How to Be Gay - David Halperin

Hi everyone, my sincere apologies - for the first time ever, personal life stuff kind of took over my life for a couple of weeks, and I totally spaced on posting the next meetup! Sorry :(. I'm scheduling this one for 3 weeks from now, but if you need more time, feel free to post in the comments and we'll reschedule.

I'm very excited to read this book with you all! - Eli

Synopsis below:
No one raises an eyebrow if you suggest that a guy who arranges his furniture just so, rolls his eyes in exaggerated disbelief, likes techno music or show tunes, and knows all of Bette Davis’s best lines by heart might, just possibly, be gay. But if you assert that male homosexuality is a cultural practice, expressive of a unique subjectivity and a distinctive relation to mainstream society, people will immediately protest. Such an idea, they will say, is just a stereotype—ridiculously simplistic, politically irresponsible, and morally suspect. The world acknowledges gay male culture as a fact but denies it as a truth.

David Halperin, a pioneer of LGBTQ studies, dares to suggest that gayness is a specific way of being that gay men must learn from one another in order to become who they are. Inspired by the notorious undergraduate course of the same title that Halperin taught at the University of Michigan, provoking cries of outrage from both the right-wing media and the gay press, How To Be Gay traces gay men’s cultural difference to the social meaning of style.

Far from being deterred by stereotypes, Halperin concludes that the genius of gay culture resides in some of its most despised features: its aestheticism, snobbery, melodrama, adoration of glamour, caricatures of women, and obsession with mothers. The insights, impertinence, and unfazed critical intelligence displayed by gay culture, Halperin argues, have much to offer the heterosexual mainstream.

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  • alan b

    Wish i had more advance notice, to be able to get the book in time to get through more of it, but i still enjoyed the discussion. My only queer theory knowledge is empirical (& more recently some of the discussions in my genderqueer group), so even though as usual i felt like the dinosaur in the group, it was stimulating & provided a bit of what was totally lacking when i was an undergrad. Thanks.

    May 19, 2013

  • Don

    Regrets this time. My partner of 35 years died recently. His family is holding a memorial in his home town in Iowa. I am there. Please keep me posted.

    May 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, I'm having to bow out of this one because of a schedule conflict. But I've been enjoying the book, so that's something!

    May 14, 2013

  • Sky

    I'm going to be optimistic about my ability to show up if not my ability to get the book read.

    May 7, 2013

  • Ian

    i am SO EXCITED to read this book. alas, this is also the day before my seminar paper is due and i'm out of town the following week- any chance we could reschedule it for two weeks later (may 29th)? if that is unfeasible, i understand.

    April 27, 2013

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