Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime

Cruising: An Intimate History of a Radical Pastime

by Alex Espinoza

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Overview

"Espinoza's book stands out as a beacon for future queer writers, thinkers, and activists. Reading these accounts, I felt myself drawn into a past both wonderful and strange, a world I hope we will continue to celebrate and preserve." —Garrard Conley


Acclaimed author Alex Espinoza takes readers on an uncensored journey through the underground, to reveal the timeless art of cruising. Combining historical research and oral history with his own personal experience, Espinoza examines the political and cultural forces behind this radical pastime. From Greek antiquity to the notorious Molly houses of 18th century England, the raucous 1970s to the algorithms of Grindr, Oscar Wilde to George Michael, cruising remains at once a reclamation of public space and the creation of its own unique locale—one in which men of all races and classes interact, even in the shadow of repressive governments.

In Uganda and Russia, we meet activists for whom cruising can be a matter of life and death; while in the West he shows how cruising circumvents the inequalities and abuses of power that plague heterosexual encounters. Ultimately, Espinoza illustrates how cruising functions as a powerful rebuke to patriarchy and capitalism—unless you are cruising the department store restroom, of course.


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944700829
Publisher: The Unnamed Press
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Sales rank: 570,983
Product dimensions: 1.20(w) x 2.70(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Alex Espinoza is the author of the novels The Five Acts of Diego Leónand Still Water Saints, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Magazine, NPR, Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. His awards include a 2014 Fellowship in Prose from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2014 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for The Five Acts of Diego León. He lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Prelude 11

An Introduction to the Art 15

Chapter 1 Origins 35

Chapter 2 Cruising and the City, Part 1 47

Chapter 3 Blacklists and Address Books: Codes, Cruising, and the Early Twentieth Century 67

Chapter 4 Cruising the '70s 91

Chapter 5 The '80s: A Turning Point 107

Chapter 6 Cruising Computers 121

Chapter 7 Interlude 137

Chapter 8 Back Outside 145

Chapter 9 Cruising and the City, Part 2 155

Chapter 10 Russia, Uganda, and Cruising the World 167

Chapter 11 Cruising Aztlán 189

Chapter 12 The Magic 209

Acknowledgments 223

Notes 225

Image Sources 237

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Against all they have tried to do to bury our revolutionary past, Alex Espinoza brings it to life in a work that is equal parts secrets shared in confidence, sweeping historical account, and learned analysis. Against all the neutering of our social movements and the treacly lure of assimilation, Espinoza's fast-paced, compelling narrative shows readers the radical community of struggle, contact and solace from which we came, and to which we belong still." —Jordy Rosenberg, author of Confessions of the Fox

"Espinoza's painstakingly documented love letter to cruising is a rare achievement. Not only does he excavate an oft-hidden and -policed queer history, but he also topples the myth that LGBTQ progress conforms to a single, 'straight' narrative. In a culture that often flattens queer stories to fit assimilationist standards, Espinoza's book stands out as a beacon for future queer writers, thinkers, and activists. Reading these accounts, I felt myself drawn into a past both wonderful and strange, a world I hope we will continue to celebrate and preserve." —Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased

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