Modern Homosexualities: Fragments of Lesbian and Gay Experience
Routledge | 1992 | ISBN: 0415064201 | Pages: 304 | PDF | 1.14 MB
Homosexuality is not what it used to be. When the modern lesbian and gay movements erupted on the world-wide cultural and political stage during the early 1970s few could have seen the enormous ramifications. For although homosexuality still has its critics and its enemies, the modern lesbian and gay community has proliferated into distinctive ways of living together, of relating sexually, of responding to AIDS, of establishing identities and communities, and of being political. This book documents some of this rich and developing experience. The book presents "fragments" of an experience that has become remarkably diverse. In nineteen original essays from activists and social scientists in eight countries, this diversity is charted. It is a unique collection which draws together essays on a wide range of experience. The book explores the emergence of new communities and identites and the impact of AIDS on these communities. A major section examines the development and recognition of new patterns of "families of choice" such as the Danish experiment on "registered partnerships", the Australian immigration definition of lesbian and gay couples, the debate over lesbian motherhood, the issue of "mixed marriages" where one partner is gay, and the new friendship networks amongst many lesbians and gay men which have themselves become "new families". There are discussions of the creation of new patterns of sexualities among lesbians; and the rise of a renewed political campaigning in the face of a "backlash". While the focus of the book is the distinctive modern experiences found in western countries such as Australia, Denmark, England, the Netherlands, Canada and the USA, there are essays on Turkey and Mesoamerica which help create a baseline for comparative studies. Gay and lesbian studies is a vibrant new area of inquiry, and a major opening essay situates this development. This book will be required reading for lesbian and gay scholars, continuing as it does the task of developing a critical, interpretive and humanistic social studies around same sex experience. It will be a landmark in consolidating past debates and suggesting pathways to the future.
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