Stonewall Strong: Gay Men’s Heroic Fight for Resilience, Good Health, and a Strong Community
by John-Manuel Andriote
Rowman & Littlefield. 311 pages, $36.
John-Manuel Andriote documented gay men’s suffering during the AIDS crisis in his highly acclaimed book, Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America. In Stonewall Strong, he has written what he describes as “a bookend to Victory Deferred,” a book about resilience, survival, and heroes. The book’s overriding theme is “the liberating power to be unleashed … by triumphing over the obstacles put in our way as we pursue our own heroic journey.” Andriote argues that gay men face an inherent obstacle of being marginalized for their sexuality, which forces them to find resilience and strength within themselves to fight back. He makes his case through example after example, showing how gay men have heroically made this journey and found the inner strength to thrive and make a difference. Following the euphoria of Stonewall and the 1970s, we were suddenly under siege on three fronts: by the deadly AIDS virus, by a homophobic government that ignored the crisis and rejected demands for LGBT equality, and by the ongoing battle with anti-gay prejudice and internalized homophobia. Through the trauma of these times, gay men persevered, survived, and even flourished. It is a story of resilience that Andriote tells with personal commitment and passion.