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Together Forever Hardcover – May 18, 1998
Just because gay men and lesbians are denied the right to get married under the law does not mean that there have not been gay "marriages": committed, sustained, emotional and physical relationships. In Together Forever, journalist Eric Marcus interviews 40 gay and lesbian couples who have maintained decades-long relationships and presents us with a complex tapestry of love, desire, and friendship that is as stirring as it is heartwarming, as invigorating as it is moving. While Together Forever contains much of what you might expect--coming-out stories, meeting-cute stories, tales of horrific homophobic cruelty, and just-folks-at-home images--Marcus is an astute enough writer and interviewer that the individual tales are always surprising. He is also not a single-minded booster for idealized, perfect relationships. Many of the couples here talk about their hard times with one another as well as their struggles with work and family. A compelling theme running through the book is how sexuality shapes and informs long term relationships. Questions of fidelity, open relationships, and monogamy surface in these interviews, discussed with honesty and a rare understanding and compassion. Written with a incisive eye for detail and an ear for the quirky phase and insight, Together Forever is a welcomed addition to the ever-increasing wealth of materials on the complexity and courage of gay and lesbian relationships. --Michael Bronski
"A complex tapestry of love, desire, and friendship that is as stirring as it is heartwarming, as invigorating as it is moving--written with an incisive eye for detail and an ear for the quirky phrase and insight. "
--Michael Bronski, Amazon. com
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
So I started reading. This was the third book I read, after "Lesbian Couples" and "Permanent Partners" (both of which I'd recommend).
If you're gay or lesbian, read this book. There aren't enough stories out there yet about the lives of 30+-year-old gay/lesbian folks, never mind long-lasting couples who've seen decades pass together. It would be easy to believe they just don't exist (though the passage of marriage laws has seen more and more older couples in the media, as they choose to put the official social seal on knots tied long ago). It was enormously reassuring to me to read about couples made up of many different kinds of people who've lived very different sorts of lives and developed many different ways to live together, combine (or not) finances, have sex, share dreams, storm through fights, support each other in illness, and weather disappointments and changes.
Any straight person who thinks the dynamics of a same-sex relationship are vastly, immeasurably, inconceivably alien should read this book, too. I'm almost certain different-sex married couples would find a great deal that rings familiar to them here.
Through all the individual stories I read, I smile, I cried. Most importantly, I began to believe in love again.
Gay and Lesbian Marriage
(New York: Anchor/Doubleday, 1998) 347 pages
(ISBN: 0-385-48875-0; hardback)
(Library of Congress call number: HQ76.3.U5M354 1998)
This book is based on interviews with 40 couples
who had been together at least 9 years
in what they described as a happy relationship
--20 gay male couples and 20 lesbian couples.
The over-all impression is that these are quite ordinary relationships.
The major themes: how they met; starting the relationship;
differences in life-style and personality; open or closed relationship;
housekeeping together; levels of commitment; work and colleagues;
handling money; sex; dealing with families; raising children;
problems in the relationship; dealing with change;
being public about the relationship; aging; death;
what makes a happy relationship?
The book includes pictures of several of the couples interviewed.
If you would like to read other books on same-sex marriage,
search the Internet for the following bibliography:
"SAME-SEX MARRIAGE--FIRST BOOKS".