Readings in Culture and Sexuality: An Annotated Bibliography
Prepared for the Rainbow SIG of NAFSA
By Kevin Morrison
This bibliography was started in an attempt to annotate an existing bibliography originally developed by My Yarabinec, with additional contributions from Nadine Kato, Michael Welch and Sophie Eschaaf and posted on the Rainbow SIG website.
The terms gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) can be fluid in their meaning when working with GLBT issues across and between different cultural contexts. Cultures create and construct sexuality and gender differently based on their own unique sets of values and practices. Developing an understanding of how these constructs may differ from one’s own conception of them is important if we are to prepare to interact effectively and appropriately in an intercultural situation. This bibliography attempts to list sources of information that deal with GLBT topics in a wide range of cultural contexts.
With the understanding that the primary audiences for this bibliography are international educators and study abroad students, specific attention was paid to the usefulness of a work in helping the reader to understand cultural aspects of sexual orientation and gender identity. I have also included works that give educators an understanding of the cultural construction of homosexuality and gender identity that U.S. college students experience. Such information is intended to help both those who work directly with U.S. students preparing to study abroad and international student advisors who may find themselves trying to explain U.S. college and university student attitudes about homosexuality to international students.
Previous users of the bibliography will note that new books have been added, while others have been removed. Selection for inclusion in this bibliography was not an arbitrary process, but may instead represent my own bias in interpreting the purpose and intent of the Rainbow SIG’s bibliography. It is my hope that anyone seeking resources on sexuality in different cultures will find the annotations useful for sorting out the utility of a given work. Annotations include a brief description of the book, the content areas discussed and any relevant comments about usefulness or perspective which may influence one’s decision to read a book.
Adam, B. D. & Duybendak, J. W. & Krouwel, A. (Eds.). (1999). The Global Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Politics: National Imprints of a Worldwide Movement. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Offering cultural portraits from sixteen countries, from five different continents, this book seeks to provide an insight into the history and growth of gay and lesbian movements in different cultures. While it is the most comprehensive and global look at gay and lesbian movements, the editors also call for continued research in areas of the world where there is still little known. However, for those searching for information on cultures with well developed and visible gay and lesbian movements such as those in North America, the European Union and Australia. Those searching for information on emerging gay and lesbian movements will also find good reading from Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Balderston, D. & Guy, D. J. (Eds.). (1997). Sex and Sexuality in Latin America. New York: New York University Press.
A book that asserts that the study of sexuality in Latin America requires a break with the Anglo-European model of gender that has dominated the perceptions of other regions of the world. The editors have collected essays that focus on the uncertain and contingent nature of sexual identity. Topics range from transvestism to the world of tango, and countries as diverse as Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina. This collection uses a dynamic and interdisciplinary approach organized around three themes: control and repression; the politics and culture of resistance; and sexual transgression as affirmation of marginalized identity.
Barakat, H. (1990). The Stone of Laughter. New York: Interlink Books (Translated by Sophie Bennett).
A novel that sets out to tell the story of a gay man trying to maintain neutrality in a civil society that is collapsing around him. This is a bold and radical novel, full of black humor and cynical observations about life in war-torn Beirut.
Beemyn, B. (1997). Creating a Place for Ourselves: Lesbian, Gay, and Community Histories. New York: Routledge.
Written from an historical perspective, this book provides insight into the lives of GLB people and their communities in the United States prior to the gay liberation movement. In addition to focusing on large gay communities like those in New York and San Francisco, readers also get a glimpse into thriving smaller communities in cities across the states. The editor has done a fine job of assembling a collection of essays that tells the history of GLB culture in the thirties, forties and fifties and makes a valuable addition to the history of GLB life in the United States.
Borneman, J. (Ed.). (1991). Gay Voices from East Germany: Interviews by Jürgen Lemke. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
A collection of interviews conducted and published in the years leading up to dissolution of the socialist state of East Germany. This edition has been translated from the original German by a team of U.S. scholars. The personal stories of the interviewees span the nearly half century from the end of World War II to just before the reunification of Germany. A wonderful historical perspective on the treatment of gay men and how they sought community in a country where any kind of diversity was deemed suspicious.
Bouhdiba, A. (1985). Sexuality in Islam. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. (Translated by Alan Sheridan.)
This book seeks to place sexuality in Islamic society within a religious and social context that takes into account both history and the present. While not specifically about homosexuality, the book does a good job of providing background on the Islamic view of sexuality and then goes on to provide information on sexual practice in Islam.
