"The civil rights of LGBTQ people have slowly yet steadily strengthened since the Stonewall Riots of June, 1969. Despite enormous opposition from some political segments and the catastrophic effects of the AIDS crisis, the last five decades have witnessed improvement in the conditions of the lives of LGBTQ individuals in the United States. As such, the realities and challenges faced by a young gay man coming of age and coming out in the 1960s is, in many profound ways, different from the experiences of a young gay man coming of age and coming out today. Out in Time explores the life experiences of three generations of gay men --the Stonewall, AIDS, and Queer generations-- arguing that while there are generational differences in the lived experiences of young gay men, each one confronts its own unique historical events, realities, and socio-political conditions, there are consistencies across time that define and unify the identity formation of gay men. Guided by the vast research literature on gay identity formation and coming out, the ideas and themes explored here are seen through the oral histories of a diverse set of fifteen gay men, five from each generation. Out in Time demonstrates how early life challenges define and shape the life courses of gay men, demarcating both the specific time-bound challenges encountered by each generation, and the universal challenges encountered by gay men coming of age across all generations and the conditions that define their lives."--Publisher's description
Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men's Lives. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
From the dust jacket: "Even today, it's not easy to be gay in America. While many young men now come out more readily, even those from the most progressive backgrounds often struggle with the legacy of early-life stigma and a deficit of self-acceptance, both of which fuel self-doubt and, at worst, self-loathing. And this is to say nothing of the ongoing trauma wrought by HIV, which is all too often relegated to history. Drawing on his work as a clinical psychologist during and in the aftermath of the AIDS epidemic, Walt Odets reflects on what it means to survive and find a way to live in a new, uncompromising future, both for the men who endured the upheaval of those years and for the younger men who are now coming of age at a time when HIV is still deeply affecting gay communities, especially the most marginalized. Through moving, emotional stories--of friends and therapy patients, and of his own--Odets considers how experiences early in life launch men on trajectories to futures that are not authentically theirs. He reimagines how we might reframe gay life by considering everything from the misleading and constraining idea of "the homosexual," to the diversity and richness of gay relationships, to the historical role of stigma and shame and the significance of youth and aging. Crawling out from under the trauma destructive of early-life experience and the epidemic, and emerging into a century of shifting social values, provides an opportunity to explore possibilities rather than live with societally imposed limitations. Though it is drawn from decades of his private practice, activism, and personal experience, Odets's work achieves remarkable universality. At its core, Out of the Shadows is driven by his belief that it is time we act on the basis of who we are, and not who others are, or who they would want us to be. We--particularly the young--must construct our own paths through life. Out of the Shadows is a necessary, impassioned argument for how and why we all must take hold of our futures."
Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press, 2013. eBook @ Harvard Library [Harvard Key required]Abstract.
Among LGBTQ activists, there is a long history of lesbians and gay men dismissing bisexuals, transgender people, and other gender and sexual minorities. In each case, exclusion is based on the premise that certain ways of being gendered or sexual are more legitimate, natural, or righteous than others. In Excluded, Julia Serano chronicles many of these instances of exclusion and argues that marginalizing others often stems from a handful of assumptions that are routinely made about gender and sexuality.
Out In Time: The Public Lives of Gay Men from Stonewall to the Queer Generation. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
Gay Bar: Why We Went Out. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract.
"Strobing lights and dark rooms, drag queens on counters, first kisses, last call; the gay bar has long been a place of solidarity and sexual expression. Now they are closing, a cultural demolition that has Jeremy Atherton Lin wondering: Could this spell the end of gay identity as we know it? In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and dazzling as a disco ball, the author embarks on a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. Gay Bar time-travels from Hollywood nights in the 1970s to a warren of cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s; from chichi bars in the wake of AIDS to today's fluid queer spaces; through glory holes, into Crisco-slicked dungeons and down San Francisco alleys. Atherton Lin charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out--and a chance encounter one restless night that would change his life forever. The journey that emerges is an inquiry into the link between place and identity, inviting us to go beyond Stonewall and enter the underground"--adapted from book jacket.
The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. New York: Pantheon Books, 2021. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract.
"On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, making same-sex unions legal across the United States. But the road to that momentous decision was much longer than many know. In this definitive account, Sasha Issenberg vividly guides us through same-sex marriage's unexpected path from the unimaginable to the inevitable. It is a story that begins in Hawaii in 1990, when a rivalry among local activists triggered a sequence of events that forced the state to justify excluding gay couples from marriage. In the White House, one president signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which elevated the matter to a national issue, and his successor tried to write it into the Constitution. Over twenty-five years, the debate played out across the country, from the first legal same-sex weddings in Massachusetts to the epic face-off over California's Proposition 8 and, finally, to the landmark Supreme Court decisions of United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges. From churches to hedge funds, no corner of American life went untouched.This richly detailed narrative follows the coast-to-coast conflict through courtrooms and war rooms, bedrooms and boardrooms, to shed light on every aspect of a political and legal controversy that divided Americans like no other. Following a cast of characters that includes those who sought their own right to wed, those who fought to protect the traditional definition of marriage, and those who changed their minds about it, The Engagement is certain to become a seminal book on the modern culture wars." - Publisher description.