race, sexuality, and power in their daily lives. Drawing on ethnographic research with Dominicans in New York City, Carlos Ulises Decena explains that while the men who shared their life stories with him may self-identify as gay, they are not the liberated figures of traditional gay migration narratives. Decena contends that in migrating to Washington Heights, a Dominican enclave in New York, these men moved from one site to another within an increasingly transnational Dominican society. Many of them migrated and survived through the resources of their families and broader communities. Explicit acknowledgment or discussion of their homosexuality might rupture these crucial social and familial bonds. Yet some of Decena’s informants were sure that their sexuality was tacitly understood by their family members or others close to them. Analyzing their recollections about migration, settlement, masculinity, sex, and return trips to the Dominican Republic, Decena describes how the men at the center of Tacit Subjects contest, reproduce, and reformulate Dominican identity in New York. Their stories reveal how differences in class, race, and education shape their relations with fellow Dominicans. They also offer a view of “gay New York” that foregrounds the struggles for respect, belonging, and survival within a particular immigrant community.
Now associated with family health clubs, the YMCA's bland image is the result of relentless outreach and the studied avoidance of controversy. But, as John Gustav-Wrathall shows in his revealing social history of the organization, the life of the YMCA has been filled with strife, tragedy, and irony, a life that itself reflects the struggle over the shifting societal mores regarding masculine friendship and intimacy. Take the Young Stranger by the Hand presents the YMCA as an institution of profound contradictions, reflective of society's views of same-sex love and sexuality.
"Gustav-Wrathall's book offers an in-depth history of the origins and purposes of the Young Men's Christian Association and how it evolved into—and out of—a gay playland."—Arnie Kantrowitz, Lambda Book Report
"The book's absorbing exploration of the sometimes schismatic, sometimes synergistic relationship between spirituality and sexuality is a fascinating addition to the growing body of social history."—Jim Van Buskirk, San Francisco Bay Guardian
They Change the Subject
Douglas A. Martin University of Wisconsin Press, 2005 Library of Congress PS3563.A72355T47 2005
Treacherously comic and poignant, the autobiographical stories in They Change the Subject follow a young man’s quest for identity through love and desire. Sustained by a single voice, the stories simultaneously offer a fractured novel and stand, powerfully, on their own. At the center of each tale is the heightened, visceral possibility of unexpected emotional encounters—from an escort’s dates in Manhattan hotels to a photo shoot that doubles as seduction. Always pushing toward a bigger shiver of passion, Martin’s young-man-on-the-make learns how to adapt his persona to suit his lovers’ needs and tries to embrace his own experience—and his self—by becoming the purest object of desire.
In this bitingly funny and often surprising memoir, award-winning author and groundbreaking comedian Bob Smith offers a meditation on the vitality of the natural world—and an intimate portrait of his own darkly humorous and profoundly authentic response to a life-changing illness.
In Treehab—named after a retreat cabin in rural Ontario—Smith muses how he has “always sought the path less traveled.” He rebuffs his diagnosis of ALS as only an unflappable stand-up comic could (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease? But I don’t even like baseball!”) and explores his complex, fulfilling experience of fatherhood, both before and after the onset of the disease.
Stories of his writing and performing life—punctuated by hilariously cutting jokes that comedians tell only to each other—are interspersed with tales of Smith’s enduring relationship with nature: boyhood sojourns in the woods of upstate New York and adult explorations of the remote Alaskan wilderness; snakes and turtles, rocks and minerals; open sky and forest canopy; God and friendship—all recurring touchstones that inspire him to fight for his survival and for the future of his two children.
Aiming his potent, unflinching wit at global warming, equal rights, sex, dogs, Thoreau, and more, Smith demonstrates here the inimitable insight that has made him a beloved voice of a generation. He reminds us that life is perplexing, beautiful, strange, and entirely worth celebrating.
Colombian-born Santiago Martinez starts his adult life as a young gay writer living in Spain. Years later, as a university professor in New York City, Santiago is called back to his native Colombia upon the suicide of his sister. There he learns some shocking secrets about his childhood and adolescence and comes to the realization that cherished memories of the past are only illusion.