Brown, L. B. (Ed.). (1997). Two Spirit People: American Indian Lesbian Women and Gay Men. New York: Harrington Park Press.
An examination of American Indian cultural constructions of gender and sexuality. Brown explores ideas of both sexual orientation variance and gender variance, while keeping in mind how tribes, elders and a sense of spirituality play a role. After careful examination of identity, he goes on to explore implications in providing social services to gay and lesbian American Indians, including mental health care, and AIDS awareness programs.
Cabezón, J. I. (Ed.). (1985). Buddhism, Sexuality, and Gender. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
While this book focuses primarily on more traditional gender issues in the context of contemporary Buddhist society, writings, and symbolism, the final section is devoted to issues of homosexuality and Buddhism. Specifically the focus is on homosexuality as represented in Indian Buddhist texts and in the Japanese Buddhist tradition. Both of these focus only on male homosexuality, and are more technical discussions of historical literature rather than descriptions of contemporary attitudes and mores around homosexuality in these countries today.
Carrier, J. (1995). De Los Otros: Intimacy and Homosexuality Among Mexican Men. New York: Columbia University Press.
The result of 25 years of participant observation in the NW region of Mexico, primarily in Guadalajara and other major cities, this book seeks to describe the social and cultural influences that impact the lives of homosexual mestizo Mexican men. Beginning with the sociocultural background of sex roles, family life in their relation to homosexuality, Carrier continues to describe a two year study conducted in Guadalajara in the early 1970’s, as well as smaller studies done in other cities in Northwestern Mexico. The second part of the book focuses on in-depth profiles of four mestizo men living in Mexico and successfully negotiating their homosexual lives there. The profiles trace common themes in the lives of these men, and also examine emerging issues in the late 80’s and early 90’s such as the effect of AIDS and gay liberation movements in northwestern Mexico on the homosexual experience there. Not intended to be a definitive description of all gay life in Mexico, this book focuses primarily on the lower and upper middle-class experience of those living in the region studied.
Dessaix, R. (Ed.). (1993). Australian Gay and Lesbian Writing: An Anthology. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
An impressive collection of prose and poetry that addresses gay and lesbian themes dating back to the 1800’s. A thorough introduction sets the stage by tracing the history of gay and lesbian writing in Australia through the post world war II era. Works from over 40 authors cover a wide scope of themes and topics. While interesting reading, this does not provide much insight into current cultural issues facing GLBT people in Australia today.
Díaz, R. (1998). Latino Gay Men and HIV: Culture, Sexuality, and Risk Behavior. New York: Routledge.
An excellent piece of social science research. Díaz examines the problem of the spread of HIV in the Latino population at a time when we “know” that safe sex measures are what are needed to prevent the spread of the disease. What is produced is a thorough study of how sexual silence, machismo, homophobia, poverty and racism contribute to high-risk practices among Latino gay men. Provides excellent glimpses into cultural factors present in Latino culture that affect relations between gay men.
Dworkin, S. H. & Gutiérrez, F. J. (Eds.) (1992). Counseling Gay Men & Lesbians: Journey to the End of the Rainbow. Alexandria, VA: American Association for Counseling and Development.
This is a collection of works designed to help professionals providing counseling to gay and lesbian clients. The book provides information on developmental issues and interpersonal issues for gay men and lesbians. Of particular note is a section on diverse populations within the gay and lesbian communities that provides information on asian-american, latino/latina, and african-american people who are gay or lesbian.
Essig, L. (1999). Queer in Russia: A Story of Sex, Self, and the Other. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
An examination of the formation of gay identity and community in the former Soviet Union. This book utilizes a decade of research to present the first study of how and why there was no Soviet gay community or even gay identity before perestroika. It also assesses the degree to which this situation has, or has not, changed.
Evans, N. J. & Wall, V. A. (Eds.). (1991). Beyond Tolerance: Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals on Campus. Lanham, Maryland: American College Personnel Association.
The first book written from a student affairs perspective to address gay, lesbian and bisexual issues relevant to college students and those who work with them. This book provides a basic introduction to understanding concepts of homosexuality and the importance of understanding homosexual and bisexual identities in the U.S. college context. After establishing this framework, chapters are devoted to understanding the problem of homophobia, challenges faced by GLB students of color, how GLB issues play out in residence hall situations and in greek organizations. Finally information is given regarding how to support GLB students through individual action and the development of various systems of support on campuses. An excellent resource section is included.
