Book SalonCommunity

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Suzanna Danuta Walters, The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality

Welcome Suzanna Danuta Walters (Northeastern University) (SuzannaWalters.com) and Host Tracy Baim (Windy City Media Group) (Twitter)

The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions Are Sabotaging Gay Equality

[Book Description]

From Glee to gay marriage, from lesbian senators to out gay Marines, we have undoubtedly experienced a seismic shift in attitudes about gays in American politics and culture. Our reigning national story is that a new era of rainbow acceptance is at hand. But dig a bit deeper, and this seemingly brave new gay world is disappointing. For all of the undeniable changes, the plea for tolerance has sabotaged the full integration of gays into American life. Same-sex marriage is unrecognized and unpopular in the vast majority of states, hate crimes proliferate, and even in the much vaunted “gay friendly” world of Hollywood and celebrity culture, precious few stars are openly gay.

In The Tolerance Trap, Suzanna Walters takes on received wisdom about gay identities and gay rights, arguing that we are not “almost there,” but on the contrary have settled for a watered-down goal of tolerance and acceptance rather than a robust claim to full civil rights. After all, we tolerate unpleasant realities: medicine with strong side effects, a long commute, an annoying relative. Drawing on a vast array of sources and sharing her own personal journey, Walters shows how the low bar of tolerance demeans rather than ennobles both gays and straights alike. Her fascinating examination covers the gains in political inclusion and the persistence of anti-gay laws, the easy-out sexual freedom of queer youth and the suicides and murders of those in decidedly intolerant environments. She challenges both “born that way” storylines that root civil rights in biology, and “god made me that way” arguments that similarly situate sexuality as innate and impervious to decisions we make to shape it. A sharp and provocative cultural critique, this book deftly argues that a too-soon declaration of victory short-circuits full equality and deprives us all of the transformative possibilities of full integration. Tolerance is not the end goal, but a dead end. In The Tolerance Trap, Walters presents a complicated snapshot of a world-shifting moment in American history—one that is both a wake-up call and a call to arms for anyone seeking true equality.

Suzanna Danuta Walters has written and lectured extensively on sexuality, popular culture, and feminism and is currently the Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University. She is the author of several books, including All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America and Material Girls: Making Sense of Feminist Cultural Theory. (NYU Press)

 

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Please take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev]

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Tracy Baim

Tracy Baim

Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage

http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=28517

My new book about Obama is out; below is the press release.

Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage is a new book by long-time Chicago-based journalist Tracy Baim. The book presents an in-depth look at Obama's trajectory on gay issues, and will be available on print-on-demand through Amazon.com and ebook readers. It is also available through CreateSpace, https://www.createspace.com/3481486

Baim, co-founder of Windy City Times newspaper, has compiled documents, photos, and interviews with Obama for a close look at how his views on LGBT issues have changed over the years, as well as the accomplishments and stumbles of his presidential administration. In the first book ever published on this important topic, Baim is joined by some of the most respected LGBT journalists, bloggers, and activists from around the US.

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