Barebacking—when gay men deliberately abandon condoms and embrace unprotected sex—has incited a great deal of shock, outrage, anger, and even disgust, but very little contemplation. Purposely flying in the face of decades of safe-sex campaigning and HIV/AIDS awareness initiatives, barebacking is unquestionably radical behavior, behavior that most people would rather condemn than understand. Thus the time is ripe for Unlimited Intimacy, Tim Dean’s riveting investigation into barebacking and the distinctive subculture that has grown around it.
Audacious and undeniably provocative, Dean’s profoundly reflective account is neither a manifesto nor an apology; instead, it is a searching analysis that tests the very limits of the study of sex in the twenty-first century. Dean’s extensive research into the subculture provides a tour of the scene’s bars, sex clubs, and Web sites; offers an explicit but sophisticated analysis of its pornography; and documents his own personal experiences in the culture. But ultimately, it is HIV that animates the controversy around barebacking, and Unlimited Intimacy explores how barebackers think about transmitting the virus—especially the idea that deliberately sharing it establishes a new network of kinship among the infected. According to Dean, intimacy makes us vulnerable, exposes us to emotional risk, and forces us to drop our psychological barriers. As a committed experiment in intimacy without limits—one that makes those metaphors of intimacy quite literal—barebacking thus says a great deal about how intimacy works.
Written with a fierce intelligence and uncompromising nerve, Unlimited Intimacy will prove to be a milestone in our understanding of sexual behavior.
There is no question that AIDS has been, and continues to be, one of the most destructive diseases of the century, taking thousands of lives, devastating communities, and exposing prejudice and bigotry. But AIDS has also been a disease of transformation—it has fueled the national gay civil rights movement, altered medical research and federal drug testing, shaken up both federal and local politics, and inspired a vast cultural outpouring. Victory Deferred, the most comprehensive account of the epidemic in more than ten years, is the history of both the destruction and transformation wrought by AIDS.
John-Manuel Andriote chronicles the impact of the disease from the coming-out revelry of the 1970s to the post-AIDS gay community of the 1990s, showing how it has changed both individual lives and national organizations. He tells the truly remarkable story of how a health crisis pushed a disjointed jumble of local activists to become a nationally visible and politically powerful civil rights movement, a full-fledged minority group challenging the authority of some of the nation's most powerful institutions. Based on hundreds of interviews with those at the forefront of the medical, political, and cultural
responses to the disease, Victory Deferred artfully blends personal narratives with institutional histories and organizational politics to show how AIDS forced gay men from their closets and ghettos into the hallways of power to lobby and into the streets to protest.
Andriote, who has been at the center of national advocacy and AIDS politics in Washington, is judicious without being uncritical, and his account of the political maturation of the gay community is one of the most stirring civil rights stories of our time.
Victory Deferred draws on hundreds of original interviews, including first-hand accounts from: Virginia Apuzzo, Reverend Carl Bean, Marcus Conant, M.D., John D'Emilio, Anthony Fauci, M.D, Fenton Johnson, Larry Kramer, Lawrence D. Mass, M.D., Armistead Maupin, Walt Odets, Torie Osborn, Eric Rofes, Urvashi Vaid, Timothy Westmoreland, and Reggie Williams.
"[Victory Deferred] is a richly textured account of the rise of the AIDS sector, that though detailed and comprehensive, reads quickly. The thematic organization of the book works especially well. The clear chronology of the events reveals how competing models of service delivery, treatment activism and private-public cooperation were subsumed into a national AIDS movement. The book should prove excellent for teaching or recreational reading."—Jose Gabilondo, Washington Post
"[A] fine history of the epidemic. . . . Andriote shines with chapters on less-covered but no less important subjects, including the multibillion-dollar 'AIDS industry' and private fund-raising groups. He brings together in one place many facts and figures heretofore unsynthesized."—Joe R. Neel, Boston Globe
"While many books have explored aspects of the impact of AIDS, Victory Deferred is among the most comprehensive. Andriote's adroit integration of the personal and the historical results is an illustrative, analytical account of the disease and its impact on the gay civil-rights movement. His depiction of the poignant struggles, heroic responses and resultant social and political gains emanating from AIDS is a perceptive document for our time—relevant to all readers, regardless of their sexual orientation."—John R. Killacky, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"[A] well-researched and nuanced portrait of the many lives on which this grave disease has wrought both destruction and transformation."—Publishers Weekly
"Andriote combines broad strokes and telling details in this engaging history of the complicated war against both disease and bigotry."—Library Journal
“Compelling, timely, and provocative. The writing is sleek and exhilarating. It doesn’t waste time telling us what it will do or what it has just done—it just does it.”