Fink, A.S. & Press, J. (Eds.). (1999). Independence Park: The Lives of Gay Men in Israel. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
A collection of first person narratives, this book provides insight into the Israeli gay male experience. Beginning with an introduction that sets the context for the lives of these men, including social political and historical forces that have shaped the current environment in Israel. Fink and Press have done an admiral job is finding a diverse range of men to represent the many voices present in the Israeli gay community both in terms of age, ethnic background and life experience.
Foster, D. W. (1991). Gay and Lesbian Themes in Latin American Writing. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.
In an attempt to paint a descriptive picture of how homosexuality is viewed across the spectrum of Latin American cultures, Foster examines themes presented in 12 different Latin American texts. The examination of these works wrestles with such issues as homosexual identity, the power of self-narrative in describing the homosexual experience and sociopolitical implications for homosexuality represented in the literature. The majority of works examined focus on the male homosexual experience, with only five examples of female homosexuality represented.
Ford, M. T. (1998). The World Out There: Becoming Part of the Lesbian and Gay Community. New York: The New Press.
Written for young people just coming out of the closet, this book attempts to provide an overview of GLBT life and what it means to be part of these communities. City profiles, short bios on out GLBT professionals, and information on support resources are all useful to this group. Excellent for someone new to the GLBT communities and the issues involved as an introduction. But should not be considered exhaustive or particularly critical in it’s depth or scope.
Gevisser, M. & Cameron, E. (Eds.). (1995). Defiant Desires. New York: Routledge.
This book brings together South Africa’s most prominent gay and lesbian writers activists in an articulate, engrossing and truly powerful testimony to the range of gay and lesbian experiences in South Africa. Seeking to refute the beliefs that homosexuality is a white, male or middle-class phenomenon, the contributors represent all walks of life. A thorough and engaging representation of the GLBT experience that draws on cultural, social and political factors in bringing the reader to a greater understanding of how the movement has emerged in South Africa.
Hall, D. E. & Pramaggiore, M. (Eds.). (1996). RePresenting Bisexualities: Subjects and Cultures of Fluid Desire. New York: New York University Press.
A collection of essays designed to stretch and reconfigure the traditionally held notions of sexuality as a dualistic system. These essays serve to frame bisexuality in a new theoretical perspective, and to demonstrate representations of bisexuality within the broader cultural background prevalent in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Hendricks, A. & Tielman, R. & van der Veen, E. (Eds.). (1993). The Third Pink Book: A Global View of Lesbian and Gay Liberation and Oppression. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books.
A collection of essays from around the world that focus on the struggle for gay and lesbian identity as well as social and political legitimacy. A comprehensive second section provides a country-by-country survey listing the legal status of gays and lesbians in each country of the world, and provides contact information for resources.
Herdt, G. (Ed.). (1992). Gay Culture in America: Essays from the Field. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
As the title might suggest, this is an anthropological look at gay male culture in the United States. Primarily focused on the urban gay male experience, there are essays included on African-American and Mexican American men. Also a good introduction to looking at the gay male experience as a cultural phenomenon rather than just a social one.
Herdt, G. & Boxer A. (1993). Children of Horizons: How Gay and Lesbian Teens Are Leading a New Way Out of the Closet. Boston: Beacon Press.
This book explores the development of the gay and lesbian youth movement. Using social science research methods and employing an interdisciplinary approach, Herdt and Boxer examine issues relevant to the cultural construction of identities as played out in the Chicago Gay and Lesbian support center called Horizons. The research attempts to examine issues of coming out, not only on the personal level, but also as an act of becoming part of a larger community. While providing a solid understanding of the youth of the late 80’s/early 90’s perhaps this bit of research is already out of date when it comes to understanding GLBT identified young people today.
Herdt, G. (1997). Same Sex, Different Cultures: Exploring Gay and Lesbian Lives. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Herdt tackles the difficult challenge of trying to understand the complexities of sexuality and same sex relations as practiced in different cultures. Through careful exploration and numerous cultural examples, he successfully identifies and describes the notion of sexual identity in opposition to sexual practice, and the problems inherent in trying to understand and explain same sex relations when there is no universally accepted terminology or understanding of their meanings or implications across cultures. After explaining how notions of sexuality are culturally constructed in many western cultures, Herdt goes on to look at same sex behavior in some non-western cultures and examines cultural and social implications of same sex behavior in developing countries in particular. While not an exhaustive work, this is an excellent introduction to the notions that sexual identity and same sex behavior are not equivalent and that one must examine cultural contexts in order to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning attached to same sex behavior.
