"A remarkable, laugh-out-loud book . . . Rarely has the subject of elder care produced such droll human comedy, or a heroine quite on the mettlesome order of Betty Baker Hodgman. For as much as the book works on several levels (as a meditation on belonging, as a story of growing up gay and the psychic cost of silence, as metaphor for recovery), it is the strong-willed Betty who shines through." --The New York Times
Hollywood isn't just a place or an industry -- it's a fantasy that unfolds in the minds of moviegoers the world over. And talking about "who's gay in Hollywood" has always been the most socially acceptable way of talking about homosexuality period.But times have changed for gays and lesbians inside Hollywood and in the culture at large. Ellen DeGeneres "came out" to a world quite different from the one that allowed Marlene Dietrich to "stay in." And while Rupert Everett may be called "the gay Cary Grant," the real Cary Grant would never have described himself as gay -- even though he was.So what has it meant to be gay in Hollywood, not just as a star but behind the scenes as well? How homosexual actors and actresses came to define straight America's sexual self-image is only one of the paradoxical and provocative questions explored in Open Secret, a revealing cultural chronicle of gay Hollywood. From the silent era to the age of the multiplex and beyond, homosexuality has been a fact of life in the film industry, and scores of important personalities -- stars, writers, directors, producers -- have enjoyed long and spectacular careers on both sides of the camera, despite mainstream America's professed bias against gays.
Part social history and part Tinseltown expose, this entertaining book spans seventy years, painting knowing and vivid portraits of many of Hollywood's foremost gays and lesbians, often in the words of eyewitnesses or the principals themselves. Veteran entertainment journalist David Ehrenstein traces the gradual transformation from an era when gays and lesbians had no public profile in "polite" society to the modern era when many top entertainment figures are not merely comfortable with their sexuality but actually celebrate it -- and are in turn celebrated for it. In the process, he presents a unique reflection of American society as a whole and its ever-changing attitudes and values.
Vaid defines the current status of gay America as one of virtual equality, a state of conditional equality based more on the appearance of acceptance by straight America, rather than actual civil equality. With hard-hitting analysis, Vaid begins the call-to-arms to the gay and lesbian community to begin the work necessary to achieve real and lasting equality with the rest of America.
Lions and Shadows blends autobiography and fiction to describe the true education of a writer evolving from precocious schoolboy to dropoutatlarge in London's bohemia of the 1920s. Forced to withdraw from Cambridge University, "Christopher Isherwood" works as a tutor to the privileged, serves as the secretary to a busy string quartet, ill-fatedly attends medical school. Licensed by names he invents, he works up extravagant portraits of his brilliant contemporaries W. H. Auden, Edward Upward, and Stephen Spender, whose intimate friendships and cult of rebellion changed the literary identity of England in the 1930s.
Although the story is Isherwood's own life story, carrying him up to the age of twenty-five, he gives free rein to his remarkable powers of dramatization, improving on the facts here and there, to make a highly entertaining, sometimes hilarious book.
"Read it as a novel," says Isherwood. There is no difficulty taking his advice. But his characters were real people, and when Lions and Shadows was first published, in 1938, it transformed their lives into legend.
Out of the Ordinary is a truly unique anthology, a groundbreaking collection of essays by the grown children of lesbian, gay, and transgender parents. Ranging from humorous to poignant, the essays touch on some of the most important and complicated issues facing them: dealing with a parent's sexuality while developing an identity of one's own; overcoming homophobia at school and at family or social gatherings; and defining the modern family. In a time when traditional family structure has undergone radical change, Out of the Ordinary is an important look at the meaning of love, family, and relationships, and will speak to anyone who has lived or is interested in non-traditional families.
With a foreword by Margarethe Cammermeyer, Ph.D., author of Serving in Silence, and a preface by columnist and author Dan Savage, Out of the Ordinary also includes a resource guide of organizations that offer support for the hundreds of thousands of gay, lesbian, and transgender parents and their children. As the demographic increases, this book becomes an invaluable tool for learning, understanding, and acceptance.
