The Columbia Reader on Lesbians & Gay Men in Media, Society, and Politics


Here at last is a comprehensive and highly approachable introduction to lesbian and gay studies for students and general readers. More than one hundred articles, essays, and primary documents cover the formation of gay identity, religious, scientific, medical, and legal perspectives, the mainstream media, lesbian and gay media, and community prospects and tactics. From Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's essay, "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay," to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on ...

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Here at last is a comprehensive and highly approachable introduction to lesbian and gay studies for students and general readers. More than one hundred articles, essays, and primary documents cover the formation of gay identity, religious, scientific, medical, and legal perspectives, the mainstream media, lesbian and gay media, and community prospects and tactics. From Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's essay, "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay," to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons," to a 1947 Newsweek article, "Homosexuals in Uniform," The Columbia Reader explores experiences and representations of lesbian and gay people in an engaging and accessible format.

The Columbia Reader features:

• concise introductions to each section, as well as a substantial general introduction

• viewpoints—ranging from radical to conservative—of lesbian and gay scholars and community writers, as well as nongay intellectuals and public figures

• essays, articles, and primary documents from both mainstream and lesbian/gay sources

• detailed exploration of mainstream media representations of gays and lesbians in films, television, and print as well as the rise of lesbian/gay media outlets

• broad coverage of history and identity, social, cultural, legal, medical, and religious regulation, AIDS, and lesbian and gay political agendas and strategies

• current topics, such as the recent development of a cybercommunity, as well as questions of censorship and pornography, same-sex marriage, the ethics of "outing," gay and lesbian activism, and the conservative backlash

Grounded in key social and political topics rather than wholly theoretical approaches, The Columbia Reader on Lesbians and Gay Men in Media, Society, and Politics will be a valuable resource for years to come.

Columbia University Press

Lambda Literary Awards Finalist

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Editorial Reviews

Counterpoise - William Randall Beard
Comprehensive is an understatement.
Comprehensive is an understatement.

— William Randall Beard

The Lesbian Review of Books - Carol LeMasters
A unique and lively anthology.
The Lesbian Review of Books
A unique and lively anthology.