Herdt, G. (Ed.). (1994). Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. New York: Zone Books.
Drawing on historical and anthropological sources, Herdt has assembled a collection of writings that examines sexual roles that fall outside of those constructed in the traditional dualistic manner. This book seeks to trace historical practices and cultural practices which have created a space for the existence of third, or multiple other, genders. A fascinating look at how gender variance can be incorporated into the social fabric.
Hinsch, B. (1990). Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Primarily an historical overview of male homosexual themes in China from 1122 B.C. to the early 1900’s. There is a six page section of the appendix that addresses “Lesbianism in Imperial China”. The Epilogue briefly addresses how attitudes in China have changed in the 1900’s but is by no means thorough in doing so. Not helpful in terms of providing current, up-to-date information on present-day attitudes towards homosexuality in China, but does provide a picture of the larger context of the evolution of attitudes in China.
Holoch, N. & Nestle, J. (Eds.). (1999). The Vintage Book of International Lesbian Fiction. New York: Vintage Books.
An unprecedented anthology that presents a range of literary voices from twenty-seven countries spanning six continents, offering glimpses of lesbian life in regions not often explored. From the West Indies to Eastern Europe, the Middle East to Southeast Asian, Latin America to South Africa, the distinctive stories evoke the diverse political, cultural, emotional, and sexual landscapes of each writer’s life, while disclosing the universal urgency of persistent desire.
Howard, K & Stevens, A. (Eds.). (2000). Out & About Campus: Personal Accounts by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered College Students. Los Angeles: Alyson Books.
A collection of first person narratives written by students at U.S. colleges and universities, this book provides an insider’s view into the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered college students. The editors have represented the spectrum of experiences available in the U.S., including large universities, small private colleges, schools with religious affiliation, and traditionally black colleges. In addition, they have also sought to give voice to students from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. This book adds to the understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered college student experience as one that is diverse and multifaceted. Students in their own voice are able to express their frustrations as well as their successes on our campuses today.
Isaacs, G. & McKendrick, B. (1992). Male Homosexuality in South Africa: Identity formation, culture and crisis. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
An important study, based on scientific literature and empirical research, that examines homosexual identity development, and the personal and social crises experienced by homosexuals in a homophobic society such as South Africa. This book also analyses the homosexual sub-culture, as well as sub-cultural influences on identity formation. Further exploration of why South Africa does not have a unified and prominent gay liberation movement is linked to consequences for identity formation.
Jackson, P. A. (1995). Dear Uncle Go: Male Homosexuality in Thailand. Bangkok, Thailand: Bua Luang Books.
An updated and revised version of Male Homosexuality in Thailand (1989). The second time around, Jackson more clearly sets out to debunk the romantic myths of Thailand as a gay man’s paradise. A new chapter on the emergence of a Thai gay identity is a much welcome addition. Clearly Jackson is able to take advantage of newly emerging research and collaboration with other academics studying sexuality in Thailand to deepen his understanding and correct false assumptions made in his earlier work.
Jackson, P. A. (1989). Male Homosexuality in Thailand. Elmhurst, NY: Global Academic Publishers.
The first systematic study of homoeroticism in Thailand. The book utilizes letters written gay Thai males to an advice columnist named uncle Go as the primary sources for his research. Using the words of Thai residents, the responses written by uncle Go himself, and analysis by Jackson that synthesizes the social and cultural factors that are apparent in the correspondence, the book creates a picture of a Thailand as, if not approving, at least accepting of homosexuality and bisexuality. Along with this is an apparent lack of overt homophobia among the Thai people. The book traces issues of socio-economic class, hierarchy and traditional Thai values, as well as gender and gender identity issues.
Khan, B. (1997). Sex, Longing & Not Belonging. Oakland, CA: Floating Lotus.
An autobiographical journey of a gay man of Pakistani origin, who is Muslim-identified. In recounting his story, Khan has painted a picture of a cultural framework that allows no personal space and choice, and places a social compulsion for procreation above that of personal desire and inner longings. A poignant portrait of one man’s struggle with invisibility and the courage he shows in rising above it.
Lancaster, R N. & di Leonardo, M. (Eds.). (1997). The Gender/Sexuality Reader: Culture, History, Political Economy. New York: Routledge.
