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From Genius to Madness

  1. Citation Information
  2. Reconsidering the end of the homosexual
  3. Gay Conversion Therapy's Disturbing 19th-Century Origins
  4. Dennis Altman - Wikipedia
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The recent shifts in North America, Europe, Latin America and New Zealand to end prejudice and unequal laws, to allow marriage and recognise equality truly have a cosmological quality about them. Yet Australia and most countries of the developing world are caught in a time warp that suggests that homosexual normality still has along way to go.

No Australian writer is better placed to describe the present and to predict the future than Dennis Altman. And he accomplishes his task with humour, irony, wit and anger combined in a powerful harmony. For anyone interested in the history of queer politics, it is a must read. Altman once more entertains and informs the reader.

His insightful, and at times very personal, new book makes another valuable contribution. He rarely finds men attractive; he notices women every day. He chooses to be in a monogamous relationship with me because of my personality. What makes Altman so appealing is his humility. He asks new questions that matter. Jul 22, Corey Zerna rated it really liked it.

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A bit verbose in parts, but a wonderful account of gay liberation and identity over the last 50 years View 2 comments. Jul 22, Carlos rated it it was amazing Shelves: lgbt-sexuality , non-fiction. His style, combining personal experience with insightful social commentary and scholarship, is simply superb. Altman manages to once again give the reader a thorough overview of the LGBT movement, including its history, challenges and potential. In short, reading this book was nothing short of enlightening.

Reconsidering the end of the homosexual

Altman is able to point his fingers in some of the cruxes of the current movement and give eloquent voice to the nuances that can be lost in the middle of fraught conversations. This is definitely a must-read. Apr 22, Konrad rated it liked it. I'm only giving this three stars because it was a little too general in scope for my interests, with too many broad sweeps of observation and opinion that already constituted well tread ground for me.

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I would recommend this book to a novice of posts gay history, who has some awareness of current popular issues such as same-sex marriage, but little understanding of how we got here. If you are already familiar with the twists and turns of gay liberation, sex wars, queer theory, identity politics, and so on, then I might give 'The end of the homosexual' a miss and go for something with a little more depth.

Alice rated it really liked it May 21, Casey rated it really liked it Jan 06, Janet rated it really liked it Jan 14, Matt Smith rated it liked it Jul 23, Matt John rated it it was ok Aug 06, Susan rated it it was amazing Jun 20, Nick Anning rated it it was amazing May 17, Kyle Taylor rated it it was amazing Apr 21, Samuel Williams rated it really liked it Aug 26, Anthony KJ rated it really liked it Sep 22, Philip Thiel rated it it was ok Jul 03, Alexandra rated it it was amazing Aug 07, Joshua Mason rated it it was amazing May 09, Chris rated it really liked it Sep 29, Dave rated it really liked it Jan 03, Martyn Tweedie rated it it was amazing Jan 26, Louise Williams rated it liked it May 31, Now the person who could get excited about either seems impossibly remote, barely half-remembered, from another lifetime.

Another friend, browsing recently through a gay bookshop, remarked that The Joy of Gay Sex seemed to have been replaced by The Joy of Cooking , although it is worth noting that The Joy of Gay Sex , originally published in , has been reissued and revised several times by writers drawn from my generation. To make sense of change requires us to focus on a number of arenas simultaneously.

Gay Conversion Therapy's Disturbing 19th-Century Origins

So it is with sexuality. The changes over the past forty years have not replaced one mode of being homosexual as much as they have added new ones. It is not hard to sit in a clearly gay urban space and see both the past and the future of gay life; what was once shocking is now taken for granted. A casual passer-by on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, for example, can watch go-go dancers clad in the most revealing of briefs, while young pierced and tattooed queers walk by, largely disinterested. Rather like individuals, all cultures have complex and multiple identities, and change often means the incorporation rather than the replacement of old forms.

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During my most recent visits to that strip — one of the few remaining clearly gay zones in the United States — I saw three generations of queer life, from an elegant lesbian couple walking their matching dogs, to young guys, uneasily still in their teens, half-cruising for money and opportunity. Major changes in the understanding of homosexuality reflect larger social and cultural shifts.

Dennis Altman - Wikipedia

One example: it is likely that the invention and spread of the internet has changed patterns of sexual behaviour as widely as did the contraceptive pill forty years ago. In both cases the changes were neither foreseen nor intended, and in both cases the impact of new technologies was partly dependent on political and ideological forces.

In some ways, these moves grew out of a number of celebrations of the fortieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in A raid in June on the Stonewall Inn, a well-known homosexual bar in Greenwich Village, New York, provoked a number of patrons and passers-by to fight back against the police, triggering several nights of riots that have since been mythologised as the founding event of the contemporary gay movement. Edmund White: Declared the Stonewall Riots, where patrons and passers-by at a well-known homosexual bar fought back against police, 'the turning point of our lives'.

Even so, there are still very few ways in which young people discovering their homosexuality have the means to learn much of the history of their sexuality, and of the ways in which homosexuals have been regarded historically. Maybe there is something about forty years, which marks the coming to adulthood of a third generation since Stonewall; whatever the reason, I find myself talking increasingly with far younger people, for whom my memories help make sense of their history.

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Intergenerational friendships have their own particular challenges, involving as they do implicit assumptions about motives and hierarchy; older men, in particular, are assumed to want sex, while younger women and men are usually thought to be cultivating their elders for financial or career advancement. One of the greatest pleasures in writing my latest book has been the discovery that we learn from each other, and often in ways that seem counter-intuitive.

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  7. Maybe, too, there is a desire amongst younger queers to find an equivalent to the family-tree version of history that is so strong in ethnic communities. UQP , available now. Subscribe to the Wheeler Weekly for the latest on our upcoming events, broadcasts and notes from our website, and previews of events and presenters from our programme.