When his father died, J. R. Ackerley was shocked to discover that he had led a secret life. And after Ackerley himself died, he left a surprise of his own--this coolly considered, unsparingly honest account of his quest to find out the whole truth about the man who had always eluded him in life. But Ackerley's pursuit of his father is also an exploration of the self, making My Father and Myself a pioneering record, at once sexually explicit and emotionally charged, of life as a gay man. This witty, sorrowful, and beautiful book is a classic of twentieth-century memoir.
Kathleen and Frank is a love story set in the glory days of the British Empire, the last decades before World War I
It is the story of Christopher Isherwood's parents, the winsome and lively daughter of a successful wine merchant and the reticent, artistically gifted soldier-son of a country squire. They met in 1895 outside a music rehearsal in an army camp and married in 1903 after Christopher's father returned from the Boer War. Frank was killed in an assault near Ypres in 1915; Kathleen remained a widow for the rest of her life.
Their story is told through letters and Kathleen's diary, with connecting commentary by Isherwood. Kathleen and Frank is a family memoir, but it is also a richly detailed social history of a period of striking change-- Queen Victoria's funeral, Bl riot's flight across the English Channel, Sarah Bernhardt's Hamlet, suffragettes, rising hemlines, the beginning of the Troubles in Ireland--the period that shaped Isherwood himself.
As a young man, Isherwood fled the tragedy that engulfed his parents' lives and threatened his own; in Kathleen and Frank, he reweaves the tapestry of family and heritage and places himself in the pattern.
It occurred to me today with something of a shock how horrible it would be for this diary of mine to be pawed over and read unsympathetically after I am dead, by those incapable of understanding... And then the thought of the one thing even more dreadful and terrible than that - for my diary never to be read by the one person who would or could understand. For I do want it to be read - there is no use concealing the fact - by somebody who is like me, who would understand.
Jeb Alexander was a gay man who lived in Washington, D.C., during the first half of the twentieth century. From 1918, when he was nineteen years old, until the late 1950s, he chronicled his daily life engagingly and unsparingly, leaving behind a unique record of ordinary gay life before Stonewall, a history that has remained largely hidden until now.
Jeb came of age as the century did, witnessing and recording political and social change from the position of insider as an editor for the U.S. Government and outsider as a gay man. Painfully shy, and frustrated in his ambition to be a novelist by writer's block, Jeb turned to his diary as a way of expressing himself as well as recording events, creating a full emotional self-portrait and unforgettable sketches of the men who made up his lively circle of friends.
Jeb and Dash also details the joy and anguish of an extraordinary on-and-off love affair between Jeb and C. C. Dasham (Dash), whom he met in college and with whom he remained friends throughout his life.
A rare and important historical document, a beautifully written memoir, a love story, an ode to old Washington, D.C., Jeb and Dash is a remarkable find and an enduring literary achievement.
Both highly praised and intensely controversial, this brilliant book produces dramatic evidence that at one time the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches not only sanctioned unions between partners of the same sex, but sanctified them--in ceremonies strikingly similar to heterosexual marriage ceremonies.
Vincent Cianni adds to the historical record of the struggles of gays and lesbians in the US military. Gays In The Military: Photographs And Interviews reveals stories of men and women who served in silence in this "apt coda to an experience marked by an evolution from darkness into light."--The New York TimesDocumentary photographer Vincent Cianni graduated from Penn State university, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and SUNY New Paltz. He teaches photography at Parsons The New School of Design, NYC. He currently lives in Newburgh, NY. Cianni's documentary work explores community and memory, the human condition, and the use of image and text. His photographs have been exhibited at Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Nasher Museum, Photographers' Gallery, London; the 7th International Photography Festival in Mannheim; and the George Eastman House. A major survey of his work was exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York in 2006.