Provides key analyses of gender and sexuality contextualized within a dynamic and power-fraught history of racial formations, nationalism, colonialism, imperialism, and movements for social change. This extremely comprehensive examination provides a deeper understanding of the complexities of these topics. Focus is combined on U.S. and global aspects of concepts surrounding gender and sexuality.
Lewin, E. & Leap, W. L. (Eds.). (1996). Out in the Field: Reflections of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.
Written from an anthropological perspective, this book examines issues relevant to conducting ethnographic research. In particular it pays attention to questions surrounding how one’s sexual orientation might impact the fieldwork experience from a general point of view. In addition, questions of how one’s sexual orientation may affect interaction with, and the ability to establish a credible presence at the field site are examined. Finally the book turns to the issue of doing ethnographic research in a “gay and lesbian” environment. While the book raises many interesting questions of interest to those in the social sciences, it is not particularly informative regarding cultural attitudes concerning homosexuality.
Longres, J. F. (Ed.). (1996). Men of Color: A Context for Service to Homosexually Active Men. New York: Harrington Park Press.
This book seeks to tackle the deficiency of research and publishing concerning the experience of homosexually active men of color with a particular focus on implications for providing effective social services to men from identified groups. Attention is paid to African American, Latino, Filipino, Korean and Native American experiences. Within each group, issues of homosexual behavior and its implications in the appropriate cultural context are described. Finally the book sets an agenda for continued research within communities of color, in order to provide an even more thorough and exhaustive portrait of the homosexual experience and thereby improve social services to this population.
Lumsden, I. (1996). Machos, Maricones, and Gays: Cuba and Homosexuality. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Lumsden explores a series of complex relationships that chronicle Cuban attitudes toward sexuality, identity, gender roles, freedom of expression, and changing laws and attitudes pre-revolution through the early nineties. While written from an outsider’s perspective, this is an excellent integration of research and personal experience in the culture.
Malinosky, H. R. (Ed.). (1987). International Directory of Gay and Lesbian Periodicals. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press.
Exactly as the title suggests, this is a listing of periodicals that deal with gay and lesbian subject matter. Although getting a bit old, some of the periodicals listed are still in press, and old copies may still assist those desiring to do research in gay and lesbian studies.
McConnell-Celi, S. (Ed.). (1993). Twenty-first Century Challenge: Lesbians and Gays in Education, Bridging the Gap. Red Bank, NJ: Lavender Crystal Press.
A collection of essays, poems, and cartoons that seek to describe the lesbian and gay experience in the classroom, primarily at the secondary education level. There are however some excellent curricula which could be easily incorporated into orientation or training sessions on gay and lesbian issues.
McNaught, B. (1997). Now that I’m Out, What Do I Do?. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Through personal narrative and analysis, Mc Naught has created a very accessible explanation of the common dilemmas faced by just out GLBT folk. His sensitive story-telling is both compelling and captivating. This is a clear, if sometimes simplistic, look at becoming part of the gay community, and integrating other aspects of one’s life with a gay identity, within the United Stated.
Mendès-Liete, R. & de Busscher, P. (Eds.). (1993). Gay Studies From the French Cultures: Voices from France, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, and the Netherlands. New York: Harrington Park Press.
The articles in this book do not necessarily contribute to the development of themes or commonalities concerning sexual orientation in the societies represented. Rather, the underlying theme is that the original texts were produced in French and then translated to English for this book. This does however lead to an eclectic collection of work around a widely diverse range of issues. A few do serve to bring some insight into Francophone attitudes towards sex and sexuality. However, the majority of the book is focused on historical perspectives, leaving little understanding of current though surrounding sexual orientation in these cultures.
Merrick, J. & Ragan, B. T. Jr. (Eds.). (1996). Homosexuality in Modern France. New York: Oxford University Press.
This book provides an examination of the emergence of same-sex sexuality in France over the course of history. Less a description of what life is like for those engaged in same sex relationships and behavior today, the essays in this book trace social patterns over the last three centuries. Some themes traced in this collection include the social construction of sexual identity in France, the relationship between sexual identity and the development of sexual sub-culture in France and the association of same sex sexuality with social and political disorder. Through this collection Merrick and Bryant have provided a historical backdrop for understanding emergent attitudes in modern day France.
