Life Outside - The Signorile Report on Gay Men: Sex, Drugs, Muscles, and the Passages of Life

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9780060187613: Life Outside - The Signorile Report on Gay Men: Sex, Drugs, Muscles, and the Passages of Life

Popular Out magazine columnist Michelangelo Signorile
investigates the hot-button issues
confronting gay men today.

"Exhaustively researched, surpassingly perceptive."
-- New York magazine

"Life Outside bravely advances a critique of the attitudes and ideologies that have shaped the gay 'scene' and merits the attention of a broad audience for its courage and informativeness."
--New York Times Book Review

"A stunning expose. Gay men should be handed three things when they come out of the closet: a box of condoms, a videocassette of George Cukor's The Women, and a copy of Life Outside."
--The Advocate

Michelangelo Signorile galvanized a generation of lesbians and gay men when he took on the "closets of power" in his 1992 classic Queer in America. Now, in Life Outside, he offers an expose of what he calls the "cult of masculinity" within contemporary gay male culture, while finding hope and renewal in other aspects of gay life. He reveals the origins of the current obsession in much of the gay community with an impossible physical ideal and explores the malevolent commercialization of gay sex.

Life Outside also identifies another, more positive phenomenon in the gay male world. With the expansion of the gay movement, with more gays coming out--and remaining--in suburban, small-town, and rural America, the urban "scene" is no longer setting the standard for what it is to be gay in America. With the "deghettoization" and "deurbanization" of homosexuality, we find men who challenge long-held assumptions about being gay, relationships, and coping with growing older. With first-person accounts from men who are moving into midlife with pride and vitality, Signorile points the way for all gay men to face the passages of life with a new maturity.

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Review:

Michelangelo Signorile was an outspoken advocate of gay culture whose brush with mortality after engaging in risky sex changed his outlook on life. In Life Outside, Signorile, a columnist for Out magazine, explores the changing lifestyles and mores of gay men through interviewing and surveying hundreds of gays--in the cities, in the country, and everywhere in between. In addition, he provides a fascinating history of gay culture, from the closeted '50s, when most homosexuals found sexual release by "servicing" straight men, through the '70s and '80s, when physical beauty and promiscuity became the hallmarks of gay life.

From the Publisher:

In Life Outside, the first book of its kind, Michelangelo Signorile has interviewed hundreds of gay men from all over America: urban and rural gays, black and Hispanic gays, gay fathers, police officers, senior citizens and baby boomers. These generations of gay men have done what no others in history have -- lived the majority of their lives out of the closet. Among the trends emerging from this mosaic of experiences: the "deurbanization" of gay life; the increasing frequency of long-term monogamous relationships among younger gay men; the increasing acceptance of gays in forward-thinking religious institutions; the cult of masculinity in urban gay culture; and the myth of the lonely old queer. Sure to be controversial, Michelangelo Signorile's analysis of the state of gay America -- rich, vital, diverse and ever-changing -- makes fascinating reading.

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