—Don Kulick, Professor of Anthropology, New York University
How we can talk about sex and risk in the age of barebacking—or condomless sex—without invoking the usual bogus and punitive clichés about gay men’s alleged low self-esteem, lack of self-control, and other psychological “deficits”? Are there queer alternatives to psychology for thinking about the inner life of homosexuality? What Do Gay Men Want? explores some of the possibilities.
Unlike most writers on the topic of gay men and risky sex, David Halperin liberates gay male subjectivity from psychology, demonstrating the insidious ways in which psychology’s defining opposition between the normal and the pathological subjects homosexuality to medical reasoning and revives a whole set of unexamined moral assumptions about “good” sex and “bad” sex.
In particular, Halperin champions neglected traditions of queer thought, including both literary and popular discourses, by drawing on the work of well-known figures like Jean Genet and neglected ones like Marcel Jouhandeau. He shows how the long history of of gay men’s uses of “abjection” can offer an alternative, nonmoralistic model for thinking about gay male subjectivity, something which is urgently needed in the age of barebacking.
Anyone searching for nondisciplinary ways to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS among gay men—or interested in new modes of thinking about gay male subjectivity—should read this book.
David M. Halperin is W. H. Auden Collegiate Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality, Professor of English, Professor of Women’s Studies, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Adjunct Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Michigan.
For sociologist Henning Bech, the image of the male homosexual has become emblematic of the modern urban condition, in which freedom and mobility contend with transience and superficiality, in which possibility, energy, and engagement vie with uncertainty and restlessness. In this powerful and frankly provocative critique, Bech skillfully examines the distinctive relationship between urban modernism and the gay experience, exploring in compelling fashion its growing ramifications for the cultural mainstream.
Gay society has persevered, even flourished, in this highly charged urban environment, aestheticizing and sexualizing the spaces, both public and private, where men meet. With profound insight and honesty, Bech details this world, candidly reflecting on sex, friendship, love, and life as manifest in the homosexual form of existence. He convincingly demonstrates that, in the face of modern alienation, successful coping strategies developed by gay men are gradually being adopted by mainstream heterosexual society.
These adaptations are often masked by what Bech calls an "absent homosexuality, " in which sublimated themes of homosexuality and masculine love surface, only to be disavowed in expressions of social anxiety. This "absent homosexuality" acts as a kind of cultural filter, allowing key traits of gay life to be absorbed by the mainstream, while shielding heterosexual males from their own homophobic anxieties. Ultimately, Bech foresees, a postmodern convergence of hetero- and homosexual forms of exisce emergent from this urban landscape and, with it, a new masculine synthesis.
Certain to ignite immediate controversy, When Men Meet offers both a penetrating scholarly analysis of the modern homosexual condition and an unflinching cultural vision of the masculine in transition.
In 1973, a sweet-tempered, ferociously imaginative ten-year-old boy named Patrick Horrigan saw the TV premiere of the film version of Hello, Dolly! starring Barbra Streisand. His life would never be the same. Widescreen Dreams: Growing Up Gay at the Movies traces Horrigan’s development from childhood to gay male adulthood through a series of visceral encounters with an unexpected handful of Hollywood movies from the 1960s and 1970s: Hello Dolly!, The Sound of Music, The Poseidon Adventure, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Wiz.
Word’s Out: Gay Men’s English
William Leap University of Minnesota Press, 1996 Library of Congress PE3727.G39L43 1996 | Dewey Decimal 427.973086642
Conversation between two men, a salesclerk (S) and a customer (C).
S: Can I help you find something?
C: No thanks, I am just looking. [Pause while customer looks at merchandise]
C: What are you asking for these? [Points to set of grey sweatshirts]
S: Oh. I'm afraid they're not on sale today. But that colored shirt would look nice on you. [Points to a pile of lavender sweatshirts, which are on sale]
C: Yeah, I know. I own a few of them already. [Grins]
S: [Grins back; no verbal comment]
C: Thanks for your help. [C walks off]
The first book-length analysis of the language used by gay men.
Do gay men communicate with each other differently than they do with straight people? If they do, how is "gay men's English" different from "straight English"? In Word's Out, William Leap addresses these questions in an entertaining account that looks at gay men's English as a cultural and a linguistic phenomenon.