Molloy, S. & McKee Irwin, R. (Eds.). (1998). Hispanisms and Homosexulaities. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
A major contribution to both Hispanic studies and queer studies, this book seeks to challenge the notion of both, and at the same time deepen understandings of what the terms Hispanic and homosexual mean. The fourteen essays in this book examine literary and pop culture representations of homosexual life in a variety of Hispanic contexts. Challenging notions of gender, sexuality, and the role these play within Hispanic cultural contexts, this book seeks to redefine the role of GLBT people in Hispanic studies, while helping the reader understand the socio-cultural barriers that have prevented a queer examination of Hispanic cultures up to this point.
Moore, T. (Ed.). (1995). Lesbiot: Israeli Lesbians Talk about Sexuality, Feminism, Judaism and Their Lives. London: Cassell
A thorough introduction describing life for women and lesbians in Israel sets the historical, social and political context for these twenty-one narratives by lesbian women. The stories themselves are diverse and represent a wide range of experiences for lesbians living in Israel. The editor has done an excellent job of covering a wide range of ages, locales, socio-economic classes and professions. Although it would be nice to have had more representation from non-Jewish women, (there is only one non-Jewish narrative) the ethnic and national diversity is wide with over half the interviewees being native Israelis and the others coming from 6 different countries. While each narrative is different, there are common themes present: family history; personal story; awareness of lesbian sensibility; the role of Judaism and the Israeli state; and feminism and political issues. The interviews themselves were conducted in the late eighties, so may be somewhat dated due to changes that have occurred for GLBT folks in the last decade of the twentieth century. However, that should not take away from what is a strong statement about women, lesbians in particular, and their role in Israeli society.
Moss, K. (Ed.). (1997). Out of the Blue: Russia’s Hidden Gay Literature, and Anthology. San Francisco, CA: Gay Sunshine Press.
This work traces the history of gay literature through all major literary periods to the end of the twentieth century. In spite of the strict soviet laws banning gay male behavior, and regulating freedom of expression, evidence of the gay male experience in Russia can be seen during all periods from the nineteenth century onward. A wonderful look at how Russia has transformed through the ages, and is now emerging from Soviet oppression with a new sense of openness around gay issues.
Muñoz, J. S. (1999). Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
This work seeks to explain the process by which queer people of color have used various forms of performance art to transform and become part of the larger dialogue around queer identity. Careful and meticulous dissection of various performance pieces form the basis of this work, providing insight into how minority GLBT people negotiate the dominant ideology and work to create a newly emerging sense of identity.
Murray, S. O. (1996). American Gay. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
A strong effort at describing gay and lesbian life in the United States that challenges long held assumptions about the role of certain events in history and how they have shaped the experience for gays and lesbians in the U.S. Murray looks at factors that have helped to forge a sense of identity for U.S. lesbians and gays, while also looking at those experiences that make GLB communities in the U.S. diverse.
Murray, S. O. (Ed.) (1987). Male Homosexuality in Central and South America. San Francisco, CA: Gai Saber Monographs.
A synthesis of male homosexual behavior in Latin America. Attention is given to the historical origins of homosexual organization as well as the current meaning and complexity of homosexuality in urban, rural, and tribal settings. Extensive vocabularies and lexicons of Spanish and Portuguese terms for homosexual and lesbian behavior are included.
Murray, S. O. & Roscoe, W. (1997). Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature. New York: New York University Press.
An extensive analysis of the history of homosexuality and it’s many manifestations throughout the Islamic world. The authors combine historical analysis, literary analysis, and anthropological analysis to create a complex and diverse picture of attitudes and examples of homosexuality throughout the many lands that follow Islamic thought and tradition. This work is primarily historical and focused on male homosexuality. It does however, contain one chapter focused on female homosexuality, and a few entries focused on modern day attitudes.
O’Carroll, Í. & Collins, E. (Eds.). (1995). Lesbian and Gay Visions of Ireland: Towards the Twenty-first Century. London: Cassell.
A collection of essays by Irish authors that paints a picture of the struggles and triumphs of lesbians and gays in Ireland. Common themes of identity and the desire for change, unite this collection, which focuses on providing a historical background, examining socio-political context, the role of the arts within the gay and lesbian Irish community, and the impact of immigrants on the gay and lesbian movement in Ireland. Overall a compelling and thought provoking examination of the situation for lesbians and gay men in Ireland.
Ochs, R. (Ed.). (1999). Bisexual Resource Guide. (3rd. ed.). Cambridge, MA: Bisexual Resource Center.
