Rites of Passing By

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Backward GlancesBackward Glances: Cruising the Queer
Streets of New York and London

by Mark W. Turner
Reaktion Books (London). 191 pages, $27 (paper)

 

Backward Glances is not a memoir but a scholar’s exploration of something gay men often do without a second thought. Cruising is an age-old activity, not necessarily the exclusive domain of gay men, but one that gay men have undoubtedly developed and refined in unique ways. Because gay men have for centuries been perceived as sexual outlaws, their rituals of cruising have developed techniques designed to protect the participants from being noticed by outsiders or entrapped by the authorities.

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