Can sex be (re)liberated?

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Beyond ShameBeyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned
History of Radical Gay Sexuality

by Patrick Moore
Beacon Press. 232 pages, $25.

 

FOR THOSE OF US over forty, it’s pretty obvious by now that the gay political movement that leapt forward so astonishingly after the Stonewall Riots of 1969 is dead and buried. Current ballyhooing around the issue of gay marriage—as around the issue of gays in the military a decade ago—is nothing but a sideshow, driven by insiders with an assimilationist agenda who are intent on valorizing homo-consumerism, gym bodies, SUVs for all, and endless episodes of Will & Grace and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Meanwhile, most gays under forty are too intent on getting laid or buying expensive shirts to know or care about our history.

Unlike this reviewer, Patrick Moore still has hope that something can be—as his subtitle reads—“reclaimed.” Beyond Shame is a unique and strangely moving account of what went right—and what went wrong—with gay life in America over the past 35 years.

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