Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans

Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans

by Philip Gambone
     
 

For two years, Philip Gambone traveled the length and breadth of the United States, talking candidly with LGBTQ people about their lives. In addition to interviews from David Sedaris, George Takei, Barney Frank, and Tammy Baldwin, Travels in a Gay Nation brings us lesser-known voices—a retired Naval officer, a transgender scholar and “drag

See more details below

Overview

For two years, Philip Gambone traveled the length and breadth of the United States, talking candidly with LGBTQ people about their lives. In addition to interviews from David Sedaris, George Takei, Barney Frank, and Tammy Baldwin, Travels in a Gay Nation brings us lesser-known voices—a retired Naval officer, a transgender scholar and “drag king,” a Princeton philosopher, two opera sopranos who happen to be lovers, an indie rock musician, the founder of a gay frat house, and a pair of Vermont garden designers.
    In this age when contemporary gay America is still coming under attack, Gambone captures the humanity of each individual. For some, their identity as a sexual minority is crucial to their life’s work; for others, it has been less so, perhaps even irrelevant. But, whether splashy or quiet, center-stage or behind the scenes, Gambone’s subjects have managed—despite facing ignorance, fear, hatred, intolerance, injustice, violence, ridicule, or just plain indifference—to construct passionate, inspiring lives.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This collection of interviews with gay activists and artists is like going to dinner with people you’d love to know but don’t, and Phil Gambone is the perfect stand-in for the reader: impressively prepared, sympathetic, and smart.”—Andrew Holleran, author of Grief: A Novel

“By asking good questions and really listening, Philip Gambone opens an illuminating window into the minds, hearts, and guts of a fabulous array of extraordinary Americans. At this critical time in America’s decades-long movement toward LGBTQ equality, you really shouldn’t miss this view.”—Will Fellows, author of Farm Boys: Lives of Gay Men from the Rural Midwest

"Gambone is a smart interviewer with a laid-back, engaging style, and he knows how to bring out the most interesting qualities of his subjects. He clearly admires them all and makes us admire them, too. . . . An eclectic front-to-back reading experience."—Library Journal

“This collection of rainbow-hued recollections is a must-read for anyone curious about other people's coming out experiences and the complex struggles that brought them to where they are today.”—Bay Area Reporter

“Gambone traveled the country for two years to bring the stories of gay artists, activists, and everyday queer folk to light through interviews that are candid, honest, and down-to-earth; his thoughtfully crafted questions, deep and respectful listening, and masterful storytelling skills highlight what gay America has in common with straight America, and what it is that makes the LGBTQ community decidedly different. . . . Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans is an engaging, moving, entertaining, and informative introduction to and affirmation of LGBTQ citizens who, in spite of the injustice, fear, inequality, and intolerance that they face on a daily basis, manage to create lives filled with passion, color, creativity, and service.”—ForeWord

“Reading Philip Gambone’s new book of profiles, Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans, is like watching a really good, really gay Barbara Walters Most Fascinating People special. Gambone delivers his subjects’ backstories, where they are now, a sense of what makes them tick, and sometimes, just like Walters, he gets tears. . . . Though Gambone’s writing is vivid, compassionate, and concise, what really comes across in Travels is how easy he is to talk to. ”—Advocate

“A thread of activism and universal accounts of coming out run through all the entries, but what really sparkles is the individuality of the interviewees.”—Pride Source

“Whether famous or relatively unknown, the portraits Gambone unveils in Travels in a Gay Nation move, surprise, quite often inspire, and are always deeply human.”—The Boston Spirit

Library Journal
The title of this book may be a bit misleading. Unlike Edmund White's States of Desire: Travels in Gay America, of 20 years ago, which introduced us to a broad cross section of gay Americans, the 44 profiles here are of artists, writers, activists, politicians, and intellectuals. Gambone's interviewees are diverse in many ways (age, gender, race, background), but they are all people of noted accomplishment, the best-known probably being Dorothy Allison, Tammy Baldwin, Kate Clinton, Barney Frank, and George Takei, but at least half the names should be familiar to most LGBT readers. Gambone is a smart interviewer with a laid-back, engaging style, and he knows how to bring out the most interesting qualities of his subjects. He clearly admires them all and makes us admire them, too. It was an odd choice to arrange the chapters alphabetically, rather than thematically, but it does make for an eclectic front-to-back reading experience. VERDICT Although published by a university press, this book is squarely aimed at the general, informed LGBT reader.—David Gibbs, Georgetown Univ. Lib., Washington, DC

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780299236847
Publisher:
University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
06/30/2010
Series:
Living Out: Gay and Lesbian Autobiog
Edition description:
1
Pages:
308
Sales rank:
1,020,706
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >