"Growing Up Before Stonewall" tells the stories of 11 American gay men who tried to make sense of their identities in the years before the gay liberation movement. These men provide fascinating accounts of what it was like to negotiate their desires within a social and psychological context that was virulently hostile to homosexuality. Coming from a variety of regions and social classes in the 1920s through the 1960s, these men describe their families, their early childhood sexual encounters, the experience of "coming out" as well as their current romantic and sexual lives.
The variety of experiences recorded in this book illustrates the numerous ways individuals come to know their gay selves in an often hostile world. For some of the men, the military presented the opportunity to explore their personal and social identities. For others a chance encounter in a seminary, an accidentally-discovered gay bar or heterosexual marriage provoked them into exploring their hidden identities. Their life stories reveal the complex ways in which sexuality is socially constructed and also provide remarkable insights into contemporary issues of gay and lesbian identity.
To better understand the way homosexuality was viewed before Stonewall, the authors present a history of how psychiatry and psychology portrayed homosexuality as a mental disorder, along with a history of what gay people experienced in their social and political everyday lives. "Growing Up Before Stonewall" also includes interviews with a leader of the gay movement and a heterosexual psychiatrist, both were instrumental in arguing against the categorization of homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Discussing the complexity of the sexual and social identities of gay men in a society that was far less tolerant of homosexuality, these biographies will prove enlightening, moving and entertaining.
"This book provides an exemplary introduction into the social construction of sexuality in the fullest sense." -William Simon, University of Houston "This will be a very valuable book and it is a grippingly enjoyable read. . . . it helps to give the lesbian and gay community a sense of its history and recent achievements." -Ken Plummer, University of Essex
|Growing Up Before Stonewall|
|the Social and Political Climate for Gay Men|
|Interview with Morris Knight|
|Gay Men and Psychiatry: A Professional and Personal Account|
|Interview with Judd Marmor, M. D.|
|Lifestories of Some Gay Men|
|Lifestories: An Introduction to the Interviews|
|Andrew: Sexual Childhood and Separate Bedrooms|
|Bennett: Sissy Boy, Teenage Crushes, and Choices|
|Carl: Speakeasy Bars and a Monogamous May-December Relationship|
|Danny: All-American with Girlfriends, and a First Date/Lover|
|Ed: Immigrant, Late-Bloomer, and Independently Single|
|Frank: Father of Three and in the Closet|
|George & Harold: 25 Years and Monogamous|
|Jim: Sissy, Flappers, and a Longterm Roommate|
|Kevin: Ex-Seminarian with a Priest-Lover|
|Louis: Two Lovers, Many Lives|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|
For Ages: 18 years old
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 10th March 1994
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0 x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.23
Edition Number: 1