On Being Different
On Being Different
What It Means to Be a Homosexual
Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143106968, 74pp.
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Originally published in 1971, Merle Miller sOn Being Differentis a pioneering and thought-provoking book about being homosexual in the United States. Just two years after the Stonewall riots, Miller wrote a poignant essay for theNew York Times Magazineentitled What It Means To Be a Homosexual in response to a homophobic article published inHarper's Magazine. Described as the most widely read and discussed essay of the decade, it carried the seed that would blossom intoOn Being Different one of the earliest memoirs to affirm the importance of coming out.
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“Forty years after Miller’s article and book his eloquent voice is still poignant, still relevant to the ongoing struggle, our struggle for dignity and equal rights.”
-Jonathan Ned Katz, Founder, Co-Director, OutHistory.org
“Forty years later, the story Miller tells remains important and necessary to read, not only for both gay and straight readers to understand ‘the way it used to be,’ but because the issues Miller raised are still being discussed and argued about.”
“Merle Miller’s On Being Different is a searing indictment of social hypocrisy, written with a quite but burning passion… This book is not only a valuable historical document about the gay civil rights movement, but it is an American classic because of the beauty it achieves through its unflinchingly honest portrayal of the raw pain of rejection.”
-David Carter, author Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution
“Without indulging in sensationalism or special pleading but making it clear that he was writing directly from his own experience, [Miller] bridged the gap between the ‘straights’ and the ‘gays’ in a way that few recent writers on the subject have done. He also put himself on the line as a well-known writer, who was not afraid to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality.”
“Brilliant, moving, and one is obliged to add, courageous narrative of personal homosexuality.”
-James A. Wechsler, columnist