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9780316458733

Gay Bar Why We Went Out

  • ISBN 13:

    9780316458733

  • ISBN 10:

    0316458732

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 02/09/2021
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

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Summary

An indispensable, intimate, and stylish celebration. “Gay Bar is an absolute tour de force.” (Maggie Nelson)

"Beautiful...Atherton Lin has a five-octave, Mariah Carey-esque range for discussing gay sex.” –
New York Times Book Review

Strobing lights and dark rooms; throbbing house and drag queens on counters; first kisses, last call: the gay bar has long been a place of solidarity and sexual expression—whatever your scene, whoever you’re seeking. But in urban centers around the world, they are closing, a cultural demolition that has Jeremy Atherton Lin wondering: What was the gay bar? How have they shaped him? And could this spell the end of gay identity as we know it?

In Gay Bar, the author embarks upon a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub, and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and dazzling as a disco ball, he time-travels from Hollywood nights in the 1970s to a warren of cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s; from chichi bars in the aftermath of AIDS to today’s fluid queer spaces; through glory holes, into Crisco-slicked dungeons and down San Francisco alleys. He charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out—and a chance encounter one restless night that would change his life forever. 

The journey that emerges is a stylish and nuanced inquiry into the connection between place and identity—a tale of liberation, but one that invites us to go beyond the simplified Stonewall mythology and enter lesser-known battlefields in the struggle to carve out a territory. Elegiac, randy, and sparkling with wry wit, Gay Bar is at once a serious critical inquiry, a love story and an epic night out to remember.

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