Cover image for Queer in America : sex, the media, and the closets of power
Queer in America : sex, the media, and the closets of power
Signorile, Michelangelo, 1960-
Updated, with a new chapter.
Publication Information:
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 446 pages ; 21 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ76.8.U5 S57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In this tenth-anniversary edition, journalist Michelangelo Signorile updates his classic "Queer in America," the bestseller that exposed the hypocrisy and prejudice that pervade mainstream American institutions. This third edition includes a new preface and a new chapter with an eye-opening critique of present-day America and its attitude toward gays and lesbians.

Author Notes

Michelangelo Signorile is a syndicated columnist and lives in New York City

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

/*STARRED REVIEW*/ It's about time another ostensibly gay-interest book made a bigger splash, and this one might do it. Signorile's the journalist who outed--exposed as homosexual--the late Malcolm Forbes and the still-quick Pete Williams, the queer-bashing Pentagon's Gulf War mouthpiece. He tells those and other outing tales, but his aims are higher than rehashing old gossip. This is a public policy book. There are three "closets of power" in the U.S., he says: those of the national media in New York, of national politics in Washington, and of national entertainment in Hollywood. Each industry closet gets its own section in which Signorile presents why that industry's closet exists, what it's like to be closeted there, and what's happened when famous closet cases have been outed. Signorile insists that everyone--especially the famous and powerful--in these closets must come out. Why? Because then society would have to face how common being gay is. Eventually, being homosexual should be no more consequential, nor a matter of shameful "privacy," than being heterosexual. Signorile is confident the closets will empty and shows why: polite, closeted gay activism doesn't work--witness the antigay wins and near-wins in last November's elections--and the computer industry is full of open queers who are designing tomorrow's communications to empower queers as well as the media, government, and Hollywood. Signorile never quotes it, but one of Queer Nation's slogans expresses the spirit of his stirring book: "We're here, we're queer--get used to it!" (Reviewed May 1, 1993)067941309XRay Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Gay activist, Advocate and Out columnist Signorile, a pioneer of ``outing,'' has exposed the homosexuality of public figures like Malcolm Forbes, Assistant Secretary of Defense Pete Williams and record producer David Geffen. In this combative, powerful, gutsy book, he charges that three power structures--Washington, Hollywood, the media industry--conspire to keep gays and lesbians in the closet. Without divulging names, he asserts that several high-ranking Pentagon officials are closeted gays, as were key figures in George Bush's reelection campaign who put forth the ``family values'' theme. Among the lesbians and gays he profiles are Anne-Imelda Radice, acting head of the National Endowment for the Arts; Chastity Bono, daughter of Cher; and Sheila Kuehl, formerly a star of TV's Dobie Gillis and now a radical feminist attorney. Signorile also tells the anguished stories of still-closeted people in power; describes his guilt-ridden childhood in working-class Italian Brooklyn; and surveys Silicon Valley's ``gay-positive'' computer firms. Author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

2003 Prefacep. ix
1993 Preface: On Naming Namesp. xv
Introduction: The Closets of Powerp. xvii
Part I Queer in New York
1. Lights, Camera, Act Upp. 3
2. A Queer's Own Storyp. 18
3. Hype Anxietyp. 36
4. Out of the Closets and into the Streetsp. 53
5. Outing, Part Ip. 69
Part II Queer in Washington
6. Operation Out-the-Pentagonp. 97
7. Inning the Outingp. 123
8. Outing, Part IIp. 147
9. All the Presidents' Queersp. 165
Part III Queer in Hollywood
10. The Crucifixion of Zelda Gilroyp. 223
11. From McCarthy to Medvedp. 230
12. Smashing the Celluloid Closetp. 250
13. Outing, Part IIIp. 286
14. The Resurrection of Sheila Kuehlp. 321
Epilogue: Queer in America
15. The Oregon Nightmarep. 331
16. The Silicon Solutionp. 342
17. A Queer Manifestop. 363
Acknowledgmentsp. 369
Afterwordp. 371
Queer in America 2003p. 400
Notesp. 436
Indexp. 438