homosexuality

  New England in the late nineteenth century was home to a set of high-spirited and ambitious writers who were, for the first time, creating a distinctly American literature. From this close-knit literary society emerged Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who were known to be friends. In The Whale: A Love Story, novelist Mark Beauregard explores the boundaries of this friendship.

Through a nuanced reading of Melville’s real letters and other original sources, Beauregard offers the fictionalized story of two men who shared a deep, emotionally charged bond that may have transformed the writing—and meaning—of Moby-Dick. Scholars, academics, and essayists have written about Melville and Hawthorne’s relationship, trying to suss out what may have really happened between them.

  The son of a Baptist pastor and deeply embedded in church life in small town Arkansas, as a young man Garrard Conley was terrified and conflicted about his sexuality.
 
When Garrard was a nineteen-year-old college student, he was outed to his parents, and was forced to make a life-changing decision: either agree to attend a church-supported conversion therapy program that promised to “cure” him of homosexuality; or risk losing family, friends, and the God he had prayed to every day of his life. Through an institutionalized Twelve-Step Program heavy on Bible study, he was supposed to emerge heterosexual, ex-gay, cleansed of impure urges and stronger in his faith in God for his brush with sin. Instead, even when faced with a harrowing and brutal journey, Garrard found the strength and understanding to break out in search of his true self and forgiveness. 

His book is Boy Erased: A Memoir.

Guapa By Saleem Haddad

May 19, 2016

  Set over the course of twenty-four hours, Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. Rasa spends his days translating for Western journalists and pining for the nights when he can sneak his lover, Taymour, into his room.

One night Rasa's grandmother — the woman who raised him — catches them in bed together. The following day Rasa is consumed by the search for his best friend Maj, a fiery activist and drag queen star of the underground bar, Guapa, who has been arrested by the police. Ashamed to go home and face his grandmother, and reeling from the potential loss of the three most important people in his life, Rasa roams the city’s slums and prisons, the lavish weddings of the country’s elite, and the bars where outcasts and intellectuals drink to a long-lost revolution. 

    

  National Coming Out Day is October 11th. There is a new guide for parents to help them answer questions when their son and/or daughter come out to them. We welcome the authors of the new: This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids.

    A critical reader of the history of marriage understands that it is an institution that has always been in flux. It is also a decidedly complicated one, existing simultaneously in the realms of religion, law, and emotion. And yet recent years have seen dramatic and heavily waged battles over the proposition of including same sex couples in marriage. Just what is at stake in these battles?

License to Wed: What Legal Marriage Means to Same-Sex Couples by Kimberly D. Richman examines the meanings of marriage for couples in the two first states to extend that right to same sex couples: California and Massachusetts.

clipart.usscouts.org

On January 1, openly gay youths will be allowed into the ranks of the Boy Scouts of America for the first time.

Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, Andrew Solomon’s book on parents, children and the bond between them and the cases of extreme difference - was published to ecstatic acclaim last year - landing on best-seller lists across the country, and "Best of" lists from The New York Times, Amazon, The Economist and more.

The book has now been released in paperback. Solomon opens Far From the Tree with an autobiographical chapter detailing his experience as a gay son of heterosexual parents. At the time of his youth, homosexuality was considered an illness and a crime. The book is about the struggle for those who are different and their need to find their own identity.

    NY Times best-selling author and lifestyle expert Bruce Littlefield’s latest book is his most personal to date. In Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage, he takes readers on a wild and often hysterical ride through the first year spent fixing up a historic old house with partner (and unwitting handyman) Scott Stewart, one of Manhattan’s top real estate brokers.

Keith Strudler: Sports and homosexuality

Feb 13, 2013
Wikimedia Commons / Howcheng

Last week a sports writer visited campus to talk with students. Before the big presentation, a student asked him what he thought about Orlando Cruz, a professional boxer who recently announced he is gay, the first and only professional boxer to do so. And the writer simply said this issue is going to be the Jackie Robinson of this generation. The handful of 20 year olds sitting around the table got what he meant, maybe even more than 70 year olds that lived through baseball’s integration.

In the spring of 2009, John Schwartz got a distress call from his wife. His 13-year old son, Joe, was on his way to the hospital after a failed suicide attempt.

Joe, a socially awkward but smart boy, had finally mustered the courage to come out as gay to his classmates who responded with discomfort and dismay. Hours later, he took dozens of Benadryl capsules with the intention of killing himself.

Dr. Robert Spitzer, one of the leading psychiatrists in the US, recently did something remarkable. In a letter published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior on May 19th he humbly wrote, “I owe the gay community an apology.”

He was apologizing for a study -- first presented in 2001 and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2003 -- that examined at whether or not therapy could make gay people straight. Dr. Spitzer concluded that it could, based on interviews of 200 men and women recruited from centers that offered so called “reparative” or “conversion” therapy.