Whereas previous studies of "gay language" have centered almost entirely on vocabulary, word history, and folklore, Word's Out focuses on the linguistic practices-cooperation, negotiation, and risk taking-that underlie gay men's conversations, storytelling, verbal dueling, self-description, and construction of outrageous references. Leap "reads" conversations for covert and overt signs of gay men's English, using anecdotes drawn from gay dinner parties, late-night airplane flights, restaurants, department stores, and gourmet shops, and from other all-gay and gay/straight settings. He incorporates material from life-story narratives and other interviews and discussions with gay men, from gay magazines, newspapers, and books, and from events in his own life.
The topics addressed include establishing the gay identities of "suspect gays," recollections of gay childhood, erotic negotiation in health club locker rooms, and gay men's language of AIDS. Leap shows how gay English speakers use language to create gay-centered spaces within public places, to protect themselves when speaking with strangers, and to establish common interests when speaking with "suspect gays," and explores why learning gay English is a critical component in gay men's socialization and entry into gay culture.
Provocative and potentially controversial, Word's Out provides fascinating insight into the politics of gay experience by exploring the connections between language and daily experience in gay men's lives.
"Word's Out is the first comprehensive linguistic ethnography of the North American gay male speech community. Word's Out is a significant contribution to language and gender research in general and to lavender linguistics in particular." --American Speech
"The book is a superb example of gay studies at its best and as it should be. It deals with real people and uses theory only to clarify points, not to cloud issues or to display the author's cleverness." --Lambda Book Report
"This work explores important insights into the politics of gay experience." --The Reader's Review
"How gay men's English is different from straight men's English is one of the topics studied in this fascinating look at language and orientation." --Feminist Bookstore News
"This book presents engaging analysis of a large number of instances of 'Gay English,' including banter at parties and gyms, poignant memories of trying to understand adolescent feelings of difference, several excerpts from fiction, a pair of 1980s popular songs, toilet graffiti, 1987 responses to two sex ads, interview responses, and some folk semantics." --Anthropological Linguistics
William L. Leap is professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. His recent articles on gay English have appeared in New York Folklore, High School Journal, and in his edited collection Beyond the Lavender Lexicon (1995).
Something happened in the 1990s, something dramatic and irreversible. A group of people long considered a moral menace and an issue previously deemed unmentionable in public discourse were transformed into a matter of human rights, discussed in every institution of American society. Marriage, the military, parenting, media and the arts, hate violence, electoral politics, public school curricula, human genetics, religion: Name the issue, and the the role of gays and lesbians was a subject of debate. During the 1990s, the world seemed finally to turn and take notice of the gay people in its midst. In The World Turned, distinguished historian and leading gay-rights activist John D’Emilio shows how gay issues moved from the margins to the center of national consciousness during the critical decade of the 1990s.
In this collection of essays, D’Emilio brings his historian’s eye to bear on these profound changes in American society, culture, and politics. He explores the career of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader and pacifist who was openly gay a generation before almost everyone else; the legacy of radical gay and lesbian liberation; the influence of AIDS activist and writer Larry Kramer; the scapegoating of gays and lesbians by the Christian Right; the gay-gene controversy and the debate over whether people are "born gay"; and the explosion of attention focused on queer families. He illuminates the historical roots of contemporary debates over identity politics and explains why the gay community has become, over the last decade, such a visible part of American life.
Reginald Shepherd University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999 Library of Congress PS3569.H3967W76 1999 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
The poems of Reginald Shepherd’s third book move among, mix, and manufacture stories, seeking to redefine the meaning of mythology. From the ruined representatives of Greek divinity (broken statues and fragmented stories), and the dazzling extravagances of predecessors like Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens, to the fleeting promises of popular music and the laconic demigods of the contemporary gay subculture, they sketch maps of a world in which desire may find a restless home. But desire leads the maps astray and maps mislead desire. The poems poems both enact language’s powers to create a world and enforce the world’s insistence (material, social, sexual, racial, historical) that mind (and body) surrender to circumstance. The struggle between these two halves that will never make a whole produces new myths of occasion, “packing the rifts/with sleeplessness, filling the gaps with lack.” In that space between promise and deprivation, Wrong builds its song.