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The Trouble with Normal by Michael Warner

Hi folks!  Thanks for your input on the book.  The Trouble with Normal won out, but it was a close one, so we'll keep the other books on the back burner for upcoming meetings.  Here's a blurb about the book, from the publisher's page:

"Is gay marriage good for gays? Are queer people better off when they see themselves as “normal” Americans? What is lost when gays go mainstream? What, after all, is “The Trouble With Normal?" Here, Michael Warner, one of our most brilliant social critics, argues that gay marriage and other moves toward normalcy are bad not just for gays but for everyone. In place of the sexual status quo, Warner offers a vision of true sexual autonomy that will forever change the way we think about sex, shame, and identity.

With this lively and surprising exploration of the dangers of normalcy, Warner sends a warning shot to the gay rights movement, which has cleaned up its image in order to blend in with an imaginary mainstream. Now taking as its “raison d’etre” the fight for gay marriage, gay politics has abandoned its historic fight against the stigmatization of sex. But, as Warner shows, when gays agree to separate their “sex” from their “identity,” they are only rewarded with oppressive trends like stricter zoning of gay clubs and businesses, the “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” policy in the military, and, ironically, the “Defense of Marriage” act. Warner examines the debate over gay marriage through a completely original lens, and also assesses laws governing sexual activity, cohabitation, bar and club zoning, trends in political activism, and HIV prevention. The result is a piercing and cogent analysis of the politics of shame and the stigma of sexual identity."

Also, as you may know, Meetup.com periodically charges a small fee to host our group website, so I was thinking of taking a voluntary collection at the next meeting.  If you're in a position to chip in a few bucks, please feel welcome to; if not, please join us, regardless!  Look forward to seeing you all again!

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  • Patricia C

    My first meeting with the group, and I really loved it. Felt like family. Thanks, Ian, and everyone else for coming!

    1 · February 6, 2014

  • Wryly 1.

    I had a really fantastic time tonight! Thanks to everyone for making a newcomer so welcome and for having such ranging and in depth conversation!

    1 · February 4, 2014

  • crisolivia

    Hi sorry I can't make it tonight. Have fun!

    February 4, 2014

  • Ian

    We're upstairs!

    February 4, 2014

  • greig

    I am really sorry I can't make it tomorrow, I am teaching at this time. I hope I will be able to make it to the next meeting. Thanks!! Greig

    February 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi people! For the newcomers, just FYI, Farely's has both an upstairs and downstairs. (I went there like 3 times before I figured this out!)

    February 2, 2014

  • Patricia C

    If your local library doesn't have it, just log on to Link+ (csul.iii.com) do a search, follow instructions, and a copy will be sent to your local library for you to pick up. (After my request, there are still 13 more copies of it on Link+.) Modern Times and Dog-Eared didn't have it when I looked. Public libraries are great--if you don't have a card, with your CA id you can get a card at any public library in California.

    January 25, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      ZOMG

      1 · February 2, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Patricia for this great tip!!!

      February 2, 2014

  • Patricia C

    Also, anybody know what's up with Wilchins' Queer Theory, Gender Theory whose cover is featured here? Amazon wants $330 for the paperback, or $200 used. Wtf?

    January 25, 2014

    • Ian

      whoa, no, i don't. maybe it went out of print?

      January 25, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Maybe it's a text book?

      February 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Damn, I was really looking forward to this one, but can't make it! Especially interested in the parallels between this book and last month's read, Normal Life - be prepared to fill me in next month!

    January 30, 2014

    • Ian

      sorry to hear that! will do!

      January 31, 2014

  • Joey S.

    So excited for this! This was the first QT book I ever read.

    1 · January 31, 2014

    • Ian

      i'll be curious to hear both what you thought of it at the time and if/how your thoughts on it have shifted over the years!

      January 31, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm going to try and make it. Has anyone seen in it in a bookstore in SF?

    January 13, 2014

    • Ian

      i haven't had a chance to look there, but have you tried Modern Times? it's a standby for queer books.

      January 13, 2014

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