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Party Crasher: A Gay Republican Challenges Politics as Usual

Tafel, Richard

12 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0684837641 / ISBN 13: 9780684837642
Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1999
Condition: very good, good
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

256, index, minor edge soiling, pencil erasure on front endpaper, tear at top of DJ spine. Richard Tafel, head of the Log Cabin Republicans, analyzes the past, present, and future of gay politics in the United States. Bookseller Inventory # 36967

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Party Crasher: A Gay Republican Challenges ...

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York

Publication Date: 1999

Book Condition: very good, good

Edition: First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

The executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans chronicles his career as a conservative gay activist, discussing his search for a political stance that embraced self-reliance and his difficult encounters with the radical left and the religious right. 20,000 first printing. Tour.

Review:

As the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a political action committee for gay conservatives, Richard Tafel is used to criticism and scorn. "I've been demonized and been called names by those on the right who have never taken the opportunity to get to know me," he says. "And I've been caricatured and demonized by those on the gay left who also would rather despise what they think I am than find out who I really am." Party Crasher reveals a fascinating individual, an ordained minister (mentored by Harvard Divinity's Peter Gomes) comfortable debating scripture with fundamentalists and a political activist unwilling to accept the common wisdom that gays and lesbians should give their allegiance to the Democratic party. While always friendly towards queer campaign contributions, Tafel notes, the Dems have failed to follow through on many of their promises. Far from allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, he reports, the Clinton administration has been responsible for expelling more homosexuals from the armed forces than any other in American history. And then there was Clinton's trumpeting to the religious right of his approval of the Defense of Marriage Act, which refused federal recognition for same-sex unions. Tafel rejects the identity politics that lead to such unproductive alliances, favoring instead an emphasis on individual rights and responsibility in which political commitment is based on a desire to personally do the right thing rather than be "accepted" or "loved." "If you want to be embraced," he warns, "get a boyfriend or a dog. But don't get involved in politics because you need a hug; you'll just get hurt."

Party Crasher is filled with anecdotes of Tafel's encounters with people at all sorts of points on the political spectrum, such as the time that the radical group Queer Nation invited him to a college campus to criticize homophobic activities by members of the college's Young Republican chapter, or his perspective on the controversy surrounding the 1996 Dole presidential campaign's rejection of a Log Cabin contribution. And there are several profiles of other gay Republicans (heavily skewed towards men, it's true, but as Tafel says, openly Republican lesbians are even more rare than their gay male counterparts). There's something in this book to upset just about everyone's preconceptions, but what comes through most is Richard Tafel's passion and commitment for social justice and genuine acceptance of everybody's differences. --Ron Hogan

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