This essay presents Berube's keynote address at the first queer studies conference in Quebec. Using class, ethnicity, and race as lenses through which to understand not only his own life but, in some ways, the broader contours of gay experience, Berube argues that gay as a social category can never stand alone. “Class and racialized ethnic histories,” he asserts, “shape our languages, our sexual desires and relationships, our psychologies, our writings, and our intellectualities.” Berube writes honestly and feelingly about the “sentimental nostalgia” that pulls him to study the past as a way to restore an emotional wholeness to life.
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