— Carol LeMasters

Leroy Aarons
A lively, irreverent one-stop-shopping reader on lesbian and gay male sensibility. Its impact is cumulative and subtly subversive: these are protean journalists, authors and activists giving voice to the depth and variety of gay experience­­a voice that will no longer tolerate being squelched.
Margaret Cruikshank
Casts a much wider net than previous anthologies. It is unique in its combination of historical documents and current work. A major contribution to lesbian and gay studies.
Esther Newton
The most up-to-date, media-savvy conception of how to organize and teach an introductory course on lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender studies to undergraduates. I can´t wait to use it.
Gregory Herek
A source book destined to be widely cited by activists and academics alike. . . . a lively and unique anthology of articles analyzing, illustrating, and challenging the sexual prejudice that pervades American society. Students of mass media and those simply trying to understand Ellen´s coming out episode in historical context will find it tremendously useful.
Carol LeMasters
A unique and lively anthology.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gross, a University of Pennsylvania media professor, and the late Woods, a CUNY-Staten Island professor of media studies, have compiled a formidable and mostly somber collection of book excerpts and articles that address many aspects of gay life. Even though all of these articles have appeared elsewhere, it is useful to have them united in the present book. Topics addressed include religion, medicine, politics (conservative and liberal), education, media, same-sex marriage, AIDS and gay minorities. The writers range from outspoken outing advocate Michelangelo Signorile to Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who reaffirms Catholic doctrine on homosexuality. In a book as vast as this, the quality of writing is bound to be spotty. There are some boilerplate exercises, such as John D'Emilio's Marxist positing that "two aspects of capitalism--wage labor and commodity production--created the social conditions that made possible the emergence of a distinctive gay and lesbian identity." The best contributions are those that break free of simplistic ideological categories. Flora Rheta Schreiber's moving "I Was Raising a Homosexual Child" and David Ehrenstein's "More than Friends" combine good thinking with understanding. (Mar.)
This reader compiles articles that address legal issues, religion, AIDS, and education, with much attention to mass media as it reflects and shapes the images of lesbians and gay men. After the introduction, the book is divided into five parts (each section opening with a short essay by the editors) dealing with identity, institutions and opinion makers, mainstream and gay and lesbian media, and community prospects. There is no index, but credits are listed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Larry Gross is Sol Worth Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Contested Closets: The Politics and Ethics of Outing and editor of Image Ethics: The Moral Rights of Subjects in Photographs, Film and Television, and On the Margins of Art Worlds.James D. Woods was assistant professor of communications at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, and author of The Corporate Closet: The Professional Lives of Gay Men in America.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Being Gay in American Media and Society, by Larry Gross and James D. WoodsOne Identity: The Modern HomosexualA. Other Times Other Customs1. A Matter of Difference, by Martin Duberman2. "Intimate Friendships", by Erica E. Goode with Betsy Wagner3. Categories, Experience, and Sexuality, by John Boswell4. Capitalism and Gay Identity, by John D'Emilio5. A Worm in the Bud: The Early Sexologists and Love Between Women, by Lillian Faderman6. The Bowery as Haven and Spectacle, by George ChaunceyB. Who's a Queer? Identities in Question7. Making Ourselves from Scratch, by Joseph Beam8. Becoming Lesbian: Identity Work and the Performance of Sexuality, by Arlene Stein9. Gay Men, Lesbians, and Sex: Doing It Together, by Pat Califia10. Maiden Voyage: Excursion Into Sexuality and Identity Politics in Asian America, by Dana Y. Takagi11. Strangers at Home: Bisexuals in the Queer Movement, by Carol A. Queen12. Just Add Water: Searching for the Bisexual Politic, by Ara Wilson13. To Be or Not to Be, by Leslie FeinbergTwo Institutions and Opinion MakersA. Inventing Sin: Religion and the Church14. The Abominable Sin: The Spanish Campaign Against "Sodomy " and Its Results in Modern Latin America, by Walter Williams15. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual PersonsJoseph Cardinal Ratzinger Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith16. Homophobic? Re-Read Your Bible, by Peter J. Gomes17. Biblical Verse: Is It a Reason or an Excuse?, by Deb Price18. The Homosexual Movement: A Response by the Ramsey Colloquium, by Ramsey Colloquium19. In God's Image: Coming to Terms with Leviticus, by Rebecca AlpertB. Making Us Sick: The Medical and Psychological Establishment20. The Product Conversion—From Heresy to Illness, by Thomas Szasz21. Homosexuals in Uniform, by Newsweek22. I Was Raising a Homosexual Child, by Flora Rheta Schreiber23. The Psychologist—Dr. Evelyn Hooker, by Eric Marcus24. A Symposium: Should Homosexuality Be in the APA Nomenclature?, by Judd Marmor, Irving Bieber, Ronald Gold25. If Freud Had Been a Neurotic Colored Woman: Reading Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, by Essex HemphillC. Causes