On Being Different
What It Means to Be a Homosexual
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
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Originally published in 1971, Merle Miller s"On Being Different"is 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 the"New York Times Magazine"entitled What It Means To Be a Homosexual in response to a homophobic article published in"Harper's Magazine." Described as the most widely read and discussed essay of the decade, it carried the seed that would blossom into"On Being Different" one of the earliest memoirs to affirm the importance of coming out.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust theseries to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-datetranslations by award-winning translators.
Charles Kaiser is the author of "1968 in America", one of the most admired popular histories of the music, politics, and culture of the 1960s, and "The Gay Metropolis", which was a "New York Times" Notable Book of the Year and a Lambda Literary Award winner. He lives in New York City.
Dan Savage contributed to Out of the Ordinary from St. Martin's Press.
“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is a searing indictment of social hypocrisy, written with a quite but burning passion… This book is not only a valuable historical document about the gay civil rights movement, but it is an American classic because of the beauty it achieves through its unflinchingly honest portrayal of the raw pain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