Browsing: Generation Next

November – December, 2005

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… THE RELIGIOUS-SOUNDING title of gay liberation scholar Will Roscoe’s important new book, Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love, might give anyone who has cast off Judeo-Christian monotheism the willies. But readers starved for better fare in gay discourse … will find in Roscoe’s scholarly yet accessible book …

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“I don’t know if I will live to finish this. … I’ve watched too many sicken in a month and die by Christmas, so that a fatal sort of realism comforts me more than magic. All I know is this: The virus ticks in me.”

WITH these challenging words, which would soon become famous, Paul Monette began his 1988 work, Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir. In the same year, …

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BY ALL ACCOUNTS gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youths comprise a disproportionate number of at-risk youths across the U.S. They are substantially more likely than are straight youths to experience homelessness, whether because they run away or because they’re forced to leave home by their families. They’re more likely to attempt suicide and more likely to commit truancy or to drop out of high school altogether to avoid an intolerable situation. …

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COWBOYS are queer-or at least they were in frontier tales of the 19th century. Such is the conclusion of Chris Packard’s new book on this topic. …

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TO GROW UP gay or lesbian any time before the Internet came into wide use, in most of America, was to experience a profound isolation. There were few places where one could go to see the possibility of a normal life. Many of us wondered whether we were alone in feeling the anomaly of same-sex attraction. Only slowly, as gays and lesbians began appearing in the mainstream media, could youths come to know that homosexuality is out there. Everything changed with the rise of the Internet in the mid-1990’s. …

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“A FRYING-PAN of shameful loves sizzled loudly all around me,” writes a brilliant, sensitive man in his early forties, remembering the uncontrollable lusts of earlier years, “and theatrical shows seized hold of me.” The writer is not Martin Moran but St. Augustine …

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… Derrick is not self-hating, homophobic, or confused about who he is. He just doesn’t think he’s gay.

Derrick is not a lone exception. This I discovered through interviewing young women with physical or romantic attractions to women, talking to youths in gay/straight alliances, reading youth stories gathered by others, listening to young people at the annual True Colors conference over the past decade, and reading the scientific literature. …

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… Same-sex marriage, which a decade ago seemed like a logical-and harmless-extension of civil rights to a group of disfranchised citizens, has instead become one of the key rallying points in the Christian Right’s attempt to merge religion and politics. …

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WHERE ARE WE in the struggle for gay rights in the United States? Are we in the early stages of what will become a successful mass movement for equal civil rights and respect? Or have we reached the highest point of advance for the time being-where we have persuaded many fair-minded people to disdain homophobia, but have lost the momentum to the well-organized and more powerful forces of conservative backlash? …

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