Gay bar : why we went out

by Lin, Jeremy Atherton,

Format: Print Book 2021
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 7 copies
Available (4)
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Braddock Carnegie Library Non Fiction 306.76 LIN
Location  Braddock Carnegie Library
Collection  Non Fiction
Call Number  306.76 LIN
CLP - South Side Non-Fiction Collection HQ76.25.L523 2021x
Location  CLP - South Side
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  HQ76.25.L523 2021x
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection HQ76.25.L523 2021x
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  HQ76.25.L523 2021x
North Versailles Public Library Non-Fiction 306.766 LIN
Location  North Versailles Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  306.766 LIN
Unavailable (3)
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CLP - Main Library First Floor - LGBTQ CHECKED OUT
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - LGBTQ
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction IN TRANSIT
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Northland Public Library Nonfiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: The New York Times * NPR * Vogue * Gay Times * Artforum *

" Gay Bar is an absolute tour de force." -Maggie Nelson

"Atherton Lin has a five-octave, Mariah Carey-esque range for discussing gay sex." - New York Times Book Review

As gay bars continue to close at an alarming rate, a writer looks back to find out what's being lost in this indispensable, intimate, and stylish celebration of queer history.

Strobing lights and dark rooms; throbbing house and drag queens on counters; first kisses, last call: the gay bar has long been a place of solidarity and sexual expression--whatever your scene, whoever you're seeking. But in urban centers around the world, they are closing, a cultural demolition that has Jeremy Atherton Lin wondering: What was the gay bar? How have they shaped him? And could this spell the end of gay identity as we know it?

In Gay Bar, the author embarks upon a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub, and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and dazzling as a disco ball, he time-travels from Hollywood nights in the 1970s to a warren of cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s; from chichi bars in the aftermath of AIDS to today's fluid queer spaces; through glory holes, into Crisco-slicked dungeons and down San Francisco alleys. He charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out--and a chance encounter one restless night that would change his life forever.

The journey that emerges is a stylish and nuanced inquiry into the connection between place and identity--a tale of liberation, but one that invites us to go beyond the simplified Stonewall mythology and enter lesser-known battlefields in the struggle to carve out a territory. Elegiac, randy, and sparkling with wry wit, Gay Bar is at once a serious critical inquiry, a love story and an epic night out to remember.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Lin's debut combines memoir, cultural history, and academic assessment of gay bars and the role they've played in gay men's lives, specifically in the places he's called home: Los Angeles, San Francisco's Castro district, and London, where he met his future husband (referred to as Famous) and currently resides. Much of the history covers the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, when gay bars not only served as cruising spots but also as centers of political activism. Lin, however, is late to the game. Born in 1974, he is living in what the media refer to as a "post gay" world, as cities gentrify and the gay bar loses its importance in an age of Grindr and civil unions. Yet he and Famous still find freedom, fun, and sex in gay bars even as they "loitered in the fading-away." Lin's writing veers from conversational to academic, covering topics from Proust to fisting, and he remains engaging throughout. This is an excellent read-alike for Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts (2015) or tightly focused cultural histories like Tim Mohr's Burning Down the Haus (2019)."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this captivating debut, essayist Lin explores the gay bar as a cultural institution whose time may have passed. Focusing mainly on Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London, Lin delves into centuries of written and oral histories to chart the development of the first gay bars from as far back as the 13th century through to today, the roles different establishments played in gay liberation movements, and the many venues that have closed due to lack of traffic, rent increases, or transformation into heterosexual hangouts. He also muses on contemporary queer youth's desire for quiet "safe spaces" as opposed to the fun, raucous, and often "raunchy" meeting places of years past. It isn't all glowing nostalgia, though; Lin skewers what he sees as gay bars' "persecution of the effeminate" gay man, and recaps a mid-1970s racial profiling controversy at Studio One in Los Angeles in which claims were made "by black and Chicano men that they were frequently denied entrance." Lin's writing is mostly sharp, though there are some bumps, as with a staid academic reference to Foucault and wordplay that can land with more of a thud than a zing ("We head to a venue less sleazy, more cheesy," he writes about a bar-hopping night out). Nonetheless, this cogent cultural history sparks more often than not. Readers who want to go beyond Stonewall will find plenty to consider. (Feb.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Lin, Jeremy Atherton.
Gay bars -- England -- London.
Gay bars -- California -- Los Angeles.
Gay bars -- California -- San Francisco.
Personal narratives.
Publisher New York :Little, Brown and Company,2021
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description ix, 306 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 285-303).
ISBN 9780316458733
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