Cover image for Dry bones breathe : gay men creating post-AIDS identities and cultures
Dry bones breathe : gay men creating post-AIDS identities and cultures
Rofes, Eric E., 1954-2006.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Binghamton, N. Y. : Harrington Park Press, an imprint of the Haworth Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
xii, 352 pages ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ76.2.U5 R625 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures breaks new ground in offering an original and insightful interpretation of gay men's shifting experience of the AIDS epidemic. From Dry Bones Breathe, you'll gain a deeper understanding of current community debates focused on circuit parties, unprotected sex, and gay men's sexual cultures, and you will learn how social, political, and biomedical changes are dramatically transforming gay identities and cultures.

Dry Bones Breathe is Eric Rofes'explosive follow-up to Reviving the Tribe, a book which broke open debates in gay communities around the world about sex, identity, and gay men's relationship to AIDS. In this volume, Rofes contends that most gay men no longer experience AIDS as the crisis they did during the 1980s. Gay men often attribute this shift to the advent of protozoa inhibitors, but Rofes explains how other factors, including the epidemic's predicted trajectory, new treatments for opportunistic infections, the passage of time, and the increasing diversity of gay men inhabiting communities throughout the country have set in motion the transformation of gay life.

AIDS organizations and gay leaders, however, continue to assert that gay men experience AIDS as an emergency, resulting in a tremendous dissonance between gay leaders and their communities. In the midst of this controversy, Dry Bones Breathe lets you share in stories of hope and recovery and a new vision for AIDS work that demands a radical redesign of prevention, care, and activism. Dry Bones Breathe tackles several other issues concerning the powerful shifts occurring in gay communities and cultures by: explaining why an understanding of the terms "post-AIDS" and "post-crisis" is crucial to interpreting contemporary gay male cultures and what Australian prevention theorists have to offer gay men in the United States describing the "Protozoa Moment" and exploring how a dangerous obsession with pharmaceuticals is leading many to mistakenly attribute all changes in gay men's cultures to combination therapies examining the writings of Larry Kramer, Andrew Sullivan, Michelangelo Signorile, and Gabriel Rightly to illustrate how the crisis construct has unleashed a backlash against gay sexual cultures discussing the dramatic diminution in gay men's AIDS-related deaths in epicenter cities and the impact of shrinking obituary pages on gay men's mental health exploring the diverse relationships to the epidemic forged by young gay men, gay men of color, gay men from rural or small towns, and middle-aged men not infected with HI detailing how HI prevention and service organizations targeting gay men must redesign their mission and restructure their workIn response to continuing efforts to direct gay men back into a state of emergency, Dry Bones Breathe suggests that long-term prevention efforts must be constructed around something other than a crisis. While AIDS organizations look at gay men's diminished participation in AIDS activism, Rofes argues that these organizations should face how they have distanced themselves from the reality of most gay men's lives. From stories and experiences full of hope, anger, sadness, and strength, Dry Bones Breathe will teach you about gay men who no longer base their identities and cultures solely around AIDS.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Section I In the Aftermath of Decimationp. 1
Chapter 1 Now That It's Overp. 3
Harbingers of a New Erap. 5
What It Was Like and What It's Like Nowp. 10
Mass Exodus from the State of Emergencyp. 18
Dry Bones Breathep. 24
Chapter 2 The Protease Moment Takes Holdp. 29
Relief, Hope, and Proliferating Possibilitiesp. 32
The Incredible Shrinking Obituary Pagesp. 35
What We Mean When We Say "The AIDS Crisis Is Over"p. 39
Marketing the Protease Momentp. 46
Making Magic of Pharmaceuticalsp. 50
The Mixed-Status Couple Faces the Protease Momentp. 56
Putting All Our Eggs in the Protease Basketp. 63
Between AIDS-As-Crisis and AIDS-As-Overp. 67
Our First Deep Breath in Twenty Yearsp. 71
Chapter 3 Creating Post-AIDS Livesp. 73
Death, Departure, and Diversification Create New Epidemic Eventsp. 76
Long-Term Uninfected Gay Men: Lost Generation or Post-AIDS Pioneers?p. 82
Gay Men of Color: Building Communities Amid Multiple Threatsp. 85
Young Gay Men: Constructing Identities Beyond Crisisp. 88
Chapter 4 Vacating the Bomb Sheltersp. 95
Rural Gay Men: Forging Connections Within Local Epidemic Contextsp. 96
HIV-Positive Gay Men: Postcrisis, Awaiting Crisis, and in Crisisp. 108
Scrutinizing Space Aliensp. 117
Section II Sex After Crisisp. 121
Chapter 5 Don't Fuck with Gay Culturep. 123
Springtime in San Franciscop. 125
Seeing Dick, Dick, and Only Dick: Larry Kramer's "Sex and Sensibility"p. 131
Michelangelo Signorile: Sound-Bite Solutions to Complex Social Problemsp. 142
Self-Esteem versus Social Change: San Francisco's Health Professionals Check Inp. 148
Why Is Gay Culture Being Censured at This Time?p. 156
Reducing American Culture to Let's Make a Dealp. 163
Chapter 6 Scapegoating Circuit Boysp. 167
Sex War Schisms Hit New York City and San Franciscop. 173
Emerging Moral Panics Throughout the Nationp. 181
Scapegoating Circuit Boysp. 186
A Post-AIDS Perspective on Continuing Infectionsp. 198
A Visit to Leather Buddiesp. 205
Chapter 7 A Framework for Low-Risk Promiscuityp. 211
What the Centers for Disease Control Have Yet to Understand ...p. 214
Making Room for Monogamyp. 217
Just Say Yesp. 221
Rationing Rimmingp. 227
Shifting from AIDS Prevention to Gay Men's Healthp. 229
Section III Hiv Work Beyond the Protease Momentp. 239
Chapter 8 Closing Down Prevention Programsp. 241
Tackling Big-Picture Barriers to Healthp. 243
Save-Our-Sex Activismp. 246
Mindful Strategies for Community Building: Seattle's Gay City Health Projectp. 249
Building Community Through Informal Structures: Atlanta's Second Sundayp. 253
Queer Promise Keepers: Designing Our Own Mass Ritualsp. 258
Abandoning the Role of Moral Judge of the Communityp. 261
Chapter 9 The Final Days of AIDS Inc.p. 265
Stuffing the Red Ribbon Rhetoricp. 267
Restructuring HIV Work for a Post-AIDS Erap. 269
AIDS Service Organizations: Reconceived, Restructured, or Retired?p. 274
What Else Has to Change?p. 285
Epilogue: Alive in My Own Life Storyp. 293
Leaving Behind the Funereal Feelingsp. 295
Learning to Fuck Againp. 297
The Kind Who Can't Forgetp. 303
Notesp. 307
Indexp. 341