DIFFERENT DRUMMER: Homosexuality in America by Elaine Landau

DIFFERENT DRUMMER: Homosexuality in America

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Unsure whether to write a survey of homosexuality (as the title implies) or a guide for homosexual youngsters, Landau has come up with a compassionate mishmash. Introducing homosexuality as a concept that is not clear-cut, Landau leaps right into an anxiety-provoking questionnaire (e.g., Does dreaming or fantasizing about a member of your own sex make you homosexual?). However, the reader is not guided to answers. The questions are answered indirectly, if at all. Between chapters on life styles, mental health, and the law are vignettes from interviews with young gays. These, along with the book's genuine empathy for outsider status, will probably be the reason kids seek out the book. Landau offers concrete guidelines on how to tell parents. The AIDS chapter has helpful guidelines for risk reduction, but doesn't adequately analyze the changes AIDS has brought to the gay community. Not as strong as it might have been, but will find broad readership.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1986
Publisher: Messner