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Place at the Table: The Gay Individual in American Society Paperback – October 1, 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- James E. Van Buskirk, San Francisco P.L.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A Place at the Table has as its main theme the following idea: the gay stereotypes need not enslave you. So many straight people fear gays because of their limited perspective and interaction with gays and too many gays fear coming to terms with their own sexuality because of those same stereotypes (e.g., "I don't want to end up like THAT.")
I feel like Bruce Bower is a caring friend or mentor who offers hope and encouragement for both straight and gay persons. To a straight person he explains powerfully that most gays want the same thing everyone else does: stable relationships, a family, and to be treated with dignity and respect. Most gays aren't out to "destroy the family."
To gays, he offers an even stronger two-fold message: first, the best thing you can do is simply be yourself. (You don't have to like Bette Midler and opera just because you're gay.) Second and related to that idea, don't let others dictate who you are. He writes, "Too many gays come out of the closet just to be pushed into another." Like an expert surgeon, Bawer dissects the sociological reasons why there is so much "group think" among gays, but knits together a more powerful alternative vision in its place: gay individuals who are fully integrated into society (not living separated and segmented lives) who indeed have a place at the table...the feast of life.
If you're just starting to read about gay issues, this is a GREAT place to start.
I thank Bawer for reminding me to be responsible, but I also thank my family for raising me to be a good person; even when it is still hard for my family to believe there is nothing wrong with me. I dream of the day, my family will fully accept me for who I am. By reading this book, talking to others with similar situations, PFLAG parents and mentors have been my surrogate family for a while.
There is much appreciation for Bruce Bawer's "A Place at the Table," his inspiring words, and revealing truths. His book shows the world that we are more than stereotypes. The best way to show this is to attend everyday community functions and even (for some people) oft-dreaded Pride parades held each year. For all of us to come out of the woodwork, we can show others there is nothing wrong with diversity.
First and foremost, to criticize visible symbols of homosexuality in society is heartless, rude, and reveals his own discomfort with sexuality. Drag queens, Pride organizers, and "radical activists" dedicate their lives in order to make other people's lives better. They get out into the real world and show people what diversity is and how it is manifested. As far as this "silent majority" (gays who aren't "flamboyant," "radical," or "stereotypical") that Bawer speaks of, I offer one response: since when has silence done anything to improve human rights? Also, what does Bawer expect from this? That the "silent majority," who by implication of the word "silent" are nor vocal nor activists, will do better for gay rights? And how so? Logically, the answer ends up being the assimiliation of gays into a heteronormative world, where behavioral and linguistic traits commonly associated with heterosexuals are favored. It is these logical holes that reveals Bawer's book as an insecure and resentful, yet very self-indulgent, rant.
I would also like to connect this race. Here, Bawer has positioned himself as the Clarence Thomas of gays; Bawer simply seems to be complaining about stereotypes that are unfairly applied to him, and then trashes the people who helped him get where he is today. Bawer says that "radicals" need to get out of the public eye, similar to Booker T.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book attacks LGBT activists of prior generations whose politics differ from the author's (and whose work created the cultural space from which he speaks). Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by Buzz H.
Bawer reminds me of Gloria Upson, a character in Auntie Mame: stuffy, snobbish, uptight, obtuse, laughable. Read morePublished on October 17, 2011 by othoniaboys
I was so offended with this book. I agree with Bruce in regards to the conservatives and how they shape our image. Read morePublished on September 16, 2004 by Thad The Brave
I am heartened to have found a book that espouses a sensible social and political attitude towards homosexuality. Read morePublished on May 3, 2002 by Jake C Witmer
Some of the reviews have made this sound like a self-hating, Gay-bashing, everyone-back-in-the-closet rant like Kirk and Madsen's After the Ball.
It's not. Read more
I really enjoyed reading this book. This book identifies the people that are not subculture gays and there are alot out there. Read morePublished on May 22, 2001 by rusty
This book is just plain DUMB. A trained chimp could write a better book.Published on January 31, 2001