and Cures: The Etiology Debate26. Boys Will Be Girls: Sexology and Homosexuality, by Janice Irvine27. How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay: The War on Effeminate Boys, by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick28. Studying the Biology of Sexual Orientation Has Political Fallout, by David J. Jefferson29. Are Gay Men Born That Way?, by Kay DiazD. Creating Criminals: Government and the Legal System30. Crime Story, by Sten Russell31. Public Policy and Private Prejudice: Psychology and Law on Gay Rights, by Gary B. MeltonE. Denial and Erasure: Education and Culture33. Who Hid Lesbian History?, by Lillian Faderman34. Stolen Goods, by Michael Bronski35. Remembering Lenny: Parting Notes on a Friend Who Never Quite Came Out, by Paul Moor36. Willa Cather, by Sharon O'Brien37. Closets in the Museum: Homophobia and Art History, by James Saslow38. Imagine a Lesbian a Black Lesbian, by Jewelle Gomez39. Too Queer for College: Notes on Homophobia, by Esther Newton40. The Gay and Lesbian Publishing Boom, by William J. Mann41. A Lesson in Tolerance, by David Ruenzel42. Gay Teachers Make Their Lives Whole Again, by Deb Price43. Pop Tune Can Comfort Teens Unsure of Their Sexuality, by Victoria BrownworthThree Mainstream MediaA. Up From Invisibility: Film and Television44. Stereotyping, by Richard Dyer45. Lesbians and Film: Some Thoughts, by Caroline Sheldon46. Where Is the Life That Late He Led? Hollywood's Construction of Sexuality in the Life of Cole Porter, by George F. Custen47. Old Strategies for New Texts: How American Television Is Creating and Treating Lesbian Characters, by Marguerite J. Moritz48. Culture Stays Screen-Shy of Showing the Gay Kiss, by Frank Bruni49. Do Ask, Do Tell: Freak Talk on TV, by Joshua Gamson50. More Than Friends, by David Ehrenstein51. Anything But Idyllic: Lesbian Filmmaking in the 1980s and 1990s, by Liz KotzB. Fit to Print? Journalism52. Perverts Called Government Peril, by New York Times53. The Homosexual in America, by Time54. A Rebuke for TIME's Pernicious Prejudice, by Kay Tobin55. A Minority's Plea: U.S. Homosexuals Gain in Trying to Persuade Society to Accept Them, by Charles Alverson56. Homo Nest Raided! Queen Bees Are Stinging Mad, by Jerry Lisker57. The "Gay" People Demand Their Rights, by Lacey Fosburgh58. The Lesbian Issue and Women's Lib, by Judy Klemesrud59. Uptight on Gay News: Can the Straight Press Get the Gay Story Straight?, by Ransdell Pierson60. Out at the New York Times, by Michaelangelo SignorileC. Cries and Whispers: AIDS and the Media61. Illness and Deviance: The Response of the Press to AIDS, by Edward Albert62. The Second Wave, by James Kinsella63. A Test of Who We Are As a People, by Vito Russo64. More to the Shilts Story, by Jessea Greenman65. Big Science: What Ever Happened to Safer Sex?, by Richard GoldsteinD. Naming Names: Outing66. Contested Closets: The Politics and Ethics of Outing, by Larry Gross67. How I Brought Out Malcom Forbes and the Media Flinched, by Michelangelo Signorile68. Why Outing Must Stop, by C. Carr69. The Inning of Outing, by Gabriel RotelloFour Lesbian and Gay MediaA. In Our Own Voices: The Lesbian and Gay Press70. "Gay Gal"—Lisa Ben, by Eric Marcus71. "News Hound"—Jim Kepner, by Eric Marcus72. The Advocate: Setting the Standard for the Gay Liberation Press, by Rodger Streitmatter73. Representation, Liberation, and the Queer Press, by Polly Thistlewaite74. Flaunting It! A Decade of Gay Journalism from The Body Politic, by Ed Jackson75. I Want My Gay TV, by Larry ClossB. The Good Parts: Pornography76. Coming to Terms: Gay Pornography, by Richard Dyer77. Gender, Fucking, and Utopia: An Essay in Response to John Stoltenberg's Refusing to Be a Man, by Scott Tucker78. Free Speech or Hate Speech: Pornography and Its Means of Production, by Charles I. Nero79. My History with Censorship, by Joan Nestle80. My Mother Liked to Fuck, by Joan Nestle81. Lesbian Pornography: Cultural Transgression and Sexual Demystification, by Lisa Henderson82. Looking for My Penis: The Eroticized Asian in Gay Video Porn, by Richard FungC. Queers in Cyberspace83. Notes on Queer 'N Asian Virtual Sex, by Daniel C. Tsang84. We're Teen, We're Queer, and We've Got E-mail, by Steve Silberman85. Logging On, Coming Out, by Jeff WalshFive Community Prospects and TacticsA. Queer Positions and Perspectives86. With Downcast Gays: Aspects of Homosexual Self-Oppression, by Andrew Hodges and David Hutter87. The Woman-Identified Woman, by Radicalesbians88. Lesbianism: An Act of Resistance, by Cheryl Clarke89. I Paid Very Hard for My Immigrant Ignorance, by Mirtha Quintanales90. Our Right to the World: Beyond the Right to Privacy, by Scott Tucker91. Chasing the Crossover Audience and Other Self-Defeating Strategies, by Michael Denneny92. Queers Read This: I Hate Straights, by Anonymous QueersB. The New Right = The Old Wrongs? 93. The Boys on the Beach, by Midge Decter94. Straight Talk About Gays, by E. L. Pattullo95. In God's Country, by John WeirC. A Place at Which Table? 96. Here Comes the Groom: A (Conservative) Case for Gay Marriage, by Andrew Sullivan97. Why Gay People Should Seek the Right to Marry, by Thomas B. Stoddard98. Since When Is Marriage a Path to Liberation?, by Paula L. Ettelbrick99. Homocons, by Matthew Rees100. The Naked Truth, by Candace Chellew101. Out of Asia, by Jeff Yang102. Backlash?, by Henry Louis Gates Jr.103. Blacks and Gays: Healing the Great Divide, by Barbara SmithD. Parting Glances104. Why I'm Not a Revolutionary, by Sarah Schulman105. In an Afternoon Light, by Essex Hemphill

Columbia University Press

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