A Queer Geography: Journeys Toward a Sexual Self

Frank Browning, Author Crown Publishers $24 (0p) ISBN 978-0-517-59857-3
In an often provocative personal exploration of homosexual identity, National Public Radio reporter Browning (The Culture of Desire) argues that gay activism in the U.S. has taken on a communitarian, almost religious character, shaped by a Protestant belief in spiritual rebirth that is central to American culture. In transforming subterranean desire into a political movement, gay and lesbian activists have made coming out a ritual akin to being ""born-again,"" he contends. By contrast, the gay-straight divide is much more fluid and bridgeable in Naples, Italy, where Browning's encounters with a gay doctor and transvestites lead him to situate homosexual identity in a web of family relations and social codes. To buttress his thesis that experiencing being gay is shaped by one's culture, Browning looks at the ritualized gay sex of Sambia tribesmen of New Guinea and at homosexuality among middle-class Brazilians and Filipinos. The search for a responsible, liberated sexuality, he insists, can serve as a model for political activists working to achieve an inclusive, pluralistic, democratic society. Author tour. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Hardcover - 978-0-517-37033-9
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-0-374-52542-2
Open Ebook - 152 pages - 978-0-307-81873-7
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