Contested Closets: The Politics and Ethics of Outing

Contested Closets: The Politics and Ethics of Outing

by Larry Gross
     
 

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This is a book about secrets and the telling of secrets, it is about lies and the telling of lies. It is about codes that bind some people to keep others' secrets, and conventions that require some people to tell lies about others. See more details below

Overview

This is a book about secrets and the telling of secrets, it is about lies and the telling of lies. It is about codes that bind some people to keep others' secrets, and conventions that require some people to tell lies about others.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This is a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate among journalists and gay activists over ``outing,'' the practice of revealing the homosexuality of politicians and celebrities in the closet. Gross, a professor of communications at the University of Pennsylvania, is an eloquent defender of the controversial practice, but one of the greatest strengths of this book is the evenhandedness with which he presents the arguments of each side. He argues that outing is a practice with ``a long past, if only a short history,'' and spends much of the book's first half putting it into a historical context. In the course of doing so, he discusses the nature and construction of gay identity and a history of the outing controversies of the past ten years. Gross is a lucid writer who makes a difficult case well, if not always convincingly, as in his argument for outing closeted celebrities who--unlike conservative antigay activist Terry Dolan, who was outed after his death--are not promoting homophobic views. Moreover, although he argues that gossip functions as a discourse of the powerless, in reality, the gossip industry is in the hands of all-too-powerful mass media corporations. The second half of the book is a collection of key texts in the debate on outing--including several by Michelangelo Signorile, the foremost journalistic proponent of the practice. (Oct.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Gross (Univ. of Pennsylvania, communications) maintains that the current issue of ``outing'' has its roots in the late 19th century. This timely narrative surveys the impact of contemporary identity politics, journalistic practices, and the AIDS epidemic on the controversial debate around disclosing the homosexuality of public figures, which is thought to be impeding the struggle for lesbian and gay rights. Studded with fascinating footnotes and augmented with reprints of significant articles from alternative and mainstream presses, gay and straight, this revealing study engagingly complements Michelangelo Signorile's Queer in America (LJ 6/1/92).-- James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780816621798
Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
Publication date:
09/28/1993
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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