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What is gay culture? Does it really exist? In this provocative and controversial book. Frank Browning asks the question gay men ask themselves: Can a society based on sexual desire truly call itself a culture? In the twenty-five years since homosexual lives first emerged from the shadows, gay men have staked out the frontier of contemporary living - from AIDS to feminism, from political activism to public sex, from the invention of the self to the reinvention of the American family. This is the story of how gay men come together today. In The Culture of Desire, National Public Radio contributor Frank Browning embarks on a transcontinental exploration of the worlds gay men have created. The AIDS drug underground in Miami and Los Angeles. The queer goings-on in Disneyland and Fire Island Pines, The Gay Games in Vancouver, West Coast sex clubs, Farmers in Kentucky, Cuban couples in Florida, and Queer Nationals invading suburban shopping malls in San Francisco and across America. Browning says that culture - especially gay culture - thrives only when it embraces its own paradoxes. Gay men must reconcile their longing for social and community identity with the dream of absolute freedom. What Oscar Wilde referred to as the paradox of thought and the perversity of passion create the elusive culture of desire. Filled with vivid characters, explicit in its stories, and generous in its spirit, The Culture of Desire explains gay life to those who are living it - and to all those who care about the paradoxes of America itself.
FRANK BROWNING is a writer and contributor to National Public Radio. He is the author of five books, including Apples: The Story of the Fruit of Temptation, recipient of a 1999 IACP Julia Child Award.