As the title states, this is a resource guide for helping bisexuals connect with their communities. Includes listings of books, internet resources, and listings of organizations for approximately sixty countries.
Penelope, J. & Valentine, S. (Eds.). (1990). Finding the Lesbians: Personal Accounts from Around the World. Freedom, CA: The Crossing Press.
How does one know she is a lesbian? How does one find others? What is it about our world and our cultures that make these questions necessary in the first place? These are questions asked and answered in this collection of thirty essays from women around the world. Writing from personal experience, these essays seek to illuminate the experience of lesbians from all walks of life and from primarily western cultures. Even the essays based in non-western cultures (Japan and Hong Kong) are written by western born authors. Not exactly a global examination of the lesbian feminist experience, the book does examine and present themes and ideas not represented elsewhere in literature and academe.
Ratti, R. (Ed.). (1993). A Lotus of Another Color: An Unfolding of the South Asian Gay and Lesbian Experience. Boston, MA: Alyson Publications.
An opportunity for gay, lesbian and bisexual people from five different south asian countries to express themselves and how they feel about their sexuality and their ethnic identity, which is done wonderfully through essays, first person narrative and poetry. This book seeks to help define the GLB experience for south asians with the purpose of increasing the visibility of GLB south asians both in south asian communities as well as in the GLBT community in order to combat prejudice felt from these communities. The ultimate goal is achieving a level of acceptance for this group in both communities. As in other collections, a diverse range of experiences is represented creating a complex and multifaceted picture of south asian GLB life.
Realuyo, B. A. (1999). The Umbrella Country. New York: Ballantine Books.
A novel about a pre-teen boy in Manila who is struggling to understand the world around him. This is a world that includes his older brother, who is actively involved in the local drag scene. Interesting and eye opening in regards to Filipino attitudes around sexuality and gender issues.
Reinfelder, M. (Ed.). (1996). Amazon to Zami: Towards a Global Feminism. London: Cassell.
Written from a critical perspective, this collection of essays seeks to give a greater voice to the experience of lesbian women not currently represented in the European/American dominated literature. Contributions by women from the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica and Argentina contribute to a greater understanding of the lesbian experience globally. The essays reflect the writing style of women who come from diverse backgrounds yet recognize the need to push for a stronger sense of activism and action within their own communities to have their voices heard and recognized. A wonderful contribution to developing a deeper and more complex view of lesbian feminism in a global context.
Rosenbloom, R. (Ed.). (1996). Unspoken Rules: Sexual Orientation and Women’s Human Rights. London: Cassell.
Placing lesbian rights within the framework of the broader struggle for women’s human rights, this book demonstrates how women’s rights and lesbian rights are linked in substantive ways. Both issues highlight how human rights distinctions between the private and public, as well as reluctance to address female sexuality, have perpetuated violations of women and kept them invisible. Homophobia, it is argued, is used as a tool to keep women in line and force them to accept their society’s assigned gender roles and limitations.
Savin-Williams, R. C. (1990). Gay and Lesbian Youth: Expressions of Identity. New York: Hemisphere Publishing.
Identifies two key factors in creating and conducting a research project on gay and lesbian youth. Savin-Williams focuses his research project on measuring self-esteem among gay and lesbian youth and the coming out process. The first part of the book focuses on a review of literature and the research conducted in both areas, primarily from a psychological and sociological perspective.
The study itself goes on to focus on various factors that might influence self-esteem such as sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes and interests, gay-related activities and attitudes, support of family and friends, love and love affairs, and self-description and self-worth. In conclusion Savin-Williams points to the need to bring gay and lesbian youth from the margins and to decrease the invisibility of sexual minority youth.
Seabrook, J. (1999). Love in a Different Climate: Men Who Have Sex With Men in India. London: Verso.
This is the first book written that approaches homosexual behavior among men in India. Examining specifically the existence of men who have sex with men (MSM) without the correlating existence of a gay male identity, the author seeks to dispel myths and create an understanding that will lead to healthier sex practices among this group. This is a well researched and well thought out work, which not only explains the situation in India, but also serves to raise challenging questions that will help improve the situation for MSM in India.
Seco, J. L. (1995). The Only Sun I Need. Beverly Hills, CA: Centurion Press. (Translated by Alethea Hanna)
The story of a young Cuban man, this is a moving novel which relates a story of desires forced beneath the surface because of family, religion and inner fear. Well structured characters and an interesting story illustrate well cultural and social attitudes faced by the protagonist as he struggles with his own issues of coming out and accepting his sexuality.
