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My Desire for HistoryEssays in Gay, Community, and Labor History$
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Allan Berube, John D'Emilio, and Estelle B. Freedman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834794

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877982_berube

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How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White It Stays

How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White It Stays

Chapter:
(p.202) Chapter 12 How Gay Stays White and What Kind of White It Stays
Source:
My Desire for History
Author(s):

Allan Bérubé

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807877982_berube.15

This essay presents a critical commentary on the state of gay male politics and community life. Reflecting upon experiences that were overtly political as well as personal, Berube investigates how race gets constructed, seemingly without intentionality but with profound consequences. The whiteness of “gay male” as a social category has significant implications for how the agenda of a movement gets set, what kind of successes and limitations a movement has, and who reaps the benefits from a politics of sexual identity. Here, Berube also encourages the exploration of the many ways that homosexuality is shaped by race, class, and gender. He also shares that whenever he gets to the social category “gay man,” students' response is always the same: “white and well-to-do.”

Keywords:   gay male politics, community life, gay male, sexual identity, Berube, homosexuality

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