Books Today Are a Fungible Affair
To the Editor:
In “The Price of Going Mainstream” [May-June 2015], Dolores Klaich mourns the fate of gay and lesbian bookstores, which are rapidly going out of business, along with many other independent small bookstores. While this is undoubtedly true, she fails to mention that there now exists a virtual explosion of GLBT e-books online. Unlike the gay and lesbian bookstores, all of this can be accessed not just in big cities but from anywhere in the country, and even the rest of the world.
Now that traditional book publishers can no longer pick and choose the relatively few books that will be available to the public, there’s a much more open market for all sorts of writing. Even a rank amateur can place his or her writing before the general public at little or no cost. The downside of this open market is that it’s much harder to distinguish between well-written and poorly-written material, but this is no worse than trying to sort out truth from falsehood when seeking any sort of information on-line.
Of course, there are still some limits on what may legally appear even in e-books, but those limits are a lot looser than they used to be. Erotica is available to anyone who has his own computer, whether it be a desktop or a smartphone. Just this category alone has a myriad of GLBT-positive e-books, and they’re easy to find. I know. I both read them and write them myself.
Karl Five, New Bern, NC
There’s Something Gay About the Circus
To the Editor:
I was struck by your BTW item (July-Aug. 2015) about the Italian acrobats proposing marriage on national TV. I wonder how many dancers and athletes are still waiting for their same-sex matrimonial desires to come to fruition. It is inspiring to know that the physical attraction still is valid and that athletes from around the world are coming together to reclaim their gay identity.
I found when I was growing up that the circus was a sensuous experience filled with many reflections that somehow got buried in the closet. Women acrobats are also part of this sensuous affair and very often influence youthful men to cross-dress and take up dance. I was never any good at team sports, but I am waiting for the opportunity to stretch my legs out and limber for the greatest show on earth that is not really a show but a fantasy that touches on gay life in general.
Robben Wainer, New York City
In the May-June 2015 issue, a review of Truman Capote: A Literary Life at the Movies, by Tison Pugh, listed the publisher and page count incorrectly. The 287-page book was published by the Univ. of Georgia Press.