Smith, J. D. & Mancoske, R. J. (Eds.). (1997). Rural Gays and Lesbians: Building on the Strengths of Communities. New York: Hawthorne Press.
Focused on providing social services to gay men and lesbians, this book deals with issues faced by gay and lesbian people living in rural areas of the United States. After establishing the context of rural life, the book goes on to look at common issues faced by GLBT people living there, examines implications for providing social services, and looks at HIV related health care issues. The book closes with some examinations of specific cases and examines some models for providing services. Some chapters are more thorough than others, but overall this is a solid resource for mental health care professionals dealing with GLBT people in a rural context, or those who were raised in the same context.
(1999). Strengthening the Learning Environment: A School Employee’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Issues. Washington, D.C., National Education Association.
Primarily a resource for elementary and secondary educators, this booklet provides a brief overview of issues important to establishing a positive and safe learning environment around GLBT topics. Covering such topics as curriculum, homophobia, harassment, identity development and civil rights, this is a well-rounded, if brief approach to all the current issues. I wish there were more in-depth examinations of some of the issues involved, and there is a complete lack of attention to gender identity. The resources provided in the appendix are adequate, though far from exhaustive.
Summerhawk, B & McMahill, C. & McDonald, D. (Eds.). (1998). Queer Japan: Personal Stories of Japanese Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals. Norwich, Vermont: New Victoria Publishers.
As the title suggests, this is a collection of first person narratives intended to represent the spectrum of LGBT life in Japan. A thorough introduction set’s the stage effectively for these personal stories, providing cultural context and explaining linguistic and social factors that contribute to the invisibility of GLBT people in Japan, particularly lesbians. The narratives represent a broad spectrum of experiences and help to paint an image of a Japan that is filled with a diversity of experiences.
Trevisan, J. S. (1986). Perverts in Paradise. London: GMP Publishers Ltd. (Translated by Martin Foreman).
In Brazil, homosexuality has always found more spaces to flourish than almost anywhere else in the modern world. This survey of Brazilian gay life ranges from the papal Inquisition to transvestite voodoo priests, and from pop music idols to Guevarist revolutionaries. It conveys the exuberant and sensual texture of Brazilian society.
Walzer, L. (2000). Between Sodom: A Gay Journey Through Today’s Changing Israel. New York: Columbia University Press.
A look at how Israeli attitudes and laws regarding sexuality evolved during the period from 1988 (when the Knesset repealed Israel’s sodomy laws) to 1999. The author examines issues or social and political identity while examining gay and lesbian life in a larger Israeli context. The book includes chapters about the relationship between Judaism and homosexuality in Israel, gay life in the military, gay and lesbian families in Israel, gay life in the Kibbutzim and being gay and Palestinian in Israel. Different from previous books about gay life in Israel, this is not a collection of stories or chapters edited into one volume, but instead is a reflection of one writer’s work integrating research, interviews and personal experience.
Wishik, H. & Pierce, C. (Eds.). (1995). Sexual Orientation and Identity: Heterosexual, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Journeys. Laconia, NH: New Dynamics Publications.
This book introduces the concept of understanding sexual orientation as a process of journeying. The authors introduce a model of understanding sexual orientation that allows individuals to place themselves in relation to a diverse group of others. The authors state that the goal of the book is to discuss how information, attitudes, and values about sexual orientation, sexual identity, and gender emerge, are internalized, and affect individual, organization, and community development and behavior.
Wong, N. (1994). Cultural Revolution: Stories. New York: Persea Books.
A collection of eleven stories that link a Chinese immigrant family’s history from Macao to Honolulu and the eventual coming out of their eldest son. Wonderfully told, these stories link, in a subtle way, a growing boys realization of his sexuality and the conflicts that arise as his worlds collide.
In conclusion, I have found the process of working on this bibliography to be extremely helpful in developing my own understanding of the diverse ways in which sexuality is categorized and understood throughout the world. I hope readers will take the time to explore some new material and develop a deeper sense of their own understanding on issues of sexuality. The bulk of my work on this bibliography was completed in the spring and summer of 2003. I recognize that this is not an exhaustive listing of works on sexuality and culture. I also recognize that new works are constantly being published. In the interest of making this the most comprehensive and useful bibliography possible, I would welcome suggestions for additions. You can e-mail those to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.