DANCING THE GAY LIB BLUES by Arthur Bell

DANCING THE GAY LIB BLUES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is all part of the personal exposure-disclosure literature stemming out of the movement and Bell, whom many people will know from his Village Voice articles, is the most vocal to appear to date (as against Merle Miller, p. 856 or John Murphy -- who disapproves of him -- to follow). ""Coming out full blast"" as gay and in conjunction with Paul Cliffman, a strong personal influence here, he helped form the Gay Activists Alliance which would not have so many diversified interests but would be political. So that this is chiefly an account of how they activate, infiltrate, demonstrate here and there -- set up one 'zap' after another (Mayor Lindsay; the Harper's magazine article; the Cavett show) along with a little piece on Randy Agnew -- ""only his hairdresser knows."" At the end he finally breaks with Paul in what has been an abrasive, demeaning relationship. But ""Am I liberated now?. . . How can I be when I still look in the mirror ten or twelve times a clay to kid myself about my appearnace. . .How can I be when my heart goes pitty-pat on those rare occasions when I see Paul Cliffman, the rat. . ."" All of this is finally headed toward the ""Sweet Beyond juices, emanating self-respect and self-pride"" which only the individual and no movement can achieve. Obviously the book as a catharsis works toward that end; and just as obviously it doesn't always rise above the 'pittypat' confessional.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1971
Publisher: Simon & Schuster