GAY: What You Should Know About Homosexuality by Morton Hunt

GAY: What You Should Know About Homosexuality

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A generally informative, properly tentative discussion of a still touchy subject, on which it would be impossible to please everyone. Hunt cites a 1970 poll according to which ""most Americans"" believe that homosexual acts and the hiring of homosexual teachers or civil servants should be illegal; such ""straight straights"" (surely fewer in number today) might be uncomfortable with his unevasive explanation of just ""what they do,"" whereas militant gays won't be satisfied with his conclusion that heterosexuality is ""more natural"" or with his (and the APA's) substitution of ""sexual orientation disturbance"" for ""psychological illness"" in classifying the condition. And ""queer gays"" (his words for queens, leather freaks, hustlers, transvestites, and the far more numerous band of bar-and-bath cruisers) might well resent Hunt's not only writing them off as sick and pathetic but also asserting that ""the gay world"" shares his view--though by his own figures the ""straight gays"" he ends up approving (those who live like married straights in lasting ""love relationships"") make up only a small proportion of the homosexual population. But Hunt's point is that much of the gays' camping, self-hatred, and extreme behavior would change in an atmosphere of tolerance, and if he is sometimes inconsistent, so is available research and ""expert"" opinion--and so are many gays. And what Hunt emphasizes throughout is the many different forms and manifestations of homosexuality, so that, beyond a basic definition, no generalization is valid for all or even most gays. This, along with his clarifying assessment of common beliefs about homosexuality, its causes, and the crucial ""fork in the road,"" should recommend the book to concerned or merely curious youngsters.

Pub Date: June 17th, 1977
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux