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Posted October 5, 2011
Janovsky, Nicolas. "Gay: A New Path Forward". WingSpan Press, 2011.
What is Gay?
New author Nicolas Janovsky has an agenda and a good one at that. He wants people to get to know us. He feels like I do in that we tend to fear and stay away from that which we do not know. What I find surprising is that this is written by a first time author who is a member of the new generation of gay men-he is one of those that the older activists, like myself, tend to write off because we think they don't give a damn. Let me say that Nick Janovsky not only gives a damn but he is the future of our community and if we have more young minds and writers like him, I think we will be just fine.
In his new book, "Gay: A New Path Forward" he gives us true stories of gay men who like everyone else have families, work, watch TV, go on vacation and do the same things that everyone else does. Janovsky says that it is the stereotype system that has put us into second class citizenship and he takes this on and challenges it. But he does more than that-he challenges the inequality of society that puts the gay community into an inferior position.
The book both asks questions and gives answers and I think that is just what we need. I have found that for some reason we do not always ask what we want to know and wait for someone else to do so. Janovsky asks some important questions and we get some very important answers. He shows us that something it is necessary to throw out the stereotype but we must have something else to take its place ad we have finally reached the point that stereotypes cannot define us.
Janovsky combines his text with true stories of some who have experienced oppression, who know what being shut out is like and know how it feels to be regarded as a second class citizen. This is what the book is trying to stop and does so by pulling back the curtains and letting people see who we really are. By doing this, we free ourselves from living under discriminatory laws, from misunderstanding and we get rid of the ignorance that surrounds our community. By showing others how we live and how we talk we open the lines of communication and lift the veil of fear. Shame becomes a thing of the past and we can take our place at the table with everyone else.
Again I need to say that I am so glad that this is written by a younger member of our community because it shows that they care and are willing to put themselves out there. I am also amazed that Janovsky was able to put so much information into just over 100 pages. But those hundred pages can make a big difference in many lives. There is a section on gay terms or a gay glossary and I learned something here myself-I know what a squirrel was but its meaning has changed and I have never heard of Gay Death being at age 30 but I guess we are never too old to learn.
I want to close this review with a profound statement by Janovsky makes and I quote it, "if society could talk about Gays the way they talk about race, non-Gays would soon discover that their Gay friends and family members were just like them. all individuals would be noted as different in the same manner that people are short, tall, white, black, smart but not otherwise different just because of their sexuality".
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Posted October 27, 2011
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