Cover image for Beyond the closet : the transformation of gay and lesbian life
Beyond the closet : the transformation of gay and lesbian life
Seidman, Steven.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 2002.
Physical Description:
ix, 245 pages ; 24 cm
In the closet -- Gay and lesbian life after the closet -- Straight encounters -- From the polluted homosexual to the normal gay -- From outsider to citizen.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ76.25 .S485 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Gay life has become increasingly open in the last decade. In Beyond the Closet, Steven Seidman, a well-known author and leading scholar in sexuality, is the first to chronicle this lifestyle change and to look at the lives of contemporary gays and lesbians to see how their "out" status has changed. This compelling, well-written, and smart account is an important step forward for the gay and lesbian community.

Author Notes

Steven Seidman is Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Albany, and an expert on sexuality and social theory.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

With startlingly insightful and sophisticated analysis based on empirical data and cogent logic, Seidman (SUNY Albany) gives an overview of the recent changes in the status of lesbians and gays in the US. Before the 1950s, the author says lesbians and gays were mostly invisible except during the 1920s in New York City, where they were grudgingly accepted. The federal government began to legally persecute them during the Red Scare of the 1950s, when the closet opened. In the 1960s and later, lesbians and gays achieved some legal rights, and US culture evolved to tolerate (but not accept) the "normal" gays and lesbians (those who were gender conventional, monogamous, pair-bonded). This allowed some lesbians and gays to emerge from the closet, but they are still not at all socially equal. Distinguishing lesbian and gay rights activists from liberationist activists, Seidman suggests strategies that might help lesbians and gays become more nearly equal. The writing style is clear and easy to understand. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/collections. R. W. Smith California State University, Northridge

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 In the Closetp. 25
Chapter 2 Gay and Lesbian Life after the Closetp. 61
Chapter 3 Straight Encountersp. 95
Chapter 4 From the Polluted Homosexual to the Normal Gayp. 123
Chapter 5 From Outsider to Citizenp. 163
Epiloguep. 197
Appendixp. 205
Notesp. 211
Indexp. 239