Vita Sexualis discloses how Ulrichs was more than just a gay rights pioneer, as important as he was in that role. According to Leck, Ulrichs was “the first modern European thinker to propose that a spectrum of cultural and individual variations … is natural.”
Author Archive | Douglas Sadownick
AT THE PEAK of his vitality, age 38, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was sojourning in Genoa, Italy. He cruised the sandy shores in white slacks, a healthy tan, and a Panama hat. Back in his hotel, he wrote in his notebook: “[I am] experiencing a menacing, heart-rending attack of desire and savage, pent-up surges of emotion … moments of sudden madness when the lonely man embraces the first man to come his way and treat him as a precious gift from heaven.”
COLUMNIST Nicholas Benton has something potentially life-saving to tell us about the continued viability of gay liberation during these frightening times. In his 2013 collection of short essays, Extraordinary Hearts: Reclaiming Gay Sensibility’s Central Role in the Progress of Civilization (Lethe Press), he articulates how the cosmic spark that set off the historic “eruption” […]
WHEN FUTURE GENERATIONS look back on gay liberation’s role in the greater creation of human consciousness, and what ideas helped shepherd civilization from its most primitive tendencies to more noble evolutionary possibilities, they will, in my opinion, have to spend substantial time studying the Radical Faerie movement, which was launched in 1979.
TWO NEW BOOKS by longstanding gay community activists and political essayists Martin Duberman and Sarah Schulman are useful if not indispensable for addressing big problems and painful if still-unconscious contradictions impacting our movement nowadays. It seems we’ve made momentous progress in civil rights—five states allow same-sex marriage—and even consciousness raising, but we still seem so regressive socially and personally in basic ways.
“We are a Separate People, with, in several measurable respects, a rather different window on the world, a different consciousness which may be triggered into being by our lovely sexuality.”
Harry Hay, 1983
Despite how trapped I was by the various ideologies of the academy, I was also claiming my gay identity for the first time, and I began to see that I could think for myself, if only a little. I started to feel that Mary Shelley’s epic possessed a better-and by far a gayer-grasp on the supernatural than that of her “superiors.”
… THE RELIGIOUS-SOUNDING title of gay liberation scholar Will Roscoe’s important new book, Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love, might give anyone who has cast off Judeo-Christian monotheism the willies. But readers starved for better fare in gay discourse … will find in Roscoe’s scholarly yet accessible book …
Graham Robb’s Strangers: Homosexual Love in the 19th Century stands out among recent books for its appreciation of an explicitly gay liberationist scholarly approach to our forgotten but precious past. …