The editor, teacher of English literature at Long Island University and a founding member of the Gay Academic Union, has chosen 24 stories that treat the experience of homosexuals in serious ways. The writers are both straight and gay (there should be better labels available), and the stories range in time from Proust's ""Before Dark"" of 1893 to Janice Rule's ""Middle Children"" of 1975. There is only one abysmally bad piece: Radclyffe Hall's ""Miss Ogilvy Finds Herself"" (1926), and even that has some psychological interest. Among the especially good ones are Paul Bowles' chilling ""Pages from Cold Point"" (1950), the Austrian writer Ingeborg Bachmann's analytic ""A Step Towards Gomorrah"" (1961), and John Horne Burns' feverish portrait of a gay bar in wartime Naples, ""Momma"" (1947). A chapter intended by D. H. Lawrence for Women in Love, but never used, throws new light on his complex sexuality. One of the few generalizations one can draw from the collection is that the lesbians seem less disturbed than the male homosexuals by their preference. Neither apologetics nor propaganda, the book is for the questioning reader determined to explore the full spectrum of the human condition.