Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
How To Be Gay Hardcover – August 21, 2012
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Halperin is clear that the gay culture he describes in this book is American, white gay male culture. Beyond the scope of this book, he encourages others to pick up this project, if they are so inclined, and use it for other aspects of gay culture (e.g., while he uses a scene from _Mildred Pierce_, and discusses the cult of Joan Crawford, he acknowledges that examining the interest gay men have of Bette Davis may produce different insights) and with other gay populations (e.g.Read more ›
The strength of the book is Halperin's effort to locate elements of a gay culture that is largely independent of sexual desire and that has continuity over time, although some of the specific outward manifestations of it may change. He puts this out as a challenge to those who say "gay culture" is dying but really mean that their own generation's cultural references are not being adopted or fully appreciated by the next generation. These are points that make sense to me and are fairly easy to illustrate. Unfortunately, the follow-up to this is an analysis of gay culture where examples that are mostly located in Halperin's generation (people who came of age in the early 70s) and the generation before, often drawn from the films, "Mildred Pierce" and "Mommie Dearest" which have Joan Crawford (as well as camp and melodrama) in common. He later suggests that these two films provided what he thought was an enormous base of material for thinking about gay culture, which simplified the process of presenting his ideas.Read more ›
Initially, Halperin agreed, saying that he didn't see why his "sexual practices identified (him) as a member of their group," one that required him to adopt "their" tastes. No longer, though, as he now believes "there really is such a thing as gay male subjectivity," a gay culture encompassing much more than just homosexual sex. Indeed, being homosexual doesn't necessarily mean you're gay, and anyone can participate in "homosexuality as culture." This reminds me of a line from the Simpsons, in which the gay character "Grady" says, in effect, `practically anyone who's even seen a play is gay!' I don't think that Halperin would disagree: to him the "gay" love of Broadway, to which the entirety of chapter 5 is devoted, takes place "in childish queer pleasures that don't come directly from sex."
Not only sexual but emotional and romantic bonds between men, Halperin argues, were once conventional. As the idea of heterosexuality slowly entered existence, and men feared being considered deviant, these bonds began to unravel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sociological study, therefore wordy. In true professorial style every major point is repeated at least four different ways, sometimes seven. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Rex
I'm deeply interested in the sources of "gay culture." So far, we gay people have lacked institutions that shape us during our formative years. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Alan
As a gay man I found this book cliched and stereotypical. It may be good if you have internalised homophobia but if you have good self esteem do yourself a favour and don't buy itPublished on September 16, 2013 by kiwimoose
Brilliant. Obviously filter through some of his assertions, but much of what he says is insightful and unsettling, which if you're curious about the world, is ultimately a godsend. Read morePublished on September 8, 2013 by MattCap
Since this therapist knows of my work with gay males - he thought this book would be helpful. I have not finished it as of yet because it is long and reads a bit like a text. Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by Andy Hunter
This reminds us that oh' yeah we need this culture, that provides: artists, hairdressers, fashion designers, film producers, novelists, and architects, just to mention a few of the... Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by James Horrigan
...but it's a little involved for someone coming out of the closet and trying to get a practical handle on what gay lifestyle is all about. Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by Denis B. Hall
I don't necessarily agree with some (or even most) of Halperin's arguments, but you cannot deny that they are provocative and make you think. Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by CPC
The title would lead you to believe that this is a fun read. Wrong! It is very dense academic babble. I had to force myself to read the whole thing.Published on January 10, 2013 by John Rogers